The character sheet for Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 and its adaptations.
The 256th Squadron
Captain (formerly Lieutenant) John Yossarian
Actors: Alan Arkin (1970 film), Christopher Abbott (2019 miniseries), Richard Dreyfuss (1973 TV pilot)
The protagonist of both Catch-22 and its sequel Closing Time; a captain in the 256th Squadron of the Army Air Forces, where he serves as a B-25 bombardier. Constantly trying to get out of combat duty because he is afraid of dying, exacerbated by the mission count being constantly raised.
- Adaptational Heroism: Is the subject of this particularly in the 1970 film, where some of his more questionable actions are excised.
- Agent Scully
- Ambiguously Brown: Most people seem to think he's of Assyrian descent, but he's actually Armenian.
- Anti-Hero: Combines elements of a Classical Antihero, Pragmatic Hero, and Nominal Hero.
- Armor-Piercing Question: "Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?"
- Character Tics: Is frequently shown briskly walking in a panicked fashion in the 2019 miniseries whenever Cathcart raises the missions again.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Dirty Coward: Is apparently seen as this by several characters, although said characters are usually either naïve and overly idealistic or rather unsavory.
- Embarrassing Nickname: What he initially thinks of his new tentmates' (after Orr's disappearance) nickname for him, "Yo-Yo," but he later self-identifies with it in both novels. This is averted in the 2019 miniseries, where his friends call him "Yo-Yo" from the start, turning it into a Meaningful Name.
- Empty Shell: Seems to become this by the end of the 2019 miniseries.
- Expy: Of sorts of the title character from Jaroslav Haek's satirical war novel The Good Soldier vejk.
- The Gadfly: At times, such as marching backwards when Scheisskopf orders the squadron to march.
- Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Yossarian has heard stories of slave traders in Africa kidnapping little boys and selling them to men who disemboweled and ate them. He wonders how the children go through that without showing any sign of fear or pain — he assumes they must do it somehow; surely nobody could knowingly cause a child to suffer.
- Happy Ending Override: Closing Time implies that he ended up taking Cathcart and Korn's deal, and by that novel he has become a part of the society he once spurned.
- Heroic BSoD: Pretty much constantly.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Has this dynamic with a few characters, most notably Dunbar. The sequel, Closing Time, establishes that he has become this with Milo Minderbinder, with whom he has been "unavoidably and inescapably linked for something like twenty-five years" (the novel takes place forty years after Catch-22), to the point where Yossarian is established to be a consultant for M&M Enterprises.
- Hollywood Atheist: Averted.
- Immortality Seeker: Seeks to "live forever or die in the attempt."
- In-Series Nickname: "Yo-Yo."
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Knight in Sour Armor
- Last-Name Basis: Almost all of the men are on this with him and vice versa; only twice in Catch-22 itself (more in Closing Time) is his first name even mentioned.
- Lovable Coward
- Meaningful Name: Yossarian's exotic name indicates his status as an outsider (and is almost an anagram of "Assyrian", his ethnicity according to other characters). And he's likely called an Assyrian because of the anagram. The name actually sounds more Armenian, and the character is Armenian in the sequel. Both Yossarian's name and claims about ethnicity are obscure reference to an Armenian American author William Saroyan who wrote a great deal about Assyrians. Since no one got it from the original, some more transparent hints were included in the sequel. Doesn't look like they were transparent enough.
- Mr. Fanservice: As played by Christopher Abbott.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Tries this several times, but Catch-22 makes it all in vain.
- Odd Friendship: With Milo.
- Only Sane Man: But only because he is the only one who realizes that he and everybody else in the squadron are crazy
- Nominal Hero: Would probably be considered this in a conventional war story, but due to the Morality Kitchen Sink of the novel he is the protagonist of, Yossarian's cowardly motives are often argued themselves to be heroic in the face of senseless death.
- Properly Paranoid: Arguably so in his insistence that everyone is trying to kill him.
- Rage Against the Heavens
- Rank Up: Is promoted to Captain after turning back to bomb the bridge at Ferrara at the cost of Kraft's life.
- Snowball Lie: The "Washington Irving" pseudonym.
- Take a Third Option: How he eventually beats Catch-22 at the end of the novel, by deserting.
- Trauma Conga Line: The miniseries' linear structure was specifically to highlight this.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A few times, most notably when moving the bomb line on Colonel Cathcart's map and, in the miniseries, accidentally sending Lieutenant Mudd to the wrong tent, where Colonel Korn would send the new arrival to his death.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Seems to have this dynamic with most of his friends.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: The large part of the story he spends in the nude.
Lieutenant Edward J. Nately III
Actors: Art Garfunkel (1970 film), Austin Stowell (2019 miniseries), Nicholas Hammond (1973 TV pilot)
A 19-year-old lieutenant who came from a very rich and respected family. His family originally enlisted him to serve in the Air Corps, believing the war would be over by the time he finished his training and that he would mingle with "gentlemen". Therefore, Nately could gain the pride of enlisting without actually having to fight. Instead, he mingled with Yossarian and Dunbar, and was sent overseas. He lives in a tent with McWatt next to Havermeyer's tent.
- Adaptational Job Change: Instead of a pilot like in the novel, he is a tail gunner like Kraft in the miniseries adaptation.
- Age Lift: In the 2019 miniseries, where his age is explicitly given as 24 instead of the novel's 19.
- The All-American Boy
- The Baby of the Bunch: Certainly not the youngest of the Air Force members in the novel, but the others certainly seem protective of him due to his youth and naïveté.
- Blue Blood: His mother takes pride in telling him, "The Natelys have never done anything for their money."
- Composite Character: In the 2019 miniseries he takes on traits of the novel's Kraft, most notably dying when Yossarian turns back to bomb the bridge at Ferrara.
- CynicIdealist Duo: Him and Yossarian
- Defrosting Ice Queen: What he eventually does to his whore by rescuing her from a sleepless night from some generals, finally allowing her to get the sleep she so desperately wants.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Is killed unceremoniously when Dobbs crashes his plane into Nately's.
- Eagleland: Firmly believes in Eagleland Type 1, and argues with the old man in Rome over it.
- Face Death with Dignity: In the 2019 miniseries.
- The Lancer: To Yossarian.
- Last-Name Basis: Possibly (at least partially) due to his family being so rich and well-respected.
- Patriotic Fervor
- Wide-Eyed Idealist
Actors: Bob Balaban (1970 film), Graham Patrick Martin (2019 miniseries), Robert Pratt (1973 TV pilot)
A bomber pilot in the squadron who is continually being shot down and having to crash land in the sea. Described as "a warm-hearted, simple-minded gnome," Orr is the only person in the group considered to be crazier than his good friend Yossarian, with whom he shares a tent. Orr appears to take great joy in thoroughly confounding those around him by being completely nonsensical.
- Ax-Crazy: In the 1973 pilot, the character named Orr (see Decomposite Character) is prone to strangling Yossarian.
- Captain Crash: Deliberately.
- Chekhov's Gunman
- Cloud Cuckoolander
- The Cuckoolander Was Right
- Decomposite Character: The character of McWatt in the 1973 TV pilot has more in common with the novel's Orr, despite Orr also being a character in the pilot.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Gets out of the war through sheer ingenuity, although he has to end up leaving Yossarian — who he was planning to take with him — behind because Yossarian did not get his hints.
- Endearingly Dorky: His curious, giggle-prone and careless nature makes even the snarky, apathetic protagonist Yossarian want to hug him. It helps that his constant and comical habit of crashing his planes into the ocean wound up being all part of his plan to escape the military.
- Faking the Dead: Fakes dying in a plane crash in order to avoid getting caught when he escapes to Sweden.
- Meaningful Name: Rows away. Averted in the 2019 miniseries, where he flies away.
- Mr. Fixit: An adept mechanic.
- Named by the Adaptation: Milo introduces him as Ivor Orr in the 2019 miniseries.
- Obfuscating Insanity/Obfuscating Stupidity: Turns out to have been doing this big-time as part of his plan to escape to Sweden.
- Pet the Dog: Turns out to have been continually doing this to Yossarian throughout the novel. Yossarian doesn't get the hint until he finds out that Orr has made it to Sweden.
- Punny Name: In the 2019 miniseries, where "Ivor Orr" is apparently meant to sound like "either or."
- Shorter Means Smarter: Is the shortest of Yossarian's buddies in the novel and both major screen adaptations, and displays great mechanical aptitude, not to mention his brilliant escape plan revealed at the end of the novel.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Appleby, due to his patriotism and conformist tendencies, which Orr balks at.
Captain "Aarfy" Aardvark
Actors: Charles Grodin (1970 film), Rafi Gavron (2019 miniseries), Sam Chew Jr. (1973 TV pilot)
Captain Aardvark (called "Aarfy") is the navigator in Yossarian's B-25 bomber (but only when Yossarian is flying in the lead ship — hence Aarfy's sporadic appearances in the air in the novel). He is oblivious to incoming flak, repeatedly gets lost on missions, and always smokes a pipe. Yossarian comments that Aarfy is just not intelligent enough to be afraid of the war. He befriends Nately in the hope of working for Nately's wealthy father after the war. Aarfy sees himself as moral and protects well-connected women from the sexual advances of other officers, but this is only because he sees these women as a means to an end.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: As played by Rafi Gavron in the 2019 miniseries.
- Adaptational Heroism: Shows no signs of being the novel's sociopathic Social Climber, rapist, and murderer in the Bowdlerised 1973 TV pilot.
- Catchphrase: "Old Aarfy has never paid for it," in reference to sex/prostitution.
- Chekhov's Gunman: His insistence that he never has and never will pay for sex comes back in a much darker way when he rapes and murders the innocent deaf maid, Michaela, despite the profusion of prostitutes in Rome.
- Dissonant Serenity: A few occasions regarding sexual assault, particularly in recounting his gang-rape and robbery of two high school girls as Wacky Fratboy Hijinx.
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Is never seen without one, as part of his pretensions of being high-class.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: At one point, he fondly recounts the kidnapping, gang rape, and robbery of two high school girls by him and his frat brothers to Nately. He seems to believe sincerely that Nately will respect this.
- Fat Bastard
- Faux Affably Evil: A rotund, absentminded, pipe-smoking college boy has a strong sense of principles, frequently reminisces about his college days, constantly smokes his pipe, and tries to endear himself to everyone as "Good Old Aarfy" while really being a despicable social climber, rapist and murderer.
- Fratbro: Basically the 1940s version of this trope.
- The Friend Nobody Likes
- I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: Seems to have this attitude toward his rapes.
- Karma Houdini: Gets away scot free with his rape and murder of the deaf maid, Michaela. The M Ps even apologize to him while arresting Yossarian instead.
- Lack of Empathy
- The Load: Constantly gets lost on missions and is usually oblivious to oncoming flak.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant
- No Sense of Direction: Particularly inconvenient as he is Yossarian's navigator.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Is probably the most despicable character in Catch-22 due to his participation in the gang-rape and robbery of two high school girls with his fraternity and later his rape and murder of the deaf maid Michaela.
- Sadist: Cruelly mocks Nately for his devotion to his whore, saying he would never lower himself to the level of such "filthy trollops." Not to mention his numerous rapes and murder(s?).
- Smug Snake: He shows no remorse for his crimes until he fears he may be brought to justice for them. He is not. Taken Up to Eleven in his portrayal in the 2019 miniseries.
- Social Climber: One of his defining traits. Tries to cosy up to Nately in the hopes of getting a job with Nately's father after the war, but Nately sees right through this.
- The Sociopath
- Villain with Good Publicity: In the 2019 miniseries the Air Force is complicit in the cover-up of his rape and murder of Michaela.
- Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names
Dr. Dan "Doc" Daneeka
Actors: Jack Gilford (1970 film), Grant Heslov (2019 miniseries), J.S. Johnson (1973 TV pilot)
The squadron flight surgeon and a friend of Yossarian. Doc Daneeka's main motivation is for his own welfare, whether that be making money or protecting his own life. He generally forgets his moral duty as a physician except in the most extreme of circumstances. Doc Daneeka feels the military is responsible for him being drafted into the war effort and putting him in harm's way, because they were distrustful of him when he lied on his drafting papers about his health. He is constantly scared of upsetting his superiors who may see fit to then ship him off to the far more dangerous South Pacific; already he sees it as military cruelty to have been assigned to the Air Corps even though he is scared of flying.
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In the novel he is more or less one of Yossarian's best friends on the base; in the 1973 TV pilot, they only meet each other once in the mess hall, where Doc explains to Yo-Yo what Catch-22 is.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: In the 2019 miniseries he is portrayed as a moral man who tries to do his medical and ethical duty during the war, with most of his nastier traits from the novel being excised. The plotline involving his bureaucratic death is also excised.
- Alliterative Name
- Ambiguously Jewish: He is portrayed as this in both major screen adaptations.
- Catchphrase: "You think you've got troubles? What about me?
- Dirty Coward
- Fatal Flaw: His cowardice and greed.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Yossarian, despite not really offering him any help.
- Hoist by His Own Petard
- Spends the entire book complaining that he was drafted just as his medical practice was becoming profitable. The reason it became profitable, naturally, is because every other doctor in Staten Island was drafted.
- Having his name added to flight crew manifests when he isn't aboard the flight, so he can get flight pay, leads to a situation where he is declared legally dead, despite being obviously alive.
- Hypochondria: Is a major hypochrondriac.
- It's All About Me: See his catchphrase.
- Lack of Empathy: His Fatal Flaw.
- Legally Dead: Due to his name being on Mc Watt's flight manifest when the latter crashes his plane.
- Mr. Exposition: Explains Catch-22 to Yossarian (and the reader/audience).
- Only in It for the Money: His primary goal as a doctor before the war, even stating, "My most valuable medical tool is my cash register."
- Pet the Dog: Shows unusual compassion towards Yossarian after Snowden's death.
- Pre War Civilian Career: Was a doctor in New York before the War.
- Un-person: See Legally Dead.
Major Major Major Major
Actors: Bob Newhart (1970 film), Lewis Pullman (2019 miniseries)
The ineffectual squadron commander of the base in Pianosa, who was named Major Major by his father as a joke — passing up the lesser possibilities of "Drum Major, Minor Major, Sergeant Major, or C Sharp Major" — and was later made a Major by an IBM machine with a sense of humor. He is disliked by most of the enlisted men in Pianosa because he was promoted so suddenly and he chooses to remain isolated from the other people at the base, letting Sergeant Towser handle the operations of the base. He doesn't allow people to see him in his office while he is in his office, they can only see him when he isn't there. He utilizes Yossarian's pen name, Washington Irving, to shirk out of official document duties which eventually leads to the terrible fate the chaplain is met with. Major Major is also extremely obedient because he just wants to be well-liked, however he is instead constantly being promoted because nobody actually likes him at all.
- Adaptation Origin Connection: The 2019 miniseries has Major Major training with Yossarian, Clevinger, Nately, Orr, McWatt, Aarfy, Kid Sampson, and Dunbar at the same Air Force training camp in Santa Ana.
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Downplayed, but he and Yossarian seem to be on relatively friendly terms in the 2019 miniseries.
- Alliterative Name
- Catch-22 Dilemma: Gives Sergeant Towser orders that no one is allowed to see him while he's in his office. But people must be allowed in sometimes, so he orders his aide to allow them to see him when he's not in his office. When he sees someone coming who he doesn't want to deal with, but who outranks him, and therefore could countermand his order to Towser, he jumps out the window and flees into the forest, hiding until they leave.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Named Major Major Major because his father thought it would be funny. This later causes an IBM Machine with a sense of humor to promote him to Major, leading to his full title being Major Major Major Major.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": He attempts to get others to call him "Caleb," which his mother had wanted to name him, instead of his true birth name; they do not.
- The Generic Guy: Exaggerated Trope: Everyone who meets Major Major finds it remarkable how unremarkable he is.
- The Hermit
- Hope Spot: He finally finds happiness in his previously beleaguered life with his friends on the basketball court at Pianosa...until Colonel Cathcart pulls up, promotes him to squadron commander, and ensures that no one will ever be friendly to him again.
- Lonely at the Top: His self-exile leaves him cripplingly lonely.
- No Social Skills: Painfully awkward.
- Non-Indicative Name: At first, lampshaded in the 2019 miniseries, when Colonel Cathcart responds to his protests that he is a sergeant with, "But you're Major Major," then immediately averted when he is promoted to Major on the spot.
- Not Bad: Clevinger gives him this look when he is promoted in the 2019 miniseries.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Not a sinister example like Cathcart or Scheisskopf, but his Catch-22 Dilemma to Sergeant Towser (and the other men in his squadron) places him as this.
- Over Ranked Soldier: Played for laughs when he is abruptly promoted to Major (from a Sergeant) on his second day in the Army by an IBM Machine with a sense of humor; circumstances mean that he cannot be promoted or demoted from Major.
- Real Joke Name/Repetitive Name: Not even he had known he was named Major Major Major Major by his father as a joke (he thought he was called Caleb) until he enrolled in kindergarten. The news kills his mother.
- Shout-Out: His introduction as "born too late and too mediocre" is one to Edwin Arlington Robinson's description of the title character in his poem "Miniver Cheevey."
- Textual Celebrity Resemblance: Major Major Major Major looks like Henry Fonda. Captain Black insists he is Henry Fonda but "is too chickenshit to admit it." Heller claimed to have written the book with a movie adaptation in mind — he wanted Major Major to be played either by Henry Fonda or someone who looked absolutely nothing like Henry Fonda. When the film adaptation was made in 1970, they went the latter route with the casting of Bob Newhart; Lewis Pullman in the 2019 miniseries, however, looks at least a fair bit more like 1940s-era Fonda than Newhart does.
- Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Is noted to have vanished a fair bit before the novel's end. It is not known whether he is dead, AWOL, or otherwise. This is averted in the 2019 miniseries, where he is seen at the base in the final episode.
Actor: Pico Alexander (2019 miniseries)
A highly principled, highly educated man; a Harvard graduate with a lot of intelligence but little smarts. Clevinger is very unmoving in his own opinions and is further described as such: excessively philosophical, politically a humanitarian, lacking in social tact, and a person of all facts but no passion. His optimistic view of the world causes Yossarian to consider him to be a "dope," and he and Yossarian each believe the other to be crazy. Yossarian also comments that Clevinger crusades against bigotry by balking in its face, proving Clevinger to be an extremely submissive character. During basic training he is brought to trial and found guilty on phony charges by Lt. Scheisskopf.
- The Ace
- Adapted Out: In the 1970 film, although some of his lines from the novel are given to Dobbs; however, he notably is featured in Buck Henry's original script for the film.
- Book Dumb: Inverted: he is very book smart but lacks common sense and street smarts.
- Court Martial: Is given one at training camp purely because Scheisskopf hates him, and is sentenced to fifty-seven tours of duty.
- Eagleland: Firmly believes in Type I.
- Extreme Doormat
- Foil: To Yossarian.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Is described as this by a mournful Yossarian in the 2019 miniseries after his disappearance.
- Kangaroo Court: Is on the receiving end of this from Scheisskopf
- Named by the Adaptation: He gives his name to Scheisskopf in the 2019 miniseries as Timothy Clyde Clevinger.
- No Social Skills
- Patriotic Fervor
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His plane mysteriously vanishes in a cloud during the Parma mission and he is never seen again. There is no guarantee that even he is not Faking the Dead; his fate is less ambiguous in the 2019 miniseries.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist
Lieutenant J.S. McWatt
Actors: Peter Bonerz (1970 film), Jon Rudnitsky (2019 miniseries), Frank Welker (1973 TV pilot)
The pilot of Yossarian's plane, one of his closest friends and Nately's roommate as well. A young man who appears to be very calm and serene and whom Yossarian considers to be crazy because he remains sane during the war. He enjoys flying his plane low to scare Yossarian, which eventually leads Yossarian choking him and threatening to murder him during one of their combat training sessions. After this, McWatt seems to realize that Yossarian might actually be going insane. However, he conceals his own increasing panic and madness.
- The Ace
- Ace Pilot
- Badass Mustache: In the 2019 miniseries
- Broken Ace: His sanity breaks, resulting in his suicide.
- Catchphrase: "Oh well, what the hell."
- Demoted to Extra: He doesn't get many lines or much characterization in the 1970 film, where his only major contribution is killing Hungry Joe and then himself.
- Driven to Suicide: Accidentally slices Kid Sampson (Hungry Joe in the 1970 film) in half with the propeller of his plane while cruising over the lake at a low altitude, and out of remorse flies his plane into a hillside.
- Foil: To Yossarian in how they deal with the war.
- The Pollyanna
- Sanity Slippage
- Stepford Smiler: The 2019 miniseries makes this especially clear.
- Turbine Blender: Ends up doing this to Kid Sampson accidentally.
- Wingman: To Kid Sampson in Yossarian's plane in the 2019 miniseries.
ApplebyA fair haired, young pilot from Iowa. He is described as being "as good at shooting craps as he was at playing ping-pong, and he was as good at playing ping-pong as he was at everything else." Appleby's character appears to represent those who thrive to a certain extent within a bureaucratic system and feel threatened by others who do not play along as much as they would like them to. He follows regulations without question and does everything he is supposed to do, managing to succeed with minimal effort at whatever he does. He believes in God, the Motherhood, and the American Way of Life.
- The Ace: Always does what he is supposed to and always succeeds at what he does, causing everyone to dislike him.
- Ace Pilot
- Adapted Out: In all screen adaptations to date.
- The All-American Boy
- Eagleland: Firmly believes in Type I, is a firm example of Type II.
- Innocently Insensitive: To an extent; he is only malicious when he feels threatened by those with different values.
- Jerk Jock
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Attempts one on Orr.
- Patriotic Fervor: Probably the most sincere and overzealous about his of anyone in the novel.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Orr.
Admiral Kid Sampson
Actor: Gerran Howell (2019 miniseries)
An underaged soldier who is one of Yossarian's pilots.
- Adaptational Job Change: A minor one; while he is still a pilot in the 2019 miniseries, he is a Lieutenant rather than an Admiral.
- Adapted Out: His role of getting killed accidentally by McWatt in the book goes to Hungry Joe in the 1970 film.
- The Baby of the Bunch: Apparently in the 2019 miniseries.
- Butt-Monkey: In the 2019 miniseries (and arguably in the book as well).
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: He dies suddenly and unexpectedly in a freak accident.
- Famous Last Words: In the 2019 miniseries: "This is going straight up your ass, McWatt!"
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Is accidentally sliced in half by McWatt when the latter is buzzing the beach. McWatt is Driven to Suicide over this. There is less of him left in the 2019 miniseries, where he is splattered all over the windshield of McWatt's plane and only a couple of limbs are recovered afterwards.
- New Meat
- Tagalong Kid: Is underaged, and in the 2019 miniseries is clearly out of his depth throughout a lot of the war.
- Turbine Blender: Is on the receiving end of this from McWatt in a macabre accident that causes both's deaths.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Doesn't get much mention or characterization throughout the novel before getting killed gruesomely. He gets a bit more characterization in the 2019 miniseries, however.
Major —— de Coverley
Actor: Hugh Laurie (2019 miniseries)
The fearsome executive officer of the squadron with a terrifying visage in the Biblical tradition, so much so that men will do his desires without his even saying a word, and no one dares ask his first name. The exact nature of the Major's duties within the bomber group is uncertain. He is Major Major's executive officer, but at the squadron base in Pianosa his only official duties are pitching horseshoes, renting apartments for the soldiers on rest leave, and kidnapping Italian laborers to help around the base. He also rapidly put an end to Captain Blacks "Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade" by demanding that he be given eat then demanding that they give everybody eat. His frequent appearance during the fall of major cities makes him an object of interest to intelligence agencies on both sides, neither of which can identify him.
- Abled in the Adaptation: In the 2019 miniseries he does not have an eyepatch, as he does in the book.
- Adaptation Name Change: Of a sort: the "——" is dropped in the miniseries as it is a textual joke that would not work on screen.
- Adaptation Personality Change: In the book, Major —— de Coverley is The Voiceless and cuts such an impressive figure that no one dares speak to him even though he doesn't seem to do anything useful. When he does speak, it's in broken English, suggesting that he's actually dimwitted. In the miniseries, however, he's an erudite man who, while still visibly imposing holds regular conversations with people and conducts military business around the local community.
- Adapted Out: In the 1970 film.
- The Comically Serious
- Cultured Badass: Hugh Laurie portrays him as this in the 2019 miniseries.
- The Dreaded
- Eyepatch of Power: Has one, which is part of why he looks so commanding that everyone is too afraid to ask his first name. It turns out that he got the eyepatch after an irreverent old man thought he looked too haughty and tossed a flower in his eye.
- Implacable Man
- Last-Name Basis: Since no one is brave enough to ask for his first name.
- No Name Given
- Shrouded in Myth
- Spell My Name with a Blank
- That's an Order!: Puts an end to the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade by pulling rank.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In the 2019 miniseries, where he promotes Milo to mess officer because of some delicious lamb chops the Lieutenant provided for him, jumpstarting Milo's rise to the top and its many consequences.
- The Voiceless
- What, Exactly, Is His Job?: No one on the base knows his official function, nor are they game enough to ask.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Disappears once he heads to Bologna after Yossarian moves the bomb line. The 2019 miniseries shows him walking straight into a briefing room full of Those Wacky Nazis and looking mildly perplexed, and he is not seen again.
Because of the lack of risk involved in not flying missions, Captain Black wanted to take over Major Duluth's position as squadron commander when the Major was killed over Perugia. He was thwarted in this by the appointment of Major Major to the position. Captain Black also constantly mocks his fellow countrymen at the Pianosa airbase when they are faced by dangerous missions, by constantly telling everyone to "eat your liver." Since he is the camp's intelligence officer, he is not on combat duty and can therefore maintain his gleeful attitude to the men risking their lives in the air. Black is a paranoid anti-Communist and pressures all the men to take loyalty oaths, but out of personal spite prevents Major Major from taking one. He is also notable for deliberately seeking out Nately's Whore on his visits to Rome, and gleefully describing these meetings to Nately.
- Adapted Out
- Catch-22 Dilemma: Issues an order that everyone has to sign a "loyalty oath", but does not allow Major Major to sign it, then begins harassing him because he hasn't signed it and, when Major Major asks to be allowed to sign it, Captain Black continues to refuse to allow him to sign it on the grounds that he hadn't signed it when the order was first issued.
- Denied Food as Punishment: Captain Black's Great Loyalty Oath Crusade requires that soldiers sign loyalty oaths, recite the pledge of allegiance, and sing the national anthem numerous times before being allowed to eat - and then do it some more to get access to the condiments. People who don't (or who weren't allowed to because the Captain didn't like them) are not allowed to be served at the mess. Eventually Major —— de Coverly pulls rank and forces him to stop.
- Dirty Coward
- Jerkass: So much so that the Chaplain vows to punch him in the nose at the end of the book.
- Kick the Dog: To Nately every time he goes to Rome.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat
- Patriotic Fervor: Forces this on his men. At first he makes them sign loyalty oaths. Then, multiple loyalty oaths. He himself has Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds on his behalf to show how he was more loyal than everyone else. He also forced his men to frequently pledge allegiance and sing "The Star Spangled Banner".
- Political Officer
- Red Scare: The source of much of Heller's satire of it.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Major Major.
- Smug Snake
- Soldiers at the Rear: His driving motivation.
Howard "Howie" Snowden
Actors: Jon Korkes (1970 film), Harrison Osterfield (2019 miniseries)
Snowden is a member of Yossarian's flight during a mission, and acts as catalyst for the fundamental change in Yossarian's mentality and outlook. After their plane takes heavy anti-aircraft fire, Snowden is mortally wounded and Yossarian attempts to come to Snowden's aid by treating a serious leg wound with white bandages and sulfanilamide powder. Eventually Yossarian notices bleeding from Snowden's armpit and realizes he has another wound under his flak suit. Snowden's death embodies Yossarian's desire to evade death; by seeing Snowden's entrails spilling over the plane, he feels that "Man was matter, that was Snowdens secret. Drop him out a window and hell fall. Set fire to him and hell burn. Bury him and hell rot, like other kinds of garbage. That was Snowdens secret. Ripeness was all." The experience on the plane dramatically changes Yossarian's attitude towards life. He looks only to protect his own life and, to a lesser extent, the lives of his close friends. Yossarian turns against the military and refuses to wear a uniform, his justification being he simply "doesn't want to," perhaps because he was traumatized and depressed by Snowden's death.
- Adaptation Name Change: While his name is established in Closing Time (through Sammy's reminiscing) as Howard Snowden, his name is given in the 2019 miniseries as Christopher Snowden.
- Adaptational Late Appearance: Only appears in the last episode of the (almost) wholly linear 2019 miniseries.
- Arc Words: "I'm cold."
- Despair Event Horizon: His death is one (of sorts) for Yossarian.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Died in Yossarian's arms.
- Famous Last Words: "I'm cold."
- Hope Spot: Yossarian thinks he has easily taken care of Snowden's leg wound. Then he notices bleeding from Snowden's armpit, rips off Snowden's flak suit, and sees a hole from a huge chunk of flak straight through his ribs that causes Snowden's entrails to spill out onto the floor.
- I'm Cold... So Cold...
- Meaningful Name: Snowden is remembered for complaining of being cold.
- Morality Pet: Of a sort for Yossarian, especially in the 2019 miniseries.
- New Meat
- Posthumous Character: In the novel and 1970 film, his death is depicted in bits and pieces multiple times due to Anachronic Order. This is averted in the 2019 miniseries due to Snowden's Adaptational Late Appearance
- Sacrificial Lamb/Sacrificial Lion: Somewhere in between these two tropes.
- Small Role, Big Impact: His death becomes the most representative of the senseless deaths the novel protests against.
- Stress Vomit: Is introduced doing this in the 2019 miniseries.
Chief White Halfoat
An American Indian whose family was forced to move from wherever they settled because oil was always discovered. He is transferred to Pianosa after Wintergreen strikes an oil pipe and nearly drowns. In the Air Force, he works as Captain Black's assistant. He jokingly threatens to slit Captain Flume's throat while he sleeps, which accidentally drives Flume to paranoid madness. After this, he becomes Doc Daneeka's tent mate and terrorizes him as well. During the Siege of Bologna, he decides that he will eventually die of pneumonia, which he ultimately does.
- Adapted Out
- Badass Native
- Blessed with Suck: His family only settles over oil deposits. The suck part is that the oil companies figured this out and kept booting them off whatever land they stopped on.
- Book Dumb: Can barely read or write.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Is determined to die of pneumonia. He does.
- Hypocritical Humor: See his quote above.
- Magical Native American: Has elements of this.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Doc Daneeka, who he thinks is crazy.
- Token Minority: Is the only person of color mentioned in the novel besides the Ambiguously Brown Yossarian.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Accidentally causes Captain Flume's Sanity Slippage when he jokingly threatens to slit his threat.
Actor: Norman Fell (1970 film), Martin Delaney (2019 miniseries)
Major Major's assistant; he prevents anyone from seeing the Major while he is in his office, and only allows them in when the Major is gone. Due to Major Major's unwillingness to see anyone, Towser is the de facto head of the 256th squadron. He has a lean, angular build, extremely blonde hair, huge teeth, and sunken cheeks. Towser also holds no desire for a promotion or any interest in the war.
- Almighty Janitor: Not as extreme of an example as ex-PFC Wintergreen, but despite holding the rank of Sergeant he essentially acts as the head of the 256th squadron due to Major Major's unwillingness to see anyone.
- Ambiguously Human: Mike Nichols acknowledged this possibility (although it was apparently not intentional) in the commentary for the 1970 film when Steven Soderbergh asked if the bandages on Towser's neck in the film were meant to be an Invaders from Mars reference to imply that Towser was not human.
- Catch-22 Dilemma: Major Major's is what keeps Towser the de facto leader of the squadron.
- The Comically Serious: Arguably in all versions, but especially as played by Norman Fell in the 1970 film.
- Demoted to Extra: He only has a handful of scenes in the 2019 miniseries.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: To Major Major.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Pretends Lieutenant Mudd never existed once Mudd dies before being able to register as part of the squadron, and does not acknowledge Doc Daneeka's existence once Doc becomes an Un-person after McWatt's plane crashes with Daneeka on the manifest.
First Lieutenant Dobbs
Actor: Martin Sheen (1970 film)
Originally a healthy young man, the effects of excessive combat missions have shot Dobbs' nerves, and when the narration of the book begins he is emotionally unstable and physically spent. He is described as being one of the worst pilots in the corps and his mid-air panic leads him to snatch the controls of the plane away from Huple, when Snowden is killed. He plots to kill Colonel Cathcart but will only do it if Yossarian tells him it's a good idea, which Yossarian never does. He dies in the mid-air crash that kills Nately.
- Accidental Murder/Murder by Mistake: How he kills Nately (and himself), by crashing his plane into Nately's.
- Adapted Out: In the 2019 miniseries.
- Ace Pilot: Averted; we don't know how skilled he was before his Sanity Slippage, but throughout the novel he is one of the worst pilots in the Air Corps.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Albeit because of rather sad and dark circumstances.
- Composite Character: Seems to take elements of Clevinger (especially in the early scenes) in the 1970 film.
- Freak Out: Experiences these frequently.
- Hope Spot: Dobbs's plans to murder Cathcart. As soon as Yossarian is willing to cooperate with him, Dobbs's plane crashes into Nately's, resulting in both Dobbs and Nately dying overseas.
- Missing Steps Plan: Plans to kill Colonel Cathcart; doesn't seem to know how he'll do it or where he'll lead, and frequently changes his mind about it.
- Mutual Kill: He accidentally crashes his plane into Nately's in the novel.
- Sanity Slippage: Experienced one before the novel begins; apparently experienced one somewhere in the middle of the 1970 film.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Possibly. In the 1970 film he is last seen walking away Laughing Mad as Milo has the base bombed.
Actor: Seth Allen (1970 film, uncredited)
A perverted soldier who is noted for constantly trying to photograph women nude, claiming to be a photographer for Life magazine (which, ironically, he was before the war, although none of his pictures developed correctly). He is the only pilot who consistently finished the required number of missions (but was forced to continue flying as his paperwork was always delayed until the flight limit was elevated) and has screaming nightmares until he's ordered back onto combat status. He enjoys randomly choosing diseases to worry about at will.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Is considerably slimmer in his brief role in the 1970 film.
- Adapted Out: In the 2019 miniseries.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Almost certainly has what today would be referred to as PTSD.
- Camera Fiend: Of the perverted variety.
- Composite Character/Demoted to Extra: Is basically Kid Sampson in all but name in the 1970 film (although he is seen, as pictured, holding a camera), where he only appears in the scene where McWatt accidentally kills him and is then Driven to Suicide. Notably, Hungry Joe has more scenes in Buck Henry's original script for the film.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: See Undignified Death.
- Fat Bastard
- Half the Man He Used to Be: In the 1970 film, when he is cut in half by Mc Watt's plane as Kid Sampson is in the novel.
- Pre War Civilian Career: Was a Magazine/LIFE photographer before the war, though none of his pictures developed correctly; constantly claims to still hold this position to women while overseas so that he can photograph women nude.
- Undignified Death: Is suffocated in his sleep by Huple's cat.
A young man killed at the bombing of a bridge at Ferrara. Yossarian blames himself, as he ordered the planes back after they missed the first time. He was a skinny, harmless kid from Pennsylvania that only wanted to be liked. It is later revealed that his death was actually Aarfys fault because he didnt accurately navigate them.
- Adapted Out: Though his role is given to Nately in the 2019 miniseries.
- The All-American Boy: From his description he seems to be as much.
- I Just Want to Be Loved/I Just Want to Have Friends: "Kraft was a skinny, harmless kid from Pennsylvania who wanted only to be liked, and was destined to be disappointed in even so humble and degrading an ambition."
- Sacrificial Lamb
- Tagalong Kid
- We Hardly Knew Ye
Samuel "Sammy" Singer
The tailgunner on Yossarian's bomber when Snowden dies.
- Adapted Out
- Alliterative Name
- Ascended Extra: Only makes a brief, unnamed appearance in Catch-22 when Snowden dies, but is one of the main characters of the sequel, Closing Time.
- Author Avatar: Much of Sammy's background, including growing up in Coney Island, is directly inspired by Joseph Heller's own life.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Sort of, as Yossarian is also a protagonist of Closing Time, but it's hard not to notice the contrasts between the two men.
- Fainting: His only scene in Catch-22 consists of him fainting repeatedly whenever he wakes up to see Snowden's guts all over the floor.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Lew Rabinowitz, who is introduced in Closing Time, with whom his literally lifelong friendship is chronicled.
- Most Writers Are Writers: Is partially based on author Joseph Heller, and was an English major and is a magazine executive.
The squadron's public relations officer, until he moves out of the trailer he shares with Chief White Halfoat after Halfoat jokingly threatens to slit Flume's throat open from ear to ear. He spends most of the book living like a hermit in the woods, which gradually drives him insane.
A fifteen-year-old pilot who lied about his age to get into the Army. He shares a tent with Hungry Joe on the wrong side of the railway tracks and is shy, nervous but is a thoroughly idealistic patriot, which is why Yossarian feels sorry for him; he feels he'll probably die too young. He has a cat that constantly sleeps on Hungry Joe's face. He is the pilot flying when Snowden dies over Avignon.
Havermeyer lives in the tent next to Yossarian's, and according to Colonel Cathcart he is "the best damn bombardier we've got." This was because he insists on flying his plane dead straight to, over, and past the target despite any anti-aircraft fire he receives. Yossarian despises him because of his insistence in putting his (Yossarian's) life at stake. He is also slightly unstable and enjoys shooting mice at night with the gun he stole from the dead man in Yossarian's tent.
Actor: Freddie Watkins (2019 miniseries)
More frequently referred to as "the dead man in Yossarian's tent," Mudd was killed in action before officially joining the squadron. Due to the bureaucratic uncertainty over the status of Mudd, no one will accept responsibility for Mudd and his belongings, and Sergeant Towser refuses to believe the man existed at all.
- Adapted Out: In the 1970 film.
- Naïve Newcomer
- Named by the Adaptation: Is given the first name Henry in the miniseries.
- Noodle Incident: A living (well, rather, dead) and particularly tragic one.
- Poor Communication Kills: In the miniseries, he is shown to be accidentally directed to the wrong tent by Yossarian and then confused for the next flight's tail gunner by Colonel Korn, who sends him to the flight that leads to his death.
- Posthumous Character: Played straight in the novel; averted in the 2019 miniseries, where he shows up only to be immediately sent to his death.
- Sacrificial Lamb
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Doen't even get to unpack his bags before he is killed.
Actor: Unknown (2019 miniseries)
Captain Black's despised assistant. He erroneously reports that Bologna has been captured by the Allies after Yossarian surreptitiously redraws the lines on the battle map.
- Adaptational Job Change: Assuming the unnamed soldier who informs Korn of Bologna's "capture" in the miniseries is meant to be the same character, he is a Private instead of a Corporal.
- Adapted Out: In the film, and possibly in the 2019 miniseries.
- Butt-Monkey: Works for a man he hates and is forced to sign hundreds of loyalty oaths in Blacks name each day.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Downplayed Trope.
- Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names
The turret gunner on Yossarian's plane; he accidentally begins a panic prior to the Bologna operation when he brings extra flak jackets, causing everyone to think the target is deadly.
The previous squadron commander. He was killed over Perugia.
The previous assistant intelligence officer. He also dies in the same plane crash that kills Kraft.
27th Air Force Base:
Colonel Chuck Cathcart
Actors: Martin Balsam (1970 film), Kyle Chandler (2019 miniseries), Dana Elcar (1973 TV pilot)
The de facto main antagonist of Catch-22 and group commander at the Army Air Forces Base in Pianosa. A master of political doublespeak and obsessed with becoming a general, and does whatever it takes to please his superiors, most notably repeatedly raising the number of missions his men have to fly in order to complete a tour of duty; this becomes the bane of Yossarian's existence, as every time he comes close to being able to go home, Cathcart raises the number of required missions again. Ironically, Cathcart himself has only flown two missions, one of them by accident.
- Adaptational Villainy: Is complicit in the cover-up of Aarfy's rape and murder of Michaela in the 2019 miniseries, in the name of the United States Army Air Force.
- Age Lift: Is stated to be 36 in the novel, yet the part was written for an older man in the 1970 film (where he ended up, after two recastings, being played by Martin Balsam).
- Alliterative Name
- Ambition Is Evil: His main motivation throughout the novel.
- Arch-Enemy: To Yossarian. Dobbs also considers him this, but Cathcart does not seem to pay Dobbs any mind.
- Big Bad
- Colonel Badass: Presents himself as this. He is decidedly not this.
- Fat Bastard: Described as a beefy man.
- Fatal Flaw: His ambition and hunger for fame.
- General Failure / General Ripper: A variation, as he is technically a colonel.
- Glory Hound
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Incredibly arrogant but wildly lacking in self-confidence.
- It's All About Me
- Large Ham
- Manchild: Bordering on Psychopathic Manchild.
- Moving the Goalposts: His speciality.
- The Neidermeyer
- Obstructive Bureaucrat
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Has no understanding of anything beyond an immature sense of what's good and bad for his Army career ("Feathers in His Cap" and "Black Eyes," respectively).
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Colonel Korn's blue.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Almost always accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel Korn.
First Lieutenant Milo Minderbinder
Actors: Jon Voight (1970 film), Daniel David Stewart (2019 miniseries), Andy Jarrell (1973 TV pilot)
The mess officer at the U.S. Army Air Corps base in Pianosa who becomes obsessed with expanding mess operations and trading goods for the profits of the syndicate (in which he and everyone else "has a share"). Milo is a satire of the modern businessman, and beyond that is the living representation of capitalism, as he has no allegiance to any country, person or principle unless it pays him and profit is generated. Milo even begins contracting missions for the Germans, fighting on both sides in the battle at Orvieto and bombing his own squadron. He is capable of extreme self-justification by means of his own personal virtues or morals; in a way, his personality is almost sociopathic.
- Affably Evil: Though a ruthless profiteer, Milo does attempt to protect Yossarian from the very bureaucracy that he feeds. He even aids Yossarian in his mission to rescue Nately's whore's kid sister only to abruptly depart upon hearing of yet another new business opportunity.
- Alliterative Name
- Ambiguously Jewish: Daniel David Stewart's portrayal in the 2019 miniseries combines a vaguely Jewish look and accent with Milo's mercantile drive.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of capitalism itself.
- Beard of Evil: Has a reddish-brown mustache in the novel.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Operates on this; the only reason he is not one of the novel's more reprehensible characters is because he views things less in terms of "good vs. bad" than "profitable vs. unprofitable"
- Catchphrase: Has two:
- "What's good for M&M Enterprises is good for the country!"
- "...and everybody has a share."
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: An incredibly talented businessman, but one who loses his morality to the profit motive.
- Corrupt Quartermaster: Gets his start as one of these.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Possibly subverted: he refuses to make business with Communist states like Russia, but likely because they stand in complete opposition to his ideal of free trade and are therefore unprofitable.
- Evil Redhead
- Fake Ultimate Hero/Phony Veteran: Indeed serves in World War II throughout Catch-22, but in Closing Time Sammmy Singer and Lew Rabinowitz note that he tries to pass himself off as a great war hero instead of the enterprising mess officer that Singer knows Milo actually was.
- Fatal Flaw: His, greed, is taken Up to Eleven in that he is physically unable to pass up a chance at making money.
- Hitler Cam: The subject of it in the 1970 film.
- Karma Houdini: Winds up a fabulously rich businessman by the time of Closing Time.
- Madness Mantra: Chants, "Illegal tobacco," repeatedly when informed of its profitable nature before abandoning Yossarian on their attempt to find Nately's whore's kid sister.
- Missing Steps Plan:
- Deconstructed with his purchase of an entire crop of Egyptian cotton, which he spends several chapters trying to figure out how to profit from, going so far as to coat the cotton in chocolate and attempting to sell it as food.
- This is also how everyone views the fact that he buys eggs for more then he sells them for but still makes a profit. He later lets Yossarian in on the secret: he's buying and selling the eggs from himself at that point, through front companies, so it doesn't matter what the prices are at that point. This keeps the competitors out of the business, as they don't see any profit in it.
- Obliviously Evil: The only reason Milo is not seen as a straight-up villain is that he seems completely unaware that what he is doing is wrong.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Has only flown five (bumped up to six by Cathcart and Korn on a technicality) missions by the time that the mission count is at about fifty.
- Private Military Contractors: Turns M&M Enterprises into this by the end of the novel, to the extent of bombing his own base for the Germans as part of a contract.
- Soldiers at the Rear: Avoids combat to the extent that his superiors literally grant him the medals from other men's actions.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In the 2019 miniseries he is indirectly responsible for Yossarian being forced to stay in Pianosa (due to his papers being neglected by Colonel Korn while he is gone until after the mission count has been raised again); of course, he could also have been hired to do this intentionally by Colonels Cathcart and Korn, but due to Milo's sporadic and eccentric and sporadic nature and the fact that he considers Yossarian his best friend, there is an equal chance that this is not the case.
- Vetinari Job Security: Can't be forced to go on missions like the others, because his nigh-indispensable business cartel is too complex for anyone but him to run.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Though not malicious, his amoral actions count him as one, as he is the beloved Mayor of Palermo, holds the rank of Major and a knighthood in the British military in Malta, and holds the titles of Oran, Caliph of Baghdad, Imam of Damascus, and Sheik of Araby.
- Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names: Probably one of the most notable examples in the novel.
- War for Fun and Profit: Possibly the most famous war profiteer in all of literature.
Chaplain Captain Albert Taylor Tappman (Robert Oliver Shipman in some editions)
Actors: Anthony Perkins (1970 film), Jay Paulson (2019 miniseries)
A naïve Anabaptist minister from Kenosha, Wisconsin. As he is extremely timid and terrified of authority, the chaplain is tormented throughout the novel by his rude, manipulative, atheist assistant, Corporal Whitcomb. Easily intimidated by the cruelty of others, the Chaplain is a kind, gentle, and sensitive man who worries constantly about his wife and children at home. He is described as a man of 32 years of age with tan hair, brown eyes, and a narrow, pale face. His sister is a Master Sergeant in the Marines.
- Butt-Monkey: From his torment by Colonels Cathcart and Korn, Captain Black, and Corporal Whitcomb to his unjust persecution by the military police, the poor guy just can't catch a break.
- Christianity Is Catholic: Averted.
- Embarrassing Last Name: Was renamed "Albert Taylor Tappman" for the film (and subsequent editions of the novel) to create embarrassment at identifying himself as "Chaplain/Captain Tappman."
- Extreme Doormat: Though he vows to no longer be one when Yossarian escapes at the end of the novel.
- Happily Married: Constantly worries about his wife and children in Kenosha.
- Insistent Terminology: Insists that it isn't necessary to call him "Father" as he is an Anabaptist. No one listens.
- Nice Guy: Probably the most thoroughly decent character in the novel.
- Obfuscating Insanity: At the end of the stage play, as he writes to his wife that he has punched Colonel Cathcart in the nose and, as he cheerfully awaits his trial and consequences, notes that they think he is crazy.
- Only Sane Man: Probably the most straightforward example in the book, despite his worrywart tendencies.
- Took a Level in Badass: As Yossarian escapes, the Chaplain vows to punch Captain Black in the nose and badger Colonels Cathcart and Korn whenever possible.
Lieutenant Colonel Korn
Actors: Buck Henry (1970 film), Kevin J. O'Connor (2019 miniseries), Stewart Moss (1973 TV pilot)
Colonel Cathcart's intellectual assistant and right-hand man. Korn appears along Cathcart throughout the novel and it becomes clear to the reader that Korn does most of the thinking and most of the work for Cathcart, who only takes the credit. Korn is portrayed as much more relaxed and less ostentatious than his superior, but much more sadistic and cynical. Much like Cathcart he has ambitions for higher military ranks but chooses to be below Cathcart and remain outside the limelight so that, if something goes wrong, Cathcart will take the fall instead of him.
- Abled in the Adaptation: Does not wear glasses in the 1973 TV pilot.
- Adaptational Heroism: Appears to mostly be a beleaguered assistant to Colonel Cathcart in the 1973 pilot.
- Affably Evil: Possibly the most affable character in the book who is unarguably a villain.
- Age Lift: Is younger than Cathcart in the 1973 pilot, and seemingly in the 1970 film as well.
- Ambition Is Evil: Cathcart and Korn want promotions and are willing to get countless soldiers killed to impress their superiors to make it happen. When Yossarian asks them why they want to get promoted so badly, they both seem to be genuinely confused by the question.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Describes himself as "a man of no moral character at all."
- Catch-22 Dilemma: Gets so fed up with Yossarian ruining educational sessions with pointless questions that he decides to put a stop to it by making it a rule that the only people allowed to ask questions during educational sessions are the ones who don't ask questions during educational sessions. He then gets rid of the sessions altogether, since everyone agrees that you can't educate people who never ask questions.
- Composite Character: Is given some elements of the novel's Captain Black in the 2019 miniseries.
- Corrupt Bureaucrat
- Deadpan Snarker
- The Evil Genius
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Seems to be this with Cathcart in the 1970 film, whereas in the novel, while they are partners in crime and nearly inseparable while operating, they secretly hate each other.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: To Colonel Cathcart.
- The Man Behind the Man: Is the brains behind the blustering Colonel Cathcart.
- The Neidermeyer
- Obstructive Bureaucrat
- Punny Name
- Poor Communication Kills: How he accidentally sends Lieutenant Mudd to his death in the 2019 miniseries.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Cathcart's red.
- Refuge in Audacity: As seen in the character quote, he frequently pulls this by rewarding men for things he should be punishing them for, as punishing them would be an acknowledgment that something went wrong.
- Smug Snake
- Those Two Bad Guys: Almost always flanking Colonel Cathcart.
Nurse Sue Ann Duckett
Actors: Paula Prentiss (1970 film), Tessa Ferrer (2019 miniseries), Susanne Zenor (1973 TV pilot)
At the start of the novel Nurse Duckett does not like Yossarian but later on she has a relationship with Yossarian which jeopardizes her friendship with Nurse Cramer. She breaks off her affair with Yossarian when she decides to marry a doctor, and realizes she should not jeopardize her chances by carrying on openly with Yossarian.
- Black Comedy Rape: Yossarian and Dunbar grope her in the hospital in an attempt to be seen as insane and get out of flying. Probably the novel's biggest examples of Values Dissonance.
- Fanservice: Gets a full frontal sequence in slow motion (the first in a mainstream American film post-Hays Code) in the 1970 film when she goes Skinny Dipping with Yossarian.
- Flat Character: Critics point to Nurse Duckett as an example of Heller's difficulty in creating credible female characters (at the very least in the novel's setting). This is averted by her portrayal in the 2019 miniseries.
- Gold Digger: Seemingly why she wants to marry a doctor.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Nurse Cramer in the novel and 1970 film until (in the novel) she starts sleeping with Yossarian.
- Promoted to Love Interest: In the 2019 miniseries Yossarian takes a much more serious interest in her. Their relationship ends abruptly when she is sent home. She is also this trope, albeit to a lesser extent, in the 1973 pilot.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Her relationship with Yossarian.
Actor: Richard Benjamin (1970 film), Unknown (1973 TV pilot)
The fighting group operations officer. An intellectual college professor with a passive and somewhat melancholic yet serene outlook on life who sees himself as a poor match for the armed services due to his lack of aggression. He briefs the airmen on upcoming missions and often acts as a mediator for disputes between enlisted men and as a confidant to most of the officers.
- Adapted Out: In the 2019 miniseries, though some of his traits are given to Doc Daneeka.
- Butt-Monkey: Especially at General Dreedle's briefings.
- Extreme Doormat: He is not an aggressive man.
- Foil: Seems to be one to the Chaplain, as they have similar personalities, but Major Danby is much more skeptical than the Chaplain.
- Mission Briefing: Usually conducts these as the flight operations officer.
- Nice Guy
- Pet the Dog: Gives money to Yossarian for his escape to Sweden.
Actor: Josh Bolt (2019 miniseries)
An airman stationed at the same base as Yossarian, on the island of Pianosa. He and Yossarian seem to have similar personalities, and so they make fast friends. Like Yossarian, Dunbar's chief goal is to prolong his life to whatever extent possible, primarily by cultivating boredom. He frequently accompanies Yossarian in the hospital, faking injuries to stay out of combat like his friend does.
- Adapted Out: In the 1970 film.
- Chekhov's Gun: Started out as a guy who wanted to be as bored as possible in order to prolong his life. So of course he gets "disappeared" once he starts getting excited and emotional about injustice.
- Death by Adaptation: Bites in in the first episode of the 2019 miniseries in a pretty gruesome fashion.
- Demoted to Extra: Only appears in one episode of the 2019 miniseries (not counting flashbacks).
- Foil: Dunbar shares Yosarrian's desire for self-preservation and caustic sense of humor which makes them fast friends. However, his main focus is prolonging his life through a sense of boredom as he already knows he's going to die eventually (unlike Yossarian's desperate fear of death). Eventually, he goes mad in the hospital ward and "disappears" for the rest of the novel, which hints at a potential fate for Yossarian.
- Immortality Seeker: Determined to prolong his life as much as possible.
- Knight in Sour Armor
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Real-life Brit Josh Bolt's accent comes through quite a bit in the mess hall scene in which he mocks Major Major's name in the miniseries.
- Those Two Guys: With Yossarian in the hospital.
Actor: Unknown (1973 TV pilot)
An ex-P.F.C. because of his constant urge to go AWOL, Wintergreen has been demoted so many times that he entertains hopes of becoming an ex-general. Due to his position in charge of mail distribution, he wields a great amount of power in the novel. By forging documents and destroying mail, he becomes more powerful than the generals. His main concern throughout the novel is humiliating General Peckem because he was the first person to have demoted him. He also frequently butts heads with Milo as they are both in the black market business.
- Adaptational Job Change: In the novel, he is a mail clerk; in the 1973 pilot, she is Colonel Cathcart's receptionist.
- Adapted Out
- Almighty Janitor: He's just a mail clerk, but he can throw away any order he doesn't like, making him the most powerful man in the Air Force.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Remains indispensable to the top brass despite being repeatedly busted back down to private.
- The Dog Bites Back: The motivation for his constant quest to humiliate General Peckem.
- Gender Flip: Is a woman in the 1973 pilot.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: A particularly extreme example — despite being a lowly mail clerk, he has become one of the most powerful men in the military because whenever he doesn't like an order someone sends, he just throws it away. Wintergreen claims he was about to cancel the Normandy Invasion until Eisenhower committed more armor.
- Rank Up: Subverted: Every time he manages to get promoted, he ends up getting busted back down to buck private. He even managed to make Sergeant at one point.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: General Peckem, and to a slightly lesser extent Milo.
- Troll: Has shades of this.
Corporal (later Sergeant) Whitcomb
An atheist who constantly antagonizes and looks to usurp Chaplain Tappman, his direct superior. He is openly rude and contemptuous, absolutely detests his seclusion in the woods, and is very easily offended.
- Adapted Out
- Green-Eyed Monster: Jealous of the Chaplain.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Won't so much get angry at nearly anything as much as he will annoyed and offended.
- Hollywood Atheist
- Kick the Dog: Makes the Chaplain a subject in the Washington Irving scandal.
- The Usurper: Openly seeks to be one to the Chaplain
Actors: Collin Wilcox Paxton (1970 film), Alison Pargeter (2019 miniseries)
Nurse Duckett's best friend. She is a shapely, pretty, young girl who refuses to have any relations with the men at all, so Yossarian dislikes her. After Nurse Duckett starts a relationship with Yossarian, puritanical Nurse Cramer stops speaking to her.
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Does not seem to be friends with Nurse Duckett in the 2019 miniseries.
- Adaptational Late Appearance: Does not appear in the 2019 miniseries until Nurse Duckett goes home.
- Age Lift: Is notably older in the 2019 miniseries.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Inverted; see Age Lift.
- Female Misogynist: Implied due to her puritanical nature.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Nurse Duckett in the novel and 1970 film until (in the novel) Nurse Duckett starts sleeping with Yossarian.
- Moral Guardians
The Soldier in White
Actors: Unknown (1970 film and 2019 miniseries)
An unnamed soldier wrapped completely in bandages. He is connected to two bottles of unidentified and similar looking liquid, one of which pumps the liquid through an IV into the soldier, while the other drains the liquid from the soldier through a zinc catheter. When the bottles are respectively empty and full, they are switched around. Dunbar claims there is actually no one under the bandages. It is understood later that the men avoid this soldier because they dislike the fact that he's worse off than them.
- Abled in the Adaptation/Adaptation Personality Change: In the novels, the soldier in white never speaks, implying that he's unwilling or unable to speak, possibly because he's unconscious. Yossarian yells at the Texan for uselessly talking to him. In the series, when Yossarian starts yelling at the Texan, the soldier in white casually pipes up that he's perfectly happy listening to the Texan.
- Bandage Mummy: At least one person claims there's no one inside the bandages, but nobody believes him.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Eventually dies without anyone realizing.
- Riddle for the Ages: Who he is, what the liquid in both the catheter and the IV machine plugged into him is, and whether or not there is anyone inside his bandages—pretty much everything about this guy.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Is not seen to die in either of the major screen adaptations.
Actor: Joe Massingill (2019 miniseries)
A patriotic soldier who keeps the men from staying in the medical ward to hide out from the war by being overly friendly. He is in the ward when Dunbar and Yossarian enter, attempting to escape their duties in their respective squadrons, but they are eventually chased out by his pleasant demeanor.
- The Ace: Seems to be this in the 2019 miniseries, as he is seen during General Dreedle's medal ceremony.
- Adapted Out: In the 1970 film.
- All American Boy
- The Ditz: Probably this in the novel, definitely this in the 2019 miniseries.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Is so friendly that he drives everyone out of the hospital except for the CID man (and, of course, the Soldier in White).
- Innocent Bigot: Is incredibly friendly but displays classist attitudes in his definition of "indecent folk," who he classifies as "people without means...degenerates, atheists...drifters and whores."
- Motor Mouth
- Named by the Adaptation: Is named Private James Marsh in the 2019 miniseries.
- Southern-Fried Private: Fits this trope so much that he is actually given the rank of private in the miniseries adaptation.
Giuseppe, the soldier who sees everything twice
A delirious soldier who creates a panic in the hospital by shouting, "I see everything twice!" Yossarian imitates him (by seeing two fingers regardless of whether a doctor holds up one, two, or none) and later impersonates him when he dies. The soldier's family does not notice that Yossarian is not their son—except (it is implied) Giuseppe's mother.
- Adaptation Name Change: Is named Harvey in the 1970 film.
- Adapted Out: In the 2019 miniseries; he technically is this in the 1970 film as well, where he is a Posthumous Character only seen as corpse.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: The most notable in the hospital.
- Demoted to Extra: Never even seen alive in the 1970 film, where the "I see everything twice!" incident is completely excised.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Killed Offscreen in an unspecified manner, and given such little dignity postmortem by Doc Daneeka that Doc has Yossarian (successfully) impersonate the dead man.
- Killed Offscreen
- Obfuscating Disability/Obfuscating Insanity: May be the purpose of his claim that he sees everything twice, although the fact that he says this absolutely out of nowhere may or may not call this into question.
- Posthumous Character: In the 1970 film.
Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren
Two captains in charge of squadron operations that are always mentioned in tandem and are in charge of organizing combat crews for missions. They are sympathetic towards Yossarian, despite his desire to avoid missions. Both are described as mild, soft-spoken men who are average in pretty much every aspect and yet, strangely enough, love flying and so, they assign themselves to every single mission.
Gus and Wes
Doc Daneeka's two orderlies, whose main activity is to paint airmen's gums and toes purple with gentian violet solution. They are extremely efficient and have a list of steps on determining if someone is sick so that there will be certainty when diagnosing. Daneeka hates them because they refuse to declare him ill so that he can go home.
- Adapted Out: At least not named in either adaptation, though background extras more or less fit their roles.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: To Doc Daneeka; while Doc is not technically incompetent, he is too busy on his cowardly quest for self-preservation to be a good doctor to the men of the base.
- Those Two Guys
Dr. Stubbs is the doctor in Dunbar's squadron. Dr. Stubbs decides to try to confront the rules of Catch-22 by grounding any soldier who asks. Catch-22 cannot be beaten though, as the grounding orders are short-lived as they are rescinded by higher authorities and the soldiers are put back on duty. As punishment Dr. Stubbs is transferred to the Pacific, which is one of Doc Daneeka's greatest fears.
- Evil Counterpart: Inverted; he is Doc Daneeka's "good" counterpart, even if Daneeka isn't so much evil as self-centered and greedy.
- Heroic BSoD: Falls into an existential crisis after Colonel Korn shuts down his medical tents.
- Kicked Upstairs: Transferred to the Pacific as punishment for confronting Catch-22.
Dr. Major Sanderson
A neurotic psychiatrist who is convinced that Yossarian is mentally unstable because he acts rationally.
- Catch-22 Dilemma: Is convinced that Yossarian is insane because he acts rationally.
- Psycho Psychologist: Downplayed Trope, as he is not actively malicious, but he is most definitely too neurotic to be a psychologist himself and is more or less a tool of the bureaucracy as well.
- The Shrink: Acts like a parody of a psychiatrist.
Corporal (formerly Sergeant) Snark
Actor: Shai Matheson (2019 miniseries)
The mess sergeant before Milo Minderbinder. He was demoted for purposely poisoning sweet potatoes with soap chips, giving the squadron diarrhea, which he did at Yossarian's request. Snark is now referred to as Milo's "first chef".
- Adaptation Name Change: In the miniseries he is called Schultz instead of Snark.
- Adapted Out: In the 1970 film.
- Demoted to Dragon: Ends up being this once Milo is recruited as mess officer.
- Demoted to Extra: Not that Snark was all that prominent in the novel, but his counterpart, Schultz, shows up only a handful of times in the miniseries and his only major function is to show how quickly Milo rises through the ranks.
- Lethal Chef: Not usually, but can be this trope when the time is right.
- The Scapegoat: Ends up this after Yossarian's plan to give the squadron diarrhea with soap chips.
The colonel who held Cathcart's position before he was killed on Yossarian's 23rd mission.
Other Air Force Officers
Lieutenant (later First Lieutenant, then Colonel, then finally Lieutenant General) Scheisskopf
Actor: George Clooney (2019 miniseries)
Scheisskopf is the training unit commander for Yossarian and Clevinger, and takes a particular dislike to Clevinger. Even though Clevinger is just as serious about parades as Scheisskopf, and his ideas help the squadron win multiple parades, Scheisskopf still considers him a "wise guy", and someone that needs to be "brought down a peg or two." He is also described as being at constant odds with his wife's masochistic libido as his severe love for parades leaves him too busy to pay any attention to her. Scheisskopf is an ambitious and humorless man who is absolutely in love with war and is only happy in life when the opposing side is losing.
- Adapted Out: In the 1970 film.
- Cuckold: His wife frequently has affairs with other men on his training base. In the 2019 miniseries, Yossarian appears to be the only one on the base (at least, that Scheisskopf knows of) who has had sex with Mrs. Scheisskopf which comes back to bite Yossarian in the ass once Scheisskopf arrives at the Pianosa base, now a general.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: During training for parades.
- Kangaroo Court: Sets one up for Clevinger for "breaking ranks while in formation, felonious assault, indiscriminate behavior, high treason, provoking, being a smart guy, listening to classical music, and so on," wherein Scheisskopf is a judge, prosecutor, and the officer defending Clevinger.
- Large Ham: As played by George Clooney, who goes full Coen Brothers mode.
- Manchild: Uses chocolate soldiers or plastic cowboys to act out marching maneuvers for his parades.
- Meaningful Name: His name supposedlynote means "Shithead" in German, and he fits the bill.
- The Peter Principle: The living embodiment of this trope as, despite not caring about anything other than parades, he gets repeatedly promoted until he's a General overseeing all combat operations in the area.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Seems to spend most of his time overseeing parades.
Brigadier General Dreedle
Actor: Orson Welles (1970 film), Peter Guinness (2019 miniseries), Unknown (1973 TV pilot)
The commander of the U.S. Army Air Corps base in Pianosa, Dreedle is an exceedingly blunt, ill-tempered, simple, no-nonsense man. He is an archetypal no-nonsense military man who does not care what the men under his command do as long as they fight and die unquestioningly when given orders. Despite this, he is generally apathetic to the war effort (having lost all drive after he was made General and he found he had "nothing more to aim for") and now mostly busies himself with harassing his son-in-law, Colonel Moodus. He despises Moodus simply because he hates weddings and does not wish to attend another one. His arch-rival is General Peckem, head of Special Services in Rome; the two men frequently have their disputes mediated without their knowledge by the desk clerk, ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen.
- Adaptational Late Appearance: Only appears in the final episode of the 2019 miniseries.
- Berserk Button: Many, most notably weddings.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Orders anyone who makes him angry be shot. Is perplexed that this cannot be carried out.
- Not So Stoic: Laughs when Colonel Moodus gets punched.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Is one to Colonel Moodus.
- Only Sane Man: Among the top brass.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Doesn't seem to do much now that he has made General, and mostly harasses his son-in-law, Colonel Moodus.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: While General Dreedle is a huge Jerkass, he also has no patience for the various bureaucratic nonsense that plagues Pianosa. Unfortunately, by the time the Chaplain thinks to appeal to Dreedle to stop Cathcart, Dreedle has been overthrown by the far less reasonable Peckem and Scheisskopf.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To General Peckem. He also has another in his son-in-law, Colonel Moodus.
- Victory Is Boring: Views his achievement of the rank of Brigadier General this way.
General P. P. Peckem
A pompous, pretentious and highly delusional general who desperately wants to take over General Dreedle's post as the superior commanding officer of Pianosa. Because of this ambition, he has a vicious rivalry with Dreedle and constantly tries to undermine him and have him demoted. His attempts are mostly thwarted without his knowledge by desk clerk ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen, who enjoys making Peckem look foolish.
- Alliterative Name: P. P. Peckem
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Spends the entire book trying to get bomber units transferred to his command in Special Services so he can have authority over General Dreedle. This eventually occurs after Peckem takes over Dreedle's command. Unfortunately, this now means that he is now subservient to General Scheisskopf.
- Reassignment Backfire: Keeps trying to get combat operations transferred under his command in Special Services. However, when he is reassigned to General Dreedle's position, he finds that this has occured. However, since his former second in command is now head of Special Services, Scheisskopf is promoted to Lieutenant General and, thus, is now Peckem's superior.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Anyone who he sees as a threat to gaining the position of superior commanding officer of Pianosa, most notably General Dreedle.
Actor: Austin Pendleton (1970 film), Unknown (1973 TV pilot)
General Dreedle's son-in-law, whom the general hates and constantly tries to harass and have demoted. Moodus thinks Dreedle is a know-it-all that cannot take criticism.
- Adapted Out: Seems to be in the 2019 miniseries, although Dreedle (in his one scene) has a number of men with them and any one of them could be (but is not named as) Moodus.
- Butt-Monkey: Is constantly harassed and tormented by his ever-present father-in-law and is punched in the nose by Chief White Halfoat.
- Fidelity Test: The whole reason Dreedle constantly has his nurse around is to try and catch Moodus being unfaithful to his wife (Dreedle's daughter); this does not work.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: His father-in-law General Dreedle constantly harasses and abuses him.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: What he sees General Dreedle as; while Dreedle is undeniably a Jerkass, Moodus is shown to be wrong in this as Dreedle is the most reasonable of the top brass of the USAAF shown in the novel.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Is one to General Dreedle, as Dreedle hates Moodus — his son-in-law — simply because he despises weddings and does not wish to attend another one.
- Those Two Guys: Despite utterly hating Moodus, Dreedle is never seen without him.
General Peckem's troubleshooter, hired for his legendary lack of skills as a marketing executive (which made him highly successful in that field) before the war.
- Alliterative Name: His rank and last name.
- Giftedly Bad:Colonel Cargill was so awful a marketing executive that his services were much sought after by firms eager to establish losses for tax purposes. His prices were high, for failure often did not come easily. He had to start at the top and work his way down, and with sympathetic friends in Washington, losing money was no simple matter. It took months of hard work and careful misplanning. A person misplaced, disorganized, miscalculated, overlooked everything and open every loophole, and just when he thought he had it made, the government gave him a lake or a forest or an oilfield and spoiled everything. Even with such handicaps, Colonel Cargill could be relied on to run the most prosperous enterprise into the ground. He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.
- The Peter Principle: Justified, as he has risen up the ranks because of his incompetence.
- Pre War Civilian Career: Was a Giftedly Bad marketing executive before the war.
The colonel with the big fat mustache
The irascible colonel who heads up the trial against Clevinger.
- Adapted Out: Although his role is conflated with Scheisskopf's in the 2019 miniseries.
- Badass Mustache: The thing most noted about him in the narration.
The clerk present at Clevinger's trial; he is imprisoned for being too specific in his shorthand.
- Adapted Out: In both major screen adaptations, although some of his lines in the novel are given to Major Major in the miniseries.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: See the reason he is imprisoned.
- Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names: Lampshaded by the colonel with the big fat mustache.
Major MetcalfActor: Ian Toner (2019 miniseries)
One of the judges presiding over the Action Board during Clevinger's trial. He is extremely cowardly and strongly resembles Clevinger in many ways, inevitably leading to him being shipped away as well at the end of the trial.
- Adaptation Name Change: A character with a similar function, albeit Demoted to Extra, shows up in the 2019 miniseries known as Peele.
- Adapted Out: In the 1970 film; see above for the complicated case with the 2019 miniseries.
- Alliterative Name: His rank and his last name.
- Demoted to Extra: The similar character of Peele in the 2019 miniseries.
Actors: Gina Rovere (1970 film), Valentina Bellè (2019 miniseries)
A whore in Rome with whom Nately is deeply in love. She despises Yossarian and is wildly apathetic towards Nately until he allows her to get some sleep. She has a young sister that Nately is determined to send to college. After Nately dies, Nately's whore blames Yossarian and spends the rest of the novel attempting to murder him.
- Adaptation Personality Change: In the book, she is always tired and behaves coldly and mechanically around him, resenting his attention. After she finally gets some sleep, she falls in love with him. In the miniseries, she is always charming and vivacious, milking Nately for as much money as she can while caring nothing for him one way or the other.
- Ax-Crazy: Proves to be this.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: She keeps showing up out of nowhere throughout the latter part of the novel and trying to kill Yossarian.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Is defrosted by Nately when he rescues her from a sleepless night with some generals.
- Determinator: After learning of Nately's death from Yossarian, she starts hunting him up and down Italy. She even chases him back at the base a couple times too. Even after he bundles her into a plane, straps a parachute on her and drops her behind enemy lines.
- The Lost Lenore: Nately becomes one to her.
- Named by the Adaptation: Clara/Clarina in the 2019 miniseries.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Becomes a variant after Nately dies.
- Shoot the Messenger: Immediately blames Yossarian for Nately's death once he gives her the news.
- Unproblematic Prostitution: Nately wants to make an honest woman out of her, but her family is dead set against it. They consider prostitution to be an excellent way to keep girls occupied and thus out of mischief.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Ficky-fick."
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the 2019 miniseries, she vanishes when her whorehouse is cleared out by the M Ps, and is not even informed of Nately's death.
The old man in Rome
Actors: Marcel Dalio (1970 film), Giancarlo Giannini (2019 miniseries)
A 107-year-old man who lives in the brothel frequented by Nately. He sides with whoever is in power and mocks Nately's idealism. He reminds Nately uncomfortably of his own father for the reason that the old man is absolutely nothing like his father.
- Age Lift: Appears much younger than 107 in the 2019 miniseries.
- Ascended Extra: Has more scenes in the 2019 miniseries, where he is confirmed to be the owner of the whorehouse.
- The Cameo: In the 1970 film, he is one for Marcel Dalio of The Rules of the Game fame.
- Killed Offscreen: The old woman remarks to Yossarian that he died when the MPs came.
- Named by the Adaptation: In the 2019 miniseries he receives the name Marcello.
- Pet the Dog: Gives Nately extra time with his whore in the 2019 miniseries (which he secretly pays her for himself).
Nately's whore's kid sister
Actors: Fernanda Vitobello (1970 film), Viola Pizzetti (2019 miniseries)
The preteen sister of the prostitute that Nately falls for in Rome. Constantly interrupts Nately and his whore while they are having sex as the little girl wants to become a prostitute like her sister.
- Mistaken for Prostitute: Inverted as she mistakenly believes Yossarian is attempting to proposition her for sex in the 2019 miniseries due to a Language Barrier.
- Morality Pet: To Yossarian.
- Named by the Adaptation: Named Ines in the 2019 miniseries.
- Tagalong Kid: To her sister.
- Unproblematic Prostitution: Wants to be a prostitute just like her sister, as their family sees it as a good way to keep out of trouble and make money.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Her whereabouts are unknown after she and all of the prostitutes are kicked out of their apartment in Rome by the MPs, although Yossarian vows to find her and take her with him to Sweden at the end of the novel.
Actor: Olimpia Carlisi (1970 film)
A woman whom Yossarian briefly dates in Rome and whom he spends a great deal of the second half of the book looking for, without success. She refuses to marry Yossarian because she believes hes crazy for wanting to marry her at all.
- Adapted Out: In the 2019 miniseries.
- Catch-22 Dilemma: Laments that no man would want to marry her, because she's not a virgin. But when Yossarian professes a willingness to marry her, she flatly turns him down—on the grounds that she's not a virgin.
- Did Not Get the Girl: The end result of Yossarian's search for her.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Yossarian's search for her in Rome towards the end of the novel is in vain, and he even wonders whether or not she is dead; averted in the 1970 film, where she is shown to be working for Milo's Syndicate, which has taken over Rome.
Actors: Wendy D'Olive (1970 film), Marilena Anniballi (2019 miniseries)
The poor, plain, simple-minded, hard-working young maid who works in the apartments where Yossarian and his unit stay while in Rome. She is a sweet and innocent girl who doesn't speak English and whom the enlisted men mostly leave alone, except when they mock her in English so she can't understand them.
- Abled in the Adaptation: Does not seem to be deaf in either adaptation.
- Break the Cutie/Kill the Cutie: She is raped, locked in a closet for two hours, and murdered by Aarfy, who simply dismisses the murder as inconsequential because he's "good old Aarfy, who never pays for it".
- Bury Your Disabled: She is deaf and ends up raped and murdered by Aarfy.
- Language Barrier: Does not understand English, which the enlisted men take advantage of in order to mock her.
- No Name Given: In the 1970 film, where she is Demoted to Extra, as she is a random girl picked up by Aarfy in Rome whose family the Social Climber refers to as "first-class people."
- Small Role, Big Impact: Doesn't speak much and first appears as a Satellite Character to the enlisted men on their leaves to Rome, but her rape and murder forms the emotional center of the novel.
The maid with the lime-colored panties
A woman who Yossarian paradoxically falls in love with because she is the only woman that Yossarian can't possibly fall in love with. Her charm lies in how willing she is to have relations with anyone who asks her.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Is described as "a cheerful, fat, obliging woman in her mid-thirties with squashy thighs and swaying hams in lime-colored panties that she was always rolling off for any man who wanted her."
- Catch-22 Dilemma: Yossarian makes love to her because she is the only woman he can make love to without falling in love with, and for this reason he ends up falling in love with her.
While Yossarian is in the hospital during the opening of the novel, he is forced to censor letters written by enlisted men in the same hospital. This soon becomes monotonous and he begins censoring at random. To these documents that he has ravaged, he signs Washington Irving or, alternatively, Irving Washington. A C.I.D. man, the military's version of a CIA or FBI agent, disguises himself as a patient and goes undercover in Yossarian's hospital, in order to determine the culprit for the over-zealous censorship.All the other patients soon know the C.I.D. man's identity as he secretly confides in everyone. He further gives away his special status after he refuses to censor any more letters after doing it for a day. When the other patients are scared away by The Texan and leave hospital, the C.I.D. man remains as he has caught pneumonia. Yossarian considers this C.I.D. man as "pretty lucky, because outside the hospital the war was still going on".Eventually, after Major Major begins signing documents as Washington Irving and variations thereof (as well as John Milton and Milton John), a second C.I.D. man is dispatched, and very soon begin confiding their secret identities to every individual on the base on the condition that those individuals tell no one else. As a result, the situation soon arrives that everyone on the base knows of the presence of two C.I.D. men, with the exception of the C.I.D. men themselves. Their respective investigations proceed a series of complex mistakes.
- Adapted Out
- Anthropomorphic Personification: The C.I.D. men appear to represent dichotomies existent in American and bureaucratic culture. The first is that innocuous or harmless crimes are sometimes investigated by the government instead of more serious ones. The second is that society or organizational control systems (i.e. bureaucracy) care more about punishing someone for a perceived crime than making sure that the person actually committed the crime.
- Right Hand vs. Left Hand: Are totally in the dark about each other's identities (and seem to be the only ones on the base unaware of them, at that), and their investigations are hampered by their attempts to catch each other.
- The Scapegoat: Their entire goal is to find one, who ends up being the Chaplain.
- Serious Business: Approach their objective as this, despite their utterly ridiculous methods.
- Those Two Guys: Averted; see Right Hand vs. Left Hand.
Actor: Julie Ann Emery (2019 miniseries)
Scheisskopf's wife. Scheisskopf is always too busy planning parades to fulfill his wifes masochistic sexual fantasies and replies to her requests, Dont you know theres a parade going on? Instead, she sleeps with Scheisskopf's cadets, so they can all get revenge on her husband, and so can she for some unforgettable crime she couldnt recall. Mrs Scheisskopf is well read and has a Maths major, but can not count to twenty eight without getting into trouble every month; that is, she frequently has (or at least feigns) pregnancy scares due to her affairs with other men at the base.
- Adapted Out: Along with her husband in the 1970 film.
- Attention Whore: May be one as she is implied to feign at least some of her pregnancy scares.
- Awful Wedded Life: Has this with her husband, who neglects her sexually, which prompts her to sleep with all of her cadets.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: Just ask Mr. Scheisskopf's cadets.
- Hollywood Atheist: Of a sort; indignantly purports to be an atheist but is really a devout believer when it comes down to it.
- Ms. Fanservice: Spends most of her time in the 2019 miniseries in the nude.
- Named by the Adaptation: Is named Marion in the 2019 miniseries.
- Really Gets Around: Sleeps with all of her husband's cadets; possibly averted in the 2019 miniseries, where Yossarian is the only one she is seen or even implied to have sex with.
Doris "Dori" Duz
Scheisskopf's wife's close friend. A lively tart who has relations with all the men in the company once as she refuses to sleep with anyone she finds to be mediocre again. Thus, she sleeps with Yossarian once and he spends a small part of the novel pining after her since he knows she doesn't want him.
- Adapted Out: In every adaptation, including the stage play by Heller himself.
- Anything That Moves: Alluded to.
- Forbidden Fruit: Yossarian falls in love with her specifically because he knows she doesn't want him.
General Dreedle's girl
Actor: Susanne Benton (1970 film), Unknown (1973 pilot)
Allegedly a nurse, she follows General Dreedle wherever he goes. She is a very attractive woman and Dreedle keeps her around to torment his son-in-law, Colonel Moodus, hoping to catch him in an adulterous situation for which he can punish him.
- Adapted Out: In the 2019 miniseries.
- Fidelity Test: Dreedle keeps her around as one for Colonel Moodus
- Hired for Their Looks: Clearly.
- Honey Trap: Of a sort for Colonel Moodus; does not amount to much plot significance and is Played for Laughs.
- Impossible Hourglass Figure: Mike Nichols admitted that Susanne Benton had to wear padding as it was impossible to look sexy in her uniform.
- The Speechless: Doesn't get a single line.