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The character sheet for Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 and its adaptations.


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The 256th Squadron

     Yossarian 

Captain (formerly Lieutenant) John Yossarian

Actors: Alan Arkin (1970 film), Christopher Abbott (2019 miniseries), Richard Dreyfuss (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/yossarian_0.jpeg
"That's some catch, that Catch-22."

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.

Tropes:

  • 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
  • Anti-Hero: Combines elements of a Classical Antihero, Pragmatic Hero, and Nominal Hero.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: "Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?"
  • Bi the Way: Falls in love with the Chaplain upon seeing him and sleeps with prostitutes, Nurse Duckett, and Luciana.
  • 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 Hašek's satirical war novel The Good Soldier Švejk.
  • 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.
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     Nately 

Lieutenant Edward J. Nately III

Actors: Art Garfunkel (1970 film), Austin Stowell (2019 miniseries), Nicholas Hammond (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nately.jpg
"Anything worth living for is worth dying for."

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.

Tropes:

     Orr 

Orr

Actors: Bob Balaban (1970 film), Graham Patrick Martin (2019 miniseries), Robert Pratt (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/orr.jpg
"You've got flies in your eyes. That's why you can't see them."

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.

Tropes:

     Aarfy 

Captain "Aarfy" Aardvark

Actors: Charles Grodin (1970 film), Rafi Gavron (2019 miniseries), Sam Chew Jr. (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2019_06_20_at_94621_pm.png
"I never paid for it in my life."

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

     Doc Daneeka 

Dr. Dan "Doc" Daneeka

Actors: Jack Gilford (1970 film), Grant Heslov (2019 miniseries), J.S. Johnson (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/doc_daneeka.jpg
"A little grease is what makes this world go round. One hand washes the other. Know what I mean? You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."

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.

Tropes:

     Major Major 

Major Major Major Major

Actors: Bob Newhart (1970 film), Lewis Pullman (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/major_major_8.png
Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three.

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.

Tropes:

  • 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
  • Butt-Monkey
  • 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.
  • Rank Up: Abruptly promoted to Major 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.
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     Clevinger 

Clevinger

Actor: Pico Alexander (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/clevinger.png
Clevinger had a mind, and Lieutenant Scheisskopf had noticed that people with minds tended to get pretty smart at times. Such men were dangerous, and even the new cadet officers whom Clevinger had helped into office were eager to give damning testimony against him. The case against Clevinger was open and shut. The only thing missing was something to charge him with.

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.

Tropes:

    McWatt 

Lieutenant J.S. McWatt

Actors: Peter Bonerz (1970 film), Jon Rudnitsky (2019 miniseries), Frank Welker (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mcwatt_7.jpeg
"Oh well, what the hell."

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.

     Appleby 

Appleby

A 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.

Tropes:

     Kid Sampson 

Admiral Kid Sampson

Actor: Gerran Howell (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2019_06_21_at_73212_pm.png

An underaged soldier who is one of Yossarian's pilots.

Tropes:

  • 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 

Major —— de Coverley

Actor: Hugh Laurie (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2019_06_21_at_102719_pm.png
"Gimme eat. Give everybody eat."

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 Black’s "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.

Tropes:

  • 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.
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     Captain Black 

Captain Black

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.
  • Sadist
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Major Major.
  • Smug Snake
  • Soldiers at the Rear: His driving motivation.

     Snowden 

Howard "Howie" Snowden

Actors: Jon Korkes (1970 film), Harrison Osterfield (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/snowden_8.jpg
"I'm cold."

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 Snowden’s secret. Drop him out a window and he’ll fall. Set fire to him and he’ll burn. Bury him and he’ll rot, like other kinds of garbage. That was Snowden’s 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.

Tropes:

     Chief White Halfoat 

Chief White Halfoat

"Racial prejudice is a terrible thing, Yossarian. It really is. It's a terrible thing to treat a decent, loyal Indian like a nigger, kike, wop or spic."

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.

Tropes:

     Sgt. Towser 

Sergeant Towser

Actor: Norman Fell (1970 film), Martin Delaney (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2019_07_18_at_14020_pm.png
"Major Major never sees anyone in his office while he's in his office."

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.

     Dobbs 

First Lieutenant Dobbs

Actor: Martin Sheen (1970 film)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dobbs.png

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.

Trope:

  • 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.

     Hungry Joe 

Hungry Joe

Actor: Seth Allen (1970 film, uncredited)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2019_07_17_at_30406_pm.png

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.

Tropes:

     Kraft 

Kraft

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 Aarfy’s fault because he didn’t accurately navigate them.

Tropes:

     Sammy Singer 

Samuel "Sammy" Singer

The tailgunner on Yossarian's bomber when Snowden dies.

Tropes:

     Capt. Flume 

Captain Flume

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.

Tropes:

     Huple 

Huple

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.

Tropes:

     Havermeyer 

Havermeyer

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.

Tropes:

     The Dead Man in Yossarian's Tent 

Lieutenant Mudd

Actor: Freddie Watkins (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mudd.jpg

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.

Tropes:

     Cpl. Kolodny 

Corporal Kolodny

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.

Tropes:

     Sgt. Knight 

Sergeant Knight

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.

     Major Duluth 

Major Duluth

The previous squadron commander. He was killed over Perugia.

Tropes:

  • Adapted Out: Of the 2019 miniseries, where Major Major has no apparent predecessor and is only promoted to Major because he was accidentally listed on the group leaders' meetings because of his name; Duluth is mentioned in the 1970 film.
  • Posthumous Character

     Lt. Coombs 

Lieutenant Coombs

The previous assistant intelligence officer. He also dies in the same plane crash that kills Kraft.

Tropes:

27th Air Force Base:

     Colonel Cathcart 

Colonel Chuck Cathcart

Actors: Martin Balsam (1970 film), Kyle Chandler (2019 miniseries), Dana Elcar (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cathcart.png
Colonel Cathcart was indefatigable that way, an industrious, intense, dedicated military tactician who calculated day and night in the service of himself.

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.

Tropes:

     Milo 

First Lieutenant Milo Minderbinder

Actors: Jon Voight (1970 film), Daniel David Stewart (2019 miniseries), Andy Jarrell (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/milo_minderbinder_5.png
"I have a sure-fire plan of cheating the federal government out of six thousand dollars. We can make three thousand dollars apiece without any risk to either of us. Are you interested?"

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Jon Voight's portrayal.
  • 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.

     The Chaplain 

Chaplain Captain Albert Taylor Tappman (Robert Oliver Shipman in some editions)

Actors: Anthony Perkins (1970 film), Jay Paulson (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chaplain_tappman_8.jpg
"I yearn for you tragically. A. T. Tappman, Chaplain, U.S. Army."

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.

     Colonel Korn 

Lieutenant Colonel Korn

Actors: Buck Henry (1970 film), Kevin J. O'Connor (2019 miniseries), Stewart Moss (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/colonel_korn.jpg
"You know, that might be the answer—to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That's a trick that never seems to fail."

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.
  • Sadist
  • Smug Snake
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Almost always flanking Colonel Cathcart.

     Nurse Duckett 

Nurse Sue Ann Duckett

Actors: Paula Prentiss (1970 film), Tessa Ferrer (2019 miniseries), Susanne Zenor (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nurse_duckett.jpg

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.

     Major Danby 

Major Danby

Actor: Richard Benjamin (1970 film), Unknown (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/danby.png
"But Yossarian, suppose everybody felt that way."

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.

Tropes:

     Dunbar 

Dunbar

Actor: Josh Bolt (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dunbar_0.jpg
"You're inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age."

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.

     Wintergreen 

Ex-PFC Wintergreen

Actor: Unknown (1973 TV pilot)

"I almost cancelled Operation Overlord until Eisenhower added more armor."

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.

     Whitcomb 

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.

Tropes:

     Nurse Cramer 

Nurse Cramer

Actors: Collin Wilcox Paxton (1970 film), Alison Pargeter (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2019_07_16_at_12633_pm.png

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.

Tropes:

     Solder in White 

The Soldier in White

Actors: Unknown (1970 film and 2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/soldier_in_white.jpg

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.

     The Texan 

The Texan

Actor: Joe Massingill (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_texan.jpg

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.

     The Soldier Who Sees Everything Twice 

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.

Tropes:

     Piltchard & Wren 

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.

Tropes:

     Gus & Wes 

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.

Tropes:

     Dr. Stubbs 

Dr. Stubbs

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.

Tropes:

  • Adapted Out
  • 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.

     Major Sanderson 

Dr. Major Sanderson

A neurotic psychiatrist who is convinced that Yossarian is mentally unstable because he acts rationally.

Tropes:

     Corporal Snark 

Corporal (formerly Sergeant) Snark

Actor: Shai Matheson (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/schultz.jpg

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".

Tropes:

  • 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.
  • Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names

     Col. Nevers 

Colonel Nevers

The colonel who held Cathcart's position before he was killed on Yossarian's 23rd mission.

Tropes:

Other Air Force Officers

     Scheisskopf 

Lieutenant (later First Lieutenant, then Colonel, then finally Lieutenant General) Scheisskopf

Actor: George Clooney (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/scheisskopf.jpg
"Due to circumstances beyond my control, there will be no big parade this Sunday afternoon."

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.

Tropes:

     General Dreedle 

Brigadier General Dreedle

Actor: Orson Welles (1970 film), Peter Guinness (2019 miniseries), Unknown (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dreedle.png

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.

Tropes:

     General Peckem 

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.

Tropes:

     Col. Moodus 

Colonel Moodus

Actor: Austin Pendleton (1970 film), Unknown (1973 TV pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2019_07_15_at_121645_pm.png

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.

     Col. Cargill 

Colonel Cargill

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.

Tropes:

  • Alliterative Name: His rank and last name.
  • Adapted Out
  • 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 

The colonel with the big fat mustache

The irascible colonel who heads up the trial against Clevinger.

Tropes:

     Cpl. Popinjay 

Corporal Popinjay

The clerk present at Clevinger's trial; he is imprisoned for being too specific in his shorthand.

Tropes:

     Major Metcalf 

Major Metcalf

Actor: Ian Toner (2019 miniseries)
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/peele.jpg

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.

Tropes:

Rome

     Nately's whore 

Nately's whore

Actors: Gina Rovere (1970 film), Valentina Bellè (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/clarina.jpg

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.

Tropes:

  • 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.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Arguably.
  • 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.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep"
  • The Lost Lenore: Nately becomes one to her.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Clara/Clarina in the 2019 miniseries.
  • No Name Given
  • 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.
  • Yandere

     Old Man 

The old man in Rome

Actors: Marcel Dalio (1970 film), Giancarlo Giannini (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2019_06_21_at_121501_am.png
"What is a country? A country is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by boundaries, usually unnatural. Englishmen are dying for England, Americans are dying for America, Germans are dying for Germany, Russians are dying for Russia. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting in this war. Surely so many counties can't all be worth dying for."

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.

Tropes:

     Kid Sister 

Nately's whore's kid sister

Actors: Fernanda Vitobello (1970 film), Viola Pizzetti (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/natelys_whores_kid_sister.jpg

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.

     Luciana 

Luciana

Actor: Olimpia Carlisi (1970 film)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/olimpia_carlisi_catch_22_9.jpg
"All right, I'll dance with you, but I won't let you sleep with me."

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 he’s crazy for wanting to marry her at all.

Tropes:

  • Adapted Out: In the 2019 miniseries.
  • Big Eater
  • 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.
  • Statuesque Stunner
  • 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.

     Michaela 

Michaela

Actors: Wendy D'Olive (1970 film), Marilena Anniballi (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/michaela_1.jpg

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.

Tropes:

     The Maid in the Lime-Colored Panties 

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.

Tropes:

Other characters

     CID Investigators 

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.

Tropes:

     Mrs. Scheisskopf 

Mrs. Scheisskopf

Actor: Julie Ann Emery (2019 miniseries)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marion_scheisskopf.jpg

Scheisskopf's wife. Scheisskopf is always too busy planning parades to fulfill his wife’s masochistic sexual fantasies and replies to her requests, “Don’t you know there’s 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 couldn’t 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.

Tropes:

     Dori Duz 

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.

Tropes:

     Dreedle's Girl 

General Dreedle's girl

Actor: Susanne Benton (1970 film), Unknown (1973 pilot)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/susanne_benton_catch_22.jpg

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.

Tropes:

     Mrs. Daneeka 

Mrs. Daneeka

Doc Daneeka's wife. When the doctor is mistakenly declared dead after listing himself fraudulently on a flight manifest for a doomed flight, she finds herself suddenly rich and widowed, and moves away, leaving no forwarding address.

Tropes:

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