WARNING: Major spoilers ahead.
Time is just a-ticking away - now, hey now!
For you, for you
Ignoring my demise
After dark and after I've
Called you for the forty-third time
It's driving me mad!
The mother of Henry and the Big Bad in Case One. After Henry's father ran away, she was the only one to take care of him, and having achromatopsia didn't make it any better. Becoming emotionally abusive, manipulative, and constantly reminding him that he would die one day, she tries to keep Henry with her, which ultimately fails in the end when he cuts her out of his life to marry Nancy.
Communication: Rotary telephone
Song: ROTARY DIAL
- Abusive Parents: Of the emotional kind, towards Henry.
- The Alcoholic: Word of God claims she was this early on, but mellowed out as time passed.
- The Antagonist
- The Bad Guy Wins: Case One ends with both Henry and Nancy dead, which is what she wanted.
- Big Bad
- Celibate Hero: Or, rather, Celibate Villain. After her partner left her, she decided to swear off romance entirely.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The video for ROTARY DIAL uses this to reflect her achromatopsia.
- Destructive Romance: Word of God states that her relationship with her partner was this, hence why he left her.
- Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: She uses her achromatopsia as an excuse to get what she wants.
- Domestic Abuse: Her relationship with her partner was this, according to Word of God.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Colored art of her confirms her to be this.
- Evil Matriarch
- Freudian Excuse: While her treatment of both Henry and Nancy is vile, things weren't exactly pretty for her, either. Her boyfriend abused her, walked out on her as soon as she got pregnant with his child and left her to raise their son by herself. She's also mentally ill and has achromatopsia, which only added fuel to the fire.
- Karma Houdini: The only one to survive the events of Case One, and gets off virtually scot-free for her years with Henry; see Pyrrhic Villainy above.
- Mrs. Robinson: According to Word of God.
- My Beloved Smother: To Henry, though it's for her own selfish reasons rather than actual love or concern for him.
- Please Don't Leave Me: She tries to guilt trip Henry into staying with her when he marries Nancy. He leaves her anyways.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: She disapproved of Henry's marriage with Nancy, and whenever Nancy picks up Frances' calls instead of him, Frances verbally abuses her.
- Would Hurt a Child: Word of God states that when she was younger and got drunk, she would throw alcohol bottles at Henry.
You're not the girl I used to know
It's killing me
And in the depths of my memories, your stories echo from the past,
because your fears caught up with you at last
The central character of Case One. Not allowed to leave the house except to go to school and being manipulated and abused, Henry suffered under Frances for years. Against his mother's wishes, he took solace in Nancy, a girl who fascinated him with her synesthesia. Many years later, Henry broke away from his mother to marry Nancy, but that was only the beginning of his problems...
Song: BLACK & WHITE
- Abusive Parents: Frances was very controlling and emotionally abusive towards him.
- Accidental Murder: Due to the Fatal Flaw mentioned below, Henry tries to run after Nancy has a mental breakdown. Nancy wakes up, has a dissociative episode that blurs her perception and judgement, and slashes his throat.
- Asexuality / Celibate Hero: According to Word of God.
- Disappeared Dad: Never knew his father.
- Dreadful Musician: Word of God states this is downplayed; his singing is slightly off-key and isn't the best.
- Fatal Flaw: Would rather run from his problems than face them. Of course, this costs him his life in the end.
- Happily Married: To Nancy. Subverted when she has an emotional breakdown, and this scares him off.
- Kill the Cutie: To make matters worse, he was murdered by his own wife.
- Lovable Coward: Despite all this, he really was a decent guy.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Nancy relies on him heavily for emotional support.
- Murder-Suicide: With Nancy, on the "murder" end.
- Nice Guy
- Platonic Life-Partners / Sexless Marriage: With Nancy, according to Word of God.
- Shrinking Violet: Downplayed according to Word of God. He's shy around people he doesn't know well, but around those he trusts he's very goofy.
- Slashed Throat: How Nancy kills him.
- The Teetotaler: He hates alcohol because of Frances' addiction when she was younger.
Nancy Elsner (neé O'Connel)
In the sewing machine, I've lost myself
Memories inside my heart are there to grieve
Color-coded by the love he gave to me
Ah, his voice, it speaks to me through the radio
Pressing spotted fabric on an ironing board
Losing bobbins under tables, is it so?
Every day, it feels like seams are more than torn
Henry's wife, and the character that started it all. Her synesthesia, allowing her to see sounds as colors, fascinated a young Henry and drew them together. Hated by Frances, who tried to keep her and Henry apart, but to no avail. Many years later, he cut Frances out of his life and the two moved to Chicago to get married. However, due to Henry removing his mother from his life, Nancy started to get increasingly paranoid that the same would eventually happen to her...
Song: HOUSEWIFE RADIO
- Accidental Murder: See Accidental Murder in Henry's folder above.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the 2014 and 2015 PVs of HOUSEWIFE RADIO, she had green hair to resemble GUMI and an orange dress. Her hair was changed to strawberry blonde and her dress to green in the 2016 PV.
- Asexuality: According to Word of God.
- Bi the Way / Word of Gay: Word of God confirms she's biromantic, but closeted.
- Body Horror: A very minor case with the pins in her arm. Word of God says that this is because she became so mentally numb after Henry's death that the numbness eventually became physical, and didn't even hurt when she accidentally put them there.
- Broken Record: See Madness Mantra below.
- Broken Tears: As shes hanging herself.
- Despair Event Horizon: After realizing she killed Henry.
- Driven to Suicide: After she realizes she killed Henry, she hangs herself in the basement of their house, leaving a letter behind.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Appears in BLACK & WHITE during the static part.
- '50s Hair: Short and wavy.
- Happily Married: To Henry. Subverted when she has an emotional breakdown that scares him off.
- Hates Being Alone: It doesn't help when she realizes that Henry could very well abandon her like he did Frances.
- Housewife: It's even in her song's name!
- Madness Mantra: "Black and white and black and white and black and white and black and white - no, blue and green and yellow and red - the radio only plays in..."
- Messy Hair: Towards the end of the HOUSEWIFE RADIO PV, as she realizes she killed Henry, her hair gradually becomes unkempt.
- Murder-Suicide: With Henry, on the "suicide" end.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Realizing Henry was dead, and that she was the one who killed him. As her Goodbye, Cruel World! puts it: "Even after today, after I've remembered every detail of that night, I find it impossible to believe that I could've been capable of such monstrosities."
- Platonic Life-Partners / Sexless Marriage: With Henry, according to Word of God.
- Please Don't Leave Me: When Henry cuts Frances out of his life, Nancy has an emotional breakdown about the fact he could do the same to her and constantly asks for reassurance he won't leave her. This reminds him of how Frances abused him, so he makes an attempt to leave her anyways; this makes Nancy completely zone out and murder him.
- Sanity Slippage: Was mostly well-adjusted aside from a few panic attacks and being scared easily. But after she kills Henry, she goes into a deep state of denial and probably gets hit with this trope the hardest out of the entire COMMUNICATIONS cast.
- Shrinking Violet: According to Word of God.
- Tastes Like Purple: She has a kind of synesthesia that allows her to see sounds as colors.
- They Died Because of You: Because she perceives the radio sounds as changing colors, she realizes she's the one who murdered Henry.
- Til Murder Do Us Part: She unintentionally murdered Henry.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: HOUSEWIFE RADIO is told this way, what with her deep state of denial and all.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: In her original design, she had green hair.
We'll wake up in a singular reality
The death of a nation
A toxic reaction
So scream and shout, make a whole lotta noise
Don't be afraid, let the night run out
Well, after all, it's a television show
A telecast promoting vertigo
The central character of Case Two and the other character that kickstarted the series. Kennith was isolated for most of his life, being harshly bullied for having a reserved attitude, presenting himself in a feminine way, and being gay when he came out in middle school. However, he eventually made friends with Stephanie in 9th grade, who remained a loyal friend of his for the rest of high school and taught him how to deal with the bullying, and with Greg, though he wasn't as close to Greg as he was Stephanie. At one point, he gets into an argument with Stephanie after she was Innocently Insensitive towards him, misinterpreting her concern for his self-destructive nature and accusing her of not truly caring about him, causing them to end their friendship. After a few days of letting the argument eat at him, he feels that the entire world is against him. He decides to take advantage of his knowledge of technology and hijacks a national broadcast. From there, he shows a program called COLORBARS, a set of colors and frequencies, hypnotizing the viewers and making them fall under his control...
Song: BROADCAST ILLUSION
- The Alcoholic: According to Word of God.
- Art Evolution: Just look at his COLORBARS design and compare it to BROADCAST ILLUSION! His hair became a lot more pronounced and curlier, and his anatomy is drawn in a more realistic way.
- Brainwashed: His broadcast is used to brainwash all viewers into feeling the same self-hatred he does, though virtually none of the viewers even remembered what happened once it was done and over with.
- Camp Gay
- Celibate Hero: Downplayed. He's very openly sexual, but is aromantic.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: He hijacked a national broadcast for about 24 hours. His broadcast showed visual and audial frequencies that put its viewers in a brainwashed state, which he used to tell all viewers that they were unloved and that nobody would care if they died.
- Driven to Suicide: He commits suicide towards the end of his broadcast.
- Freudian Excuse: He may have brainwashed an entire nation, but he was treated like garbage his entire life, and the only meaningful friendship he ever had ended abruptly on a sour note.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He's good with technology and does repairs as both a minor job and hobby. He uses this knowledge to hijack a national broadcast.
- Hermaphrodite: Kennith is intersex according to Word of God.
- In Touch with His Feminine Side: Has a very feminine appearance and dresses in a feminine manner.
- Only Friend: Stephanie.
- Self-Harm: He has issues with self-harm and substance abuse.
- Transgender: Word of God states hes genderfluid, but did not identify as such due to the term not existing in the 80s.
- The Twink
- Villain Protagonist: All things considered, while he's definitely portrayed as sympathetic, he still hijacked a national broadcast and brainwashed viewers all across the country into feeling the exact same self-loathing he felt.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: Kennith wears short shorts!
Stephanie is Kennith's Best Friend and is deaf due to losing her hearing throughout middle school and high school. She moved to Kennith's town and met him when she was in 8th grade, then she became friends with him when she noticed how lonely he was. Although it's hard for her to understand Kennith's issues, she wants to be there for him and help him, but this eventually leads to her being Innocently Insensitive towards him, which makes him misunderstand her concern for him and get into an argument with him about it. Afterwards, Kennith hijacks a TV station and starts up the COLORBARS broadcast. Due to being deaf, she is not hypnotized by the broadcast, and after Kennith puts himself in danger, she attempts to save his life.
Songs: SIGN-OFF INTRUSION (scrapped)
- Angst? What Angst?: See The Pollyanna below.
- Best Friend: To Kennith.
- Break the Cutie: When Kennith dies.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Kennith's death.
- Despair Event Horizon: After Kennith commits suicide.
- Disability Immunity: She's unaffected by COLORBARS because she's deaf.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: While Case Two certainly doesn't end well for her, Word of God confirms that after the events of Case Two, she goes off to college and meets a girl named Jenny. Since Stephanie's still coping with Kennith's death, she and Jenny are able to easily help and understand each other. They eventually start dating and live together once they graduate.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Has platinum blonde hair and is genuinely nice.
- Innocently Insensitive: See The Pollyanna below.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: As a result of Kennith committing suicide.
- Nice Girl: She certainly tries.
- The Pollyanna: As a Foil to Kennith. This is deconstructed; because shes so positive and doesnt let anything get her down, she doesnt know how to properly treat Kennith, or any upset or mentally ill person, for that matter.
- Teens Are Short: Averted. Shes 17 and 57.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist
A side character in Case Two and a casual acquaintance of Kennith's. He's a high school dropout who works at a run-down gas station Kennith frequents and lets him buy alcohol despite being underage. Since the gas station gets very few customers, he usually spends his shifts spacing out or reading books. He's careless and pretty calm, but tends to unintentionally come across as an apathetic type and usually only provides one-sided conversations. In spite of this, if one were to really talk to him, they'd find he has very deep thoughts. His dream is to live in a bus or camper of sorts to travel the country and write books.
Communication: Gas station receipts
The central character of Case Three and Avery's long-distance partner. Bri is a scene kid with a bouncy, spunky, and "random" personality. They're also autistic and their special interest is photography. Having trouble getting along with their parents and fellow students at school, they turn to the internet for friends and spend most of their time online, including on a forum for photographers in Arizona, where they meet Avery after giving her advice. Not only are they talented with their photography, but they're also good at using photo manipulation programs, which quickly gains them a following on the forum. They post selfies on a regular basis on the forum and other social media, which are heavily edited because they have BDD; this sparks arguments (where much of their popularity comes from) over whether or not the selfies are actually edited because it's hard to spot, but Bri doesn't pay much mind to the negativity it attracts, even laughing it off most times. Eventually, Simon joins the forum and makes several posts about Bri, harassing them and their fans, and the positive response he gets convinces him to hack Bri, leak unedited screenshots of them, and dox them, prompting people to send them personal threats.
Song: IMAGE (scrapped)
- Bi the Way: According to Word of God, they're attracted to girls and nonbinary people.
- Break the Cutie: Bri's a lively kid with a lot of pluck and they pay no mind to their critics. Then Simon starts cyberbullying them by tirading them, leaking unedited pictures of them, and doxing them. The blow this delivers to their mental health almost leads to their death - see Hikikomori below.
- Genki Girl: Well, technically Genki Enby, but they have feminine mannerisms and they're quite energetic.
- Heroic BSoD: When Simon doxes them, they start getting personal threats sent to them, even through the mail. The shock from this causes them to cut off all contact - see Hikikomori below.
- Hikikomori: Initially downplayed; they rarely leave the house except to go to school. Played straight when they ultimately cut off all human contact as a result of the trauma from being sent personal threats, and refuse to ever leave their room. This eventually leads to them nearly starving to death, before their parents force them out of their room and have them hospitalized.
- Idiot Hair: Has a small one.
- I Just Want to Be Beautiful: They have severe BDD, hence why they heavily edit all photos of themself.
- Long-Distance Relationship: With Avery.
- Multicolored Hair: Their hair is mostly brown with blue and pink streaks.
- Nice Guy: As random as they are, they're empathetic and very nice.
- Teens Are Short: They're 15 and 52.
- Transgender: They are agender.
Bri's long-distance girlfriend. She joins a forum for photographers in Arizona in hopes of improving her skill with it. Even though she doesn't quite get the hang of it, she stays on the forum anyways, which leads her to meeting Bri and eventually dating them. Because of Bri's popularity on the forum, she gains quite a bit of attention herself. Having a kind disposition and being mature for her age, she's able to easily deal with any negative attention, usually being able to talk it out with bullies and convince them to mind their own business. However, when Simon starts harassing Bri and their fans, nothing she does seems to work on him. After Bri cuts off all contact, she agrees to meet up with him in real life about what happened, in the situation she'll have to alert authorities.
Communication: Face-to-face conversation
- Big Beautiful Woman: She has a chubby body type and is very cute.
- Lipstick Lesbian: She presents herself in a feminine way and is attracted to girls and feminine nonbinary people.
- Long-Distance Relationship: With Bri.
- Murder-Suicide: On the suicide end, with Simon. After she attacks him on the top of the building where they meet, he shoots her, but she uses her final moments to latch onto him so they fall off of the building together.
- Nice Girl
- Taking You with Me: See Murder-Suicide above.
The Big Bad of Case Three. Having grown up around a strictly conservative family and friends with offensive senses of humor, he believes that he and people like him are superior, that everyone has their place in society and nobody should step out of line, causing him to have a bigoted and pompous attitude. Because of his views, he also has a hobby of making fun of and harassing people online he considers "cringey", especially children and people in minorities (such as LGBT+ people, neurodivergent people, and people of color), and found the backlash he got gave him an ego boost. He eventually picked up a skill for hacking and uses his skills to find people's personal info, crack into their accounts and view into their webcams. After stumbling upon the forums Bri frequents, he begins to harass them and their fans, leaks unedited photos of them, and doxes them, which many of the forum's users revere him for.
- Asexuality: GHOST has stated that he's asexual and aromantic, but would never admit it because he thinks it's fake.
- Big Bad
- The Cracker: He uses his skills to leak unedited photos of Bri.
- Lack of Empathy: He thinks that he doesn't have to care about other people's feelings because life is unfair, thus uses it as an excuse to be a Jerkass.
- Murder-Suicide: On the murder end, with Avery. See Murder-Suicide in Avery's folder above.
- No Sympathy: See Lack of Empathy above.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He's very LGBT+phobic, ableist and racist. He even targets Bri because they're Hispanic, nonbinary, and dating Avery.
A teenager who seemingly has no identity. COMMUNICATIONS is a story told by them. They created the characters one day for fun, but as they posted the characters online they began to amass a large fan following, and decided to make stories for the characters they created. However, the story had no specific plot - just Alternate Universes where things turned out differently each time. They made the plot for each AU as devastating as possible to get an audience reaction. Eventually, they ran out of ideas, and noticed the story didn't have an ending. So they decide the ending is the Storyteller themself - COMMUNICATIONS was just a mere story, and they made the ending as such to intentionally aggravate their fans.
- Bandage Mummy: Art on GHOST's Tumblr shows them to be completely covered in bandages.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Does not actually appear in person, but appears in ROTARY DIAL as the "narrator" of the caption segments and in BROADCAST ILLUSION as the TV's subtitles.
- Trolling Creator: In-universe. They intentionally gave COMMUNICATIONS a badly written ending to piss off their fandom.
- Walking Spoiler: Their name alone spoils the entire ending. Up until a certain point they weren't even referred to by name; both GHOST and the fandom referred to them as simply [spoilers].