Johnny Van Owen
A biker and rapper, who drifts from town to town with fellow biker friends. Johnny's a rebellious type who prefers not to be tied down anywhere, but regardless, while stuck in a small, milquetoast town, he falls hard for do-gooder Kathy.
- Badass Biker: A very early 90s take on this.
- Be Yourself: Fiercely believes in this.Johnny: If you ain't true to yourself, you ain't true to nobody. Live your life for someone else, you ain't living. Straight up fact.
- Boastful Rap: In typical Vanilla Ice fashion.
- Catchphrase: "Yup yup."
- Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Played straight.
- Cool Shades: Actually, they are pretty cool shades.
- Lovable Rogue: Sure, Let's Go with That.
- I Am Not Vanilla Ice: Despite the fact Vanilla Ice is playing a character named Johnny, he's still just playing his public Vanilla Ice persona in the film and most viewers and critics tend to refer to him as Vanilla Ice instead.
- Improbable Hairstyle: Check out the brick design and lightning bolt shaved into his hair.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The movie seems to be trying to portray Ice as one. Whether it succeeds is up to interpretation.
- Jive Turkey: Obviously he wasn't meant to come off like this, but, well, the Ice phenomenon was over by the time this hit (select) theatres.
- Kavorka Man: Despite having an obnoxious personality and having questionable fashion taste, Johnny captures Kathy's affections early on.
- Manic Pixie Dream Boy: For Kathy. Credit where it's due, you don't see this one often.
- Mr. Fanservice: The female fans Vanilla Ice still had when this movie was released were not disappointed.
- The Nicknamer: Upon finding out that his Love Interest is named Kathy, Johnny immediately decides to call her "Kat." She appears to be totally indifferent to the name, never even commenting on it.
- He also calls her boyfriend Nick "Dick." Nick naturally objects to this.
- No Social Skills: How else to explain introducing himself to the object of his desire by knocking her off a horse? And then there's breaking into her bedroom.
- Pet the Dog: He's actually a pretty nice guy to Tommy.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Johnny is played by the king of the trope, no less.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Ice- sorry, Johnny is an eyesore for much of the movie. He wears all sorts of absurd outfits including a leather jacket with a bajillion slogans on it, pants that are a thousand different colors alongside an orange jacket, and the technicolor suit in the closing sequence.
- Stalker with a Crush: More or less this for Kathy. The most egregious example is him breaking into her bedroom and waking her up. (With ice.)
- Talk to the Fist: The climactic scene with the bad guys pretty much goes like this.
Sir D, Jazz & Princess
Johnny's posse, who travel with him.
- Badass Bikers: Again, a very early 90s take on this.
- Cool Bike: They go from town to town on these. Jazz' bike breaking down is what kicks off the plot.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: From the moment Tommy gets kidnapped, they go from goofy and laid back to deadly serious. However, given all the Narm in this movie, it's not very effective or noticeable.
- The Quiet One: Sir D doesn't say much, and seems to be in his own little world much of the time.
- Sarcastic Devotees: The crew all tease each other in good fun.
- Satellite Characters: Jazz gets the most dialogue because he gets the plot started, but much of the time they're just there for the sake of Johnny having a crew.
- The Smurfette Principle: Princess.
- Talk to the Fist: Alongside Johnny, this is their preferred method of dealing with the bad guys at the climax.
- True Companions: Johnny's a boor who has absolutely no concept of subtlety, but his homeboys (and homegirl) are constantly loyal to him.
- Wacky Cravings: Jazz makes a sandwich with chunky peanut butter, pickles, sardines, mustard, and pineapple.
A straight-A student and equestrian who had rather conservative upbringing, in contrast to Johnny, whom she becomes attracted to. The resulting relationship brings out her hidden desires to "do something crazy."
- Break the Cutie: From The Reveal of her family's past to her little brother being kidnapped.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: The basis of her romance with Johnny. Can't imagine why she'd ever be resistant!
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Reveals she's this to Johnny.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: With Tommy.
- Girl Posse: Does have a few female friends she seems to hang out with regularly, but we don't see too much of them, though.
- Grew a Spine: Ostensibly does this over the course of the film.
- Love Interest: For Johnny, of course.
- The Teetotaler: Does not approve of Nick's drinking during the Sugar Shack scene. Granted, they're supposed to be underage.
- Tsundere: The only conceivable explanation for why Kathy acts the way she does; aka, randomly falling in love with a guy who's done nothing but be a Jerkass to her. Although given that her (ex-)boyfriend Nick is a massive Jerkass in every scene, it's likely she just has appalling taste in men.
- Undying Loyalty: To Johnny, despite her father's best interests.
Kathy's father, (apparently) an insurance salesman. Formerly a cop, but was put in the Witness Relocation Program after exposing chicanery between two fellow police officers. However, he's discovered early in the movie when he appears on television with Kathy. Believes Johnny to be associated with the bad guys.
- Disapproving Look: Johnny gets heaping helpings of this.
- Dull Surprise: Often.
- Papa Wolf: Immediately suspicious of Johnny after seeing him with Clark and Morrisey.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: He has his fingers awkwardly held up to his face while appearing on TV early in the movie. Real smooth.
- Properly Paranoid: Of Johnny, given some of his less-desirable behavior in this movie. Granted, he's paranoid for the wrong reason and Johnny does become the Lesser of Two Evils.
- The Reveal: Only halfway through does he tell Kathy of his real history as a policeman. Kathy doesn't take it so well at the time.
Kathy's little brother, whom she has a playfully antagonistic relationship with. He's immediately fascinated by Johnny.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Not quite as annoying as some cases, but that might be just in comparison to the rest of the cast.
- Dirty Kid: Holds up the movie's sex joke quota by himself.
- Distressed Dude: In the third act.
- From the Mouths of Babes: Tommy's a friendly kid, but he's got a big mouth. "As soon as you're done making sex?!"
- Hostage Situation: Victim of this.
- Important Haircut: In a display of hero worship, he chops his hair into a crude approximation of Johnny's Totally Radical style.
- Plucky Comic Relief: The funniest character in the movie.
- The Slacker: We never see him at baseball practice as he apparently regularly goes to. Much of his time in the film is spent playing Nintendo.
Kathy's boyfriend. Is immediately disgusted by Johnny's rebellious attitude, but is so standoffish and antagonistic about it that Kathy starts preferring Johnny.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: So crazy, he's driven to vandalism!
- Hot-Blooded: Nick's a pretty grouchy young man.
- Jerkass: This guy does not handle jealousy well. Sure, Johnny's not the most pleasant of guys, but Nick doesn't endear himself the way he practically forces himself on Kathy and later tries to smash Johnny's bike (which turns out to not even be Johnny's).
- Jerk Jock: Ostensibly moreso than Johnny.
- Phrase Catcher: Johnny constantly calling him "Dick."
- The Precious, Precious Car: His white Corvette.
- Vehicular Sabotage: On Sir D's bike.
Roscoe & Mae
A very kooky old couple whose home is one of the most bizarre pieces of architecture since Pee-wee's Playhouse. When Jazz' bike breaks down, it's Roscoe who lets them stay while he and Mae work on it.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Especially Roscoe.
- Cloud Cuckooland: What is up with their house? It's like one big acid flashback.
- CloudCuckoolanders: Their initial Mistaken Identity exchange with Johnny and his crew firmly centers them in this trope.
- Cool Old Guy/Cool Old Lady: Two of the more interesting characters in the movie.
- Destructive Savior: Roscoe is this at first, when he takes Jazz' bike completely apart, instead of, you know, fixing it.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Double subverted. They claim they're the best mechanics around, but in the first act all they do is succeed in taking it completely apart, prolonging the posse's stay with them. But later, the bike is back together, good as new, as promised.
- Leitmotif: A few of their scenes are accompanied by this goofy, carnival-esque organ music, just to remind us, the viewing audience, that these people are weirdos.
- Mistaken Identity: They have a goofy misunderstanding and mistake Johnny and his crew for people they were supposed to do business with.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: They really get into the idea of dancing like Johnny's posse. And they actually aren't terrible!
Clark & Morrisey
The aforementioned bad cops, who discover Gordon's location and become a threat to him and his family.
- Badass Boast: Morrisey gets off a genuinely good one.Tommy: Back off, I've seen America's Most Wanted!Morrisey: Oh, yeah? Did you see the episode I was on? [cuts the phone cord]
- Bald of Evil: Morrisey.
- Big Bads: Of the movie and of much of Gordon's life.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Their final comeuppance.
- Dirty Cops: Dirty enough to take hostages.
- Fat and Skinny: Clark's the heavy-set guy, Morrisey's the balding, lanky guy. In a twist on the trope, Morrisey is the guy shown constantly obsessed with eating.
- Faux Affably Evil: Crack a lot of dumb jokes throughout the movie, but always have Gordon shaking in his boots. It's most obvious in the final act, when they engage in goofy repartee to torment a child they kidnapped.
- Harmless Villain: They seem this way at first. Despite carrying guns, they prefer to act threatening to achieve their goals. Then they kidnap Tommy...
- Kick the Dog: By abducting Tommy.
- Laughably Evil: Morrisey is... an attempt at this kind of villain.
- Obsessed with Food: Morrisey even fantasizes about eating junk food while spinning the barrel of a gun around.
- Obviously Evil: To a laughable extent.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Morrisey is all about fast food in general.
- Trolls: Johnny asks them for directions to the Sugar Shack, and they waste several minutes of his time by giving him fake directions, again and again. (Of course, it gives Johnny enough time to be seen with them, by Gordon.)
- Would Hurt a Child: In this case, Tommy. They aren't shown actually harming Tommy, though there are heaping helpings of psychological abuse. And it's pretty plain that neither would bat an eye at striking him if came down to it.