Teenagers of Glendale
- The Atoner: The reason he search desperately for Sam is due to the guilt he feels for his last words to her before the apocalypse being basically slut-shaming.
- Epic Fail: Josh claims the katana he finds is authentic, but with the way Josh handles it, it acts like a shoddy display piece with no real edge. This results in several moments where Josh thinks his blade will perform just like in the movies, only for it not to. It remains unclear if his katana really is just a shitty replica, or if his swordsmanship just sucks that badly.
- His attempt to cut off Terry's middle finger not only results in him missing and hitting Terry's hand, but the sword getting stuck.
- His attempt to chop off his own hand results not only in several whacks that leave only relatively superficial cuts, but another miss that only severs his forefinger.
- However, in the final battle against Baron Triumph, he successfully cuts off his (new monster hand) finger.
- Fingore: Self-inflicted in a attempt to avoid becoming a Ghoulie, but... (See below).
- Hypocrite: To say Sam was pissed about him sleeping with KJ (after what happened before the apocalypse) would be a understatement.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: Josh describes himself as nothing special, just a C student, who doesn't fit in with any of the typical (or atypical) high school cliques. He's smart, but not smart enough to be a nerd; he's athletic, but not enough to be a jock; he's nice and charismatic and has natural leadership skills, but isn't interested in being a leader and thus not in student council or model UN. His only really unique and honed skill are the survival talents he picked up on hunting trips with his dad, which aren't exactly useful in the high school setting (but tremendously useful After the End). This proves to be his great strength as a leader. . . he can do a little bit of everything, and knows how to find people to help him out when his skills are insufficient to the task at hand.
- Jerkass Hero: He is nice but definitely comes off this way when confronted with certain things or when things don't go his way. That being said he will at least try to fix his mistakes.
- Katanas Are Just Better: His weapon of choice.
- Refusal of the Call: Zig-Zagged. Josh Jumped at the Call to be the Knight in Shining Armor rescuing Sam's Damsel in Distress, but Sam flatly rejects that she either needed or wanted Josh's rescue (that she called him immediately after the first bomb, left a note for him in his apartment, and had spent months as apparently the Jocks' garden/cook slave casts this claim into doubt). When Angelica gives Josh a competing Call to Adventure to work with her and Wesley to form a new tribe, and do it better than the other petty teenage warlords, Josh rejects this because saving Sam is all that matters to him. The season finale presents him with the choice of embracing The Call as leader of the Daybreakers, or bowing before Sam as Glendale's new Overlord after she rejected him.
- Taught by Experience: You can really tell any sword skill he learned, he did by himself (Especially since he messed up his swing to cut off a jerk finger in one ep).
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He gets bitten by a ghoulie in his arm and believes he will turn into one, in order to "stop" that, he attempts to cut off his own arm, only for Angelica to tell him that ghoulie bites won't turn you into one (with the bite marks to prove it), making his self-maim All for Nothing.
- Family of Choice: Explicitly, by name, what she's searching for. A genuine family, together because they choose to be, and what she hopes to create with Josh and Wesley at the core. Interestingly, she almost immediately takes to manipulating Josh (thereby removing his choice) to get him to stay with them.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Despite her jerkish qualities, she genuinely desires real friends and a group to belong in.
- Parental Neglect: Suffers the pains from it thanks to her mother who took a ride on a submarine without a second thought. However, she still holds out hope for her. Her goal of rehabilitating Ms.Crumble away from her Ghoulie state is a hope that she can fix her mother who is likely a Ghoulie herself.
- Pink Is Feminine: Despite her claims of not being a "girly-girl," she has a hot pink stun gun.
- The Smart Guy: Possibly the smartest character in the show, only balanced by her lack of impulse control.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: She has a bad case of it, she even went as far as deliberately using it to further her drug dealership.
- The Atoner: Wants to make amends for being an asshole jock before the apocalypse and indirectly contributing to Turbo's murderous tendencies (which were in part due to jealousy).
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Wesley Fists. At least, the RZA thinks so.
- Badass Gay: He's gay and one of the greatest fighters in the series.
- Black and Nerdy: He's got no problems with his own hobbies nor does Turbo or most of the other jocks at school; but his cousin did who thought that he just refusing to grow up.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: Models himself after a ronin to help atone for his past.
- Martial Pacifist: Won't attack anyone even when he really should but can defend himself quite well.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Turbo, at least until the latter's HeelFace Turn.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gave himself a mental one (With the voice of RZA) for creating a plan to kill Josh just to appease Turbo.
- Freudian Excuse: In Episode 9 he reveals that he is the son of an immigrant who barely had enough money to buy food so his wants were not important and toys he bought himself got thrown away for being useless. Cue to the apocalypse and he takes over the whole mall and everything inside.
- This also explains why he is known to only wear knock off brands.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: It takes a lot to bring it out, but deep down he shows the capacity to be a good person. Sadly, he dies not long after showing it.
- Hostile Show Takeover: In Episode 9, he temporarily takes over the series' narrative renaming it Elibreak and pointing out Josh's flaws just to spite him.
- Hypocrite: He is very audibly against taking in refugees from Baron Triumph's meat factory, spewing every Make America Great Again-slogan there ever was. Meanwhile his mother was an immigrant in a similar position.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He is not wrong at all in pointing out that Josh is a jerk for kicking out both Angelica and Wesley along with him, despite the former two only attempting to protect him.
- Running Gag: He has a habit of taking over Josh's Flashbacks to make fun of past Josh. Even in memories he wasn't present.
Angelica: Hey, you f*** twats weren't even here for this!
- Taken Up to Eleven in Episode 9, when he runs from Josh and crashes through several scenes of the show he and Josh were not in.
- Action Girl: She's the best combatant in the Daybreakers. Josh has the will but not the skill, Wesley has the skill but not the will, and Angelica is ten.
- The Creon: Seems very comfortable leading the Daybreakers without actually challenging Josh's position as their head.
- Cunning Linguist: Speaks English, Mandarin, Na'vi, Dothraki, Elvish and some Hebrew.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: One can easily see Josh as the purely ceremonial president of the Daybreakers and KJ as the prime minister who actually runs the place.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: She pretends she can only speak Mandarin (though she lets through hints every so often she understands English) specifically so people will underestimate her, and say things around her they wouldn't otherwise say.
- Sai Guy: Wields a pair of manji type sais (one prong curved up towards the middle prong, one curved down over the fingers). Apparently, the mall has a very well-stocked martial arts supply store.
- 100% Adoration Rating: She was pretty popular at Glendale's High School thanks to her Nice Girl qualities and charisma. In the finale this becomes her main reason to take over the Jocks, with Turbo no longer fit to rule them and Triumph dead, she's the most qualified person to be their leader.
- The Ace: Deconstructed. She grew to really resent how people put her on a pedestal as this seemingly perfect girl. As anything that happened to break that idea would cause people's opinions of her to worsen far more severely than if they just saw her as an ordinary teenager.
- Damsel in Distress: Deconstructed. She is built up as this, being Josh's girlfriend and the person he's looking for the most. But the finale proves that there's more to her than just what Josh believed she was.
- Dragon Ascendant: After Triumph/Burr's defeat, she becomes the new leader of the Jocks.
- Gender-Blender Name: Her nickname. As she points out, both Sam and Dean are boy's names.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: Plays this up when she greets a food delivery driver at the door to Josh's apartment in an unbuttoned shirt and bra, then flirts slightly as he brings in the food.
- She's Got Legs: Tends to wear short skirts that draw attention to her gams.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Interesting variant, grew to despise the popularity she gained due to the video but due to various circumstances, decided to use said popularity to become new leader of the jocks.
- Asshole Victim: He is mauled and raped by a mutant pug, and goes unmourned.
- Dumb Jock: Has been held back three times, meaning he's twenty among 15-to-eighteen year olds.
- Hate Sink: He's this by far, being a pompous aggressive jerk, who is also willing to abuse his power over Burr with his parents' bribes, and a general Jerkass to everyone else, to the point that not even the Jocks like him. Unlike Eli, he never shows any redeeming qualities before his death.
- Red Herring: Initially appears to be Baron Triumph, before it's revealed that Triumph's actually Burr.
- Arch-Enemy: To Josh, as he views the latter as the only person to ever beat him.
- Badass Gay: Is both Wesley's boyfriend and a capable fighter.
- Big Bad: For the first half of the Season, as he hunts down Josh and his group.
- Bling of War: His Post-Apunkalyptic Armor has a necklace made from little gilded football trophies.
- HeelFace Turn: After being deposed by Triumph and then saved by Wesley, he turns good and eventually joins the heroes in stopping Triumph's scheme.
- Hidden Depths: Turbo's far from stupid.
- Wall of Text: In "5318008," Turbo has a lot to say. Since he is non verbal he just fast forwards a literal wall of text onto the screen. The Jocks still know what he said. Transcribed here.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Turbo is his actual given name.
- Dark Action Girl: She's not a nice person for the most part, and the only Jock that can talk smack to Turbo's face and get away with it.
- The Dragon: To Turbo, and later Burr and Sam.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Ruthless as she may be even she believes Turbo went too far with framing one of the golfers as a traitor just to give himself a victory; and later on opposes Triumph's evil plan.
- Pet the Dog: Eventually takes pity on Barry once she sees how lonely he is after the other golfers' deaths, and even offers to join the team, revealing her true name to him in the process.
A sub-group of the Jocks.
- Dwindling Party: Was whittled down to just one guy.
- The Friend No One Likes: Only technically Jocks, and are told often and to their face that golf isn't a "real" sport by the other Jocks.
- Starter Villain: The first on-screen sapient threats that Josh and Angelica face.
- Theme Naming: All the Golfers names rhyme.
- An Arm and a Leg: Literally. Burr has eaten one of his arms and one of his legs when we catch up with him in episode 9.
- Black Dude Dies First: Averted. The other Golfers die before him all in a different episode each.
- Insistent Terminology: Doesn't like the word slave but is okay with indentured American. Because changing the name suddenly makes it okay.
- Sole Survivor: By the end of the Season, he's the only golfer left.
- Token Good Teammate: A genuinely nice guy, especially compared to his companions.
An all-female tribe of (mostly) former cheerleaders.
- Alpha Bitch: As Cheerleaders, what they by and large were before the apocalypse. They don't seem to have mellowed much post-apocalypse.
- Amazon Brigade: Obviously. They've modeled themselves on the Amazons of Greek Mythology. . . or (more probably) Wonder Woman.
- Does Not Like Men: Their stated goal when first introduced is to kill all the surviving males as revenge for thousands of years of institutionalized sexism. What they plan to do once all men are dead is not addressed. They seem to have grown out of this by the end of the first season, working with and prepared to join Josh and his Daybreakers.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Among women, race and disability is irrelevant. Their Triumvirate consisted of a black woman, a Muslim woman and a mute woman with translator.
- The Leader: Unlike Turbo's Jocks, the Cheermazons have a leadership of three women.
- Secret Test of Character: How their trials for "pledges" to the tribe work. The first is to wisely choose what to consume from a poisoned banquet table. All the food is poisoned, but the water is safe, because you can survive a lot longer without food than water. The second is apparently just a straight up combat challenge, though the third is to weed out "groupthink" by encouraging Take a Third Option.
- Hufflepuff House: They're in this category because they're only mentioned to exist, or have very limited screentime and few or no notable characters, and thus not having much of an impact at all on the struggle of the main characters (at least, thus far).
The Nerd Tribe.
- Hollywood Nerd: Their hat. They're in thrall to the Jocks to keep the Jocks' compound running.
- The Dog Bites Back: Attempted. The STEM Punks bring an IKEA Weapon when they're summoned by the Jocks, and try and kill Turbo. Because Turbo was smart enough to use a Body Double, this does not end well for them.
- Good Ol' Boy: Though the one speaking member we've met is a girl, they definitely embrace the country-western aesthetic, with a uniform of blue jeans, blue denim jackets with wool-lined collars, and cowboy hats.
- Beware the Silly Ones: While one might not think these air-headed fashionistas are to be taken seriously, according to Angelica, they will "flay our skin to make throw pillows."
- Beware the Silly Ones: Angelica characterizes them as "some crazy bitches."
Adults of Glensdale
A biology teacher turned (semi)sane ghoulie.
- Break the Cutie: Even before the apocalypse her life was terrible.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Is extremely unhinged and exists in a world that only occasionally intersects with anyone else's. Part of this is due to partial Ghoulie transformation, part of it due to the traumatic brain injury she suffered immediately before the bombs dropped.
- Hot Teacher: At least before the apocalypse.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Whether she can turn into a mist, or do something even weirder, is up in the air. The one time she tries to do it in front of people, nothing happens, but she's somehow able to get out of places and evade damage in ways that shouldn't be possible.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: Crumble isn't her real last name but she was forced to change it as such.
- The Smart Guy: Aside from Angelica, probably the smartest character in the main cast, since she was the school biology teacher and so has fairly extensive scientific knowledge. Whether she can access and make use of that knowledge at any specific time is another matter. . .
- Tap on the Head: Zig-Zagged; suffered brain damage shortly before the apocalypse began, but because of it, she was able to avoid becoming a complete ghoulie.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Can only say the last thing that came to their mind, oh and their bite is non-infectious. And while they're more resilient than normal humans, for the most part, any kind of wound that kills a human can kill them, Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain not necessary.
- Big Bad: The true one for the first season, as he is a greater threat than Turbo ever was.
- Cannibalism Superpower: It's implied that the combination of being partially shielded from the initial blasts (and thus not directly turning into an ordinary Ghoulie) combined with his feasting on teens and children has led to Burr mutating into something else. Notably, he claims to know things about Wesley and his cousin Emmett no one else could because he ate Emmett. This could just be Burr fucking with Wesley. . . but there is no other reasonable way he could know the things he knows.
- Child Hater: It's implied that he may have cared at some point in the distant past, considering he chose to become an educator, but by the time of the series he is thoroughly fed up with the teenagers of Glendale, and has resolved to turn them into what he believes they always were - "little pieces of shit" - by eating them.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Turbo didn't fare so well against him.
- The Dreaded: Not even the Jocks dare to cross his path, and flee at the mere sight of him.
- Evil Counterpart: To Ms. Crumble. Both are adults who survived the apocalypse, but were partially mutated by the bomb. However while Crumble is capable of resisting her primal instincts to eat human flesh due to her care for the students, Triumph/Burr embraces them instead, as he always hated his students, even before the apocalypse.
- Faux Affably Evil: He acts cordially and jovial but it's all an act to mask his true nature.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Was a milquetoast-seeming, put-upon school principal (although that wound up being only partly true) before the apocalypse, becomes a feared cannibal warlord after it.
- It's All About Me: He does absolutely everything to help himself, everyone else be damned. Which lets the Daybreakers figure out his weakness, since he wouldn't have banned peanuts from the school if he himself hadn't been allergic.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Before the apocalypse he was at worst a Manipulative Bastard. From the point just before the bombs went off - when he nearly killed Ms. Crumble - onward he became far far worse, turning into a murderous cannibal who delights in venting his frustrations with children.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The only character to consistently get the better of Hoyle. Also a Five Minute Foreshadowing reveal of Burr's villainy, given that he lets Hoyle rape a girl just so Burr can use the evidence to rid himself of Hoyle.
- Omnicidal Maniac: He's perfectly willing to detonate an inactive nuke to wipe out Glendale and start anew in a world fit to his image.
- Plot Allergy: Peanuts.
- Two Aliases, One Character: Baron Triumph is actually Principal Burr, partially mutated by the pathogens of the nuke.