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This is the character sheet for Dumbing of Age, the "Ultimate Universe" extension of the Walkyverse. Shortpacked! has its own character sheet, with Roomies!, It's Walky!, Joyce and Walky! has one under construction. Please do not confuse the two, as there are serious Alternate Character Interpretations stemming from the difference in continuities.

Because of the large Ensemble Cast and Switching P.O.V., characters are listed in alphabetical order by full first name.

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Main Characters

Read Hall: Clark Wing

    Amber O'Malley 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/amber_44.png

"One second, killing spiders."

A geeky girl who enjoys playing video games, Amber hides a few...issues. Dina is her roommate.


  • Adaptational Badass: In Shortpacked!, Amazi-Girl's ability was being "immune to criticism" and while she had her moments she was for the most part a fairly minor comedic bit. In DOA Amber is quite strong and durable and her fights have an element of danger to them largely absent in Shortpacked!.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Displays several symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder concerning her usage of Amazi-Girl, referring to herself and Amazi-Girl as separate entities and using this to compartmentalize unwanted violent impulses and negative thoughts. Booster later asks if she's plural.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Amber underestimates her own ability to form connections and be social, and sees herself primarily as unstable and violent. This is not how others see her—her enemies underestimate her in her uncostumed persona, and her friends are often shocked when they first find out just how brutal Amber can get.
  • Break the Cutie: When she was a teenager, Ethan got taken hostage by Sal, and Blaine goaded Amber about her uselessness. As a result, Amber stabbed a restrained Sal in the hand—the beginning of Amber's long road of violent impulses and imperfect attempts to compartmentalize them.
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: In "When It Crumbles", her father kidnaps several students, including her, to find Amazi-Girl.
  • Clark Kenting: All it takes is a domino mask and Amber becomes unidentifiable. Some characters are merely oblivious, most don't interact enough with Amber to make the connection, and Blaine has a vested interest in never admitting his daughter could do anything.
  • Crazy-Prepared: As Amazi-Girl, she carries multiple tools and weapons on her costume at all times, including grappling hook and rope, tire-piercing spike balls... and even Amazi-Girl-themed condoms.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Had a very unhappy childhood due to suffering physical and emotional abuse from her father, which when combined with him effectively goading her into stabbing Sal in the hand following the robbery incident by calling her a coward, has made her a bit of a Broken Bird.
  • Death Glare: Gives an epic one to Ethan upon finding him at Galasso's hooked up with Joyce.
  • Dramatic Unmask: After a heart-to-heart with Walky, she unmasks herself for him... only for him to not recognize her.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the first few months of strips, Amber's fixation isn't on mobile games but rather an unidentified MMO with a vague resemblance to World of Warcraft.
  • Enemy Mine: Once Ryan shows up again, Amazi-Girl and Sal reach an unspoken truce to hunt down the bigger fish. There's some major road bumps along the way, but eventually the two make an effort at genuine friendship.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Her hatred for Sal drives a lot of her, but even she is mortified when a conservative party rally cheers on her confrontation with Sal with incredibly racist rhetoric, to the point where she attempts to deescalate the conflict.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: After beating her father to a pulp and escaping, the event visibly disturbs her greatly, to the point she doesn't know anymore where lies the frontier between her Amazi-Girl persona and herself, and sends her once again in a Heroic BSoD. Worst part? The tags make it clear who's doing it.
  • Gamer Chick: Favors handheld games, such as Mario Kart DS and Pokémon GO.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Deconstructed after Those Who Ground Me. She broke her glasses...but since she has astigmatism, this means she can't look at a computer without giving herself a headache. This is obviously a problem for someone who games as much as Amber.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Amber decided to become Amazi-Girl to have a relatively harmless outlet for her anger issues. Then she started to have trouble figuring out which version of herself was the one with the rage.
  • Guttural Growler: Once she starts hanging out with Danny in both identities, she adds a raspy voice represented by blue speech bubbles to her disguise. She also claims to have always sounded like that. Later, when Amazi-Girl becomes much more of a separate entity, this becomes her default voice.
    Danny: You mussed up your hair a whole bunch, too.
    Amazi-Girl: You are not good at remembering things!
  • Helpful Hallucination: Some 2020 strips have her hallucinate Mike. The hallucination ends up saying 'mean-yet-correct' things to get her out of her funk.
  • Heroic BSoD: Suffers several: First when Ethan was taken hostage, she ended up paralyzed in fear. Years later, when she stands up to her father, she punches him in the face but quickly realizes as she flees that she enjoyed it way too much. Finally, when Blaine takes Danny hostage to lure her out of campus, it causes her to enter a vicious rage and led her to exert Extreme Mêlée Revenge. In the aftermath of the event, she completely shuts down.
  • Hope Spot: Amber slowly begins making strides to get better, even trying to interact with Sal through Mario Kart, only to bear witness to Rachel tell Ruth that redemption doesn't exist and people don't change, then be "dumped" by Dorothy so Dorothy can catch up on her studies, and topped off by being confronted by Ryan. Naturally, this causes her to snap.
  • Hypocrite: Sal terrified Amber with a knife—Amber actually stabbed Sal in return, and after she'd already been arrested by the police. Yet Amber sees Sal as the dangerous one. She gets this thrown back in her face when she confronts Sal and her friends in a parking lot.
  • I Am a Monster: Considers herself a monster after stabbing Ryan.
  • Incompatible Orientation: With Ethan, as he's gay while she's a straight woman.
  • Inspector Javert: Due to the PTSD she suffered from encountering Sal at the convenience store, she subconsciously demonizes her so that she can maintain a semblance of moral superiority. Upon seeing that the real Sal is nothing like the one of her nightmares, she has difficulty reconciling the two, blaming Sal for many of the misfortunes she begins suffering after enrolling. She, fortunately, manages to try and bridge the gap by playing Mario Kart with her, and after the two manage to finally sit down and talk, they sort of become friends.
  • In the Blood: Amber's father Blaine is a violent jerkass who beat her mother repeatedly. When she finally stands up to him, she ends up punching him in the face. What could have been seen as a moment of awesome quickly devolves into a much more disturbing thing when Amber remembers her emotions at the time: when she punched her father, she was smiling. When she realizes that she enjoyed hurting someone, even if the person she hurt really deserved it, she gets a Heroic BSoD, because that would make her not so different from her father.
  • It's All About Me: Amber has some major self-worth issues, and can react poorly to perceived disrespect from people she cares about. While she recognizes that these are bad impulses, they only serve to deepen her view of herself as innately flawed and broken. For instance:
    • When Ethan decides to retreat back into the closet and start dating Joyce, Amber throws a fit because she takes it personally that Ethan couldn't fake straightness with her while he's doing so with Joyce, then a virtual stranger, while she and Ethan have been friends since childhood.
    • When Danny starts questioning Amber's attitudes towards Sal and decision to put herself in danger, Amber feels that she's being turned on and chews Danny out.
  • Knight Templar: While normally Amazi-Girl is The Cape, she devolves into this when dealing with Sal, claiming that Sal stole her dignity, Amber's sanity, and now their Danny. It reaches the point where she begins stalking her in the hopes of catching her off-guard.
  • Large Ham:
    • Amber enjoys the theatrics of superheroing—appearing out of nowhere, doing cool-looking acrobatics moves, dropping one-liners, and saying her name like a logo. While this is occasionally helpful in melee fights and intimidating perps, it tends to be overkill when dealing with vandals and litterers.
    • She can be like this in Amber mode too, like when Ethan and Mike (but mostly Mike) drag her away from her laptop.
    Amber: NO! NOOO! YOU'RE NOT MY MOM! YOU'RE NOT MY MOM! It's not fair! There was time now! There was all the time I needed! It's not faaaaiiiirrr!
  • Last Het Romance: Was Ethan's, who figured out he was gay right when they were about to have sex for the first time.
  • Le Parkour: The action sequence starting here shows Amazi-Girl pulling off some impressive physical feats.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: She ends up in a Two-Person Love Triangle with Danny, though she does eventually have to come clean about her secret identity after Blaine kidnaps Danny.
  • Mistaken Identity: Danny immediately becomes attracted to Amber when he first meets her. However, Amazi-Girl is depicted in such a way that she could have a lot of hair, and her modus operandi is very similar to that of Batman. You know who else has a lot of hair and resembles Batman? Sal, who was Danny's First Love in Roomies!.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: She's 5'5'' in her superhero boots, is one of the shorter characters in the webcomic, and is one of the best physical fighters.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "Never again".
  • Rage Breaking Point:
    • After being unable to help your only friend, your father only further twists the knife by telling you how useless and cowardly you are (despite the fact that the robber was armed with a freakin' knife). This is the point where poor, broken Amber completely snaps, grabbing the knife from the police officer and stabbing the restrained Sal through the hand, leaving lasting damage and a scar.
    • Almost suffers another one after Danny kisses her in public. As it's widely known that he's dating Amazi-Girl and not the "civilian" Amber, they previously agree that he only treats her as a friend to protect her hero secret identity. This angers her so much that she swears at him, almost calls him some very nasty things, and claims that while she needs him, she needs Amazi-Girl much more, ending their relationship on the spot.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her eyes are red when she stabs Sal in her flashback of the robbery incident.
  • The Reveal: When Amazi-Girl was introduced into the strip, she was largely treated as a mystery... despite Amber, her "civilian" identity in Shortpacked!, appearing not long after. Fortunately, Willis still had cards up his sleeve, and Amber's motivation for donning her mask and cape are very different than they are in the mainline continuity.
    Danny: Oh my god. Are you... Amber under there?
    [beat]
    Amber: ...I don't know.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: So, your father kidnaps your boyfriend in order to use it as leverage over you? Bad idea, Blaine, as it leads to Amber dealing him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Sanity Slippage: After seeing Rachel give Ruth a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how people don't change and can't redeem themselves, then Dorothy having to separate herself from Amazi-Girl to focus on studies, topped off by Ryan attacking them with a knife, Amber finally snaps and fully succumbs to her darker side. Fortunately for her, it's aimed at Ryan.
  • Save the Villain: She keeps Ross from falling out of a moving car, even though he tried to kill her just seconds prior.
  • Secret Identity: She's Amazi-Girl.
  • Shrinking Violet: Was very shy during her childhood, but managed to grow out of it and is now more reserved.
  • Slasher Smile: When she reaches her breaking point, she tends to give out incredibly unsettling smiles. Two targets being Blaine himself, and a truly horrifying one to Ryan, right before she attacks him with his own knife.
  • Split Personality: The tags consider Amber and Amazi-Girl two separate people. Amber herself originally thinks of Amazi-Girl as just a mask she puts on, but as time passes she starts acting as though both of them are personas. It's eventually exacerbated to the point where Amazi-Girl and Amber seem to now consider each other fully distinct.
    Amazi-Girl: First she took her sanity, then she took my dignity and now she's taken our Danny.
    • In Book Ten, their relationship briefly becomes adversarial, with Amazi-Girl keeping memories from Amber and Amber depriving herself of sleep to starve Amazi-Girl out. It takes Joyce trying to contextualize them as a single, flawed human being for them to reconcile and try to strike a healthy balance.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: After Blaine says he's almost proud of her and should've recognized "his handiwork sooner", Amber has this to say before turning her back on him for the last time.
    Amber: "I made me."
  • Stalker Without a Crush: As her Inspector Javert tendencies worsen, she begins flat-out stalking Sal to see if she's up to something.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Not even the Alt Text is sure how she did it while halfway between outfits.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: As Amazi-Girl, she always wears a long blue cape.
    Dorothy: It never gets in your way?
    Amazi-Girl: It's very important psychologically. Adds ten bravery points. Any six-year-old knows that.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Subverted. She originally became Amazi-Girl as an outlet for her anger issues, but as her Split Personality worsens, it's Amber's breakdowns that cause the most damage.
  • Third-Person Person: When masked as Amazi-Girl, she refers to Amber as a person outside herself. It's standard practice for this sort of thing - she averts ...But He Sounds Handsome, and has some trouble keeping her lies straight - but it may or may not also be a sign of her unraveling identity. After Danny is taken hostage, she begins to refer to both personas in the third person more often, regardless of which one she's currently supposed to be.
  • Trauma Button: Sal. Amber can't even look at her without suffering traumatic flashbacks, though Amazi-Girl can. After the two come to blows, Sal makes an effort to bury the hatchet, which Amber gradually acclimates to.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Blaine kidnaps Danny. Amazi-Girl joins them and demands he release Danny. Blaine refuses. Serious ass-kicking ensues. She suffers a Post-Victory Collapse afterward, as it's not Amazi-Girl doing the ass-kicking and this doesn't sit well with her.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gets this from Sal, who chews her out for escalating the situation with Becky's father and risking Becky's and her own safety. Sal even warns her that she needs to sort out her issues or else she'll come after her, completely unaware that she is one of Amber's issues.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Unashamedly and unrepentantly. She ships Tony/Steve and writes fanfic where, to borrow Joyce's words, "Superman and Batman are very good friends." She also pesters Ethan for details about his sex life after he finally comes out of the closet for real, something he seems irately resigned to.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame:
    • Her reaction when a DeSanto rally eggs her on into attacking Sal by assuming that Sal was up to something and Amazi-Girl's actions are justified is disgust.
    • After attacking Ryan as Amber, she has a hallucination of Blaine congratulating her on what she did to him. She is not pleased.
    • Blaine saying he's almost proud and should've recognized "his handiwork sooner" after she beats him for the last time and makes it unambiguously clear Amber and Amazi-Girl share the same body doesn't fill her heart with roses either.

    Carla Rutten 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/carla_3.png
"Here's the thing about me liking someone—either I'm nice to 'em, or I bug the everlovin' shit out of them forever and ever."

A single-room sophomore and part of Sal's new "posse". Carla wants people to know she exists; wanting them to like her is another matter.


  • Actual Pacifist: Ten years in, she's one of increasingly few lady characters to have never thrown a punch, and actively objects to getting involved during her first, last, and only fight scene. She "prefers to assert [her] dominance via sweet pranks" as opposed to violence, and her revenge against Mary involves only those and a Paranoia Gambit—in contrast to Billie and Ruth, who've each physically assaulted Mary at least once.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Initially declares the activities of the Whiteboard Ding-Dong Bandit to be a hate crime, but once it's clear that it struck everyone and just not her, she thinks it's hilarious.
  • Adaptation Species Change: In Shortpacked!, Ultra Car was a sentient robot car with a male voice that created a human chassis in the form of a red-haired Robot Girl. Here, Carla is a transgender female human that modeled herself after the Ultra Car character.
  • Asexuality: Ace homoromantic trans woman (as opposed to a trans-chassis Robot Girl).
  • Bad Liar: She can tell lies with a straight face, but they're so transparent that she's generally called on it immediately. Granted, she seldom seems to care whether anyone believes her or not—unless, of course, she's accused of caring about other people.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Unsurprisingly considering who she's patterned after, insulting Ultra Car. Walky stomps on it pretty hard.
    • Invoking the Armoured Closet Gay trope as an excuse for bigoted behavior is also a pretty good way to get her hackles up, as Billie and Ruth learn while speculating on whether or not Mary has a crush on her and is being transphobic to allay suspicions on her sexuality.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Or rather, just doesn't want to, going for the quickest possible resolution when Ruth is suicidal, and blowing up Sal and Marcie's Operation: Jealousy for her own amusement.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Carla really hates her selfless side, but she always comes back if she's well and truly needed.
  • Decomposite Character: In a sense. Ultra Car is an in-universe cartoon character, who Carla has patterned herself on.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Will happily irritate the shit out of anyone and everyone, but draws the line at acts of violence.
  • Fingerless Gloves: She skates a lot, and the fingerless gloves stay on.
  • Flipping the Bird: She flips her middle finger at people a lot as an act of defiance or to screw with them.
  • Foil: To fellow trans woman Jocelyne:
    • Carla is openly trans, fully accepted by her parents, and generally in-your-face, while Jocelyne remains closeted because she's terrified of how her fundamentalist family might react - she remains "accepted" at the cost of constant secret-keeping.
    • Carla enjoys getting a rise out of annoying people, while Jocelyne is more inclined to play peacemaker.
    • Carla's parents run a technology company and she knows her way around a welding torch, while Jocelyne is an English major and Starving Artist.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Well, within the confines of the setting, anyway. Her spring-loaded pies and Joyce's milkjug stiltsnote  are probably possible, but unlikely to be built by the average 19-year-old.
  • Good Parents: In stark contrast to the many, many bigoted parents in the comic, Carla's folks spent a lot of money on lawyers to keep anti-trans laws off the books in Indiana. They also built her custom toys when she was young after her favorite show got canned without ever producing merch.
  • Hidden Depths:
  • Iconic Item: Is seldom seen without rollerskates on, even indoors—despite frequent reminders that she's not actually allowed to skate in the dorms.
  • It's All About Me: Carla's got a very self-focused world view, for example, she automatically assumes that some cookies of Billie's are automatically hers.
  • The Lad-ette: She has a fondness for rollerblading and engineering, favors athletic wear, and always has to be the most obnoxious person in the room.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Carla deliberately and actively cultivates an image as a loud, obnoxious jerk who's impossible to ignore and does whatever the fuck she wants. That said, it's trivially easy to get her to help a floormate in need or generally do the right thing—though she's likely to contrive a reason why taking this action still qualifies her as a loud, obnoxious jerk.
    • Her storyline in Book Six has her antagonism with Mary reach a boiling point, and Mary misgendering her in response. With Ruth asks if it would be so bad to tone it down, Carla points out that damn near everyone on the floor is kind of an asshole, that she has as much of a right to it as anyone, and that she shouldn't need to be perfect for her gender to be respected.
  • Not What I Signed on For: She agrees to be a go-between for Billie and Ruth, unaware of how badly depressed Ruth is. Then she realizes she's basically being used as a suicide watch.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Carla's default state is loud, in-your-face, and unapologetic. All of this goes out the window when Mary calls her a boy. All the energy goes out of her on the spot.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Mary purposely misgenders her, Carla takes revenge through a sustained prank war and taking advantage of Mary's paranoia.
  • Romantic Asexual: Homoromantic, specifically, having a romantic but not sexual interest in other women.
    Carla: Girls are super cute. And I should know, 'cuz I am one.
  • Significant Anagram: Ultra Car...ten? Net?
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: She didn't fix Joyce's jug shoes to be nice, she did it to prove her superiority.
  • Transgender: Carla is a trans woman, first confirmed by Word of God and then alluded to in the comic itself. It was only explicitly stated in-strip after Mary verbally assaulted her by stating that she didn't belong in the girls' wing of her dorm.invoked
  • Unknown Rival: With "fellow agitator" Mike in a trilogy of Patreon bonus comics.

    Dina Saruyama 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dina_9.png
"Do others see me as... strange?"

Amber's roommate, Dina is an expert on all things dinosaurs. Her knowledge about human behavior, on the other hand...


  • A Day in the Limelight: Is the star of the "Walking with Dina" storyline, which also includes a lot of her inner monologue.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Many fans have speculated that Dina could be on the Autism spectrum. Willis shrugged this off for a long time before admitting Dina was based on his own undiagnosed social deficiencies, and therefore probably has Asperger's Syndrome.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: As pointed out by Sarah, Dina normally does not use contractions.
  • Ascended Extra: She's seen in the background of a number of panels before she's formally introduced. Readers of It's Walky! picked her out immediately, of course, but to newcomers she would seem to have evolved out of the woodwork.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Her knowledge of dinosaurs and evolution combined with being of Japanese descent makes her this.
  • Beneath Notice: Early in the comic, Dina doesn't have many friends and is reluctant to draw attention to herself. This made it funny when characters would fail to notice her, making it seem as she had suddenly appeared in the scene when she spoke up. Not only did this gag stick around as Dina became more outgoing and social, but it became a bona fide superpower, allowing her to sneak into restricted areas and spy on other characters with impunity. That said, her earlier character traits are still implied to be the root cause—it doesn't work when Dina's loud, flamboyant girlfriend tries it.
  • Berserk Button: Questioning scientific evolution or generally involving her in magical thinking is a good way to set her off. She also doesn't take kindly to being called a child, though that's an issue that keeps her at more of a low simmering rage.
  • Crazy-Prepared: She carries a rubber ring in her backpack.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: She is incredibly fonds of dinosaurs, is never seen without a dinosaur-themed article of clothing (usually her skullcap), and has fun playing at being them.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Rarely demonstrates arousal, but Becky expressing interest in dinosaurs or science in general tends to do it for her.
  • Iconic Item: Her Nice Hat, which was later Defictionalized as official merch.
  • Meaningful Name: Dina Saruyama. This has caused some confusion over the pronunciation of her given name (it's DEE-na.)
  • Never Bareheaded:
    • Never seen without some dinosaur-themed headgear. A bonus strip shows that she puts a showercap on over her dinosaur hat.
      Rachel: That hat's going to come off someday, and I'm gonna see it.
    • Becky develops something of a fetish for seeing the top of Dina's head, and embarks on a determined quest to finally get her to take the hat off. This is a result of her religious upbringing drilling it into her head that all sexy parts must always be covered up, which has tricked her brain into thinking any part of the body that's always covered up must automatically be sexy.
      Becky: Joyce, I'm crackin' up. I've been havin' sexy dreams 'bout scalps, man. It ain't right. It ain't right.
    • She does take off her hat for two strips to satisfy Becky's curiosity.
  • No Social Skills: As she puts it below:
    Dina: I've never been able to understand people. But dinosaurs are extinct. They're fixed in time, letting me learn about them without them changing constantly before my eyes.
  • Not So Stoic: Dina started the comic with fairly static facial expressions, and gained more nuanced (but still understated) ones as the comic went on. That said, she's perfectly capable of going ham when the situation calls for it, especially when Becky, Sarah, or science is involved.
  • Older Than They Look: Dina is small, and generally regarded as childlike, which means much of the cast is stunned to find she's turning 19 before any of them. Lampshaded when Raidah and her friends think she's a child, and later after she makes friends with Riley.
    Amber: Dina, I think she's like twelve.
    Dina: I have been deceived!
    Riley: Wait, you're not twelve?
    Dina: I see no answer to that which would not tarnish my dignity.
  • Queer Colors: In two strips she's wearing the ace colors on a primarily grey shirt, flagging her as grey-asexual.
  • The Quiet One: Unless you get her talking about dinosaurs. Her parents are also laconic.
    Sarah: If your Thanksgivings are this quiet, I'm available for adoption.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Ends up dating Becky.
  • Romantic Asexual: Describes herself as "unconcerned" with sexuality, and is in a romantic relationship with Becky. One Visual Pun "described" her as grey-ace.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Knew Amber was Amazi-Girl without her knowledge, somehow.
  • Shrinking Violet: Averted, in contrast to Amber's straight example. Dina wants to be social and outgoing, she's just not good at it, which early in the comic results in her being overlooked and ignored. Dina looks to Amber to model good socializing for her, the irony of which is not lost on Amber.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Has difficulty navigating social mores.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: From the perspective of the other characters, anyway. "Blink your eyes and she'll be there."
  • The Stoic: More often than not, Dina's emotions are rather tame and she, initially, doesn't talk much.
  • Tagalong Kid: Takes this role in a lot of social groups. By which we mean that the social groups accidentally pick her up and carry her along.
  • Taught by Experience: When Amber's Archnemesis Dad appears, Dina makes the mistake of helping him locate her. When Becky's Archnemesis Dad appears, she has learned from her error and sends him on a wild goose chase.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cereal.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Dina has no frame of reference for "normal" behavior, and thus often underreacts to other characters' strangeness. When she does notice something's off, she tends to assume others are deliberately acting strange to make her feel comfortable.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Tends to get dragged along (sometimes literally) by the other characters' plans.
  • When She Smiles: Due to her stoic and reserved behaviour, Dina very rarely smiles. But when she does, it's adorable.

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    Dorothy Keener 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dorothy_4.png
"Incorporating a regulated amount of fun is an important component of mental health!"

Dorothy is a career woman aiming towards Yale and then politics. Too bad real life keeps getting in the way. She rooms with Sierra.


  • The Ace: Keeps her grades up, exercises regularly, has a healthy family life, is perfectly friendly in almost every situation, and is ready to help her friends at a moment's notice. If it's possible to be The Ace of a slice of life comic, Dorothy is it—though her workaholism and endless plate-spinning occasionally threaten to tip her into Broken Ace territory.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Inverted. Dorothy plans to be President of the United States, and neither the other characters nor the comic itself judge her for that. That said, Dorothy is always on guard for such a critique.
  • Amicable Exes: Really wants to be this with Walky. Walky doesn't hold any ill-will over the breakup, but he's initially miserable enough about it to be unreceptive to her stabs at friendship.
  • Do Wrong, Right: She warns Walky not to kick his shoe down the corridor, only to be so unimpressed with his attempt she shows him how it's done herself.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Has been known to experience an "intoxicating rush of productivity" after sex, and keeps details of her sex life organized in a spreadsheet.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Subverted. She was raised areligiously, and eventually decided that she didn't see a need to believe in a higher power.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Works for the college newspaper. Covers the Amazi-Girl beat.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: To a much lesser extent than some of the other characters here, but she keeps finding herself distracted from her pre-law studies by, well, having a social life.
  • Meaningful Name: She takes her studies seriously; i.e. she's a keener. Word of God says that this was a total accident.
  • Not So Above It All: She gets along surprisingly well with the screwballs that comprise the main cast despite being one of the more well-adjusted characters.
  • Only Sane Man: Dorothy is easily the best adjusted of the main cast, if a little uptight about it. Consequently, she's a foil and friend to Joyce.
  • Serious Business: Takes thank you notes very seriously, as Walky learns.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Her romance with Walky is a subdued version.
  • Weakness Turns Her On: Despite at times being embarrassed by him, Dorothy definitely enjoys Walky's juvenile and submissive personality while they're dating. The feeling goes both ways...
  • What the Hell, Hero?: She's rather dismayed when she realizes Joyce is trying to break up Jacob and Raidah for selfish reasons.
  • Workaholic: Part of Dorothy is convinced she can handle anything if she just schedules it properly and works hard. She ends up taking on far too many responsibilities and starts skipping meals before realizing she needs to slow down.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Dorothy wants to be President some day but is not enough of a people person to be any good at politics, as she quickly learns when she goes up against the extroverted Roz in her campaign to become the next RA.

    Joyce Brown 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/joyce_brown.png

"I think we should give everybody a chance before we write them off. Even the bad people. I admit sometimes I'm not very good at it, but I feel I at least need to try."

The closest to a protagonist in this comic, Joyce is a naive homeschooled young woman about to get the culture shock(s) of her life. She ends up rooming with Sarah.


  • Achey Scars: Fending off her attempted rapist by smashing a glass in her face leaves a scar on her hand which, while it lasts, tends to get attention from Joyce in times of stress (often, but not always, when reminded of the incident.)
  • All-Loving Heroine: What prevents her Christian fundamentalist ideology from making her unlikable prior to her disillusionment with and eventual break from the Church and Christianity. She may believe that all her friends are going to Hell and that homosexuality can be fixed, but she loves and cares about them enough to believe the best of everyone, and with time accept them as they are.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: As befitting someone raised fundamentalist Christian and anti-science, Joyce believes a lot of things that sound bonkers to others completely uncritically, while rejecting facts and logic because they don't fit her worldview.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Aside from her skepticism about evolution, she "explains" to Dina that humans and dinosaurs existed in the same era, inspiring legends about dragons. She was also of the belief that the Parasaurolophus could breathe fire. Willis notes in the Alt Text that this was an actual part of his Christian education.invoked
  • Author Avatar:
    • Joyce's time as an evangelical Christian, the beliefs that instilled in her, and her eventual humanism-motivated change in prospective are all drawn from Willis's real life.
    • In Book 11 she starts wearing glasses much like Willis does, though she's just nearsighted as opposed to his astigmatism because it would've taken too long for her to get glasses in a timely manner within the webcomic's timeframe.
    • Book 11 also has her compete with Walky to post a comic in the campus newspaper, and the parallels between what she wants to do and Willis' own works are clear. In the first strip we see, she even draws in a way reminiscent of Willis' style back when he was doing Roomies!.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: She finds the thought of life long best friends, like Walky and Billie, falling in love with each other incredibly romantic. Three months later in real world time, or a few hours in comic time, Becky confesses to her.
  • The Beard: Was Ethan's, although she was aware of it and the two agreed to a rather ill-advised "relationship". However, after Becky's Coming-Out Story, Joyce broke up with Ethan in "Goodbye, my friend."
  • Berserk Button: The fact that All Men Are Perverts.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Joyce is aggressively bubbly, naive, and friendly. If you threaten her or her friends, however, she's just aggressive.
    • When drugged and being threatened with sexual violence, she breaks a glass on the assailant's face, leaving a nasty scar.
    • Once she confronts Ross MacIntyre after he attempted to kidnap Becky, she ends up knocking him out with a punch hard enough to damage her wrist.
    • When Amber stabs Ryan half to death, Joyce flat-out says she wishes she had killed him. Amber admits it wasn't for lack of trying on her part.
    • When talking to Ross during the kidnapping she makes it very clear that she isn't buying his excuses. She doesn't get an opportunity to fight him since Blaine had murdered him by the time she freed herself.
      Ross: Sometimes, Joyce... God chooses to enact his perfect will through an imperfect angel.
      Joyce: I'll keep that in mind when I put my goddammned foot through your face.
  • Break the Cutie: Joyce was raised in an environment with a strict code of ethics, minimal exposure to anyone different from her, and basically no access to pop culture. Early on, some of the more cynical characters in the cast assume that simply being exposed to the real world will be enough to shatter Joyce's chipper demeanor like a baseball through a window. Turns out, she's tougher than she looks—but the comic throws more serious trauma at Joyce as well, and she can't weather violent encounters with rapists and bigots without developing a cynical, angry side. "Broken" might be a strong word, but she's definitely changed.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Joyce starts having overtones of this when Dorothy began dating Walky and she starts getting jealous, something that has not gone unnoticed by the fans. Or by Walky.
  • Closet Key: For Becky, as she was the first girl Becky crushed on.
  • Cornered Rattlesnake: The meek little churchmouse will bite back when threatened. Ask Ryan, who ends up picking glass shards from his face, or Ross, knocked out with a single wrist-damaging punch.
  • Crisis of Faith: After becoming disillusioned with her family and her religion, Joyce post-timeskip doesn't really consider herself Christian anymore.
  • Death Glare: Joyce is very prone to giving death glares, both for comedic but also dramatic purposes:
  • Determinator: Sarah basically describes Joyce as fitting this trope due to her relentless nature when it comes to meeting her goals.
    Sarah: I don't mean any of that as a compliment, by the way. It is actually quite annoying.
  • Dissonant Serenity: She frequently mentions the more disturbing parts of her fundamentalist worldview in the same cheery, sunny tone as everything else.
    Walky: I'm startin' to think your superpower is being able to say the scariest, most messed-up crap while somehow thinkin' it sounds fantastic.
  • Dresses the Same: She and Dorothy tend to dress in very similar ways, as shown in this striphere.
    Dorothy: I'm going to go change.
    Joyce: No no no this is awesome.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Becky's last words to her at the start of Book 1—"Just don't let anyone change you, okay?"—sets in motion Joyce's arc of struggling as the world proves itself more complicated than she feels equipped to handle.
  • Evil Stole My Faith: The number of awful and egregious things Joyce sees done by family members and members of her old community over the course of the first ten books lead her to lose her faith in God and the church by the beginning of Book Eleven. This is in contrast to Becky, who sees the fact that she weathered those storms as proof that God likes her, regardless of what His other followers think.
  • Failed a Spot Check: She feels the need to ask Mary if there's anyone she likes...interrupting her make-out session with a boy in the process.
  • The Fundamentalist: Subverted, and more so with time. Subscribes to quite strict interpretations of The Bible, but obviously tries to err on the side of inclusion and friendship. Ultimately, as inclusion and friendship begin to seem more incompatible with the Bible, she finds herself beginning to abandon her faith.
    Joyce: That's what the Son of God says. He is my higher authority, my moral foundation.
  • Give Me a Sign: Feeling insecure about her "relationship" with Ethan (she's volunteered to be his beard and help make him straight) compared to those she sees around her, Joyce asks God for some kind of sign. Becky, her lifelong best friend, promptly turns up...and confesses that she's in love with her.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!:
    • She doesn't swear. Ever. From a later strip, Joyce tries to tell Joe off:
      Joyce: It'd better be, or I will fudge you up so dang hard everyone'll call you 'poopieface' 'cuz your head'll be stuffed up your own a-hole!
      [everybody giggles]
      Joyce: ...you all know what I meant.
    • After Becky's father kidnaps her at gunpoint, she snaps and begins using "damn", "goddamn", "hell", and "asshole". "Shit" has been edging itself in there as well.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: Her hair is meant to be dark blonde, but it is often mistaken for a light brown.
  • Heal the Cutie: Despite the crap hurled her way, Joyce remains capable of being the bubbly, chipper character we meet back in Book One. Her first violent encounter with Ross leaves her with a prolonged period of simmering anger, panicking her friends, but she returns from a weekend trip home with some encouragement from Hank and Jocelyne, ready to face the world again. She continues to have moments of anger and sadness afterwards, but for most of the comic, she's a person like anyone, with good days, bad days, and reasonable and situational gradients in demeanor.
  • Heroic BSoD: She develops agoraphobia after her Book One encounter with date rapist Ryan, and starts to break down if she finds herself alone in public spaces. By Book Eight however she's made progress taking short trips on her own with no issue, and it remains to be seen if this is still a problem post-Book Ten.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Played for Drama with her Date Rape Averted, but Played for Laughs when she sends Becky out to invite Mike to her dorm party.
    Becky: Joyce is having a party, and she says you're invited if you can be nice.
    (Beat)
    (Beat)
    (Beat)
    Becky: Well?
    Mike: Are you not hearing the laughter?
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: She throws herself into the college social scene with abandon.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Joyce spends a stretch of time dating Ethan, who is gay. At first, Ethan is trying to remain closeted, but Amber guilts him about stringing Joyce along...and then Joyce decides she'll help make Ethan straight by continuing to date him. Ultimately Joyce sees the error of her ways...after her best friend Becky comes out as gay, and has her own incompatible orientation issues crushing on Joyce.
  • Informed Ability: Joyce is introduced as having been the "best socialized" in her homeschooling group, despite having no boundaries, no filter, and irritating the heck out of everyone around her. Becky, when she appears in Book Five, seems much more capable of interacting with people in normal and expected ways. Ross' comment in Book Ten would suggest that "best-socialized" was just a euphemism for "most obedient".
  • Innocent Bigot:
    • Like the best examples of the trope, when others call her on her Unfortunate Implications, she listens and tries to adjust herself.
    • That quote about moral foundations? It's when she defies her parents, who are trying to get her to end her friendship with the atheist Dorothy. Joyce exhibits both the frustrating and the inspirational qualities of devout Christianity, and for that reason, audiences don't always know what to make of her. (The key to understanding her is that she's plainly more "innocent" than "bigot", and is aware of it.)
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Joyce has colored eyes in a world where almost everyone else has black dots instead. Her father and Jocelyne share this trait, her mother and John don't.
  • Innocent Inaccurate:
    • Due to her being (mostly) The Ingenue - taken to its extreme when Sarah comments that she doesn't need to date because she has "toys".
    • And while dating Ethan, everyone quips "Have you tried a strap-on?" when she mentions wearing something he'd like.
      Joyce: Everyone keeps saying that! Does anyone have one of these "strap-ons" I can borrow? I'm like a size six.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Listing every single example would take ages, from referring to her Black roommate Sarah as "a novelty" back in Book One to wondering if Booster (they/them) "knows he looks like he's wearing lady makeup" in Book Eleven. Suffice to say that Joyce has slowly gotten better at knowing what questions to ask and what things not to say, but it's an imperfect process that tends to frustrate those around her.
    Joyce: I have questions, and concerns, but I also remember I am usually wrong, and so I will accept what you've told me at face value.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Pre-marital hanky-panky" for, you know, fornication. Shared with her mainline-universe counterpart. (Plural? "Pre-marital hankies-panky"!)
  • The Matchmaker: Tries getting Sarah and Jacob together, despite Jacob already having a girlfriend. This goes poorly, especially when she starts crushing on Jacob herself and starts her own romantic rivalry with Raidah that leads to basically no one getting what they wanted.
  • Medal of Dishonor: Inverted. Joyce is pleased when she gets a zero on Joe's list of do-ability, because it means she is the only one he judged based on her personality instead of her looks.
  • Odd Friendship: Practically collects these. Her friendly, bubbly demeanor contrasts her with asocial Sarah and aloof Sal; her caution and anxiety contrast her with impulsive Becky; her puritanical attitudes contrast her with sexpot Joe and party-girl Billie; and (for a time) her Christianity contrasted her with atheist Dorothy. Her archetypical girliness sets her so far apart from crass, slovenly Walky that she can't even stand him most of the time, despite hanging out with him constantly.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Becky's kidnapping in Book Six gives us the angriest, most assertive version of Joyce we'd seen up to that point, even managing to impress Sal with her directness and attitude. The same Joyce whose voice trembled standing up to her own parents now has the confidence to knock Ross off his feet with a haymaker. And, perhaps most notably, the swear filter comes off.
    Dorothy: Oh, jeez, Joyce, I've been so worried. I'm so, so relieved.
    Becky: Also Joyce totally swore!
    Joyce: I said "Dammit" a bunch.
    Dorothy: 'HOLY SHIT, ARE YOU OKAY?!
  • Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: On top of her general issues with considering pre-marital sex a sin while still very much having sexual desires, her encounter with Ryan has given her some sexual trauma to intermingle with it, as seen in the impressively trippy dream sequence starting here.
  • Picky Eater: Can't have food touching, can't share food, can't have condiments, can't have toppings, and its practically a running gag at this point that most chicken fingers are too spicy for her and that she has to order them off the children's menu. John figures she would've died of starvation if she'd come to visit him in India, and Becky has been picking the pepperoni off her pizzas since they were little. Joe is baffled when he finds out Joyce prefers sprinkled donuts to plain, considering her pickiness in general.
    Joe: I have seen you try to pick the Rice Krispies out of a Rice Krispy treat.
  • The Pollyanna: See the character quote. Sal lampshades it.
  • Rage Breaking Point:
    • Joyce goes absolutely berserk after seeing her best friend, Becky, being kidnapped, and even goes as far as punching Becky's dad, successfully knocking him out.
    • She snaps at her brother John after he acts incredibly condescending towards Becky and her, yelling at him, all of her contained rage pouring out.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • Joyce's blue eyes turn to red after punching Ross, Becky's father. She was about to kick him while he was down until Becky stopped her.
    • The red eyes make a return after John, Joyce's brother, keeps making insensitive comments about Becky's situation and acts patronizing. Joyce, after having heard enough, snaps:
      John: Just listen to yourself Joyce, you sound so angry. So bitter.
      Joyce: BECAUSE I AM!
  • Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny: Joyce lives in fear of so much as masturbating, let alone pre-marital hanky-panky, because in her theology everyone will know every shameful and amoral thing she did after the end times come, and most forms of sexual pleasure are sins. This doesn't prevent her from having sexual thoughts, but it does prevent her from admitting she has them—fairly transparently, to the exasperation of those around her.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Willis gives her the widest variety in clothing styles, as she tries out new things. They're still all really conservative, but even Joe reacted to her yellow dress.
    Joyce: What? Is anything wrong?
    Joe: Excuse me I've gotta go find a vest. And my eyebrows.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Came to college explicitly to get her MRS Degree. All indications are that she has since backed off from this, though how much the good and bad experiences she's had so far have influenced this is unclear.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: The longer Joyce stays in college, the less welcoming her home, family, and religion feel to her.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Initially, Joyce tries to reconcile the two, feeling strongly that the law (her religion) requires her to be good by accepting and loving all those around her. As the actual text of those laws, and the interpretations of her fellow followers, increasingly force her into a corner, she finds herself prioritizing good, laws be damned.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: After her worldview is regularly challenged on a daily basis upon coming to the university and after suffering from several very traumatic events (including being a victim of attempted rape, witnessing the kidnapping of her best friend and getting threatened at gun point, getting kidnapped herself, coming to terms with the fact that one of her brothers and her mother are terrible people and her parents' subsequent divorce, and her faith crisis), Joyce has noticeably become more bitter and is more prone to negative mood swings compared to before.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Before her first month at college is through, she's already been nearly date-raped, and then nearly been shot by her best friend's father.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Joyce lacks any genuine athleticism or training, but has reserves of strength she can tap into when her friends are threatened. This comes in handy when much of the cast is kidnapped in Book Ten, save for most of the regular brawlers.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Given her serious problems dealing with her sexuality, you shouldn't read too much into her response to finding out gay porn exists. Nevertheless...

    Malaya Eugenio 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/malaya_haircut.png
A roller-derby skater who hangs out with Sal and Marcie.


  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Well, the friend Sal doesn't like, anyway. Carla displays some early skepticism but soon, like Marcie, develops a crush on her.
  • Head Pet: Fuckface the Iguana, though as Indiana University doesn't allow pets, he spends a lot less time on assorted characters' heads than he might otherwise.
  • Hidden Depths: Malaya's gradually revealed to be getting good marks in art class, a valued member of a local roller derby team, and a good friend to Marcie (she even starts learning sign language!) If she seems like kind of a one-dimensional jerk, it's because we mostly see them through Sal's eyes.
  • Jerkass: They're often unnecessarily confrontational and rude, especially to anyone she perceives as "phony", and makes a show of sleeping with Joe in order to become more hated.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She has a high opinion of her own attractiveness, and it shows in her dress sense. The comic tends to frame certain areas on occasion as well, especially when Malaya's being seen from Marcie's perspective.
  • Oblivious to Love: Spends a good long time completely oblivious to Marcie's crush on her, despite Marcie not being especially subtle about it. One strip implies this is because Malaya feels Marcie is always straight with them, while another shows that Malaya's gender being uncertain means she doesn't expect attention from women attracted to women.
  • Phrase Catcher:
    Sal: Goddammit, Malaya.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: With Sal, whose entire persona she's deemed a facade sight unseen, and who cannot under any circumstances be persuaded otherwise. As of Book 10 they seem to have called a ceasefire, for Marcie's sake.
  • Transgender: Malaya occasionally mentions she's not sure if she's a woman. As of Book 11, her pronouns are she/they/whatever, and she's declared herself "too cool for gender."

    Rebecca Leah "Becky" MacIntyre 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/becky_50.png

"Just don't let anyone change you, okay?"

Joyce's best friend from childhood. Attending Anderson University, a Christian college. She's pretty social for someone from Joyce's Christian group.


  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Seen in this strip, where Becky tearfully begs Joyce to return her feelings.
  • Ascended Extra: Becky had a whopping eight appearances prior to Book 5, which immediately shot her into the main cast.
  • Birds of a Feather: Becky and Walky get along really well within seconds of meeting each other, bonding over their shared love of eliciting humorous reactions from Joyce.
  • Chaotic Good: The zany, impulsive contrast to Dorothy's bookish, regulated Lawful Good, as Dorothy points out here.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Definitely didn't count on Blaine's favoring spite over self-preservation when she tries to defeat him by doxxing him at the end if Book Ten.
  • Evil Stole My Faith: An aversion—despite all the bad things happening to her done in the name of religion (or using it as an excuse), she still considers herself a Christian and a believer. She decided when Dina kissed her for the first time that "God answers lesbian prayers", and since then has seen every averted disaster in her life as the Lord looking out for her. It's worth mentioning because of contrast with Joyce, her best friend and a former fundamentalist, who's a straight example of the trope by the time of Book Eleven.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Joyce is seen in several strips trying to unsuccessfully get a hold of Becky, foreshadowing Becky's troubles at school.
    • For a short amount of time her character description mentioned that "she loves Joyce more than anything."
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Joyce—except for the part where Becky isn't actually heterosexual. She compensates for this by being as close to Joyce as she can, and playing up the idea that Joyce's other best friend Dorothy is a hated romantic rival for comic effect.
  • Important Haircut: Gets an undercut (somehow longer than her original 'do) shortly after joining the main cast in Book Five, which briefly scandalizes Joyce and Hank, and becomes a major point of contention for Ross and the rest of their hometown church in La Porte.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Becky, after figuring out she's a lesbian during her time apart from Joyce, assumes Joyce has come to a similar revelation in her absence. She learns the hard way that Joyce hasn't.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Like Joyce, she has some evangelism-induced blind spots, but it's much more rare for her to accidentally say something bigoted. For Becky, the bigger problem is that she seldom thinks before telling jokes or doing something wacky, and occasionally gets taken more seriously than she intends to.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: She had a whopping eight appearances before a 2015 storyline in which she runs away from Anderson to come out to Joyce as a lesbian, at which point she began living in the area and her profile skyrocketed. The book in which this storyline is printed features her on the cover and is titled Hey, Guess What, I'm a Lesbian!.
  • Love Epiphany: After she kisses Joyce, she tells her that she had always been in love with her, but it wasn't until they went to separate colleges that she figured it out.
  • Missing Mom: According to Willis in this comment chain, she is currently worm food. A later strip implies that she committed suicide and Becky was the one who found her.
  • Nice Girl: Becky can be a bit crude at times, but she's overall a very nice person.
  • Odd Friendship: Considering her similarities to Walky (who Joyce can't stand), her friendship with Joyce and their extreme fondness of each other is pretty out there.
  • Only Sane Man: Becky lacks many of Joyce's neuroses and hangups, which makes her this to Joyce...and basically only to Joyce.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Their full first name is Rebecca, but she goes by Becky most of the time.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Ends up dating Dina.
  • Sad Clown: Becky puts up a facade of cheerfulness, but at assorted points during the comic she's been homeless, kidnapped, and dealing with two dead parents.
  • Stepford Smiler: Becky feels that if she dwells on any of the hardship in her life, or confides in other people, they'll think she's a bummer and she'll drive them away.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: One tragedy after another is taking its toll on Becky's belief in the goodness of others. When Robin gives her time off to properly cope with her father's death, Becky accuses her of laying her off just before the elections, and refuses to believe for a second that Robin actually cares about her.
  • Unknown Rival: She seems to think she and Dorothy are bitter rivals for the position of Joyce's BFF. Dorothy does not. Made even funnier after as of Book Eleven, now that they're roommates.
  • Unrequited Love: After a bit of angst, she tells Joyce she understands that she was rejected and goes back to her flippant nature, but there have been a few strips that show Becky isn't as okay with the rejection as she let on. Certainly not helped by the period she spent not only living with Joyce, but sharing a bed with her.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Her immediate reaction to her dad's car overturning after a near-collision. "Again!!!"

    Roz DeSanto 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/roz.png

Robin's extremely liberal younger sister, with very strong ideas on sexual freedom.


  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Roz is considerably less selfish from the get-go in this version. In the conflict with her sister, the audience's intended sympathy has been switched from Shortpacked!; rather than Roz being a mooching Annoying Younger Sibling, much of her criticisms against Robin and her ideology are completely justified.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Joe. (The joke is that they're the same age in this continuity, so they find and sleep with each other in the first week.)
  • Establishing Character Moment: Handing out prophylactics. Just after having casual sex with Joe (which she recorded).
  • Ethical Slut: Roz's sexual ethics are pretty strong, making a point of—for instance—asking Joe if it's okay to tape their encounter. She also goes out of her way to promote safe sex and counseling for rape victims. Her ethics on things that aren't sex are a bit iffy, however, as she's often been mean to Joyce when it's clear she's doing more harm than good, and may or may not have been planning to out her bisexual older sister.
  • Everyone Has Standards: She may dislike Joyce, but she's willing to back off after Ross attempts to kidnap Becky.
  • The Matchmaker: Trying to set up Robin and Leslie.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Booster makes the case that the desire to stand out between Robin and Riley fuels a good deal of Roz's actions.
  • Not So Different: with her older sister, Congresswoman Robin DeSanto.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: There's a definite performative aspect to Roz's politics, even if she is completely genuine in her beliefs, and she can condescend to people a lot.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With Robin. Not only are Robin's reactionary, anti-choice politics the complete reverse of Roz's, but Robin repeatedly treats her like a prop for her campaign.
  • Soapbox Sadie:
    • She's progressive but tends to be rather obnoxious, condescending, and self-righteous about it.
      Roz: The "church" that forced kids out of their homes and into the streets? That was you. Until today, that was you.
    • Roz is also nonplussed that Leslie is adamantly not okay with Roz shaming Joyce in the class. Roz asks if Joyce gets a pass for shouting over and ignoring gay people her whole life, to which Leslie counters "Said the straight girl to the gay girl who's been asking her to shut up for the past five minutes." When called on her hypocrisy, Roz leaves the class.

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    Ruth "Ruthless" Lessick 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ruth_8.png

"Time for 'random' drug searches."

The RA of Joyce's dorm, Ruth basically sets herself up as a dictator who keeps her "subjects" in line through over-the-top threats. As the comic goes on, however, it becomes increasingly clear that she has issues...


  • 0% Approval Rating: Ruth's time as resident assistant is characterized by petty antagonism, verbal abuse, and threats of violence. She tries to make amends for her behavior after her breakdown in Book Six, to almost no effect. That said, the hall hates Mary more for blackmailing Ruth in her darkest hour—seemingly mostly on principle.
  • Abusive Parents: Her parents are dead, but her grandfather is a verbally and emotionally abusive control freak who sees her as an investment instead of a person.
  • The Alcoholic: Her parents' death by drunk driver really did a number on her, and she ironically spent a long time afterwards drinking to cope. Following her breakdown in Book Six and subsequent prescription of antidepressants, she's managed to mostly stay on the wagon.
  • Berserk Button: Don't mention the Ottawa Sens. And don't mention that they're doing better than her favoured team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Naturally, Billie does both of these in quick succession.
  • Canada, Eh?: She immigrated to the United States after her parents' death, and is quick to take potshots at her new country over everything from the existence of prom to its subpar grade-school sex-ed.
    Billie: Aren't you people supposed to be nice?
    Ruth: May I please punch your sternum?
  • Canadian = Hockey Fan: Specifically, a die-hard Maple Leafs fan.
  • Closet Key: Ruth was unaware she was into women before Billie turned up.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Her threat to beat people to death with their own femurs if they skip the initial floor meeting becomes memetic In-Universe.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Her parents died in a car accident, because of a drunk driver. The fact that she became an alcoholic doesn't sit well for her at all because of that. And her hideously abusive, controlling grandfather doesn't help either.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Ruth got into drinking as an escape regarding her parent's death by drunk driver.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When dealing with an uncharacteristically peppy Mary, and realizing someone needs to investigate her.
    Ruth: We need to suss this out on the down-low. But I'm not talking to her. I have a hard enough time wanting to continue my existence as it is. [...] Do we know any romantically stupid busy-bodies? ...Shit.
    [Answer Cut]
    Joyce: Well, well, well. Of all the rooms in this dorm, you had to walk into mine. [big dorky smile]
  • Hidden Depths: For much of the dorm, Ruth is little but a petty tyrant and bully. Those that get close to her know that she's working through a lot of issues, depression and alcoholism among them, and with love and support from Billie she manages to start breaking a lot of her old habits. She's also, when the chips are down, capable of doing the RA jobs people actually need, defending her charges from abuse and talking to them when things go south.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Ruth and Billie spend Books 1 through 3 being horribly antagonistic and abusive to each other. Midway through Book 3, Billie discovers the depths of Ruth's depression and alcoholism as well as Ruth's crush on her, and they become an Official Couple.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Many of the residents consider Mary to be much worse than Ruth, and would prefer her to Mary.
  • Loving Bully: Deconstructed. She lashes out at Billie because she can't deal with being attracted to a former drunk driver and fellow alcoholic—and because of that lashing out, it takes Billie some time and a huge heart-to-heart for her to come around.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Prior to her and Billie getting together, she alternates between awkward displays of affection and outright bullying. As she lampshades:
    "Do I send any other kind?"
  • Mama Bear: Ruth may not be good at interacting with the students she's supervising, but she'll go above and beyond to protect them. She's suplexed two of her charge's parents when they were banned from the dorm, one while so drunk she could barely walk.
  • Meaningful Name:
    Dina: Ruth Lessick? Is that why you nicknamed her "Ruthless?"
    Mandy: Sshh I want to keep my femurs!
    • Unremarked upon, but she does eventually become less sick.
  • Mood-Swinger
    Walky: Your unpredictable mood changes are frightening an' disorienting.
    Ruth: Awww, thanks for noticing.
  • Not So Different:
    • To Billie, an alcoholic girl with absent parents and a willingness to use force to get her way.
    • To Amber, who has rage issues, an unhealthy coping mechanism, and a fear of becoming her abusive father figure.
  • Odd Friendship: With Billie. Escalates to Official Couple.
  • Offscreen Breakup: With Billie, during the post-Book Ten timeskip. As Booster is quick to lampshade, this causes Ruth to try acting like her Ruthless persona again as a means of coping, only to fail thanks to Billie having changed her too much.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Ruth is not one of nature's most cheerful people, even without the baggage she has. So when Billie finds her being nice, and saying it's good to see her, she's alarmed.
    Billie: Oh my god. They drugged the shit out of you, didn't they.
    Ruth: Uh, yeah. Duh. You were there when they started handing me pills yesterday.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her parents were killed by a drunk driver.
  • Pet the Dog: She doesn't want to be RA and thinks she's horribly unqualified for it. She does it anyway:
    • Ruth quickly gets a handle on what Amber's damage is without Amber ever actually talking to her about it, and does her best to try and talk her through it no matter how unreceptive Amber is.
    • Dorothy, worried about her deteriorating mental health, asks Ruth to check in on her in Book Seven, and Ruth follows through after she and Walky break up in Book Eight. (Her sympathy to Dorothy's issues with Danny in Book One is an early sign she's not all bad.)
    • When Ruth discovers Becky's living in the dorms after fleeing her homophobic father, Ruth does her best to pretend she doesn't know Becky's there.
  • Redemption Quest: After her breakdown, Ruth seems to be trying to work her way toward redemption. Though Rachel for one is brutally cynical about the idea.
  • Refuge in Audacity: How she gets away with her over-the-top threats and occasionally abusive behaviour.
  • Relationship Upgrade: With Billie. They both know they're toxic presences, that they're struggling alcoholics and they'll probably kill themselves or each other at some point. They don't care. After being given medication though, Ruth loses her Death Seeker mindset, whereas Billie's refusal to change puts their relationship on the rocks.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: A few times, when in "performative autocrat" mode.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Is revealed to have green eyes from this strip onwards, which Willis points out is when her character starts becoming more rounded and more human to her Love Interest.
  • Sleepy Depressive: Demonstrates a general reluctance to get out of bed, which—during her breakdown in Book Six—progresses to a tendency to leave the lights off and eventually a complete inability to get up to fulfill even basic needs.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In Roomies!, she was created for the sole purpose of tragically dying in a car accident. In Dumbing of Age, she has a significantly expanded role, as well as having survived a previously occurring car accident.
  • Tsundere: Deconstructed: Ruth behaves this way because she has anti-social tendencies and a bad home life. Billie confronts Ruth demanding to know what their relationship is, after weeks of Ruth alternating between (awkward) displays of affection and bullying. When Ruth suddenly kisses her during all of this, she tells her to fuck off and runs away. Billie is very confused and hurt by whatever attraction she does feel. It's still played for comedy, but the situation is acknowledged by Willis as unhealthy and just wrong.]]
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Carol tries to scare her away by saying she would be stupid to lay a hand on her. Ruth informs her how stupid she actually is, with a smile on her face.
    Ruth: Oh, you'd be surprised how much stupid shit I do.
  • Wrestler in All of Us:
    • In "Urrgl", she suplexes Blaine. It's just a shame it wasn't more permanent.
    • She also, sadly off camera, tackles and throws Carol out as Joyce did not want to see her.

    Sally Elizabeth "Sal" Walkerton 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sal_33.png

"Did ah say 'uptight'? Ah think ah meant 'nuts'."

Walky's twin sister, a rebel with a distinct southern accent. She spent some time in a private school, but it seems to have only made her worse. "Shares" a room with Billie.


  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She has long, dark hair, a stoic and aloof attitude, and attracts admirers whether or not she wants to.
  • Ambiguously Brown: In-universe when Joyce tries asking what race the Walkerton twins are.
    Joyce: I... I've been trying to determine if it's rude to ask what, um, flavor of human you two are.
    Walky: Well, my sister is black, but I'm generically beige.
  • The Atoner: She considers herself responsible for Marcie losing her voice - after she choked a bully in retribution for him mistreating Marcie, he crushed Marcie's throat with a rock. Her convenience store robberies were because she needed money to make amends.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: After Walky admits he hasn't been a good brother in the past. There are limits, though.
    Sal: We ain't never been a huggin' family, huh?
  • Berserk Button: Does not take kindly to being pigeonholed, simplified, or otherwise analyzed.
  • Biker Babe: Her motorcycle is her preferred mode of transport, and she's usually wearing leather jackets. As of Book Eleven, her bike has conspicuously disappeared for as-of-yet-undisclosed reasons.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Played with: When Amazi-Girl challenges her to a fight, she just has her friends dogpile her. Though after she's restrained, Sal opts to leave rather than actually beat her up.
  • Commander Contrarian: Part of her anti-authoritarian nature means that if told not to do something by a figure of authority, she'll do the exact opposite
  • Conspicuous Gloves: Sal always wears her distinctive gloves to hide the knife wound on one of her hands, even when sleeping in the nude. As one of the Slipshine comics shows, she even wears them during sex.
  • Cool Bike: Owns a pretty cool motorcycle. Joyce has written theme songs for it.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: She's very anti-authoritarian and, in her own words, doesn't like "organized anything."
    Becky: So... Billie moved out an' gave me her bed 'cuz my dad found out I'm gay an' I got pulled outta school an' I'm homeless an' please don't tell anyone in charge an' also she said this would appeal to yer "innate desire to rebel against any an' all authority". Her words, not mine.
    Sal: (Beat) Tell Billie she was right, an' also "Fuck you, wiseass."
  • Daddy's Girl: Perhaps by default. Her father makes a point of hugging and complimenting her on Parent's weekend while her mother is too obsessed with the idea of her brother actually having a girlfriend to even acknowledge Sal's presence—but her dad also tells her he prefers her hair straight, demonstrating some of the racism that keeps her at arm's length from her mom,
  • Dark and Troubled Past: When we first meet her, she's returning to Walky and Billie's life after being sent away to boarding school for five years. She held up a couple of convenience stores—which she did because Sal's abusive mother confiscated the money Sal raised to get Marcie throat surgery. Sal raised that money because she felt responsible for Marcie losing her voice. She felt that way because Sal escalated a conflict between Marcie and a local bully. Said bully, incidentally, never faced consequences for his actions, which is a contributing factor to Sal's distrust of authority.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Well, at least Joyce and Billie do.
    Mike: For her, right? You'd be a lesbian for her. I mean, c'mon.
    Joyce: Oh, if only. I-it'd be nice, in theory, if I didn't have to deal with any parts below the neck.
  • Expressive Hair: Her natural curls reasserted themselves when she is shocked by a bad grade.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: She keeps the curls for Parent's Weekend, only to have her Dad tell her he likes the way it looks when it's straightened. (Sal takes this as an implied criticism, though he's probably trying to be supportive.) So she "murders the curls" again and claims to prefer it that way, though that is undercut by her expression when she examines the results in a mirror afterwards. Her hair is slightly curly after the Book Ten timeskip, implying that she's begun to work through some of these feelings.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Her leather jacket goes with her motorcycle.
    Walky: My parents sent her to a Catholic boarding school after she, y'know, held up two convenience stores. Though I kinda expected her to find Jesus, not leather.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Sal is fluent in American Sign Language thanks to her lifelong friendship with Marcie.
    • Sal had a dinosaur phase. She was able to answer to Dina that her favorite dinosaur was Pachycephalosaurus and bonds with her over talking about them.
    • She's a very musical person, to the point that it's implied she'd become a music major. She taught herself to play the bass and can hold a tune singing.
  • Internalized Categorism: Her parents, especially Linda, have given her flack her whole life for her bad grades and rambunctious behavior, and shown favoritism to Walky for his smarts and ability to stay in line. These biases line up with stereotypes about Black people, and while Sal's shown little sign of hating herself for being Black, she has something of a complex about the whole thing which she expresses by "murdering the curls" out of her natural hair.
  • Impaled Palm: After the convenience store holdup, Amber drove a knife through Sal's hand. This is why she always wears gloves.
  • Indifferent Beauty: Despite being a Ms. Fanservice and knowing it, Sal generally doesn't put too much thought or stock in her looks, and is usually more focused on other things. In fact, it's implied she actually weaponizes Attractiveness Isolation rather than exploit her appearance.
    Sal: Bein' hot is a power you should use only to keep other folks comfortably at arms' length or to score the occasional free beer.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: More aloof than an outright jerk, but despite her attempts to stay away from the issues of the cast, she almost always steps up to help them when asked. Notable instances include helping Joyce work through her post-Ryan issues and searching for Billie all night after she went missing.
  • The Lad-ette: She's aloof, likes alcohol, can throw and take a punch, and isn't above sleeping with the TA for better grades.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Half African-American father, Caucasian mother.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Sal looks good in pretty much anything she wears, and sleeps mostly nude. She has easily won all polls for "Hottest DoA Character" and most character's first reaction to her is slack-jawed awe.
  • The Nicknamer: Mainly because she doesn't learn most people's real names, preferring to keep people at arm's length. Her nickname for Danny, "Wonderbread", is friendlier than a lot of them.
  • Noodle Incident: She somehow lost her virginity due to an Apples to Apples game at her boarding school.
  • Not Good with People: It's one of the reasons for her isolation, she finds it hard to open up to others, including her own brother, and feels people are only taking an interest in her to "fix" her attitude. It's lampshaded in a strip where she openly confesses it to Walky... and then notes that that's probably why she was only able to open up to him after he'd already walked away.
  • Not a Morning Person: What with spending all night out, Sal tends to be very grouchy in the morning. Joyce and Becky, who tend to wake people by hovering directly over them with friendly smiles at the crack of dawn, learn this the hard way when they find her hands around their necks.
  • Oblivious to Love: Not regarding anyone who has a crush on her, but for the longest time she just couldn't figure out the glaringly obvious reason why Marcie wanted to hang out with Malaya so much.
    Sal: Whaddaya mean, you already told me? Ah think ah woulda remembered this.
    [Flashback]
    Marcie: [signing] That? I wanna hit. note 
    Sal: [clenching her fist] Oh, ah'd love to punch 'er, too.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Amazi-Girl, an authoritarian vigilante, probably would've caught Sal's ire even if their first encounter wasn't Amazi-Girl initiating a parking lot brawl. In fact, they spend a long time hating each other, but Book Seven sees them forming an uneasy truce against Ryan and his defenders that eventually blossoms into friendship. Amber, naturally, doesn't handle this great, but Sal makes the first move to bury the hatchet in Book Nine, and now they do roller derby together.
    • By contrast, Sal's relationship with Danny is a lot less complicated, but no less strange: Danny reads comic books, majors in computer science, and is a white guy with a ukulele. He's still basically the first IU student Sal openly acknowledges as a friend, and one of few she chooses as a confidant.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Sal's a temperamental sort, especially when the subject of her parents and their favoritism towards Walky comes up, so when Linda sends Walky a large box of cookies and Sal barely anything... she just shrugs it off. The fact that she's used to this is a sign she's resigned how badly that relationship has deteriorated: her earlier anger was because Walky refused to acknowledge the problem.
    • Sal allows her hair to go natural and dresses and behaves like a very different girl on parents' weekend — all to no avail as her mother ignores her anyway, though she does get some attention from her father.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: The cool, aloof rebel to Walky's immature, outgoing dork. As kids, they had more in common, but Walky's good grades and deferral to authority kept him from the forced maturity and learned cynicism Sal got from dealing with Linda.
  • Rapunzel Hair: And Joyce likes it a little too much. Played with later when Walky reveals that Sal expends a lot of time, money and effort to "murder the curls" out if it and Sal implies (in a wordless Beat Panel) that she wishes she got the same attention when it is natural.
  • Rebel Relaxation: She does this a lot (leading Joyce to imitate her), and even asks Jason to prop her up like this when she's too wasted to manage it herself.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With Walky, for their parents' attention.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: What with her temper, and her general disregard for social norms, Sal does swear often. Especially when she's really annoyed (like, say, when getting too into Mario Kart...)
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Prefers windows to doors, a trait she shares with her mainline-canon counterpart.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: With Walky, though it's much less apparent when her hair is natural.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Screws her TA (Jason) hoping to improve her math grade, and when that doesn't work screws him again to show him how angry she is. And then a few more times after that...
  • There Was a Door: While not exactly to the extent of the original Sal, she does have a habit, which initially annoys Billie. A lot.
    Billie: OUR ROOMMATE AGREEMENT WILL REQUIRE THE USE OF FUCKING DOORS! DO YOU HEAR ME?!
  • The Unfavorite: And extremely irked that her brother still refuses to acknowledge it.
    • She refuses to drop her math class despite initially struggling because she doesn't want another lecture from her parents about how she's a failure.
    • Sal even brings this up when acknowledging Walky & Billie's Like Brother and Sister relationship.
      Billie: Hell, sometimes I accidentally call your parents 'mom and dad'.
      Sal: Glad they got at least one daughter they like.
    • Made even worse when Mrs. Walkerton sends them a care package. Walky and Billie get similarly sized boxes filled with cookies (which incidentally include Billie's favourite), while Sal gets a much smaller box. And after some digging from Walky, all he finds is another box for Dorothy.

    Sarah Clinton 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sarah_8.png
"I wish for everyone to have happy, strife-free futures ahead of them. Because keeping up with everyone's drama and preforming sympathy is friggin' exhausting."

A cynical and antisocial sophomore, who ends up rooming with Joyce.


  • Adaptational Heroism: Roomies! Sarah was a one-note grouch with little to no redeeming qualities and who took the side of one of It's Walky!'s villains for petty reasons. She's still a grouch here, but much more well-rounded and not at all villainous.
  • Being Good Sucks: In her freshman year, her roommate Dana developed a drug dependency following the death of her mother. Sarah called her father, who took Dana out of school. Because Sarah was openly antisocial and found Dana's behavior a hindrance to her studying, Raidah and the rest of Dana's friends read the worst possible intentions into her actions, starting a rivalry that continues into the comic's present day.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Acts as Joyce's elder sister figure and is quite protective of her.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Averted: The Dana incident mentioned above is set up to be this. Turns out Sarah has always been, in her own words, a "bitchy killjoy misanthrope."
  • Foil: To Joyce, whose aggressively social tendencies throw Sarah's desire for solitude into sharp relief.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Sarah prefers, above basically all else, to be alone. She hates holding conversations. She hates sitting with other people to eat. She hates other people knowing even basic facts about her. Her ideal birthday party consists of an empty room, a cat, and a cake she doesn't have to share. In an ideal world, she'd basically never interact with anyone. But Joyce needs her, and Dina likes her, and so, reluctantly, she's begun to try and meet them both halfway, and will come to their aid with only token complaint.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: At the end of Book 1, Sarah confesses to actually caring about Joyce under her prickly demeanor.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Sarah was forced to inform her last roommate Dana's father about her depression and drag abuse, which led to him taking her out of school. Since Dana was a Stepford Smiler and none of her friends caught on, they all consider Sarah to have crossed the Moral Event Horizon in order to preserve her scholarship.
  • Insult Backfire: Here.
    Danny: Geez, Sarah, you're even pissier than I am.
    Sarah: Thank you.
  • I Resemble That Remark!:
    Joyce: She speaks entirely in sarcasm.
    Sarah: Oh, right, that's all I do.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Downplayed. "That person I hate isn't bangin' that guy she absolutely doesn't deserve anymore. And it only destroyed Joyce a little bit."
  • Not a Morning Person: She'd like to bottle Joyce's "morning-person-ness"... and fire it into the Sun.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Sarah's gone on the record repeatedly that she hates "high school drama"—fraught romances, avoidable misunderstandings, basically all the petty social cruft around what's supposed to be a learning experience. This doesn't stop her from trying to break up Jacob and Raidah, and eventually manipulating Joyce into trying to seduce him.
    • She's had the occasional Not So Different moment from Walky.
  • Odd Friendship: With Dina. At first, her lack of mastery of social niceties made her a perfect fit for Sarah, who can't be bothered with any of them. Dina's increasing desire to learn those niceties and have friends, however, is something Sarah can't understand.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: As time passes and her bond with Joyce intensifies, her influence is slowly but surely leading Sarah to open up and become a more positive person, leading to some playful, almost sisterly, banter between the two, whereas Joyce is turning a little more sour from all of her bad experiences. Lampshaded in this strip, where Sarah muses that they must share the same stockpile of happiness.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Sarah saving Joyce from Ryan didn't necessarily convince Joyce that Sarah cares about her, especially since (thanks to Ryan's roofie) Joyce has no recollection of the tender moment that followed. Since then, Sarah has been trying to show Joyce she cares in small, everyday ways. It doesn't come easy to her, but she's giving it her best effort.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Billie, as basically the embodiment of all the petty social drama that Sarah claims to hate, is one of the first to spot Sarah's plan to have Joyce break up Jacob and Raidah.
    Billie: I was head cheerleader. I invented this.
    Sarah: Ugh, now that you're leaving, who'll be the canary in my coal mine?

Read Hall: Beck Wing

    Booster Sanchez (WARNING: UNMARKED POST-BOOK 10 SPOILERS) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/doa_booster.png

"I just go by Booster. My previous roommate's inability to adhere to that is why I have a new roommate."

Walky's new roommate following Mike's death.


  • All There in the Script: As of February 2021, their last name has been only used on their cast page.
  • Brutal Honesty: They're nicer and more eloquent about it than Mike ever was, but during the new semester's floor meeting, they get a surprisingly in-depth read on Ruth, Rachel, Roz, Joyce, Walky, Lucy, and Carla's personal conflicts and bluntly points them all out in front of everyone. They would have continued on to Amber had Ruth not told them to shut up.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Their first meeting with Walky establishes them to be pretty well-spoken, a stark contrast to Mike.
  • Sherlock Scan: Booster is able to accurately pick up on the emotional issues and hang-ups of everyone at the floor meeting in great depth, despite being introduced to most of them only a few hours earlier.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Mike, both visually and in terms of their ability to read people. Their first arc had commenters claiming semi-seriously that they're either Mike with a new identity, or somehow related to him. In-universe, Amber refers to them as "replacement Mike".
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: They look like they wear lipstick, the primary visual cue that they're non-binary. Joyce, as usual, doesn't quite get the clue.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's difficult to bring them up without giving away Mike's death since they replace him as Walky's roommate.
  • The Watson: Serves the role in the first arc of Book 11, as Joyce and Walky introduce them to the rest of the cast - and by extension, introduce the audience to a large chunk of the post-soft-reboot cast to the audience.

    Danny Wilcox 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/danny_2.png

"Sweet, I'm either desirable or merely incredibly unthreatening!"

Danny is a timid kind of guy who followed his girlfriend off to college...only to be very quickly dumped by her. He rooms with Joe.


  • Above the Influence: To Joe's disgust, he's not willing to have sex with Billie because while she may be initiating, she's also using it to get her mind off things.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Dorothy implies that Danny's mother was the one who sent her a photo frame with engraved scripture about the sanctity of marriage, not to mention being incredibly creepy toward her.
  • Amicable Exes:
    • After his initial dumping by Dorothy, they eventually reach a level of comfortability where Danny's willing to come to her with his confusion over his sexuality.
    • Amber dumps Danny because she feels like she won't be able to stop herself from abusing him. The fact that Danny continues to support her and be friendly to her in the aftermath causes her some consternation.
  • Butt-Monkey: Sometimes his dumb decisions are his own fault, but a lot of it is caused by pure dumb luck—with the biggest example perhaps being starting a friendship with Sal, who he doesn't know Amber is terrified of, while he's already kicking himself for trusting Amber's abusive father not long before. The alt-text puts it succinctly:
    "boy, the cartoonist really hates this kid, huh"
  • Distressed Dude: Danny has bad luck with this trope. He was introduced to Amazi-Girl when she rescued him from some jocks. Later, he didn't realize he was being used by Blaine in order to lure Amber out of the campus, and downright became a hostage once Blaine showed his true colors and restrained him physically.
    Joe: Dude, what are you even getting yourself into out there?
  • Extreme Doormat: Danny is very bad at asserting himself, and doesn't know how to handle affirmation. He tries to brush off Amber's guilt over nearly calling him a piece of shit in a fit of rage by telling her he's "used to stuff like that". Dorothy broke off their relationship in the first place because of this.
  • Fatal Flaw: Danny lacks emotional intelligence, which often causes him to put his foot in his mouth and say exactly the wrong thing. While most of the time he's an Extreme Doormat, whenever he becomes more assertive, he tends to become too assertive, showing No Sympathy to Mike when he falls into a coma while directly conversing with Ethan, and then doubling down when he's called out.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Looking at pictures of dinosaurs.
  • Has a Type: After being dumped by Dorothy, he immediately goes for Amber. Lampshades were hung.
  • Iconic Outfit:
    • Danny's IU sweatshirt was omnipresent in the Walkyverse, but when Willis redesigned the entire cast for Dumbing of Age he decided hoodies would be specifically Walky's purview. It didn't last.
    • Danny tries to evoke this when he starts wearing a newsboy cap in Book Seven. The few people who notice think it's a fashion disaster. It unceremoniously blows away in the wind at the end of Book Ten.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun:
    • According to him, learning the rules can be fun. Sal thinks he's trying to be funny.
    • He also seems to find doing laundry fun as well.
  • It's All About Me: Catches a bad case of this when meeting up with Ethan at the hospital, insulting the recently comatose Mike out of the belief that he'd do the same, all the while acting like he deserves as much leeway as Ethan gives Mike despite not knowing them for nearly as long. And he was there to ask Ethan out while he was still grieving over Mike.
  • Nice Guy: Deep down he has a kind personality and truly wants to help others. Sadly, most of his attempts at helping are ineffective or backfire horribly. He confides to Sal that he feels useless, and wants to help her because her math problems are simple for him to solve. As he puts it:
    Danny: I've spent the last few days feeling useless, and so I'd really be grateful just for a chance to solve a problem for somebody.
  • No Sympathy: Doesn't feel too sorry for Mike's comatose state, believing that if their positions were reversed, Mike would be making fun of him. Ethan, Mike's Childhood Friend, doesn't take well to Danny's callousness.
  • Oblivious to Hints: He was one of the only people to not figure out that Ethan's gay, despite a montage of major clues that Amber dropped.
  • Odd Friendship: Empathetic and neurotic to a fault when compared to Joe's cavalier disregard for those around him. A "renaissance dork" in contrast to Sal's effortless cool. And a doormat in contrast to Amber's overabundance of assertiveness.
  • The Nondescript: Mike gives Ethan shit for crushing on someone so boring. Joyce can't remember who he is until he starts wearing a newsboy hat in Book Seven, at which point she can consistently remember the hat.
  • The Power of Love: Subverted: In Book One, Danny thinks this trope might mean Dorothy will reconsider her future to keep them together. Dorothy disagrees.
  • Quirky Ukulele: Picks up the ukulele as part of a deliberate attempt to reinvent himself in Book Seven, to the irritation of basically everyone around him besides Sal.
  • Related Differently in the Adaptation: In the Walkyverse Randy was his younger brother and the jock in comparison to his nerd, but in Dumbing of Age he's Danny's older brother and is currently in the millitary.
  • Rescue Romance: His relationship with Amazi-Girl started as a result of her saving him from some jocks and later from her father.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Discussed. Dorothy dumps him because she's afraid he's going to turn himself into her Satellite Character.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Discussed, than averted, twice with Walky.
    • While dating Dorothy, Walky's blinkered view of masculinity leads him to determine that, since Danny is his current girlfriend's ex-boyfriend, he and Danny must be mortal enemies. Nothing comes of it.
    • Once Walky has dated both Dorothy and Amber, Danny starts to take it a little bit personally, but quickly realizes he's being ridiculous.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Its a particularly slow and subtle one, but after a few months in-universe Danny is much more confident and sure of himself.
  • Two-Person Love Triangle: With Amber/Amazi-Girl, prior to him finding out they're one and the same.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: He doesn't like lying to others, in no small part because he's just plain bad at it. He's very uncomfortable with "pretending" to date Amber during Freshman Family weekend. Subverted later on as he keeps Amber's identity secret easily.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Mild case. He seems to consider being in a relationship a way to prove to his parents that he's worthwhile.
    Danny: Mom? Dad? I know I screwed things up with Dorothy, but I found someone way better. I won't disappoint you this time!

    David "Walky" Walkerton 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/walky_0.png

"He who's tired of fast food is tired of life!"

Sal's twin brother. A very juvenile young man, who may or may not be smarter than he looks. He rooms with Mike.


  • All Women Love Shoes: In Book Three he espouses the view that only girls own more than one pair of shoes, and that any man who does so is less of a man because of it. Even Joe thinks this is ridiculous.
  • Ambiguously Brown: He's mixed race, Black and white. Walky defines himself as "generically beige" early on, in contrast to "Black" Sal, which turns out to have been a result of internalizing the Parental Favoritism his parents showed him as a child.
  • Beautiful All Along: Turns out under his baggy clothes are a tight set of abs and an ass that is, by his own description, "like a playground ball."
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Deliberately takes advanced math courses because high school math, like most things, came easy to him despite his adverse attitude towards studying. Turns out, to his dismay, that his brilliance doesn't scale.
  • Chick Magnet: Even though he's far from the most desirable bachelor in the boys dorm, he's managed to charm almost as many girls as Jacob, with Dorothy, Lucy, and Amber all confirmed to have feelings for him. Even Joyce was impressed by how surprisingly toned Walky is under his hoodies.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It takes some serious misery to get him to stop joking, as its his primary coping method for basically everything and damn near his only way of communicating with other people. Billie, Joyce, and Jason are favored targets.
    Dorothy: You know who missed classes? James Buchanan. He skipped his classes and the union dissolved.
    Walky: Some would say it was really over the ownership of human beings, but I think you're on to somethin' there.
  • Demoted to Extra: Or, at least, he's not the unquestioned main character like he was in the Walkyverse. He's still managed more appearances than anyone but Joyce.
  • Expressive Hair: Just like Sal, when he gets a bad grade his hair instantly poofs up.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Dorothy's love of the Dexter & Monkey Master cartoon acts as a turn-on to him.
  • Genius Ditz: His goofball attitude masks a deep emotional intelligence and empathy that means he's often the first to notice when those he cares about are hurting or hiding something. But it's also a completely genuine facet of his personality, on that shoves basic decorum and hygiene way down his list of priorities. Best evidenced with the final two panels of this strip.
    Walky: Yeah [Dorothy knows that Ethan's gay], but she needed you to spell it out for her. Me, I'm just a genius... Are my pants on backwards?
  • Has a Type: Like Danny, he went from Dorothy to Amber. This happened much later, however, and Art Evolution meant that those two no longer look like palette-swaps of one another from the neck down.
    Sal: [Amber's] kinda just a shorter, rounder Dorothy.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Very early on, Walky had a childish girls-had-cooties mindset that left him completely unequipped to handle getting his first-ever crush at age eighteen. He's largely grown out of it by Book Two, though he espouses vestigial gender-essentialist viewpoints for a while after.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Unlike Dorothy, Walky is much more outspoken and much less tactful around Joyce about his lack of faith, and blatantly tries to mock and insult her for it. This is more to show his own immature childishness than anything.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mainly because his way of dealing with harsh things is to be as immature as possible, but he does care about his friends. His relationships with Joyce, Billie, and Sal are pretty good proof of that.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • After all his jokes about Joyce's favourite show, Hymmel the Humming Hymnelnote , he's horrified to discover he was in it.
    • Happens again when his Brilliant, but Lazy approach to grades finally catches up to him and he gets an abysmal 26 while Sal actually manages an 83. His reaction is to promptly Eat the Evidence.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Has a very sibling-like relationship with Billie. He's actually closer to her than he is to his twin sister Sal.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: invoked here. In Books One and Two it was a running gag for Walky to have some variant of that face whenever Dorothy was in the same room.
  • Manchild: He likes cartoons, junk food, Power Rangers and pyjama-jeans.
    Dorothy: Um, Leslie, a boy just threw a toy at my head.
    Leslie: It's probably because he likes you.
    Walky: [crush blush]
    • It ends up being deconstructed, as it becomes increasingly clear as the comic progresses that Walky's immature demeanor is the result of his parents pampering him throughout his childhood, so much so that he walked into college completely unprepared for life on his own, and he knows it. Mike as well thinks it's pretty obvious that Walky has an undiagnosed case of ADHD, further demonstrating how shit a job the Walkertons did at actually parenting him.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Like his sister, he has a half African-American father and a Caucasian mother. However, despite them both having the exact same skin tone, he jokes that she's Black and he's "generically beige", having inherited some radicalized ideas about Sal's demeanor and behavior from his parents.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: While he's pretty open about his on paper intelligence, he hides his emotional intelligence in order to keep his relationships low-effort. This starts to change when it turns out he has an actual huge blind spot around his relationship with Sal, which motivates him to try harder with people in general.
  • Odd Friendship: A lazy lout versus Dorothy's perfectionist, and a content nerd versus Billie's social-climber tendencies. His love of burps and poop and hatred of personal hygiene sets him so far apart from Joyce it'd be a miracle they tolerate each other, if they tolerated each other.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe, Walky's stint as a child actor on Hymmel the Humming Hymnal, both because it's embarrassing (besides being the sort of show he vehemently dislikes, Joyce may have been crushing on some of them...) and because it confirms the Parental Favoritism he'd just been vehemently denying to Sal.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Except to his family, of course, since they're all Walkertons. Sal makes a point of addressing him only as "bro" or, when the circumstances require, "David". Dorothy calls him David when she wants him to be serious.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: He's done this a couple times, once by calling Joyce "crazy brainwashed" when she was standing just off-panel, and the other by almost saying "gun to my head" after Becky's dad had taken her hostage with a gun. He at least realized his error before the words left his mouth that time.
  • Parenting the Husband: Often finds himself on the other end of this with Dorothy, who prods him to up his game vis-a-vis his personal hygiene and wardrobe. He eventually becomes self-conscious about how much time and energy he inadvertently demands of Dorothy when she starts tutoring him in math, which prompts them to finally call it quits in Book Eight.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: With Sal. Danny eventually needs it pointed out that they're related.
  • Secret Keeper: Amazi-Girl eventually divulges her secret identity to him, but he barely knows Amber, dulling the moment. It's played straight after that.
  • Stepford Snarker: It's subtle, but Walky tends to directly hide how he's really feeling through snark, or distract people from probing deeper.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He assumes Amazi-Girl secretly works at the school newspaper like Clark Kent.

    Ethan Siegel 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ethan_3.png
"Okay, but we're only going to ask you four more times."

Ethan is a friendly gay young man with identity issues. He used to date Amber before he accepted his homosexuality, and also knew Mike in high school.


  • Age Lift: Downplayed. While most of the characters in DOA are aged down compared to their originals, Ethan was noted to be the oldest of the Shortpacked! cast (minus Galasso and the parents). In DOA Ethan's reverted to be around Amber and Mike's ages while Robin and Leslie are older than him.
  • Closet Key: For Danny, who's pole-axed by it, having considered himself straight until that point.
  • Coming-Out Story: Ethan comes out to Amber as gay on prom night, and the two of them spent the summer before the comic starts dealing with the fallout from his parents. Once in college, Ethan fears being rejected by men and having his gayness be his only defining trait, and puts himself back in the closet. He finally comes out "for real" in Book Five, his attempts at straightness having become unsustainable for a motley of reasons.
  • Demoted to Extra: Compared to his long-standing tenure as main character of Shortpacked! in the Walkyverse, he's much more part of the ensemble here.
  • The Ditherer: Big time. He's reluctant to make his own decisions and tends to follow along with what other people want.
  • Gayngst:
    • His folks desperately wish he was straight, and his mother did her best to keep him away from Mike when they were children when she noticed Ethan's budding attraction to him. Coming out to them did not go well, and they blamed Amber for "turning" him.
    • Initially, he felt intensely self-conscious about his gayness overriding how he wanted to be seen: as a Transformers and Batman nerd. Dina, who had recently started dating a lady and was still primarily known for being into dinosaurs, helped him through this.
    • He also worried that being a Jew and a nerd would make him undesirable to his mlm peers. Sleeping with Mike in Book Eight gives him the confidence to start playing the field.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Amber mentions that he turned "suddenly hot" at 16.
  • Incompatible Orientation:
    • With Amber, his childhood best friend. They started dating in high school and stopped when Ethan finally came out to her, moments before Their First Time on prom night.
    • He starts dating Joyce in Book Two as part of his attempts to put himself back in the closet, but Amber forces him to come out to her. They then keep dating to sublimate their sexual urges. Joyce's evolving attitudes towards gayness pushes him back out of the closet in Book Five.
  • Jewish and Nerdy: He mentions having a hard time fitting in before coming out due to his religion and hobbies.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Danny has been very complimentary about his chin.
  • Nice Jewish Boy: He's a Jewish guy who's friendly and non-confrontational with basically everyone. This has its upsides—it means he's willing to give Sal a second chance after realizing she held him hostage when they were thirteen—and its downsides—he'll take basically endless abuse from Mike.
  • Really Gets Around: Kind of. After Book Eight he starts flirting with the men in his dorm, many of whom are receptive, but it's unclear how many of those hookups were derailed by Ethan's prioritization of nerd trivia.
  • Secret Keeper: Ethan is the only member of the cast who knows that Jocelyne is a trans woman. When the comic starts, he's also the only one who knows Amber is Amazi-Girl.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: As of April 30th, he's not yet notched a single appearance in Book Eleven. His only mention thus far is Walky offhandedly claiming he's going through something of an emo phase off-panel. It's especially noticeable since, unlike Billie, his status as this was Foreshadowed by him being the only member of the core cast who didn't get invited up onto garbage roof at the end of Book Ten, showing that he was drifting away from them even before the Time Skip.
  • Straight Gay: One of the reasons he tries to reject his homosexuality is the idea that being gay would end swallowing up his identity as his sole defining trait, rather than any of his nerdy hobbies.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He's one of the taller characters, and looks like (in Danny's words) "the love-child of Jake Gyllenhaal and Nightwing". Mike, of all people, tells him that his worries about being "undateable" are unfounded for this exact reason.

    Jacob Williams 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jacob_4.png

Ethan's roommate, Joe's new main man and Sarah's pre-law classmate (and lust object).


  • Chick Magnet: Roz has been 'sniffing' around him for a while and Sarah goes almost non-verbal when they first meet, only for Raidah to beat both of them to the punch. After that, it becomes clear that Joyce is developing a crush on him.
  • Characterization Marches On: His early appearances as Ethan's roommate mostly involved him snarking at the eccentricities of Ethan's assorted friends and acquaintances, and Sarah and Jacob initially bond over making fun of Joyce behind her back. His friendship with Joyce in Book Seven got the ball rolling on his kinder, more understanding side taking the lead.
  • Crusading Lawyer: Aspires to be one of these like his big brother, Harrison, whose many accomplishments include striking an anti-trans law off of Indiana's books.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Discussed Trope. Becky clocks that his appeal to Joyce springs from him being a buttoned-up, perfectionist law student: essentially, "the biggest Dorothy [she's] ever seen."
  • Gentle Giant: Has, to quote Joyce, "huge, powerful arms that could easily crush Sarah, yet would only cradle her gently."
  • Mr. Fanservice: Introduced working out while shirtless (which kicked off the "Sexiest Man" poll). This, uh, makes things difficult for Ethan. And for Jacob, too, as it turns out. He finds people only being interested in him for sex dehumanizing.
  • Nice Guy: One of the most friendly, pleasant, and understanding people in the series thus far.
  • Odd Friendship: He's much more thoughtful about his relationships and respectful to women than Joe, and much more amiable and friendly than Sarah.
  • Raised Catholic: His own interest in his background is, in his words, "largely academic", though he still attends church. An attempt to tag along freaks out the thoroughly Protestant Joyce.
  • So Beautiful It's a Curse: Male example. He talked with Joyce about how some people see him as a sexual object and nothing else.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Played with: Jacob would like nothing more than for his big brother, Harrison, to be proud of him. Harrison is proud of him, openly, and would really like Jacob to start prioritizing his own happiness.

    Joe Rosenthal 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/joe_3.jpg

"Hey, do you subscribe to my 'do' list's RSS feed?"

Joe is the ultimate ladies' man, with that being first on his mind... and not much else. He's Danny's roommate.


  • Brutal Honesty: Is definitely not one to mince words, especially when it comes to Danny and Joyce's assorted neuroses.
    Joe: You know I've never been the sort of friend who'd say, "Aw naw, dawg, you're totally strong enough," right?
    Danny: I live in a lot of fantasies.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: His views on ethical behavior are predicated on, essentially, making sure no one's under any illusions that he cares about them or will do right by them, the idea being that if no one regards him as a moral person they can't be let down when he fucks up. This view is challenged when he learns the hard way that you can't just choose not to form bonds with people, and being dehumanized hurts no matter who's doing it.
  • Carpet of Virility: Gaston-level chest hair.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He always carries an extra sock to hang on a doorknob.
  • Ethical Slut:
  • Everyone Has Standards: Joe has absolutely no patience for infidelity or breaking up a happy relationship.
  • Faux Horrific: His reaction to Danny's choice to take up the ukulele is to act as if it was the worst choice ever.
  • Freudian Excuse: His dad cheated on his mom, and Joe took the betrayal his mother felt to heart—but seems to have learned the lesson that dehumanizing women is fine if you don't mislead them into thinking you'll do better. He never outright uses this to justify his own behavior, however, and may not even be cognizant of it.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: He's made a few offhand comments about being into girls having sex with one another.
  • Gym Bunny: Rare heterosexual version. Whatever interest Joe had in fitness prior to college, he now sees it only as a way to stay attractive. When he briefly swears off romantic and sexual relationships, his motivation to stay fit drops to almost nothing.
  • Handsome Lech: Is deliberately transparent about his intentions towards woman, irritatingly aggressive, but still physically attractive. He makes a lot of claims about his amazing sex life, but we mostly see women be disgusted with or angry at him. The few we know for a fact have slept with him either do it in spite of his bullshit (Roz) or because of it (Malaya).
  • Hidden Depths: His experience with his folks' divorce has given him some insight into relationships, and some of it is even useful. Joyce finds him a great help navigating her messy home life in Book Six, and they bond over their mutual frustration at being told to change. He's also the first to spot Sarah's plan to break up Jacob and Raidah.
  • Identical Grandson: "Geez, Joe, your dad is just you with a beard."
  • Informed Judaism: It's come up casually once or twice. He seems pretty secular, having not gone to temple since his Bar mitzvah, and he makes some hay over Amber's family doing Christmas "wrong" when he celebrates with her over the break. That said, it's possible a deeper connection to his faith is in there somewhere...
    Joe: I'm sorry. I'll be better. I thought I was being funny, but I wasn't, and so I'm stopping. Scout's honor. Neder issar.
  • It's All About Me: He can be rather selfish at times. When Danny tries tentatively to bring up his sexuality issues, Joe's response is to point-blank ask if he's gay or not, as he's not interested in "hand-holding" or dealing with feelings.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He does genuinely care about other people, and has lines he absolutely won't cross. Of the cast, however, he's the most reluctant to own his shit or change his behavior, and generally needs prodding from either Danny or Joyce.
  • Like Father, Like Son: His father is also a huge lech, though one with a history of cheating that Joe takes issue with.
  • Odd Friendship: Danny and Joe's friendship is held together primarily by their childhood bonds—as adults they have basically nothing in common. His only shared interest with Jacob is working out, and Joyce...well, they have something of a mutual interest in each other's Character Development.
  • Out of Focus: Has a fairly inauspicious number of appearances between sleeping with Roz in Book One and helping Joyce during her weekend at home in Book Six. He gets his own arc in Book Eight, which seems to have made him a more permanent fixture.
  • Perma-Stubble: Thinks it makes him look virile and manly. Booster points out it might be a turn-off for anyone looking for oral sex.
  • Person as Verb: He likes turning peoples' names into verbs, most obviously Danny's.
  • Really Gets Around: He'd certainly like you to think so. He admits in Book Eight that it's mostly talk.
  • Shirtless Scene: Danny wishes Joe was less comfortable walking around their room in his underwear.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He spent a long time being this with Danny, but tries to be more emotionally honest with him after Book Eight. His relationship with Joyce waffles between this and genuine connection, but favors the former.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He tells off Sarah and Joyce for trying to break up Jacob and Raidah.

    Mike Warner 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mike_2.png

"Because I paid your mom a nickel."

Defining the "Sadistic Good" alignment, Mike revels in butting in to help his fellow students with their problems in the most cruel, painful, personally devastating ways possible. He's sharing a room with Walky.


  • Armor-Piercing Question: Delivers one or two, as part of his Jerkass Has a Point routine:
    Mike: (to Walky and Billie) So for the past several weeks, you've said Joyce's sunny routine was annoying and you made fun of her for it. But now that she's dropped it...You want it back?
    Mike: (to Amber) If you really are doomed to follow your parents' pattern, and you're never the one picking the jerks... which of them does that make you?
  • Card-Carrying Jerkass: Outright calls himself an "irredeemable one-dimensional troll of a non-person".
  • Cheated Angle: The Alt Text doesn't think he's in a position to mock Ethan's hair, as his isn't even three-dimensional.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Turns out he keeps files on everybody to be more efficiently insulting.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Book 8 chapter 4 focuses on him and his backstory.
  • A Death in the Limelight: After delving into what makes him tick and what shaped his outlook on life, Mike's removed from the plot via a several-story drop, coma, and subsequent death.
  • Death by Adaptation: While Mike did die in the original Walkyverse, he came Back from the Dead thanks to Joyce using a resurrection chamber and went on to be a main character in Shortpacked!. As Dumbing of Age is much closer to reality, Mike's death here is for good.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: "Hey, Ball-Peen! I fucked your mom." When the recipient points out that his mom is dead he says "Then you can come watch." and tackles him off a balcony.
  • Famous Last Words: Uncharacteristically earnest and mumbled on account of his grievous injuries: "Gud... You wr alwys. Good friends. Bst frds." Quoted by Amber as "You were good friends. My best friends." later on.
  • Flat Character: His motivation and background weren't revealed until book 8 chapter 4. This stands in enormous contrast to the effect he has on people and plotlines, to the point that it's easier to think of him as a walking plot device rather than a person.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The reason Ethan chose not to room with him. Really, pretty much no one properly likes him in-universe, and it is a running mystery why his presence is tolerated so well.
  • Heel Realization: Tough Love has him realize his Jerkass Has a Point schtick is disturbingly similar to what Blaine's telling Amber (or Amazi-Girl) while beating the stuffing out of her.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Tackles Blaine off the staircase to save Amber. The strip cuts off to a different arc without showing the damages, leaving his fate ambiguous. Blaine - who's neither reliable nor of sound mind at the time - flip-flops between claiming he's alive but comatose and claiming he's dead, and it's shown afterwards that Mike indeed survived, but fell into a coma, and died at some point during the time skip following that arc.
  • Hope Spot: After real-life months of waiting, it turned out that he survived his fall, if badly damaged. He then dies during the time-skip.
  • Jerkass: Everyone else's character bio goes into some detail on their outlook, history and relationships. Mike's just says he's an asshole and Walky's room-mate.
    Walky: Look, shut up, I'm freakin' out here. Just be helpful for once.
    Mike: Pass.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mike's MO. No matter what Brutal Honesty or under-handed methods he utilizes to help people confront their problems, he's more often than not on the mark.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he still goes out of his way to say things in the most negative way possible, he is far more involved in the emotional affairs of other characters, and his compassion plainer to see. Though because his motivations are so murky, the "gold" is only visible in the effect something he said or did has had. And then there's the whole 'save Amber/Amazi-Girl by tackling Blaine off the balcony' business...
  • Lighter and Softer: In comparison to his Walkyverse counterpart, this version of him goes much easier on people and doesn't try for Refuge in Audacity. However, whereas Walkyverse!Mike typically went for low-hanging fruit in his jerkassery, Dumbiverse Mike is more of a benevolent Manipulative Bastard.
  • Love Hurts: It's hinted that Mike has genuine feelings for Ethan, but knows that he'd never return them. When Ethan becomes promiscuous due to Mike boosting his confidence, he seems outright heartbroken.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Dumbiverse Mike's modus operandi. The "help" he provides necessarily requires him to have an insight into human nature that goes way beyond what a college freshman typically would, bordering on being some sort of Required Secondary Power. (It's to the degree that, if Amazi-Girl represents Batman's "hard power" aspect, Mike is the "soft power".)
  • Nerves of Steel: When threatened by a guy wanting to kill him with a ballpeen hammer, he calmly asks to be struck with a weapon with a less silly name.
  • Not So Different: Due to similar manipulative tendencies, he sees similarities between himself and Blaine.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • After he sleeps with Ethan to boost his confidence and then lets him date other people, he's uncharacteristically touchy. Keep in mind this is a guy that kept his cool even as Blaine announced he's about to kill him with a ballpeen hammer.
    • When being taken to hospital by Amazi-Girl, he tries to say that she was always his best friend. It didn't go unnoticed.
    Amazi-Girl: No! No last words! Those sound like last words! You're being earnest and it's frightening.
  • Perpetual Frowner: His default expression is a scowl. He's seen occasionally smiling in flashbacks and, on at least one occasion, when taunting a bad guy.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Right after his Heel Realization, he tackles Blaine off the balcony and ends up dying for it.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Given the choice between money and the chance to punch people (well, just Joe so far), he picks the latter.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: This appears to be Mike's purpose in this universe — rather than just him being a straight up Jerkass, his behaviour seems to be more a subtle way to get people to realize their failings and act on improving them.
  • Start of Darkness: He Used to Be a Sweet Kid, up until he found out one of his teachers purposely misgraded Amber's test thinking she couldn't be that smart and had to have cheated, called her out on it, and got slapped for his troubles, then found Amber had ran off in fear. After that he became more manipulative, blackmailing Blaine into behaving himself for Amber's birthday. When Blaine confronted him over allegedly outing him anyway, Mike fired back he didn't do it for Amber, he did it to hurt them both. Afterwards, he orchestrated the firing of the aforementioned teacher by catfishing her, making her think she was entering a relationship with one of his friends, the football player Bret, before flipping on her, then severing ties with Bret.
    Mike: I extorted you into being nice to her because it would torture both of you. If I was doing her a solid, I'd have ordered you to get as far away from her as possible. None are righteous. Not even one. Hell, you want a key to my parents'? Please do your worst.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the flashbacks in book 8 chapter 4, he's shown to be rather kind. These days, he's much less so.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Invokes the trope when Amazi-Girl attempts to interrogate him about the Whiteboard Ding-Dong Bandit incident.
  • Tough Love: His personal code. Or something. An early 2020 strip had him start to question if this is the right approach though...
  • Uncertain Doom:
    • After his Heroic Sacrifice, what happens to him after the falls isn't shown. It cuts to the following day, with several dozen strips going by without even a mention of him. Amber assumes he's dead, but Blaine reveals that he's alive but comatose. Yet, Amber thinks he might be lying to use him as leverage. And then a flashback is shown, proving that Mike survived his fall. When Blaine is arrested, it's shown that he was telling the truth about Mike being in a coma.
    • And after the above was revealed, a different instance of this trope kicked in - with the Korean mob aware that Mike might know about some illegal activities they were responsible for, Amber is worried that the cops on their payroll might end up killing him, like they did with Blaine.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His attempt at blackmailing Blaine resulted in Blaine agreeing to drive Amber and Ethan for their field trip. Said drive would lead to them being caught in Sal holding up the convenience store and the incident that both physically scarred Sal and mentally scarred Amber.
  • Walking Spoiler: You can't really discuss Mike's moral alignment without taking his actions in Book 10 into account.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Calls Ethan out for dating Joyce despite being gay just to make himself feel better about how messed up things are with Amber.

Forrest Hall

    Jennifer Yunru "Billie" Billingsworth 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/billie_83.png
"I'm starting to think I've been oversold on college."

The top girl at her high school, she came to college expecting more of the same. She knew Walky and Sal from childhood, and shares a room with the latter.


  • The Alcoholic
    Billie: Sal. Yeah, it's one in the afternoon and I'm drinking. Fuckin' surprise.
    Sal: It's not a surprise. Alcoholism is yer definin' characteristic.
  • Alpha Bitch: Her position in High School, given by name here.
  • Always Someone Better: An ongoing theme of her adventures.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Billie is eventually moved to a new dorm wing full of girls who quickly begin looking up to her. However, Billie soon realizes that while the rest of the cast have adjusted to adult life decently well, these girls never grew out of their high-school mentalities, and that keeping up appearances with them will only stunt her own development. After this, Billie finally owes up to her toxic behavior and begins to clean herself up.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Despite putting on pounds since high school, Billie is still considered attractive.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Claims her dad showers her with money because he doesn't know how to show affection.
  • The Cheerleader: In high school. A month or so of college has convinced her that those days have passed; before that, she was so caught up in her former identity that she had trouble letting it go.
  • Closet Geek:
    • For all her hatred of NERDS Billie uses a lot of phrases like "life-force" in casual conversation...
    • Girl certainly knows her Reagan-era journalism.
    • She loses the "closet" part after coming clean to Forest Quad in an attempt to knock herself off the pedestal they put her on, admitting to being a fan of Kit Fisto and having ran a fanfiction blog for him.
  • Closet Key: Billie had at least one pre-college fling with another woman, but Ruth apparently "found out she was into girls" through her.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Being pegged by the staff of Indiana University as an alcoholic.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Seemingly more so than the guys.
    Billie: You're still staring at them.
    Joyce: (small voice) i could crawl up into them and be safe and warm forever
  • Fallen Princess: Was very popular in high school, but in college finds herself at the bottom of the food chain. It's taken her a while to realize it's happening.
  • Fatal Flaw: Billie's biggest flaw is being so deeply insecure that she's quite willing to do almost anything that seems like it'll get her back the respect she used to have in high school, even if it's ultimately self-destructive.
  • Hope Spot: After moving to Forest Quad, she discovers to her pleasant surprise that everyone living there has the same high-school mindset as her, and practically worships her for being a cheerleader just like she wants. She is once again the Alpha Bitch and loving every minute of it. However, Joyce had to show up and obliviously ruin everything for her.
  • Heroic BSoD: After a few too many mistakes and hits to her self-worth, Billie takes to Walky's bed and refuses to speak. Ruth pries her out of it... just in time for Billie to run into, and be publicly rejected by, Alice.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Went from Alpha Bitch to Butt-Monkey simply by graduating. Has slowly begun to realize this and the results are not pretty.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Popular friends, that is.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: She's convinced that she's better than all these geeks...because deep down she's fighting crippling self-image problems.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Talks a good game about not wanting to be friends with the rest of the cast but still spends all her time with them, helps set-up Walky with Dorothy, looks out for Joyce and even showed concern for Ruth, her tormentor and confused love interest. She also tries to pay off Raidah after Sarah hits her (without much success).
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: About relationships. She thought she had it all together in High School, in college not so much. It's downplayed overall as she still gives decent advice.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Dorothy described Billie and Walky this way early on in the strip. Billie was unamused.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Their actual relationship, vouched for by them both, with shades of Vitriolic Best Buds. Combined with her better relationship with the Walkertons than her own parents Billie can basically be considered the third Walkerton sibling.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Ruth got her tickets to a football game by claiming she was a "troubled teen". Billie doesn't take this well.
    Billie: The Hell I'm a troubled teen! I'll punch you in you face!
    Ruth: Very convincing.
  • Offscreen Breakup: While it had been implied to have occurred during the timeskip, Word of God is that Billie and Ruth indeed broke up at some point.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Walky bestowed it on her during their childhood, in retaliation for her calling him "Walky," and evidently it's just stuck. Post-timeskip, she decides to start going by her real name and the tags were updated to reflect that.
  • Parental Neglect: She sees her parents so little that she's more attached to Sal and Walky's mom and dad. Tellingly, Sal and Walky's mom and dad seem to like her more than their actual children. Especially Sal.
  • Race Lift: In mainline continuity, Billie was just white, but apparently Willis got asked enough if she was Asian during its run that he decided to make her half-Asian here.
    Willis: Everyone always assumed she was Asian back in Roomies!, what with the black hair and fair complexion, even though she was conceived as thoroughly English. So I figgered this go-round, hey, she's half-Asian, why not? ... Her dad, of course, is still white through-and-through, because, dude, last name's friggin' Billingsworth, man.'
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Is pale with black hair, and is considered attractive.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Ends up dating Ruth, until their break-up following Book 10.
  • Selective Obliviousness: The only way she's managed to avoid a Heroic BSoD thus far. While it seems finally start getting broken after Ruth initially breaks up with her and Alice gives her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, she relapses once she changes dorms and gets a taste of the popular life again.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: Billie was gone from the narrative for the first post-time-skip arc - she hasn't been seen at all, and has only been referenced in vague ways, namely the notion that the cast lost her, and that Walky phrased her as being elusive. Not helping matters is that she and Ruth had an Offscreen Breakup and that whenever it looks like she's about to be mentioned, the discussion immediately changes subjects. She reappears in the second arc, apparently having drifted into Asher's orbit.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Post-Book 10, Billie has cleaned up her act... But she's also become even more abrasive towards the others than she was previously, culminating in her telling Walky point-blank that she doesn't consider them friends.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Billie has no issues with indulging in her vices, including drinking, but in the process drags others down with her. The car accident she and Alice were in came as a result of her drunk driving, with Alice only going along with it because she trusted Billie. After Ruth was nearly Driven to Suicide, Billie attempted to get better for Ruth, but gave into her habits once she changed dorms and was considered popular again, unaware to the pain this was causing Ruth. She eventually comes to realize this herself, but rather than try to change, she simply alienates herself from Ruth so Ruth can continue to get better while she remains toxic. This gets put to a stop once she sees that Ruth relapsed due to her leaving, so for both their sake, Billie decided to finally change, not only putting down the bottle, but admitting to her new dorm she's a Closet Geek and in a relationship with Ruth so as to knock herself off the pedestal they put her on. Admittedly, the last part is undone by Lucy getting Forest Quad to give her a fresh start in an attempt to be nice to her, but the sentiment is still there.
  • Weight Woe: Has put on a few pounds, probably due to all the drinking and stress. She lets slip that she can't lift her right leg as high as she used to. Whether this is a permanent injury from her drunken car accident or just her not stretching regularly, she doesn't say.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Early on, she tried to act as though she were still an Alpha Bitch in high school, not realizing that college works very differently.

    Lucy Glenn 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lucy_33.png

Malaya's initial roommate, avid comic book fan, and Nice Girl.


  • Ascended Extra: Initially a tertiary character due to being Malaya's roommate, she elevates to the Ensemble Cast once she becomes Billie's roommate.
  • Black and Nerdy: Combined with hints of Yaoi Fangirl, at least if this is any indication.
  • Demoted to Extra: While a major character in the last few years of Shortpacked!, she's an extremely minor one at first here. Subverted once she joins the Ensemble Cast.
  • Irony: Considering the... um, challenging cast of this strip, Malaya could've done a lot worse than Lucy as far as roommates go. Doesn't stop her from acting like she's a nightmare.
  • Nice Girl: Despite Malaya calling Lucy her "awful roommate" and insisting that she's "the worst," Lucy is very friendly and amiable. Though she can be a bit too excited about her shipping.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Lucy has a crush on Walky, Booster says she "can do much better". It's only a one time moment.

Off-Campus

    Marcie Diaz 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marcie_9.png

Sal's closest friend since childhood, Marcie is a mute skater and one of the few people Sal consistently listens to. If Sal's not in class or her room, she's probably hanging out with Marcie somewhere.


  • Ascended Extra: A notable example: Her Walkyverse counterpart had two appearances total that weren't in the background or as a general part of her squad. Here, Marcie has slowly graduated to main cast member and is Sal's best friend and confidant.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Rarely if ever seen in an outfit that doesn't do this.
  • Cool Shades: Only ever seen wearing red shades / goggles. (She has apparently always done so.)
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: In a Patreon Exclusive, she locks a nude model in a closet after finding out Malaya was going to paint said model, then tells the teacher she was substituting.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Be it illness or injury, she lost her voice somehow. Eventually revealed to be an injury caused by Leland as revenge for Sal attacking him for bullying Marcie.
  • Death Glare: Shoots Sal one after she starts a fight with Amazi-Girl at Robin's rally.
  • Incompatible Orientation: When a fed-up Sal demands to know what Marcie could possibly see in Malaya that Sal can't provide, Marcie replies that she wants to bang her. Though it turns out that Marcie doesn't even know what Malaya's orientation is, and doesn't want to make a move until she does, so Malaya could turn out to be incompatible as well. For the record, Sal thinks it's pretty obvious that she's straight and Marcie is wasting her time.
    Sal: Does she look at other girls? Does she look at you? Lookit those knockers you got. They're a singularity from which no light can escape. Has she snuck a glance once?
  • Irony: The one person Sal "listens to" can't speak.
  • Morality Chain: Marcie tends to reign in Sal's more destructive behavior and at times acts as her conscience.
  • Mysterious Past: It's unknown just how she lost her voice, just that she lost it as a kid and that Sal knows why but isn't willing to share. It's later revealed to be the result of an injury caused by Lelend as revenge for Sal attacking him for bullying her.
  • Only Friend: Marcie is Sal's oldest and closest real friend, and Sal feels very threatened when she starts hanging out with Malaya.
  • Silent Snarker: It's hard not to be snarky when Joyce is around, but she still manages to beat Sal, and without saying a single word.
  • The Speechless: She can't talk (though she could when she was younger). Sal's explanation to Malaya is "stuff happens."
  • Undying Loyalty: To Sal. Despite fighting with her on occasion, she moved all the way to campus and into a cramped apartment just to support Sal, knowing her friend would be lonely that far away and need someone to lean on.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Chews out Sal via text for picking a fight with Amazi-Girl while she was running security.

Indiana University Faculty

    Leslie Bean 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/leslie_4.png

The lesbian teacher of the freshmen gender studies class.


  • Berserk Button: Treating one of your fellow students like crap. Roz's attack on Joyce is so far the only thing to truly anger Leslie.
  • Cool Teacher:
    • She is friendly and understanding with her students, even the ones who disagree with everything she believes (Joyce) or actively belittle her subject matter (Joe).
    • She's also demonstrated that she will not tolerate people attacking each other or injecting unnecessary drama into her class, and asks, or rather, orders Roz to leave when she starts harassing Joyce.
  • Fanservice Pack: She briefly undoes her top and does her hair up when Robin stops by, much to Joe and Walky's distress. Robin does (eventually) admit she thinks it makes her "super-cute".
  • First-Name Basis:
    • One of the first things she tells her class is to call her Leslie; the Punny Name would probably stand out a lot more in DoA.
    • She tends to refer to Robin as "Congresswoman Desanto". This ends on finding Robin asleep in her bed.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: She seems to be drawn to women that will use and abuse her, such as Robin and Anna.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • An understated moment occurs when she realizes she brought Robin, someone whose political views clash with the lessons she's trying to teach her students, to her class just for the sake of her own misplaced crush. She quickly shoos Robin out of the room and starts a new lesson plan.
    • She has another right after after refusing to let Dorthy question Robin about Ryan working for her, in order to get his name, Dorothy explains why she was asking about him, utterly crushing Leslie with the realization that her own attempts to fix her mess only let a rapist get away.
  • Only Sane Man: It's beginning to dawn on her that she's one of the few trustworthy authority figures her students have. Even including the students, she's still one of the most level-headed characters.
    Leslie: Need to wear, like, a sandwich board that says, 'Sorry about all those other adults. I promise I'm mostly OK.'
  • Parental Substitute: Considers herself this to Becky. When she starts acting too clingy towards her, Joyce calls her out on it, pointing out that Becky is an adult and should be allowed to make her own decisions, and that her actual parent being too controlling towards her is what got her into her current situation in the first place.
  • Punny Name: Leslie Bean the lesbian.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Willing to listen to and understand her students.
  • Sell-Out: For a while, she was hesitatingly willing to dismiss her political beliefs to support Robin's political campaign, though she tried to hide her identity during so.
  • Suddenly Sober: When Joyce points out Robin's anti-gay sentiments, which the latter cannot defend, she sulkingly buttons up her top, which she had previously undone in hopes of catching Robin's attention.
  • UST: With Robin. It kicks into overdrive when they start spending time together in Leslie's (very) cramped kitchen. While Leslie is partially undressed and still wearing her hair done up to catch Robin's attention.

    Robin DeSanto 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/robin_1.png

Roz's older sister and the young congresswoman of the local district. Only more slightly grounded than her main universe incarnation, she got elected on a "family values" platform, which Roz translates as "non-stop pandering to scared homophobic white dudes".


  • Adaptational Villainy: Robin's selfishness is played up considerably and her time as a politician is noted to have caused a lot of harm to the gay community. Even the implication that Robin doesn't really subscribe to these beliefs is used to further show her in a negative light as she pushes these bigoted agendas to better herself uncaring of who gets hurt.
  • Armored Closet Gay: One of the most homophobic anti-LGBT voices in Congress according to Roz, but get two drinks in her and she's all over Leslie. Her refusal to admit she is bisexual, while still enforcing anti-LGBT policies, leads to her being a Broken Pedestal in Leslie's eyes.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
  • Character Development: After getting to personally know some of the cast, Robin learns about the harm she and her party are causing, and begins taking her campaign in a different direction. She then fires her campaign managers when they suggest letting Ryan off the hook. And later still, she publicly concedes the election in order to prove to Becky that she does care about her as a person.
  • Gay Conservative:
    • Roz immediately notices her attraction to Leslie.
    • This gets deconstructed in book seven, as Leslie has to struggle with being attracted to someone who actively supports homophobic policies to get ahead. Likewise, Robin is having a very hard time denying that she's not straight.
  • Jerkass: Even more selfish than her Walkyverse counterpart, on top of supporting several Republican policies just to get ahead no matter who they hurt.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After several days of invading Leslie's apartment, she finally leaves after learning her Party has dropped her.
  • No Party Given: Played with. It is strongly implied that she ran as a conservative Republican (mostly to curry favor with the redneck vote in her district) but is not actually all that conservative herself, and may, in fact, have few to no principles at all.
  • Oh, Crap!: Has this expression when Joyce turns out to be fairly well informed and asks how she could vote for an anti-gay bill.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Her eyesight's fine; she only wears glasses to make a good impression.
  • Same Character, but Different: Her immature personality is mostly the same to her Shortpacked! one, but she's preoccupied with forwarding her political career and impressing lobbyists and voter blocs. The result is that this Robin comes off as kind of a gladhanding sleaze.
  • Spanner in the Works: Making Becky her campaign manager means she can use her official Twitter account, which in turn means she can inform the wider public about Blaine kidnapping her friends once Amazi-Girl tells her about it.
  • Transparent Closet:
    • Her attraction to Leslie is pretty noticeable, and her attempts to deny it are...less than convincing.
    • Yeah, she's sitting on Leslie's sofa, and yeah, they're watching Steven Universe, and yeah, they're holding hands. Robin still swears she's not into Leslie (and that they're barely holding hands).
  • Unwanted Assistance: She decides to try and be a good guest by helping Leslie around the house. Unfortunately, her actions leave a lot to be desired, since Robin takes her usual thoughtless approach to all of it.

Secondary Characters

Read Hall

    Mary Bradford 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mary_91.png

Roz's super-uptight room-mate, whose main personality traits are her "judging you" face and being even more of a fundamentalist than Joyce.


  • Adaptational Villainy: Downplayed. Mary was always a character defined by her selfishness and Holier Than Thou nature and her actions in DOA wouldn't be out of the question for her original Roomies character. That said, her bigotry and unpleasant nature are highlighted a lot more this time around. Notably, while Mary was an asshole in the original strip she wasn't an antagonist so much as a difficult part of Danny and Joyce's life; DOA Mary is one of this strip's villains and much more dangerous.
  • Big "NO!": When the only volunteers for her 'prayer meeting' are a Mormon and a hippy who wants to dissolve gender roles.
  • Blackmail:
    • Mary has found out about Billie and Ruth's relationship, and she's not above holding it over Billie, either. If it had been anyone else, she probably wouldn't need to be concerned, but...
    • The penny drops when she explicitly blackmails Ruth so she doesn't get in trouble for deliberately misgendering Carla.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Yes, Mary. Kick Ruth while she's strung out and can't move against you this very second. That can't go wrong at all...
  • Completely Missing the Point: Among the accusations she makes of Ruth, one of them is that she's "defiling" Billie.
  • Egocentrically Religious: Bratty Faith variant. Mary is deeply religious but self-important in her religion, believing her own doctrine as inherently superior to many of the other religious students, and she has the obnoxious Holier Than Thou attitude to go along with it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She's a massive bitch, but not even she would approve of Ryan using his faith to rape women.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Upon hearing Ruth mention a "charade" (pretending not to be depressed and hungover), she instantly assumes Ruth trying to stand up for Carla was done for the sake of "liberal brownie points". Ruth's brain visibly short-circuits trying to process this.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Joyce. Both begin the strip as religious fundamentalists with narrow worldviews. Yet while Joyce is a Love Freak who doesn't realize that there's a lot of poison in her upbringing and begins Character Development immediately, Mary looks down her nose at everyone.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Everyone's aware that Ruth is a terrible Resident Assistant, but after finding out what Mary did to her, they unanimously agree that Mary is far worse.
    Mary: [After Billie punches her and everyone does nothing but glare at Mary in pure contempt.] Why are you siding with her against me? It was Ruth who was a terrible R.A.!
    Rachel: Yeah, she was. But we can multitask.
  • Fan of the Past: She worships Ronald Reagan, declaring him "the last great President". Then Roz points out a few things...
  • Finger-Tenting: Yeah, she's evil.
  • Foil: To Joyce, as with Evil Counterpart. If Joyce is a religious fundamentalist gone right, then Mary is definitely one gone wrong.
  • The Fundamentalist: Joyce is intensely religious, but at least tries to be friendly and understanding of others. Mary doesn't.
  • Hate Sink: At best Mary is a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk. She's selfish, bigoted, condescending, and her appearances all usually revolve around how unpleasant she is. Compare to many of the other antagonists in the comic, she's probably the least extreme but also the one you'd most likely meet in real-life.
  • Holier Than Thou: "Everyone's done something wrong" (except her, obviously).
  • Hypocrite:
    • Mary immediately shames Walky for doing nothing when he suspected that something was wrong in Billie's life, blaming him for any harm that might result from his silence. This, after she knew far more about the situation than he ever did and was outright blackmailing both parties.
    • Later on, the series' biggest Holier Than Thou jerkass expresses disgust that Ryan would use his faith to justify anything.
  • Jerkass:
    • When asked if she had any redeeming features whatsoever, Willis replied "she draws okay." (And has reasonable rates, apparently.)
    • After a few strips of a fairly childish feud with Carla, she suddenly sinks to a whole new low by deliberately misgendering her.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Gets hit with a truckload of this after a while.
    • After misgendering Carla and then blackmailing Ruth to get away with it, Carla sets up an elaborate prank on her, being fairly delebirate in that she's planning something to make Mary nervous. Then getting Mary to steal a box from her containing a pie to the face, followed by a giant laser display of Carla's name, to rub Mary's face in the fact she exists.
    • After trying to use her blackmail to get a prayer going during the dorm meeting, Ruth ignores the issue entirely and Mary's attempt to pray after only attract the attention of a Mormon and a gender role breaking hippie.
    • After Ruth is hospitalized by the psychological damage Mary caused, Billie gives Mary a taste- no mouthful of her own medicine by telling everyone in the dorm how Mary blackmailed her and Ruth, so they know to go to the Resident Manager with that information should Mary try to mess with them too. Now she can't even report Billie for punching her without getting exposed as a blackmailer.
    • Finally after trying to out Ruth as an alchoholic after blackmailing her and said blackmail lands Ruth in the psyche ward, she gets punched in the face by Billie and finds out the entire dorm can't stand her.
  • Obviously Evil: No one who spends much time with Mary doubts that she's a horrible person. When Billie tells everyone in the dorm how Mary blackmailed her and Ruth, no-one is surprised. Some had even guessed.
    Rachel: (to Grace) What's your ballpark figure on how many puppies she's murdered?
  • No True Scotsman: She doesn't consider Robin a true "family values" candidate because she comes from divorced parents and is unmarried at 30, which Mary considers "conspicuous."
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Her color scheme tends to favor these colors. (Contrary to her character image above.)
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Mary sees herself as kind of a big deal among the residents. In her first interaction with Malaya, she claims to be the one running the show, and that Ruth is R.A in name only.
  • Smug Snake: She seems to think simply having blackmail material makes her invincible. Too bad for her she's not exactly a master manipulator; her attempts thus far have embarrassingly blown up in her face.
  • Straight Man: Her limited non-asshole interactions with people consist mostly of bemoaning the wacky nature of the setting and the rest of the cast. Comes to a head when her attempts to study clashes with Carla's distracting antics.
  • Tautological Templar: Mary doesn't even get what little sympathy comes with being a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Her interactions with Ruth and Carla prove that she only cites her so-called moral high-ground when it serves her own interests. For example, no matter what her beliefs regarding same-sex relationships, Blackmail is not the Christian way.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Has somehow found a boyfriend as obnoxious and holier-than-thou as her, to her floormates' disgust.
  • 0% Approval Rating: No one on the floor likes her, and when she gets socked by Billie for trying to turn her against Carla despite the fact Mary's blackmail led to Ruth getting into a bad enough state that she's in the hospital no one stands up for her. She also doesn't appear to have a single friend among the student body.

    Rachel Jackson 

One of the dorm residents in the Clark Wing, and not a big fan of Ruth. In some ironic twist of fate, she shares a room with the only other Rachel on campus.


  • Deadpan Snarker: She's a very minor character in the comic, but more than half her spoken lines seem to be some kind of snide or sarcastic remark.
  • Irrational Hatred: Rachel hates Ruth with a passion, enough for it to turn her into a jerkass when Ruth is nearby. When Ruth attempts to apologize for her past actions, Rachel lays into her with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, while simultaneously claiming Ruth tricked Billie into a relationship and gets to keep both her and her job, acting as if Billie has little agency of her own. She then goes out of her way to insult or confront Ruth whenever they cross paths, including claiming Ruth has no feelings as Ruth is bawling in the communal showers, or her seeing Ruth is doing better and happy one morning only to try and drudge up the past in order to knock her down again. Her hatred is hinted to stem from when the two were roommates in freshman year, and that only Rachel remembers due to Ruth's mental illness causing her to forget. Booster theorizes that the real reason she's so aggressive towards Ruth is guilt for not saying anything sooner back when she really leaned into the "Ruthless" persona.
  • Kick Them While They're Down: Whether or not Ruth deserved her "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Rachel still decided to hit her with it soon after Ruth had been discharged from the hospital on suicide watch, as she was attempting to apologize for her behavior.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, as her roommate's name is also Rachel. Ruth has addressed them as "Rachels" on occasion.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: She's not wrong to give Ruth a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and that her relationship with Billie is unhealthy, but her outrage that Ruth gets to keep her RA job is entirely directed at the wrong abuser, unaware that Ruth was forced into the job by her grandfather.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: She doesn't believe redemption exists. Rather, she feels that it is nothing more than an excuse shitty people use to try and hide from what they've done while also giving them an excuse to be more shitty.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Doesn't appear often, but her one major interaction with Ruth manages to domino effect into Ryan getting stabbed.

    Other Rachel 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/other_rachel.png
Rachel's roommate, generally referred to as "Other Rachel." She's a big fan of Amazi-Girl.

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In her original Walkyverse incarnation, she had brown hair. In this comic her hair has been made purple, to better visually distinguish her from Amber.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted; she's one of two Rachels, not only in the same dorm but in the same room.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is a nice shade of purple.

    Sierra Snow 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sierra_5.png

"I wanna pray too! ...For the dissolution of gender roles."

One of Joyce's religious friends, and Dorothy's roommate. A bit spacey but generally down to earth.


  • Alliterative Name: The only one in the cast (so far).
  • Bare Your Midriff: Most of her shirts.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Of the "space cadet" variety, contrasting with her roommate Dorothy.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Although no-one noticed until she mentioned how a church carpet felt on her feet. When questioned, Sierra figures she hasn't worn shoes since sixth grade.
    Sierra: I just don't like shoes. My feet get claustrophobic.
  • The Fundamentalist: Completely averted so far (Church of God, if anyone's curious), to the point that she seems to be fine with Dorothy and Walky's pre-marital hanky-panky. Seems to be excited about having a group to go to church with, but clearly disagrees with Mary and to some extent, Joyce's takes on religion. She also cheerfully talks about praying for the dissolution of gender roles.
  • Happily Adopted: She's adopted and doesn't seem to have a problem with her parents.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Is one of the taller girls in the cast (without heels!), though no one calls any attention to it. Everyone else seems to be about average height.
  • No Social Skills: Not in the same way as Joyce, but Sierra doesn't notice when she might need to leave the room.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Her defining visual trait. The right side of her face is always covered by her hair. There doesn't seem to be any of the usual symbolism behind it. (This gets a little odd with the art style, sometimes.)
  • Polyamory: She is in a relationship with Grace, who's also in a relationship with Mandy, who's aware of this and okay with it. And sometimes Sierra makes out with Mandy (though whether it's an actual relationship or just making out is unclear).
  • Recurring Extra: Essentially her role in the cast, as she has little to no involvement in the plot and no apparent personality flaws to further involve her...
  • Unfazed Everyman: ...which also gives her shades of this, aside from her spaciness.

Forrest Hall

    Beatrice 

    Nashita 

One of the residents of Forest Quad fangirling over Billie.


  • Girl Posse: Part of one, spontaneously formed when Billie moved to her dorm.
  • In-Series Nickname: Goes by Nash, and the tags refer to her as such.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Does this to herself at one point.
    An' I thought I was supposed to be the nosy one. At least, that's what it says in [Rose's] journal.
  • Never Bareheaded: Wears a hijab.

    Rose Pepper 

One of the residents of Forest Quad fangirling over Billie.


  • Early-Bird Cameo: Before becoming a recurring extra when Billie moved to Forest Quad, she was seen in a single 2014 strip.
  • Girl Posse: Part of one, spontaneously formed when Billie moved to her dorm.
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Cheese, cut from a block with a knife swiped from the dining hall.

Other Students

    Alice Chen 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alice_3.png

Billie's best friend from high school, who decided to break all ties with her over her self-destructive behavior.


  • The Cheerleader: Although she doesn't appear to be clinging to that old high school identity as hard as Billie.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Billie regarding her past behavior in high school. An especially unfortunately timed one, as Billie was just starting to come to a similar conclusion herself only to have Alice hammer it home in no uncertain terms:
    Walky: I just want the, y'know, old Billie back.
    Billie: Well, I'm pretty fuckin' sure I don't.
    Alice: Finally, an epiphany. You should have taken the damn clue when I didn't talk to you all summer.

    Asher 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_ptjc87oyc81sm8ur3o1_1280.png
An old "friend" of Sal's when she was a kid, he was the one who got her involved in robbing stores. He attends Indiana himself but hadn't made contact with any of the core cast until Walky learned he was there and decided to see if he was still a bad influence for Sal's sake.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: After Walky blames him for getting Sal sent away for five years and further straining their relationship, Asher points out that he only called the cops on her, not sent her away. Rather, it was the Walkerton's parents that decided to send Sal away. Asher saying this leaves Walky in a Stunned Silence with tears welling up in his eyes.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He initially debuts in Sal's flashback detailing how Sal would eventually come to rob the convenience store, and doesn't show up in the present until three chapters later.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He is honestly trying to reform himself and gives needed Brutal Honesty to Walky. That said he has Blaine assassinated for threatening his own life, the life of others, and getting two people killed, one at Blaine's own hands.
  • He Is All Grown Up: He's definitely changed a lot from when he was thirteen: Amber outright calls him hot, much to Walky's shock, and Sal lampshades the trope when she meets up with him again.
    Sal: Yeah, yeah, puberty has been kind to us both. Shut up.
  • Insult Backfire: When he catches Amber and Walky spying on him, he concludes they were checking out whether or not he was up to his old ways, shortly after giving a smug smirk while saying its understandable.
  • Misplaced Retribution: A victim of it. After learning that he was the one who called the cops on Sal, Walky hits his Rage Breaking Point and slugs Asher in the face, blaming him for Sal being sent away for five years and further straining their relationship. Asher rightfully points out though that he didn't send Sal away, their parents did.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: For Dramatic effect. He is honestly trying to reform. But when Blaine threatens him and kidnaps and kills people he actually knows, Asher uses his Korean mafia connections to have Blaine assassinated.
  • Reformed Criminal: He tells Walky and Amber that he isn't the same Asher that robbed places, and has both severed ties with his old crew and come to college to be a law abiding citizen. When Blaine approaches him later, he reveals he truly is trying to reform, much to his grandfather's disappointment.
  • Smoking Is Cool: He's been smoking cigarettes since he was a kid.
  • The Chessmaster: After Blaine manipulates him into participating into a kidnapping plot, Asher is heavily implied to have waited just long enough to let Blaine fuck things up for himself before alerting his grandfather to the scheme.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: He was the one who inspired Sal to rob stores to gain enough money to help out Marcie, with Sal joining him and his friend on a heist, and later dropping Sal off at the convenience store that she'd meet Amber and Ethan at.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He and his buddy were pulling off a heist around the same time Sal held up the convenience store Amber and Ethan were at, and being a dumb thirteen-year-old, he called the cops on Sal's robbery, both to keep them off his own ass, and because he thought it would be funny. While he doesn't consider it funny now and told Walky to tell Sal he's sorry, his actions ultimately lead to Ethan being held hostage, which in turn led to Amber stabbing Sal through the hand.

    Daisy 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/daisy_14.png

The sex-starved editor of the school newspaper.


  • Da Editor: She's professional enough to be exasperated with Billie, but tends to prioritize "titillation" (her own).
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: On hearing the rumours about Leslie and Robin, she declares that among the things she needs is "time in the bathroom", with illustrations.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Definitely believes in this and is constantly looking for it. For instance, in a Patreon strip when she overhears the confrontation between Amazi-Girl and Sal at the DeSanto rally while on the toilet, her first reaction is to imagine something steamy.
  • Skewed Priorities: Her desire for lesbian sex has a tendency to screw with her priorities when it comes to the newspaper, and is best exemplified when she's informed that Amazi-Girl is real.
    Daisy: Did. She have. A chest window? ...God, a chest window woulda... made a great front page splash image.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Apparently it's been a while; she references her desire for sex with varying degrees of subtlety all the time.

    Jason Chesterfield 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jason_17.png

The former TA of Joyce, Walky, Sal, Billie, and Mike's freshmen math class, originally hailing from Knightsbridge in England.


  • Abusive Parents: Does not get along with his father, describing Dargon Chesterfield as a "cruel and powerful captain of industry", and he implies to Walky that part of his reasoning for going to IU for grad school was to get as far away from him as possible.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Sal for all of about four strips before they go straight to the belligerent sex. It's more evident with Penny, who derides him for being "emotionally unavailable".
  • British Stuffiness: Complete with bowtie, sweater, and overly-prim vocabulary.
  • Culture Clash: He is clearly having some trouble aligning himself with the needs of his students, and this seems to be the cause.
  • Double Standard: Penny comments on this when Jason comments on her having a relationship with a student, saying that people actually like her, so if she's caught, nobody will care. On the other hand, most people find Jason to be an irritable prick, so if he's caught in a relationship with a student (which he is), he'd be the one to lose his job and reputation.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He is not above having sex with one of his students, but he is above allowing that to affect her grade, and has one of his fellow TAs mark her exam for him.
  • Fish out of Water: Comes off as out of his element at anything that's not TA-ing.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Accidentally happens to him. When Penny gets in trouble for sleeping with a student, she claims that Jason has too...and had no idea at the time that he did. Since Sal has no interest in corroborating to get him in trouble, he'd probably have gotten away with it with a simple denial, but has too much dignity and accepts being fired.
  • Smart People Speak the Queen's English: When Sal asks him what his accent is, he claims he doesn't have an accent, and he's the only one speaking real English.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Sal seduces him in an effort to get her grades up. This is not particularly surprising metawise, as their intense but ultimately doomed attraction to each other was one of the most stable elements of the Walkyverse where they originated.

    Raidah 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/raidah_6.png

An old friend of Sarah's—or more specifically, of Sarah's roommate Dana. Hates Sarah for getting Dana removed from school, though they eventually call a cease-fire.


  • Even Evil Has Standards: She's more of a jerk than outright evil, but she calls out Char for mocking Dina for her (perceived) mental impairment.
  • Hypocrite:
    • She criticizes her friend for calling Dina retarded, but she still speaks in a distinctly condescending tone to her and even bluntly calls her mentally challenged to her face.
    • Tells Jacob that she cut Sarah out of her life for her own well-being, the exact same reason Sarah called Dana's dad.
  • Jerkass: She may draw the line at "retarded", but she still calls Dina "mentally-challenged" to her face and talks down to her like a small child. That's not going into the way she's treated Sarah. She's also subtly but noticeably condescending to Joyce during their lunch with Jacob and Becky at Galasso's.
    Dina: Her tone of voice and her posture denotes condescension, correct?
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In this strip, Raidah immediately refers to Joyce as "MAGA-ass." Fan consensus has been that while they don't like it, it's not an unreasonable assumption considering who Joyce was prior to starting college.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Shows Undying Loyalty to Dana.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Joyce enunciates "Rah-ee-dah" for Billie's benefit.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Conveniently leaves out her continued harassment of Sarah when telling Jacob about Sarah punching her, along with Sarah's apology the very next day.

    Ryan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/doa_ryan_2.png

The son of a pastor that Joyce meets at a college party. A date rapist and an all-around terrible person.


  • Adaptational Villainy: Ryan in the Walkyverse was hardly a nice person by any stretch of the imagination, having manipulated a much younger Ruth into having sex with him and then moving on to his next "conquest", but here he's an outright attempted rapist.
  • Arc Villain: He is the main antagonist of "Yesterday Was Thursday".
  • As the Good Book Says...: Is quite fond of quoting Bible verses, which is what he uses to make Joyce believe he's a nice guy.
  • Attempted Rape: Tries this on Joyce, but luckily Sarah's there to stop him with a baseball bat.
  • Bait the Dog: He introduces himself to Joyce speaking Bible verses and treats her with respect. This is all part of his plan to get her alone and attempt to drug and rape her.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: If you didn't know anything about him, he'd seem like a perfectly nice guy, since his true nasty personality only comes through when he loses his patience.
  • Blatant Lies: When asked to clarify a Bible quote sent to him by his mom.
    Ryan: Just some random thing about, y'know, Jesus.
  • Bullying a Dragon: He knows that Amber / Amazi-Girl can kick his ass, and still thinks a knife is all he needs. Needless to say, he bit off about fifty times more than he can chew.
  • The Bus Came Back: He makes his first real appearance (as opposed to a nightmare or fear hallucination) after his debut arc as a DeSanto supporter during one of her rallies.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Parts of his plan fail due to this. He sent Joyce off to get friends to play games with them while he drugs her drink, not anticipating her actually gathering a bunch of drunks. Revealing his true nature to Joyce and attempting to drag her away with eyes on him didn't exactly go well for him either since it got him scarred by Joyce and beaten by a bat wielding Sarah.
    • He falls victim to this again when he decides to hunt down Joyce and her friends, after a brawl with Amazi-Girl. He's ecstatic when he finally confronts her, ready to overpower her with a knife. He fails to consider that maybe the superhero who chased him down might be all too willing to fight back.
  • Dramatic Irony: The Bible verse his mother sent him, 2 Corinthians 11:14, reads: "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." This describes Ryan to a tee.
  • Evil Counterpart: Joyce warns The Casanova Joe that Ryan is him taken to his logical extreme.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The mask of the pleasant pastor's son slips off when his patience wears thin.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: When he finally shows up again in person at the end of Book 6 into the beginning of Book 7, it's revealed that the wound he sustained from Joyce smacking him with her glass ended up scarring.
  • Hypocrite: Quotes "you reap what you sow" at Joyce, eager to get revenge on her for hurting him. It doesn't seem to occur to him that the quote applies to him for everything he's done.
  • In-Series Nickname: Following his attempted revenge on the girls he blames for his troubles, he is now known as Druggo McStabbed.
  • It's All About Me: Yes, how dare Joyce defend herself from a potential rapist?
  • Jerkass: Entitled, misogynistic, and absolutely vile in his every scene.
  • Karma Houdini: Double subverted. He gets smashed in his face with a glass and hit with a bat for his actions, only to escape any permanent consequences.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: His luck finally runs out when he makes the mistake of threatening Amber with a knife.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The first truly horrible character to appear in the strip, whose actions have heavy repercussions on Joyce's psyche.
  • Knife Nut: After tracking down Amber and Dorothy, he aimed to stab them, then go after Joyce next. Unfortunately, he chose to take on Amber first.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Easily picks out Joyce from a crowd as an easy mark and quickly figures out what will gain her favor. At one point, he has her hold "his" drugged drink and then distracts her enough that she forgets where she got it and starts drinking it.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: To Joyce, in a way. The fact he's still out there with no idea where he could be terrifies her.
  • Plot Armor:
    • He manages to somehow crawl away from a huge crowd surrounding him without anyone noticing until he's long gone, then when he returns manages to get away from Amazi-Girl and Sal, manages to sneak away again without either of them noticing until he's long gone, while taking Amazi-Girl's phone and deleting the photo of him while fleeing, and even accumulates three Dawson "goons" and a getaway driver somehow.
    • Later when Dorothy tries to ask Robin about her interns (of which Ryan was one) to try and find out more about Ryan, Leslie immediately has Robin leave before she has a chance to answer and refuses to let Dorothy leave to find out from Robin.
    • His luck finally runs out when he confronts Amber and Dorothy at knife-point and receives a swift and painful lesson about the intricacies of Amber's psychosis.
  • Real Name as an Alias: He later admits in Directory that Ryan is his middle name.
  • Slasher Smile:
    • Gives Amazi-Girl one when she thinks she's incapacitated all of his goons, only for Tyler to grab her from behind.
    • Then he gives an even bigger one to Amber and Dorothy when he pulls a knife on them.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Officially appears in only two arcs (three if you count his appearance at the very end of Book 6), but his actions hover over Joyce's college life.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Several background shots show him tailing Dorothy, Walky, and Joe.
  • Truth in Television: People who go by their middle names often have to use their first names for legal purposes. Such as student directories, or jobs...
  • Wham Line: Come to find out his name might not be actually Ryan.
  • Withholding Their Name: He has been keeping his first name a secret from his friends who call him Ryan.

Miscellanious Off-Campus

    Galasso 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/galasso.png

Owner of Galasso's Pizza (and Subs), a restaurant near campus the cast frequent. Tolerated by the student body because his food is just that good.


  • Adaptational Heroism: Not nearly as shady as his Walkyverse counterpart, with nothing like the customer protection rackets existing and in fact does want his customers to be happy, something his counterpart couldn't care less about. The worst he does is fire someone for not breaking someone's spirit.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The main reason why he's still in business despite his eccentricities is that his pizzas are amazing.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Fires Sidney Yus not for purposefully giving Becky and Dina the wrong pizza...but because it failed to break the couple's spirit like Sydney claimed, only confusing them.
  • Evil Overlord: Plays the part...despite owning a Pizza Parlor.
  • Happily Married: His wife is still alive in this continuity.
  • Large Ham: Frequently calls his customers fools and shouts everything.
  • Nice Hat: Wears a Chef's hat, one of the few real differences between him and his Walkyverse counterpart.
  • Pet the Dog: Sponsors the School's coming out group, if partly because gender confuses him.
  • Supreme Chef: Why everyone tolerates his behavior: he has the best pizza on campus.
  • Third-Person Person: Wouldn't be Galasso without it.

    Leland 

A classmate of Sal and Walky's in elementary school and a major bully.


  • The Bully: Bullied Marcie for being poor and implicity non-white.
  • Karma Houdini: Gets away with bullying Marcie [[and later giving her her throat injury through a combination of racism towards Marcie and Sal, threatening Walky into keeping quiet in one instance, and coming from "a fine family". Walky and Amber find out later on that he got into Yale.
  • Kick the Dog: Not only does he injure Marcie just because he can and to get back at Sal for attacking him, he has his goons hold her still while she's Forced to Watch.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Only appears in flashbacks, but his injury of Marcie starts the chain of events that leads to Sal's convenience store robbery that ends with her hand injured by Amber and getting basically banished to Tennessee until the webcomic's present time frame starts.

    Lester 

A cop on the Korean mob's payroll, whom Blaine considered an ally.


  • Dirty Cop: In pocket of the Korean mob and not above assassinating people on their behalf.
  • Given Name Reveal: In a Patreon-only strip it's mentioned his last name is Bradford. It's not confirmed if he's related to Mary.
  • Karma Houdini: The idea of him getting comeuppance for his crimes is considered a joke by his colleagues.
  • Killer Cop: Ask Blaine. Oh, sorry, you can't, he "somehow" managed to steal his gun and shoot himself with it.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Appeared in three strips, one of them Patreon-exclusive, near the tail end of Year 10, but is responsible for Blaine's death.
  • Walking Spoiler: As mentioned elsewhere on the page, his main and only role in the plot is faking Blaine's suicide.

Family Members and Relatives

    Blaine O'Malley 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blaine_5.png

Amber's father, and one of the most despicable characters of the comic. His name seems to allude to legendary Irish pirate queennote  Gráinne "Grace" O'Malley: this may be just a coincidence but wouldn't be atypical for David Willis.


  • Abusive Parents: Amber was deeply traumatized by him during her childhood.
  • Adaptational Villainy: His abuse of his wife was upgraded to physical in the Dumbiverse, not to mention the fact he outright abandons his son in a huff.
  • Archnemesis Dad: He is more than willing to take the extra step necessary to make his daughter's life miserable. The extra step in question being kidnapping Danny in order to lure her out of the campus to teach her a lesson.
  • Ascended Extra: His original incarnation was more of a background threat only appearing a few times to directly interfere with Amber's life with most of his role being confined to the trauma he inflicted pre-series before dying offscreen. Blaine is much more of an active threat in DOA and has had much more of an onscreen presence than in Shortpacked. He's easily one of the comic's biggest antagonists.
  • Asshole Victim: If it was anyone other than Blaine, a Dirty Cop on the mob's payroll shooting a hospital patient dead would be horrifying. Amber even makes a point of saying Lester doing it just saved her the trouble of having to do it one day herself, as she already considered him pretty much dead to her, and says Dina can high-five her for it outside of her mom's eyesight.
  • Ax-Crazy: Willing to kill 9 people just to get out of paying for Amber's tuition.
  • Big Bad: He is the main antagonist of "The Only Dope For Me Is You", and later begins acting as the Greater-Scope Villain.
  • The Bus Came Back: At the end of "Faz is Great", he reveals that he isn't through with his daughter yet.
  • Character Death: Lester blows his brains out after his failed attempt to kidnap Amber.
  • Didn't See That Coming: He only agreed to pay Amber's college tuition instead of alimony because he never thought that Amber would actually go to college.
  • Drop the Hammer: When he re-enters the plot, he threatens to kill Mike using a ball-peen hammer and continues to use one as a weapon later on. Mike requests to be killed with something less-hilarious-sounding.
  • Eviler Than Thou: When allied with Ross, Blaine proves himself to be the crueler of the two. By the end of the arc Blaine is fed up with Ross's stupidity and the few standards that Ross has get in the way of Blaine's plans.
  • Famous Last Words: "What?", as he realizes the cop on the mob's payroll is about to fake his suicide.
  • Freudian Excuse: He's a walking one, explaining Amber's anger issues both by genetics and his abuse.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We don't see Lester shoot him or his body afterwards, just everyone's reaction to hearing the gunshot.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: While he can't return to the campus himself, he's been making movements to try and influence things so as to get revenge on Amber, more specifically Amazi-Girl, and is attempting to involve other former antagonists.
    • He sends Faz in to try and get whatever information he can on Amber and her friends, and Faz manages to steal a flash drive from her laptop.
    • He approaches Carol Brown and her church as they attempt to raise money to bail Ross MacIntyre out of prison after he brought a loaded gun to the campus, kidnapped his daughter Becky and gunpoint, and engaged in a high-speed chase with Amazi-Girl, offering to help finance them.
    • He approaches Asher hoping to get Asher to be his "in" to the campus since he's pretty much unable to return.
  • Hate Sink: Unsurprising, seeing as he was one back in Shortpacked!; Blaine is abusive, controlling, ill-tempered, and cruel. Notably, while Linda, Carol, and even Ross are driven at least in part by some parental affection (even if that affection is misplaced or simply twisted by their own selfishness), Blaine is up-front and unambiguous about his despicable nature to the audience at all times.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He agreed to pay Amber's tuition instead of alimony, in the belief that she'd never go to college. You can guess how ''that' turned out. Since then he's trying to find a way to get Amber to drop out so that he doesn't have to pay anymore.
  • I Reject Your Reality: His kidnapping plan is based entirely on his assumption that Amber is a coward who will easily cave to his demands to drop out of school. This is after he's been called out and beaten to hell by her twice- once as both Amber and Amazi-Girl. At this point, his self-serving memory is less "bad judge of character" and more "absolutely delusional."
  • Irisless Eye Mask Of Mystery: Sometimes, when in his supervillain getup. The general rule of thumb is 'no eyes if he's trying to be intimidating, eyes otherwise', with a few exceptions.
  • It's All About Me: Blaine's in it for no one but himself. He'll screw his daughter out of an education if it means he doesn't have to pay for it, and eventually reveals that he had no intention of getting Becky back for Ross, having lied just to get his cooperation.
  • Jerkass: He cheated on his wife, beat said wife, tried to impose his authority on his daughter by being downright emotionally abusive, kidnaps his daughter's boyfriend in order to use him as leverage over her, and is definitely not above beating his daughter personally. He also admits that he agreed to pay Amber's tuition instead of paying Stacy alimony only because he didn't think she'd actually go to college.
  • Karmic Death: Asher makes a call to his mafia contacts and has Blaine capped in his hospital bed, the very same fate he threatened to inflict on Mike if his hostages didn't cooperate.
  • Knight of Cerebus: One of the absolute worst characters in the series (as well as the franchise) to date. He later becomes the first character to straight up murder someone when he kills ross.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • Gets close to Danny, faking concern for his daughter, in order to lure Amber into a trap.
    • Later, he does the same to Ross in order to get their help in his revenge scheme.
    • He's implied to be playing Yuri against Amber and Stacey by claiming their money woes are the result of him having to pay Amber's tuition.
  • Motive Rant: He reveals to Ross that his reason for antagonizing Amber is because he agreed to paid for Amber's tuition under the condition of not having to pay alimony, except he wasn't expecting her to actually go to college. So now he's trying to force her to drop out so he won't have to pay a dime.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Mike catches you sneaking up on a party? Kill him. Ross derails your plan by letting Amber off the leash? Kill him. Have a bunch of hostages that know who you are and are now useless? Kill all of them.
  • Never My Fault: Kills Ross for releasing Amber from her bindings, claiming that he ruined everything for him. The whole front Blaine was using to get Ross to work with him was claiming that he'd get Becky back for him, and he stated that Amazi-Girl would bring her to him. Amber just claimed that she was Amazi-Girl. Even taking into account Blaine's irrational denial about that, he should've known from first-hand experience that Ross is easily swayed and/or dumb enough to be convinced by her. Ross may have committed the act himself, but Blaine really should have seen this coming.
  • Not So Different: A flashback shows him trying to claim that about himself and Mike, claiming that they're both truly manipulative individuals. At the time, Mike disagreed, but the Breaking Speech Blaine delivers to Amazi-Girl when beating her up causes him to reconsider that.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Blaine worries very little about maintaining his supervillain disguise, with a predictable result of Becky scheduling a release of his name, address and plan on Twitter before trying to turn herself in.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivered one to his daughter, many years ago... While completely diminishing the threat represented by someone wielding a weapon:
    Blaine: So, that was it? Just some stupid punk with a knife. A knife. She took your little friend and you hid in a corner and did nothing. Why am I not surprised?
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Pretty much how he's gone through life, using his connections to the mob to get what he wants. Inverted when he threatens the life of someone with much better connections. Asher, AKA the grandson of the head of the mob. The mob cuts Blaine lose. Lethally.
  • Self-Serving Memory: As pointed out in-universe, Blaine lies when the truth hurts his pride. Which is why when Amber beats him up, he claims he was attacked by three people, and when Mike ends up in a coma tackling him off of a balcony, Blaine claims that he threw him off. That trope is the second-to-last thing he says before he gets killed, denying that Amber is Amazi-Girl to the cop about to assassinate him.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Barring Envy, he's guilty of almost all of them, befitting his Hate Sink nature.
    • Greed: Tried to get out of paying alimony to Stacy by offering to pay Amber's college tuition instead, believing she wouldn't actually go, and tries to force her to drop out so he can stop paying. He's also helped launder millions of dollars for the mob with a fake carpentry business.
    • Gluttony: Again, laundered millions for the mob.
    • Lust: Cheated on his wife with a much younger woman.
    • Pride: Wants to get revenge on Amazi-Girl for beating the shit out of him.
    • Sloth: Tried to avoid paying any money following his divorce.
    • Wrath: Beat his wife when his cheating was discovered, threatens violence on others at the drop of a hat, and tries to MURDER Mike when he caught him in the middle of his plan with Ross. When Ross screws up his plan, he immediately tries to murder him too, and succeeds.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He only appears in three arcs total, but is entirely responsible for how Amber is today and his kidnapping Danny to lure Amber out leads to Danny finding out her secret identity. His kidnapping plot also leads to Mike and Ross' deaths, which wouldn't have happened had he not paid Ross' bail.
  • Smug Snake: Nowhere near as smart or intimidating as he presents himself to be. His "plans" mostly boil down to threatening people into doing what he says, and somehow thinks he can do that to Mike, even when he couldn't so when the latter was a child. He then proceeds to let Mike walk away when he's already made his intentions clear, with Mike informing him that he's calling the cops as soon as he's too far away to be attacked or chased.
  • So Proud of You: Disturbingly, he expresses pride in Amber when he discovers that thanks to him, she's become a psychologically broken wreck who is also pretty badass.
  • Stupid Evil: The entire kidnapping plot was not only a disproportionate means of getting Amber to drop out, it escalates to murder-by-ballpeen-hammer and falls apart because of multiple unforced mistakes on his part. Given all of his actions involving Amazi-Girl and Amber up to the kidnapping, and all of his actions afterwards, he may, in fact, be dumber than Ross, the series' ostensible Brute.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He's so certain that people will do what he says that he makes some very foolish decisions:
    • Letting Mike walk off after he catches him and Ross stalking Becky's party. He really should've known personally that Mike wasn't afraid of him.
    • Blaine also cannot accept the obvious hole in his plan: Despite twice witnessing their fighting prowess, he refuses to admit that Amber and Amazi-Girl are the same person. Ross easily intuits that Amber is correct when claiming this. Blaine is too damned stupid to realize the truth. Despite claiming otherwise, what happens next is on his shoulders too.
    • He is absolutely convinced that, since most if not all cops in town are on the Korean mob's payroll, they will also work in his favor. No matter how severe the crimes he commits, he is not afraid of any cop in town because he believes they'll help him get away. Turns out that the mob paid one of the cops to assassinate him because he has become too much of a loose cannon and an actual threat to the mob as a result.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Apart from beating on his daughter personally, during the kidnapping plot Blaine blood chokes Joyce so hard that after she regains consiousness in his van she's noticeably paler for a few strips, implying that had he done so for any longer Joyce could've suffered brain damage or worse.

    Faz 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_ozehcpvbxm1sm8ur3o1_540.png

Amber's stepbrother, who lives with her father.


  • Ambiguous Situation: Amber mentions that she's not sure whether Faz is "just" her stepbrother, or if like in the Walkyverse he's actually her half-brother, mainly because as Yuri isn't that much older than most of the cast, it would mean that Blaine cheated on her mother with someone who was just a teenager at the time. On Blaine's end he's quite insistent on making sure Faz refers to him solely as his stepfather, even when it's just him, Faz, and Yuri.
  • Anti-Villain: When Joyce confronts him mano-a-womano, he reveals he didn't go through with taking blackmail material from Amber's computer on Blaine's orders. In Faz's own words, "he was... very disappointed in me", implying he's being strongarmed into cooperating with his insane scheme. He also doesn't want to see his father imprisoned and is afraid of being rendered homeless in that instance.
  • Bound and Gagged: Gets tied up by Dina after he won't shut up and leave.
  • Casanova Wannabe: He tries to hit on Dina. He ends up tied up and handed over to Ruth.
  • Forced into Evil: When called out by Joyce, that's how he explains his participation in the kidnapping plot.
    Faz: I do not like my father, but I wish even less for him to be imprisoned. We would lose our home. So I cut him free.
  • No Social Skills: In Joe's words, he has the "social graces of an incel subreddit".
  • Perpetual Smiler: Just like his Walkyverse counterpart.
  • Skipping School: In his second appearance, he turns up at the college when he should be in attending classes elsewhere.
  • Smug Smiler: He's constantly smiling, and Joe describes his face as "so smug it could power a dozen coffee-houses".
  • Stepford Smiler: The aforementioned smug smile doesn't go away once the plot begins to point out he's also a victim of Blaine's abuse.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Won't leave Dina alone until she has to actually tie him up and hand him over to Ruth.
  • Third-Person Person: Refers to himself as Faz. When he's using first-person to refer to himself it's generally pretty serious, like when he's explaining to Joyce why he got involved in the kidnapping plot.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: He's like a kind of sidekick to his father. While Blaine's one of the most seriously portrayed threats in the comic, Faz is completely played for laughs with his weird behavior and lack of social graces. The dynamic is deconstructed in the kidnapping arc: Faz is completely aware that his father has gone off the deep end, but tags along because if Blaine gets arrested, his family loses a breadwinner. Blaine in turn was "disappointed" with his failure to gather dirt on Amber and presumably couldn't care less when Faz gets thrown out of the open getaway van.

    Stacy Brannon 

Amber's mother. She loves her daughter dearly, and is looking out for her well being. Sadly, her love life hasn't been great, to say the least.


  • Horrible Judge of Character: She gets called out by her own daughter on this, with Amber pointing out she has a tendency to fall for horrible men, such as Blaine and Joe's dad.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: She has dropped her ex-husband's last name and returned to her maiden name, Brannon.
    Mike: Good call.
  • Parents as People: Though she clearly loves Amber and tries hard to be supportive and encouraging of her, Stacy isn't really equipped to deal with Amber's issues, and can therefore be a bit clumsy with her parenting.

    Linda and Charles Walkerton 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/linda_and_charles.png

Sal and Walky's parents.


  • Abusive Parents:
    • Due to their Parental Favoritism towards Walky for being the "whiter" twin. They refused to take Sal's side as a kid when Marcy was bullied by a kid on the playground and are heavily implied to be bigoted towards her, if not openly.
    • Even though they openly favor Walky, his mother is unflinching on his becoming a doctor, regardless of what he wants. When it's pointed out that he's in telecommunications, she responds that he is, "until he changes his mind."
  • Amicable Exes: Linda seems to be this with her ex-husband, Dean McHenry.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Once they find out about Blaine's kidnapping plot, they decide that Amber should be expelled for it. Even putting aside the fact that Amber is also a victim of her father in the situation, Blaine's goal was to not pay for Amber's tuition, and if Linda follows through, he gets what he wanted. Sal explicitly points out the latter part, but Linda shrugs it off.
  • Hypocrite: Linda accuses Sal of smoking while she herself is a smoker according to Sal.
  • Jerkass: Linda has no qualms searching through Sal's stuff, violating her privacy, and upon discovering her shoebox money (over $700 that Sal was economizing in order to pay for Marcie's surgery) she confiscates it, claiming that Sal's friendship with Marcie (whom Linda considers to be a hoodlum and openly dislikes) is not a "healthy" one, and that she will give her back her money later, after implying she needs to cut ties with Marcie. Some time later, Sal commits a robbery out of anger and desperation.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: For all her abrasiveness, Linda's 100% correct in calling out Carol for her church bailing Ross out.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Charles is mixed African-American and white.
  • My Beloved Smother: Linda is a smothering parent towards Walky only. She neglects Sal.
  • No Sympathy: After finding out Blaine died in the hospital, Linda comments that it feels pretty good to get what she wanted without having to do anything since, if Blaine's dead, Amber loses her tuition.
  • Parental Favoritism:
    • When they visit, Charles at least acknowledges Sal's presence and tries conversing with her. Linda doesn't even do that.
    • When sending presents to their kids, there is a noticeable difference between Sal and Walky's gifts, with Walky getting the better ones.
  • Parental Neglect: In the past, Charles was apathetic towards his children's behavior, and seemingly did not realize what his daughter was going through, letting his wife do all the parenting.
  • Parents as People: While there's no excuse for the things she ends up doing, it's demonstrated that Linda truly does care about Sal and most of her deeds were rather misguided attempts at doing what she thought was best for her, without actually understanding that she was just making things worse. It's really not so much that she's a bad person, but more so that she's a horrible parent.
  • Shadow Archetype: Charles' behavior does bring to mind Walky's without any of his Character Development.

    The Browns 

Hank and Carol Brown

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

Joyce's parents.


  • Adaptational Jerkass: While Carol could be pretty pushy in the Walkyverse, particularly when it came to her desire for grandkids, she never did something like defend the man who threatened her daughter with a gun and later kidnaps her and her other friends while being a raging homophobe.
  • Being Good Sucks: Hank mentions that the reason they kept changing churches is because he couldn't compromise his beliefs at all, and Joyce inherited this trait from him. However, he thinks their lives would be easier if they could let themselves be just a little corruptible.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: At first, Carol comes off as a nice, if somewhat insensitive, woman. Then Becky's character arc starts in earnest, and she begins showing a much nastier side. It culminates when Ross attempts to violently abduct Becky twice, and Carol white-knights him and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that she has no real concern for her daughter's emotional or physical well-being.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Joyce seems to feel this way about her mom after the events of Ross attempting to kidnap Becky at gunpoint, and almost shooting Joyce. Joyce's utterly broken and bitter expression as her mom seems more concerned with Ross going to jail for "trying to save his daughter from homosexuality," and her eerily saying "she would die for Joyce" much like how Ross did makes her realize her mother is just as blinded by her faith as Ross was.
    • After having been happy with her since they were in college together, Carol's persistent defense of Ross no matter what he does completely disillusions Hank to his soon-to-be-ex-wife.
  • Character Development: Hank at first was much like Carol, judgmental and left everything to religious doctrine and his own prejudices. After Joyce stands up to them over their disdain for her Atheist friend Dorothy, he spent a lot of time praying over it and decided he needed to step back and trust Joyce to make her own choices, and remains friendly to Becky, despite the awkwardness of her coming out as a lesbian. He eventually sincerely apologizes to the Keeners for giving them the cold shoulder and calling them "godless", acknowledging that they are good people and that Joyce grew better and further than him.
  • Control Freak: Carol shows more and more signs of being a control freak when it comes to her children as time goes on:
    Hank: All I'm saying is, we squeeze too hard and we create another Jordan situation.
    Carol: We created that by not squeezing hard enough.
  • Cool Old Guy: Hank is old enough for all 4 of his known children to be legal adults, and is one of the most approachable parents in the comic due to his Character Development.
  • The Dividual: Discussed; Joyce sees all married couples, including her own parents, as single homogeneous units. This view gets shattered in the aftermath of Ross' death; Carol doubles down on her refusal to accept responsibility and defense of his actions while Hank draws his personal line in the sand and is clearly concerned about his daughter's well-being first and foremost. Joyce later states that they're getting divorced.
  • Entitled Bastard: After Hank walks away from Carol in disgust of her defending what Ross did and what she did, Carol tries to guilt him into coming back and supporting her. He calls Carol on her bullshit for trying to make this about her, and then Carol stomps off complaining about Hank "throwing a tantrum like a child."
  • Epic Fail: In a Patreon strip where we see Hank and Carol's first meeting in college, the former's attempts to flirt fall flat.
  • Eviler Than Thou: After the events of Book 10, Carol and Linda get into an argument about Ross' actions in kidnapping several students in an attempt to get to Becky. Linda is not a good person or parent, given that she favors Walky while violating Sal's privacy and stealing from her and wants Amber to get punished for the actions of her father. However, when compared to Carol, who unashamedly white-knights Ross' armed abduction of several people in order to force Becky back under his direct control and delusionally claims he never hurt anyone even though his actions have traumatized everyone involved and gotten Mike a coma for his troubles, Linda looks like a saint.
  • The Fundamentalist: Much like Joyce, but are a bit more of the Jerkass variety when they meet her atheist friend Dorothy and her parents. While Hank grows out of it after Joyce stands up to them on the issue, Carol only gets worse, siding with Ross after Becky's kidnapping, trying to pull Joyce out of school, and being utterly passive-aggressive and hateful to Becky.
  • Hate Sink: The further the comic goes on, the more it does to make you hate Carol. The tip of the iceberg is when she chips in money to bail Ross out of prison, indirectly setting the rest of book 10's events in motion.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Hank at first seems like your typical judgmental fundamentalist Christian, but when he comes to pick Joyce up for a weekend at home, he not only invites Becky along, but reveals that, while it will be hard for him to accept Becky's sexual orientation, he still considers her a good kid, and believes he needs to let Joyce make her own decisions, instead of making them for her.
    • He reveals later in the same Book that he too was passionate like Joyce and the reason they changed churches so much wasn't out of ignorance, but out of passion and dedication. He also gets noticeably upset when he overhears the congregation insulting Becky.
  • Jerkass: Carol, in spades. When Becky and her are alone after the events of "To those Who'd Ground Me," her first questions to her are if she really sure she's a lesbian, and asks if it was worth sending her father to prison, utterly ignoring the facts that Becky's dad kidnapped her via gunpoint and almost killed her own daughter in the process. During all of Becky's stay at their house, she acts extremely passive-aggressive towards her, putting her husband ill at ease and infuriating Joyce.
  • Mama Bear: Subverted. In spite of all of Carol's talk about how she would die for Joyce, she defends the actions of Ross MacIntyre, the man who pointed a gun at her daughter and later kidnapped her and several of her friends.
  • My Beloved Smother: Carol is this to Joyce, and it is clear that without Hank reining her in Joyce would have been withdrawn from university a long time ago.
  • Never My Fault: Carol continuing to defend Ross's actions means she doesn't have to admit if she hadn't helped bail him out in the first place, Ross would still be alive, and Joyce and her friends wouldn't have been traumatized by the hostage situation.
  • Nice Guy: Hank, especially compared to his wife. He happily allows Becky to come with them for the weekend, and spends dinner trying to resolve the tension between her and his wife Carol, who isn't so happy to see Becky. He is also visibly both sad and pissed when he hears other people at church trash-talking Becky because of her hair and sexuality.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever happened with Joyce's brother, Jordan. It's implied that he is alienated from the rest of the family in some way.
  • Parental Substitute: Hank serves as this to Becky, treating her as he would any of his own children and trying to defend her from his wife.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Carol defending Ross' actions to the Walkertons leads Hank to walk away from her, publicly making it clear he doesn't support his wife's point of view, and calling her out on her Skewed Priorities. Joyce mentions in Book 11 that they're getting divorced.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Hank, on account of Character Development setting in, and deciding to be much less judgmental. He's about the second-most approachable parent in the comic behind Dorothy's parents. He moves to divorce Carol once it's made clear how far gone she is.
  • Skewed Priorities: Carol's more upset about Ross being dead than the fact he kidnapped and traumatized her own daughter.
  • The Unapologetic: Carol refuses to admit fault or apologize for helping to provide Ross bail money and enabling him to abduct several college students, including her own daughter.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Carol and the other members of the church raising money to post bail for Ross ends in her own daughter and several of her friends getting kidnapped, Mike being hospitalized and later dying, and Ross himself eventually getting murdered by Blaine.

Jonathan "John" Brown

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/john_9.png

Joyce's oldest sibling.


  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Initially seems pretty warm and friendly, right up until the subject of punching Becky's dad comes up. Things proceed to get worse from there.
  • Broken Pedestal: Not as severe as with her mom, but Joyce is utterly furious with him for taking Ross' side.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Jocelyne. Jocelyne is kind, polite, well spoken and tries to do what's best for her sister, understanding her point of view while trying to nudge her in the right direction. Josh thinks he's all of these things, but in reality is an egositical dickhead who thinks he knows better than everyone else and assumes any difference of opinion on Joyce's part is just her being a Spoiled Brat.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Subverted and so far the only Brown to still have blonde hair to avert this.
  • Happily Married: Mentioned to have gotten married recently.
  • Hypocrite: He claims that college is giving Joyce and Becky a "sense of entitlement" because they stood up to Becky's father over her lesbianism. Jocelyne points out that he owns a top of the line Mustang given to him for free by his church, bought using money tithed from the poor.
  • Jerkass: After being condescendingly "civil" to Joyce and Becky's faces, he flat-out tells Jocelyne that he considers Becky a sinner who's just being "trendy" and entitled.
  • No Sympathy:
    • Shows an alarming lack of sympathy to Becky's homelessness or the fact that his own sister had a gun shoved in her face. As far as he's concerned, Joyce showing something as unseemly as actual anger totally invalidates her position.
    • Rather than admit that his community has totally failed to prepare Becky for life on her own, he suggests that she "should have thought of that before" everything that happened. When Joyce warns him about finishing that sentence, he switches to tone-policing her.
    • Says Joyce overreacted by breaking her hand punching Ross, despite the fact Ross threatened her at gunpoint and kidnapped her best friend.
  • Perma-Stubble: Has five o'clock shadow. He's presently the only member of the Browns to display facial-hairedness.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Sees himself as this, in contrast to Joyce's barely-contained rage over Ross' actions, though he really isn't in reality.

Jocelyne Brown

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

Joyce's second oldest sibling and an aspiring writer with her own website, and closeted trans woman known as "Joshua" or "Josh" to everyone in the cast but Ethan.


  • Big Sister Mentor: To Joyce and Becky, advising the former to be more civil with their mother so that she stays in college and Becky still has a family and helps Becky break into her old house so she can get her Social Security number.
  • Deadpan Snarker: By far the snarkiest member of the family, and she is able to deliver fantastic lines when she is pissed.
  • Dramatic Irony: Joyce has repeatedly said that she's always wanted a sister. Of course, she doesn't know that her older "brother" Joshua is actually a trans woman named Jocelyne.
  • Foil:
    • To Carla. While both are trans-women, Carla chooses to be open about her status, earning her the bigotry of Mary. Meanwhile, Jocelyne remains closeted to avoid alienating her family, who have already demonstrated homophobic behavior towards Becky, causing her to remain well-liked by everyone. Their personalities reflect this, with Carla being a jerk by default, while Jocelyne is a nice girl.
    • Possibly also to Becky. Both have different attitudes about coming out of the closet—Becky rushed out of it, suffered for it and eventually came to greater happiness, and is fully aware of how very conditional her family's love was. She also has absolutely no lingering desire to stay at home. In contrast, Jocelyne stays closeted, suffers for it, and is overall far too attached to her family and memories to come out of the closet the same way as Becky.
  • Given Name Reveal: Inverted, she texts Ethan the link to her website, which happens to be her chosen name.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: The main reason why no one but Ethan knows what her real gender is. Even the readers were fooled up until the reveal. Justified due to her being closeted and, as such, still presenting as male in everyday life (at least insofar as she's been present in the story).
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Her true name and gender was a massive twist at the time it was revealed, but that was in 2013. By now, it's almost impossible not to know, especially as the character tags on pre-reveal strips have been revised to call her Jocelyne.
  • Nice Girl: One of the few characters who doesn't need to change much as a person.
  • Parental Favoritism: She says that she's her parents' favorite child, but only because "they know the least about [her]." She's probably not wrong, as she isn't out to her (Fundamentalist Christian) parents as a transwoman, or anyone else in her family for that matter.
  • So Proud of You: Seems to be having this reaction as she sees Joyce standing up for Becky and generally behaving less like The Fundamentalist. She even mentions that she and Joyce should have a chat sometime...
  • Starving Artist: A Patreon-exclusive strip has her bemoaning that she's been misled over the amount of glamour and wealth involved with going into literature.
    Jocelyne: We are what we experience. And these days, John mostly experiences having stuff.
    Joyce: And - and you don't?
    Jocelyne: Joyce, I'm a writer.
  • Stepford Smiler: She mostly appears cheerful and good-natured, or at least frequently smiles. During John and Joyce's argument she's the one trying to keep everything calm and "normal".
  • Transgender: Assigned male at birth, but identifies as female.
  • Walking Spoiler: "He's" Josh, one of Joyce's many older brothers, right? Wrong, she's actually a transwoman named Jocelyne, and Ethan is the only one who knows this.

Jordan Brown

Joyce's third oldest sibling, who is implied to be estranged from the rest of the family for being, in Willis' words "too individualistic".


  • Black Sheep: Of the Browns, though apparently for not doing what his parents told him.
  • Freudian Excuse: Whatever he's like and however he's estranged, it's been heavily implied, if not outright stated that it's because his parents pressed on him too hard.
  • The Ghost: Has only been mentioned so far.

    Riley DeSanto  

Roz and Robin's little sister.

  • Girls Have Cooties: An inversion: she's twelve and comments that Roz's posters in her room are creepy, and when prodded says that boys are gross. And so are girls.
    Roz: Asexuality is also a fine choice.
    Riley: I'm TWELVE! I only wanna choose what kind of cereal I eat. I choose ALL OF THEM!
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Connects with Dina over their shared love of cereal.

    Dr. Richard Rosenthal 

Joe's womanizing father. Ends up in a relationship with Amber's mother, though Joe's convinced it won't last.


  • The Casanova: Shown on-panel to be quite a womanizer, and if Joe's comments are any indication, he's been like that even before his divorce.
  • Freudian Excuse: While it's not said outright, it's implied Joe's hang-ups about relationships and attitude towards women is a direct result of his parenting.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Shows some attachment towards Stacy Brannon, and despite Joe's worries is adamant that he wants to pursue a serious relationship with her. Following Book 10, they've gotten married.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Resembles Joe in both behaviour and looks.

    Ross MacIntyre 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ross.png

Becky's father, whose head looks like a giant toe (according to Dina). And as it turns out, that pretty much describes his intelligence.


  • Abusive Parents: Verbally, emotionally, and physically. He seems to view Becky more as an extension of himself than a person - anything she does that deviates from her defined gender role is an insult to his role as head of the household.
  • Adaptational Villainy: His Walkyverse counterpart was a giant asshole, but otherwise harmless. This Ross is an insane zealot who brings a rifle to a college campus with the intention of murdering Dina, then later Joyce and Becky if Becky didn't come with him, kidnaps his own daughter, and is implied to have driven his own wife to suicide.
  • Affably Evil: During the mass-kidnapping arc, unlike his co-conspirator and the mooks he recruited, he's relatively concerned with the hostages' well-being.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite doing a lot of horrible things out of homophobic crusading, Joyce can't help but break down crying over someone she's known her entire life dying in front of her.
  • Arc Villain: He is the main antagonist of "To Those Who'd Ground Me".
  • Bait the Dog:
    • Ross is an idiot and prone to more comic relief than other significant antagonists like Ryan and Blaine. He's easy to lead around at first until he comes back armed and takes his daughter back through force. His stupidity has a very dangerous edge to it as he continually puts himself and his daughter in danger.
    • Ross does clearly love his wife and Becky and when he says Becky is all he has left it's one of the few, if only times, that he comes across as sympathetic. Immediately after that, however, it's shown just how twisted this affection really is as he's a control freak who can't stand Becky changing too much.
  • Death Equals Redemption: His last action before bleeding out is fighting back against Blaine, giving the kidnapped victims an opening to leave the basement.
  • The Ditz: Believes all of Dina's Blatant Lies, up to getting on a one-way bus trip to Indianapolis, thinking that it goes to the mall, without checking himself. He also proves extremely easy for Blaine to manipulate through his extreme zealotry and fundamentalism.
  • The Dragon: When Blaine reenters the plot he recruits Ross as his central henchman. Though he acts as Ross's main enforcer his conflict with the heroes is fairly limited and in the final battle he's mostly fighting Blaine.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's willing to ally with Blaine to get his daughter back, but it's repeatedly shown that he's not willing to sink as low as he does.
    • He initially hesitates to kill Mike for running off to alert the police, thinking that he's just a boy, until Blaine appeals to his tautological views. Even then, he is still reluctant to actually go through with it, claiming that he's just bluffing.
    • After kidnapping several members of the cast, the first words out of his mouth are to ask if they're all okay.
    • He seems to be aware that Blaine is a nasty piece of work, and is only cooperating with him because he's his best shot at bringing back Becky.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Joyce's father. While he too is a die-hard Christian fundamentalist, he is able to accept Joyce's growth away from that system of values. When Becky does the same, Ross goes off the deep end.
  • Eviler Than Thou: On the receiving end of it from Blaine, via ball-peen hammer.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Ross is adamantly against everything that doesn't fit his fundamentalist views. That include "Pokémans" or technology, such as cell phones.
  • The Fundamentalist: And not the nice kind. Anything but, in fact. This is a man the Westboro Baptist Church would tell to dial it back a bit. He is implied to have driven Becky's mother to suicide.
  • Hate Sink: Utterly loathsome and meant to be despised. That said, Blaine is proven to be far worse, and the other characters feel sorry for him when he dies.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: He considers Becky's soul at risk if she even begins to think outside his beliefs, and is willing to impose those beliefs on the rest of the world via rifle.
  • Killed Off for Real: He bleeds to death after Blaine bludgeons him with his hammer.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Blaine and Ryan were no angels, but Ross takes the drama to a new level when he shows up.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Everything he does comes from a desire to protect his daughter from what he considers to be "evil". Everything he does is also fucking horrible.
  • Lethally Stupid: Played for Laughs at first but later played much more seriously. Ross is a moron that's easily lead around and tricked but he's also armed and violent. This is best shown when he engages Amazi-Girl and leans out of his car to shoot her an action that not only nearly makes him fall out of his car but also could have caused an accident that would have gotten his daughter and him both killed.
  • Made of Iron: Not only does he initially survive getting bashed in the head with a hammer with enough force to draw blood, he gets up and attacks Blaine in retaliation. Unfortunately, his rush of adrenaline runs out, and he falls unconscious and bleeds to death not long afterwards.
  • Never My Fault: Even after bringing a rifle onto a college campus, kidnapping his daughter at gunpoint, assaulting her, getting chased down by Amazi-Girl in a car chase, and punched out by Joyce, Ross shows zero remorse for any of his actions when Becky tearfully visits him in the hospital and tells him she wants their family back.
    Ross: Look at me. You've destroyed our family.
  • New Media Are Evil: Implied to hold this view with his statement on "Pokeman" putting a person's soul at risk. (For reference, he's commenting on Dina's Triceratops hoodie.) It's later shown that he believes local Cable News to be the only truthful source of information beyond the Bible.
  • Shadow Archetype: Ross represents the kind of person Joyce could've grown up to become if her friends couldn't break her out of her sheltered worldview.
  • Stupid Evil:
    • He really doesn't think his plans through. Thankfully that also means he's caught thanks to Amber, Joyce, and Sal before he can get too far with Becky.
    • This also means that Blaine is easily able to manipulate him into becoming a pawn in his plan to force Amber out of college.
  • Tautological Templar: His world view is pretty simple: either you are a good fundamentalist Christian (read: on his side), or you are an evil human being destined to burn in Hell. If you get in his way, he'll even send you there himself. This is how he justifies allying with a mobster and a literal domino-mask-wearing supervillain to Joyce.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • It is not wise to discharge a weapon on a college campus, especially not in the 2010s.
    • When Amazi-Girl jumps onto his car, his reaction is to let go of the wheel, lean out the window and try to shoot her. This might have indeed killed him if Amazi-Girl hadn't thrown him a rope.
    • Allying with Blaine to get his daughter back based on a few bad lies from him ends up being his demise.
  • The Unfettered: Nothing will stop him from taking his daughter back home, even if it means kidnapping her with a gun, in the middle of campus, in front of her friend.
  • Unwitting Pawn: After Blaine bails him out, he manages to easily manipulate Ross into helping him in his plans for Amber and her friends.
  • You Have Failed Me: Blaine bashes him in the skull with a hammer for letting Amber out.
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