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     Sugden Family 

Robert Sugden-Dingle

Played by: Currently Ryan Hawley, previously, Richard Smith, Christopher Smith, Karl Davies)

When something matters to me, I lie, I cheat, I do whatever it takes.

Robert is the troubled son of Jack Sugden, one of the series initial main characters, and the character introduced the farthest back who's still on the show. He had a complicated relationship with his dad that led him to leave Emmerdale and still affected how he acted on his return to the show. A business man always trying to get the best out of a situation, Robert's known for cheating and scheming, although after falling in love with Aaron Dingle, he's been trying to change for the better.

  • Abusive Parents: Jack once beat up Robert for kissing a boy, leading to a repression of his sexuality that lasted until he fell in love with Aaron.
  • Accidental Murder: Three times!
    • When they were under-age and after a night of clubbing, Andy and some friends including his girlfriend Katie and brother Robert stole a car after missing their bus. They accidentally hit their headteacher and kill her. After trying to cover up the crime, Andy and the others are given community service for the crime.
    • Andy and Robert play chicken, and Max King ends up in the crossfire.
    • While fighting with Katie over her phone (which has a photo revealing his affair with Aaron), he pushes her to the floor of an old barn; it gives way, and she falls to her death. Whether this was a tragic accident or a murder (in either his eyes or the other characters who know about it) varies from storyline to storyline.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Twice! The first, an attempt to get secret lover Aaron to snap out of his self-harm spiral. The second, as he held a gun to Aaron's head to in a mental breakdown as he was confronted with the truth that he was actually responsible for Katie's death.
  • Depraved Bisexual: By his own admission, he "lies, [he] cheats, [he] does whatever it takes" and this unfortunately coincides with some biphobic myths. Some are countered by Robert himself when he and Aaron talk about his bisexuality on October 17th 2016 but the show remains unsuccessful in fully divorcing his negative traits from his bisexuality.
  • Gold Digger: Could be seen as a male version of this and was accused of being so when his affair with Aaron was discovered by his wife, Chrissie.
    • More or less confirmed later on in several conversation where he compares his past relationship with Chrissie to his on-off relationship with Aaron.
  • Femme Fatale: A rare male example.
    • Flirted with Rebecca White in attempt to make her more amenable to help him with the scheme he brought her to Emmerdale to help with despite having no intentions of ever following up on it, being happy with Aaron.
    • A later scheme to take Home Farm from the Whites included him seducing Lawrence White - and that part of the scheme was successful.
    • It's furthermore noted on several occasions that he uses flirting in his business deals.
  • Inconvenient Attraction: Robert thought he had everything he'd ever wanted in life, a gorgeous and spirited wife, life in a big house, a fancy job with a high income and major perks. And then he fell madly in love with Aaron Dingle. In Robert's words, "falling in love with you was the worst mistake I ever made."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Robert revels in his snide comments and schadenfreude, but he always comes through for those he cares about, like when his brother, Andy, whom he often purports to hate, was framed for assault or when his then ex Aaron was falling apart due to the reappearance of his abusive dad. It's also worth pointing out that Robert's schemes rarely work out in the end and he often regrets them afterwards.
  • Love Redeems: Robert steps up quite a bit after watching his ex-lover Aaron collapse from infection, being told by the nurses in hospital that Aaron could have died, and seeing how much pain Aaron was in from his abusive father pushing his way back into his life.
    • Robert's villainous tendencies have in general been softened by his love for Aaron and he is actively trying to be better because of him.
  • Opportunistic Bastard and Manipulative Bastard: Robert is usually working on some sort of scheme.
    • The first thing he did when coming back to the village was hire Ross and Aaron to break into the home he shared with his wife, Chrissie, and father-in-law, Lawrence, and let him play the hero in order to impress Lawrence.
    • After accidentally killing Katie during his affair with Aaron, Robert manipulates Aaron into helping him cover it up and staying quiet about what little he knows of what happened.
    • When Chrissie framed Andy for shooting Lawrence, Robert brought in her sister Rebecca in an attempt to manipulate the family into telling the truth so that Andy's innocence would come to light.
    • In an attempt to take revenge on Chrissie for framing Andy and Rebecca for the previous scheme not working out in addition to the, at the time, unwanted child she was having with him, Robert wanted to take Home Farm for himself. He attempted to achieve this by making Lawrence trust him, drugging his alcohol so he could pretend they had a one-night stand and then seducing him.
  • Parental Favoritism: Most of his quarrels with his adopted brother Andy Sugden deal with his insecurity as his father's biological son and feeling like he was The Unfavorite. His father loved Robert but had a deeper bond with Andy and Robert never got over that.
    • The revelation on October 17th 2016 that Jack once beat him for being attracted to boys adds another dimension to this.
  • Parental Substitute: To Aaron's sister Liv, especially during Aaron's time in prison.
  • Smug Snake: Robert is vain and smug, often ready to make a smart comment at someone else's expense. He acts very self-assured about all of his schemes and likes to see himself as a Magnificent Bastard, but things rarely work out the way he intend them to.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: After much skirt chasing in his previous incarnations, Robert Sugden returned to the Village in 2014 engaged to Chrissie White, the daughter of the new owner of Home Farm, but quickly started up an affair with Aaron Dingle.
  • The Unfettered: Locked his lover Aaron to a radiator after he threatened to expose their affair to his wife. Had already nearly killed Paddy Kirk in a grain mill but proceeded to threaten the rest of his family (including Paddy's disabled baby son!) if Paddy exposed the affair to Robert's wife.
  • Your Cheating Heart: All soap characters eventually cheat on their significant others, but Robert is specifically KNOWN for his cheating.
    • He dated Donna Windsor and Elaine Marsden at the same time as a teenager.
    • He wasn't technically the one cheating, but he had an affair with his brother's fianceé, Katie.
    • Not long after his return to the series, Robert starts up an affair with Aaron Dingle, seemingly without any guilt.
    • His son, Seb, is the result of a drunken one-night stand with Rebecca White at a time where he was married to Aaron, but so angry at his husband that he wanted to hurt him.

Andy Sugden

Played by: Kevin Fletcher

It's what dad would have wanted.
Andy is the adoptive son of Jack Sugden and as such often found himself in conflict with Robert, as Robert felt Jack favoured Andy when he "should" favour Robert as his biological son. Andy ended up leaving Emmerdale with Robert's help to go on hiding from the police after being framed by Chrissie White for shooting Lawrence White.

  • Accidental Murder: Twice!
    • After the family farm goes into financial difficulties, Andy decided to set fire to the barn to get the money from the insurance pay out, not knowing his mother was inside.
    • When they were under-age and after a night of clubbing, Andy and some friends including his girlfriend Katie and brother Robert stole a car after missing their bus. They accidentally hit their headteacher and kill her. After trying to cover up the crime, Andy and the others are given community service for the crime.
  • Domestic Abuse: Andy abused then-wife Jo after getting out of prison, but it was later diagnosed as a symptom of depression. Other characters still mention it as a significant trait.
  • Driven to Suicide: Andy considered suicide after the unexpected death of his wife Katie, just hours after her funeral. He was talked down out of it by his brother Robert and their mutual friend (and Robert's secret lover) Aaron. He stayed at Home Farm with the White family as he recovered.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Will be paraded around without a top on, in a towel or his boxers from time to time
  • Really Gets Around: Katie, Debbie, Jo, Maisie, Adele, Alicia, Kerry, Amy, Bernice, Tracy....sure there's some missing but you get the point; though he's arguably more of a serial monogamist as two of the above were wives and the majority of the others were long term relationships
  • Sibling Rivalry: Andy and Robert always felt rivalry as Robert felt jealous of Andy's deeper relationship with Jack Sugden, Andy's adopted, and Robert's real, father.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Had a baby with his ex-girlfriend Debbie Dingle whilst still in school. Debbie gave her daughter, Sarah to Emily Kirk which upset Andy. Emily gives her back to Andy which is discovered by Debbie who wants nothing to do with the child. When Andy is sent to prison for manslaughter (over his mother's death), Debbie becomes closer to Sarah and decides to keep her after all.
  • Widowed at the Wedding: Kind of. Andy's wife (and love of his life) Katie died on the day of his brother Robert's wedding. It turns out Robert actually caused Katie's death.

Katie Sugden

Played by: Sammy Winward
Andy's wife, who cheated with Robert but late patched things up again with Andy. Due to an intense distrust of Robert, she discovered his affair with Aaron Dingle and threatened to reveal it, leading to her death at Robert's hands.

  • Accidental Murder: The victim of one. Robert didn't mean to kill her when she was threatening to reveal his affair to his wife, but when he pushed her away, the floor collapsed under her, leading to a fatal fall.

Victoria Sugden

Played by: Currently Isabel Hodgins, previously, Jessica Haywood, Hannah Midgley

Right. Well now you've escorted the little lady home, you can bog off!
Robert and Andy's younger sister a chef at the Woolpack with higher ambitions. She's a supportive sister to both her brothers and a good friend to Finn Barton, Matty Barton and Rebecca White. She was in a serious relationship with Adam Barton until he had to go on the run as the main suspect in the murder of Emma Barton.

  • Accidental Murder: Very close. When Victoria discovered her fiancée Adam had slept with the local vet, Vanessa at her 21st birthday party; Victoria stormed out and began driving the car too fast through the village without passing her test. She hit Ashley the vicar, knocking him down and unconscious. His alcoholic ex-wife, Laurel was accused of hitting him after being spotted arguing with him earlier that day. He stayed in a coma but Victoria came clean about it being her fault that he was close to death. Ashley survived but ended up with epilepsy.
  • Shipper on Deck: After figuring out that her brother had fallen in love, Victoria encourages him to be with Aaron.

Diane Sugden

Played by: Elizabeth Estensen

The step-mum of the Sugden kids who desperately tries to make Robert and Andy get along. Diane used to own the Woolpack pub, but gave it up when she had to go through chemo treatment a second time.

  • Apron Matron: She's seen as a bit of a matriarch in the village. She's the landlady of the Woolpack pub and is always seen behind the bar or in the thick of the drama to help out with motherly advice.
  • Good Stepmother: Loves her three step-kids very much. She may disapprove of their actions, but she'll always consider them family, as exemplified the many times Chas didn't want Robert in the Woolpack, but Diane stated that as long as she owned part of it, Robert would be welcome.
  • Open-Minded Parent: After Robert's affair with Aaron gets out, she's seemingly unfazed about his attraction to men, only condemning him for cheating. She believes Jack would have felt the same, leading to some awkward moments for Robert who knows otherwise.

Valerie "Val" Pollard

Played by: Charlie Hardwick

Diane's younger, dramatic sister.

  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Where Diane is a calm, sensible woman who tries to be a Reasonable Authority Figure, Val is a flamboyant gossip prone to dramatics.
    Diane: Shouldn't you be getting ready for court? I'll see you there.
    Val: Don't you dare; it's bad enough you've turned informant, I don't want your judgy mug gloating when I'm forced to lie and plead guilty.
  • Tragic AIDS Story: After contracting HIV after unprotected sex with an ex, Val was mortified and it threatened to ruin her marriage to Eric until she came clean. She then decided to embrace her new status, openly talking to groups of people about the way the disease has affected her life.

Betty Eagleton (Paula Tilbrook)

Bernice Blackstock

Played by: Samantha Giles

Diane's daughter from her first marriage and the local hair stylist.

     Dingle Family 

Cain Dingle

Played by: Jeff Hordley

The big bad church of Cain, mate. You badmouth me again and that church gonna come right down on you.
The brother of Chas Dingle and frequent violent villain. Cain has softened after getting together with Moira Barton, but is still more than willing to bring a world of pain down on anyone who threatens those he cares about.
  • Abusive Parents: Was beaten by his father (who turned out to biologically be his uncle, Cain being the result of his mother's affair with her brother-in-law, Zak) during his childhood.
  • Cool Car: His various black Beemers.
  • Deconfirmed Bachelor: Quoted as saying that he wouldn't get married unless it actually meant something. He went unmarried until Spring 2014, when he married Moira Barton.
  • Love Redeems: Sort of. After marrying Moira, he's on the straight-ish and narrow path. He's still not above an illegal scheme, but mostly to protect his family.
  • Overprotective Dad: A rather dark example of this, his protectiveness of his daughter has led to him to threaten and beat several men and even on one occasion hit her.

Charity Dingle

Played by: Emma Atkins

No-one shouts their mouth off in my pub, except me, obviously.
A Dingle cousin prone to underhanded deals and comments. As a teenager, prior to her arrival on the show, Charity had a daughter, Debbie, with Cain Dingle whom she was forced to give up for adoption by her father but later reconnected with. She currently co-owns the Woolpack with Chas.

  • Card-Carrying Villain: She's pretty gleefully evil. When visiting her in prison, Emma Barton tries to hurl a few insults at her, which she accepts with a calm smile:
    Emma: You're cold, you're callous.
    Charity: Any more for any more? Some people have used the term 'grasping'.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Discussed; Aaron considers her one of Robert, which is understandable considering they're both smug bisexuals given to scheming immorally to achieve their goals.
  • Depraved Bisexual: In a similar manner to Robert, she's a bisexual character who lives up to stereotypes of promiscuity and manipulative behavior and has spent most of her time on the show as a villain.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: Charity has few scruples in life and is quick to find humor in others' misfortunes, but in the end, she'd do anything for those she cares about.
  • Parental Neglect: Portrayed as both a victim and perpetrator of this behavior, though she's trying to get better in regards to the latter.
  • Rape as Backstory: After Charity was thrown out by her father, she ended up on the streets doing sex work until she was picked up by police officer Mark Bails. Charity trusted him, but ended up repeatedly raped by both him and several of his friends, as he kept her in his apartment for months until she made her escape.
  • Smug Snake: Charity is always ready to make snide comments about others for her own amusement and very few things rattle her out of this arrogance.

Debbie Dingle

Played by: Charley Webb

Debbie is a self-sufficient Dingle and in many ways her mother's daughter. Despite a rocky start in life she's done well for herself, running her own business and getting custody of daughter Sarah. Like most of the Dingles she has been involved in lots of scams and money is important to her. Sometimes she feels like she ends up parenting Cain and Charity and she's not afraid to tell them what's what. She does have a more vulnerable side which comes out when she’s in a relationship.

  • But Not Too Bi: Debbie had a girlfriend, Jasmine early in her time in Emmerdale. Jasmine was sent to prison for murder and the two girls declared their love would last forever. However, Debbie has been seen exclusively with men ever since and Jasmine hasn't been mentioned again.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Debbie belongs to the Dingles who have the strangest and most complicated family tree in any UK soap opera plus they've all been involved in crime at some point.
  • Grease Monkey: Works as a mechanic for her father, Cain.
  • Hostage Situation: Was held hostage in the Woolpack pub along with her aunt, Chas and others by her psycho boyfriend, Cameron.
  • It Runs in the Family: Although nowhere near as bad as her mother, Charity, Debbie always has a way of letting trouble find her.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Gave birth to her daughter, Sarah who was fathered by Debbie's ex-boyfriend, Andy Sugden when they were in school.

Chastity "Chas" Dingle

Played by: Lucy Pargeter
Cain's younger sister and the mother of Aaron, whom she left when he was a child after an ugly break up with his father. Chas is known for ugly break-ups and bumpy relationships, often causing trouble with Aaron, too. Chas blames herself for not being there for Aaron, but they have since build a good and supportive relationship. Chas owns and runs the Woolpack, previously with Diane, now with Charity.
  • Mama Bear: Very protective of her son Aaron.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Has never expressed the slightest discomfort at Aaron being gay and admonishes Cain for doing so.
  • Parental Neglect: While their dad would beat Cain, he was more neglectful than outright abusive to Chas. Chas eventually ended up continuing the cycle by leaving Aaron as a kid and only really reconnecting with him in his late teens.
  • Shipper on Deck: Was one for Aaron and his Romantic False Lead Alex, strongly encouraging Aaron to pursue to relationship and all but hitting on Alex for him.
  • Shipping Torpedo: Has been against Aaron's relationship with Robert at different points, although never for as long as Paddy.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cheated on Paddy Kirk with Carl King while living with Paddy, leading to Paddy throwing her out.

Aaron Sugden-Dingle

Played by: Currently Danny Miller, previously Danny Webb

Aaron is Chas' son and spent much of his early life angry with her for leaving him as a child. He reappears on the show after being thrown out by his dad, later revealed to have come in the aftermath of an attempted rape. Aaron suffers from many mental health problems, as his outing led him to attempt suicide and he later started self-harming. He left Emmerdale for a while to avoid prison, but later returned and has been in an on-off relationship with Robert Sugden since his reappearance.

  • Abusive Parents: Was sexually abused by his dad as a child.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: To Robert Sugden, on Robert's wedding day. Again 18 months later, when he's trapped in a car that's sinking into a lake and wants Robert to save himself rather than die with Aaron.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: So badly that when the armour starts to crack, Aaron becomes suicidal and remains so even after surviving an attempt. A later plot line revealed that part of the reason for this was that he was sexually abused by his father and used to believe this was what had "made" him gay. He gradually grew out of this, instead becoming a confident Straight Gay.
  • Beard of Sorrow: He always has a certain level of scruff, but after helping his secret lover Robert cover up Katie Sugden's death, he starts growing his beard out longer and scruffier. His beard length generally correlates with the level of angst in his current storyline - long during the abuse storyline, short once Gordon got sent to prison and he and Robert got back together properly.
  • Closet Key: To Robert, who had always been portrayed as straight until his 2014 return to the show. Within a month of his return, Robert had started up an affair with Aaron and eventually came to admit that he was bisexual, which wouldn't have happened if he hadn't fallen in love with Aaron in the first place.
  • Meaningful Rename: During his father's trial for sexually abusing him, he decides to change his name from Livesy (his paternal surname) to Dingle (his mother's name).
  • Miscarriage of Justice: Has been to prison a number of times for crimes he didn't commit (such as burning down the garage and shooting Robert), though never for any of the crimes he actually has committed (running a chop shop with Ross, robbing Home Farm, kidnapping Lachlan, covering up Katie's murder).
  • Parental Abandonment: Chas walked out on him after an ugly break up with his dad and this had a major effect on him. Downplayed, as they did continue to see each other every now and again, and eventually reunited when Aaron was thrown out by his dad.
  • Parental Substitute: To his little sister, Liv, who lives with him instead of with her mother.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Adam. A love interest of Aaron's once mistook Adam for his boyfriend.
  • Rape as Backstory: He admits shortly after his 24th birthday that his father repeatedly raped him between the ages of 8 and 16.
  • Straight Gay: Aaron likes traditionally masculine things such as cars and beer and shows little interest in stereotypically gay areas of interest. Sometimes contrasted with Finn, who, although not camp, has a softer way about him and likes Kylie Minogue, unlike Aaron.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Aaron grew up alone with his father after his mother left, then said father started to sexually abuse him and he ran away from home as a teenager. The sexual abuse left him unable to accept his own homosexuality for a long time and he attempted to commit suicide because of it. Then he ends up mercy killing his first boyfriend and starts self harming afterwards to cope. A few years later he gets involved with Robert Sugden, with whom he helps covering up a manslaughter and he starts self harming again. Then he's threatened at gunpoint by a desperate Robert and after he reveals their affair, he has every insecurity spat back at him by Robert. When Robert gets shot he spends a while in prison under suspicion of him being the gunman. After that's resolved his father walks back into his life and he starts self harming again. Then he goes through a long arduos trial in an attempt to get his father locked up. Later he's back with Robert and their relationship issues leads him to batter someone and end up in prison himself where he's harassed for being gay. Then when he gets out Robert reveals he cheated on him in a fit of anger and that this resulted in a pregnancy. All of this has turned him into an Iron Woobie who has survived the Despair Event Horizon several times over.

Olivia "Liv" Flaherty

Played by: Isobel Steele

Aaron's half-sister, whom he reconnects with after their father is convicted for raping him. Liv ends up living with Aaron after her mother goes to Ireland.

  • The Alcoholic: Due to feeling stressed because she felt she had to deal with everything herself, Liv would pour vodka in her water bottle and drink often enough to get withdrawal symptoms while in a youth facility.
  • Asexuality: While Liv has yet to use the word "asexual", she has all but stated that she is.
    • Liv was initially implied to be aromantic, too, as she confessed to never having had a crush and expressed confusion as to how they feel. She did eventually develop a crush on Jacob Gallagher, however, while maintaining a disinterest in sex. Her exact romantic orientation is unclear at this point, but she is not completely aromantic.
  • Little Miss Con Artist: Re-introduced when she begs for bus change from Aaron (who she doesn't recognise) and steals his wallet. When Robert grabs it back, she kicks him in the balls and runs away.
  • Long-Lost Relative: She's Aaron's half-sister through his dad, whom he'd had no contact with since he was thrown out by his dad as a teenager.
  • Shipper on Deck: Have gone back and forth between this and Shipping Torpedo on Aaron's relationship with Robert. During one of their arguments, she locked them alone in their flat with food and beer to talk things out, while at other points she's tried to sabotage Robert.
    • After they broke up in 2017, she was a much more clear-cut one for Aaron and Alex, often inviting him over and pushing Aaron to pursue a relationship with him.
  • Unfortunate Names: With her birth surname, she'd be Liv Livesy. Averted by the fact that her mother changed their names when they went on the run from her father.

Zak Dingle

Played by: Steve Halliwell

The Dingle patriarch, who is the father, uncle or great-uncle of most of the other Dingles in Emmerdale.

  • When Elders Attack: Zak Dingle has mellowed over the years, but was still capable of nearly beating his son to death.

Lisa Dingle

Played by: Jane Cox

Zak's wife and a mother figure to many of the Dingles.

  • Team Mom: She acts as one for the Dingle family who all love her to bits. After her break up with Zak, she considered going back to her maiden name, but the family convinced her to stay a Dingle because she was considered such an important member of the family.

Marlon Dingle

Played by: Mark Charnock

''Excuse me, there is nothing wrong with my hodge podge. I have reached peak podge."
A Dingle cousin who works as a chef at the Woolpack and has been best friends with Paddy Kirk for decades.

  • Butt-Monkey: Marlon is a frequent target of mockery, especially within the Dingle family, though others are not above it.
    Marlon: If I were Aaron, I'd run a mile.
    Robert Sugden: If you were Aaron, so would I.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Marlon has been best friends with Paddy Kirk since the 90s, barring a few fights. After Rhona Goskirk found out she was pregnant with Marlon's baby after leaving him for Paddy, both men eventually ended up involved in his parenting along with her. In many bigger conflicts, such as between the rest of the Dingles and Marlon and his wife Jessie, Paddy and Marlon are the first to reconcile. Marlon has also put Paddy before his family loyalty on occasion, such as when Aaron Dingle beat Paddy up.
  • Only Sane Man: Marlon is generally much more down-to-earth than most of his family members, less tolerant of violence, less likely to get involved with criminal activity and a more attentive parent.

Jessica "Jessie" Dingle (previously Grant)

Played by: Sandra Marvin

The headteacher at the local school, Hotten Academy, and wife of Marlon Dingle.

  • Parental Favoritism: Though it's unintentional, Jessie had a tendency to be much harder on Ellis than on Billy and tended to pick Billy's side over Ellis'. Once she realises Billy wasn't innocently convicted, she's shook out of this.

Billy Fletcher

Played by: Jay Kontzle

Jessie Dingle's eldest son, an ex-con who was mixed up with the people harassing Aaron Dingle while in prison.

  • Miscarriage of Justice: Billy claims to be innocent of the crime he went to prison for, largely because he can't bear to tell his mum the truth.
  • Scary Black Man: Deconstructed. While picking up step-sister April Windsor, a white girl, from a playground, a mother calls the cops on him because she thought he was "acting suspiciously" and upon hearing he'd been to prison before declared that she "knew he was dodgy." He comments later that this is routinely how he's viewed.

Ellis Chapman

Played by: Asan N'Jie

Jessie's younger son who distrusts his brother Billy and works for Aaron Dingle at the scrapyard.

  • Nice Guy: Apart from in his rivalry with Billy, Ellis is one of the most consistently nice people in the village, being quick to make friend with Marlon, Victoria, Aaron and Matty.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Has a grudge on his older brother Billy, as he feels their mother is blind to his faults and always takes his side over Ellis'.

Sam Dingle

Played by: James Hooton

Sam: People look at me and think I'm backwards. No, they do. I know they do and I don't care. 'Cause they don't know me.
One of Zak's sons. A reliable farmer who tends to follow his family's lead.

  • Dumb Is Good: Sam isn't regarded as the brightest, but is generally nice, kind and hard-working.

Belle Dingle

Played by: Currently Eden Taylor-Draper, previously, James and Emily Mather

Eli Dingle

Played by: Joe Gilgun

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     Barton Family 

Moira Barton

Played by: Natalie J. Robb

  • Morality Adjustment: A natural consequence of marrying a Dingle. She's still a good person, but she's willing to lie to the police and steal a car if that means keeping Cain safe and out of prison.
  • Parents Know Their Children: Is the only one to recognise Matty when he comes back to Emmerdale after his transition.
  • Second Love: Her relationship with deceased husband John lasted over twenty years. After he died, she fell into a very loving relationship with Cain Dingle.

Adam Barton

Played by: Adam Thomas

Holly Barton

Played by: Sophie Powles

Matty Barton

Played by: Currently Ash Palmisciano, previously Grace Cassidy

  • Estranged Soap Family: Matty didn't come home for his sister's funeral - or indeed at all, for several years. Explained and arguably justified by the 2018 reveal that he was undergoing transitioning.
  • Just Friends: Quickly fell in love with old friend Victoria Barton upon returning and did have a brief relationship with her, but once Victoria found out Moira had led Adam take the fall for her crime, she broke off things with Matty, as she just wanted Adam back and didn't want anymore to do with anyone else in the family. Matty pined after her for a while yet, but once they made up, they went back to being Just Friends.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Villainous characters will often refuse to use Marty's current name and instead refer to him with his birth name.
  • Trangst: Downplayed, as Matty is self-assured in his identity, but still present in his fretting about dating as a trans man; Matty constantly worries about whether women will still be into him once they find out he's trans.
  • Transgender: Matty returned to the show in 2018 while undergoing transitioning, coming out to his family and friends as a trans man in the process, as they and the viewers had previously thought him Moira's daughter.
  • Trans Equals Gay: Discussed. Matty explains to Victoria that he initially assumed he was "just" a lesbian, but later figured out that he was a straight man.
  • Transphobic Hate Crime: On New Year's Eve 2018/19, Matty was assaulted by a couple of guys led by a guy Matty dated prior to transitioning.

Ross Barton

Played by: Michael Parr

  • Going Commando: Wears absolutely nothing underneath his mechanic’s overalls.
  • Defeat by Modesty - Debbie used Ross's preference for going commando against him when, for some light-hearted revenge, she trapped the material in the bonnet of a car he was working on. Ross wriggled free anyway and made his way to the pub in the nude.

James Barton

Played by: Bill Ward

Pete Barton

Played by: Anthony Quinlan

Finn Barton

Played by: Joe Gill

  • Camp Gay: A very toned down version, as it's more that Finn's somewhat feminine rather than outright camp, but he does enjoy music stereotypically associated with gay men and is contrasted with Aaron in this regard.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Finn was regarded as a big nerd for his love of superheroes and Death Note, Victoria once making him talk to Robert of all people about the latter instead of to her, only for them to find out that Robert likes Death Note too.
  • Nerd Glasses: Square, black-rimmed ones.
  • Gay Best Friend: Played for jokes. Has been best friends with Victoria and Tracy. He rarely had a love life of his own but helped the girls in theirs.

Emma Barton

Played by: Gillian Kearney

     Sharma Family 

Jai Sharma

Played by: Chris Bisson

Priya Sharma

Played by: Currently Fiona Wade. Previously Effie Woods.

Rishi Sharma

Played by:Bhasker Patel

Georgia Sharma

Played by: Trudie Goodwin

     White Family 

Lawrence White

Played by: John Bowe

Chrissie White

Played by: Louise Marwood

Rebecca White

Played by: Emily Head

  • Brutal Honesty: Due to complications from her brain damage, Rebecca has a tendency to be very blunt.
  • Easy Amnesia: Rebecca sustained brain damage from the crash that killed her father and sister. Reconstructed, as the specifics are much closer to reality, with Rebecca experiencing both retrograde and anterograde amnesia as well as other side effects from the brain damage. The trope still performs a similar function to when it's played straight, however, making it a reconstruction rather than a deconstruction.

Lachlan White

Played by: Thomas Atkinson

  • Self-Made Orphan: Lachlan caused the crash that killed his mother and grandfather.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: As a teenager, Lachlan did drugs, sexually assaulted an older woman, shot Lawrence and stalked Belle Dingle. Downplayed, as he was indeed a teenager rather than a child, but he's nevertheless often regarded with caution by other characters who are aware there's something off about him.

     Thomas Family 

Ashley Thomas

Played by: John Middleton

  • Crisis of Faith: Undergoes one as he comes to terms with his early-onset dementia.

Laurel Thomas

Played by: Charlotte Bellamy

Sandy Thomas

Played by: Freddie Jones

     Emmerdale Veterinary Centre 

Paddy Kirk

Played by: Dominic Brunt

  • Broken Pedestal: Aaron barely speaks to him after his affair with Tess (compounded by the fact that he made Aaron complicit in lying to Rhona); while this is far from the worst thing any of Aaron's parental figures have ever done, it's implied that it's worse because Paddy was supposed to be the good parent.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Paddy has been best friends with Marlon Dingle since the 90s, barring a few fights. After Rhona Goskirk found out she was pregnant with Marlon's baby after leaving him for Paddy, both men eventually ended up involved in his parenting along with her. In many bigger conflicts, such as between the rest of the Dingles and Marlon and his wife Jessie, Paddy and Marlon are the first to reconcile. Marlon has also put Paddy before his family loyalty on occasion, such as when Aaron Dingle beat Paddy up.
  • Nice Guy: Subverted. Although Paddy sees himself this way, he's done plenty of immoral things, such as cheating on wife and making Aaron cover for him, and is somewhat given to Wants a Prize for Basic Decency. This does depend on the writer, however.
  • Open-Minded Parent: To Aaron, even though they aren't related. He tries his best to help Aaron come to terms with his sexuality and is eager at any progress Aaron shows in accepting himself.
  • Parental Substitute: After both of his parents had had enough of him, Paddy took Aaron under his wing and let him live wit him. During Aaron's extreme difficulties with coming to terms with his sexuality, Paddy tries to do the best to be their for him, even after Aaron beats him up.
  • Shipping Torpedo: Was dead-set against Aaron being with Robert up until 2018 because of how Robert used to treat Aaron, especially the incident where he waved a gun in Aaron's face and later shot Paddy with it.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on his wife Rhona with her kid's teacher because she "makes him feel young."

Rhona Goskirk

Played by: Zoe Henry

  • Domestic Abuse: Rhona was raped on their wedding night by her ex-husband, Pierce Harris.
  • Marital Rape License: See above. Rhona was furthermore unable to get the marriage annulled as the rape counted as consummation in the eyes of the law.

Vanessa Woodfield

Played by: Michelle Hardwick

I'm trying to think of the right thing to say and I got... nothing.
  • Doting Parent: To her son Johnny.
  • Forced Out of the Closet: At a time when people thought Vanessa was straight, Charity tells everyone in the Woolpack that they had sex the night before.
  • Good Stepmother: Shaping up to be one to Charity's youngest, Moses, and is trying her best with Noah, too.
  • Morality Pet: Charity has been getting noticeably nicer since the two started dating.
  • Nice Girl: Possibly one of the nicest people in the village. It takes a lot for Vanessa to get really angry at others and when she does, you can be sure she'll still be fair and forgiving about it. This makes her relationship with Charity somewhat of a case of Opposites Attract.

Pearl Ladderbanks

Played by: Meg Johnson

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     Other Characters 

Eric Pollard

Played by: Chris Chittell

  • Long-Lost Relative: Never knew he had a son, David Metcalfe from his first marriage until 2006.
  • Mail-Order Bride: His wife, Dee De La Cruz who significantly younger than himself. When she leaves him due to his paranoia and business deals, Eric is left suicidal but is helped through it by Marlon Dingle.

Jimmy King

Played by: Nick Miles

  • The Atoner: After being partially responsible for causing the deaths of three people in an explosion, he reformed his sleazy ways and became a nice guy.

Jacob Gallagher

Played by: Joe-Warren Plant

  • Break the Cutie: Once a nice, friendly, well mannered boy he has been subjected to sexual abuse and grooming from his step-mother which has had a negative impact on his relationships with friends and family as well as his mental health.
  • Chick Magnet: Gabby, Liv and Leanne have all fancied him at one point or another
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments. Especially when he was a little kid.
  • Hot for Teacher: Sleeping with history teacher, and Dad's girlfriend no-less, Maya. It's Played for Drama.
  • Just a Kid: Still just a teenager when his teacher and step mother, Maya started grooming and abusing him. When Jacob was having doubts about the whole affair, Maya would say that he couldn't handle a proper adult relationship as he was just a kid.
  • Kid Has a Point: Called out his dad David for his mistreatment of his wife, Tracy. Ironically, Jacob treated Tracy with more respect and listened to her more than David ever did.
  • Momma'sBoy: To his biological mother Leyla and adoptive mother Alicia. Also developed a very close bond with step-mother Tracy.
  • Nice Guy: Very kind and considerate to most of the people in his life.

Ruby Haswell

Played by: Alicya Eyo

  • Bury Your Gays: A lesbian and the only character, aside from the unnamed pilot, to die when a helicopter crashed into Debbie Dingle and Pete Barton's wedding reception.

Kirin Kotecha

Played by: Adam Fielding

Carl King

Played by: Tom Lister


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