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Fleabag

    Fleabag 

Fleabag

Portrayed By: Phoebe Waller-Bridge

I have a horrible feeling that I'm a greedy, perverted, selfish, apathetic, cynical, depraved, morally bankrupt woman who can't even call herself a feminist

The protagonist, a lonely woman who runs an unsuccessful cafe in London.


  • Anti-Heroine: In the Classical Anti-Hero mould; she caused her best friend's suicide with her sleeping around, she pushes everyone away from her, she breaks Harry's heart, but she's also seriously wounded by the death of her mother and her father's remarriage, which drives most of her less moral actions. And the audience are always very close to her.
  • Aside Comment: One of her main modes of communication with the audience.
  • Aside Glance: Her other main mode of communication.
  • Bi the Way: A possible interpretation of her impulsive kiss with Belinda in Season 2.
  • But Not Too Bi: She impulsively kisses Belinda in Season 2, who she has known for all of two minutes, and is very evasive when Belinda asks her if she's ever been interested in women before. The answer seems to be yes, but we never see her with anyone except men.
  • Chew Toy: Justified. Fleabag can't make good decisions.
  • Cool Loser: Lampshaded by Claire, Fleabag may have a Dark and Troubled Past but she "will always be interesting".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Her favourite brand of humour.
  • Ethical Slut: Reconstructed. In Season 1, her sluttiness is one of the least ethical things about her (she sleeps with Boo's boyfriend, sleeps around, pushes Harry away with her porn searches), but she's also an ethical person. By Season 2, she's less slutty and even more ethical, but her sex drive is no longer treated as so unethical.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The "foolish" to Claire's "responsible." Though they swap places a bit in the second series.
  • Good Bad Girl: Fleabag did a lot of unpleasant things, like cheating with Boo's boyfriend, but she is also extremely moral and the audience is encouraged to like her.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Big time in Season 1, but she's trying to cut down by Season 2.
  • Little Sister Instinct: Same goes to Claire for her. No matter how much tension there is between them, they'll always help each other out.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Played with in Season 1, played much more straight in Season 2. Fleabag is a sex maniac, but it's actually destroyed most of her significant relationship, including (without Boo's knowing) with her dead best friend, Boo. In Season 2, most of this angst is gone.
  • No Name Given: No one ever refers to her by her first name, or in fact by any name at all.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Boo, as made clear in the flashbacks.
  • Sad Clown: In a meta twist, her audience is...us. She's constantly trying to make us laugh, even when it destroys her relationships with others.
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Fleabag's Family

    Dad 

Dad

Portrayed By: Bill Paterson

Fleabag's grieving but well-meaning dad.


  • Bumbling Dad: Lets Godmother chip away at his relationship with Fleabag and doesn't know how to help her.
  • Henpecked Husband: They aren't married yet, but it's a Running Gag that Dad never finishes a sentence with Godmother around.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Often rude to Fleabag, but it's clear it comes from a place of deep grief over her mother.
  • May–December Romance: When he and Godmother met, she was his mother's student; now, they're getting married, although they aren't as egregious as other examples of this trope.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Lampshaded; in the flashback episode to the funeral, he doesn't even like Godmother. No-one else likes her, but it's not known how, when, or if this changed for him.
  • Unnamed Parent: Even Godmother doesn't use - or, apparently, know - his name.

    Godmother 

Godmother

Portrayed By: Olivia Colman

It's about power.

Fleabag's godmother, and their father's girlfriend.


  • Attention Whore: She finds a way to make everything about herself; even, of all days, at Fleabag and Claire's mother's memorial lunch, which she happily dominates.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Although she's too much of a bitch to fool Fleabag (or Claire), she often pretends to be a sheep in public, but her true nature always comes through.
  • Control Freak: She needs virtually everything to be under her control, and has found an unhappy, spineless pawn in Fleabag's Dad, who she treats more like a servant than a spouse.
  • Drama Queen: Overlapping with her narcissistic, attention-seeking behaviour.
  • Driven by Envy: Implied with Fleabag: she doesn't like having a reminder of Fleabag's mother around, so her worst passive-aggressive bullying is directed at her.
  • It's All About Me: She's concerned only with herself, and if she senses even the slight possibility she'll be excluded in even some minor way, she forcefully steers everything back to focus on her. For God's sake, the woman made an art exhibition celebrating her own body.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: There are moments when she shows she might have some heart or behave decently for a change, but nope, she always behaves like a bitch. The worst moments are the ones where she makes jibs about Claire and Fleabag's dead mother.
  • Large Ham: Olivia Colman is having a lot of fun as the sociopathic Godmother, particularly noticeable when she screams "WHAT A CUNT!" at the Priest when he withdraws from officiating her wedding.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: She says "please" not once, but twice, when she asks Fleabag and Claire to go find Dad when their wedding is about to start and he's nowhere to be found.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: She's an expert at this. Godmother smiles brightly and on paper, is rather sweet, but every word is a cloaked jab at Fleabag, and her interactions are layered with hatred and spite. She holds back her vitriol just enough to let Fleabag know just how much she despises her.
  • The Prima Donna: Although she is a well-known artist and not showbiz-famous, Godmother epitomises this trope, hiding behind an Eccentric Artist facade but actually only being interested in herself.
  • The Sociopath: A rare realistic example, Godmother seems to care for no-one but herself (especially not Fleabag's father) and is extremely narcissistic.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Fleabag says that "she's not a wicked stepmother, she's just a cunt." She's however horrible to Fleabag and Claire, always. Now that she and Dad are engaged and eventually marry, she's both. Fleabag and her sister Claire are adult women so she can't make their lives as miserable as if they were still kids living in the same house as their father, but she's difficult to deal with.

    Claire 

Claire

Portrayed By: Sian Clifford

Fleabag's older sister, and Martin's wife.


  • Actually Pretty Funny: At the silent retreat, she actually laughs very loudly at one of Fleabag's jokes. It even surprises (and delights) Fleabag.
  • Aloof Big Sister: In contrast to the irreverent Fleabag, Claire rarely cracks a smile and is often irritated.
  • Big Sister Instinct: A very downplayed example as she actually scapegoats Fleabag a lot throughout Season 1, but by Season 2, it becomes slightly more apparent.
  • Control Freak: Her most prominent feature (at least before Beneath the Mask in Season 2). She can't even get a surprise party: she organizes her surprise party by herself and then invites the others.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Mostly only defrosts towards Fleabag when she needs her help. By season 2 they have a much healthier relationship, with Claire stating how she considers Fleabag the most important person in her life in the finale.
  • Emotionless Girl: Claire rarely shows any major emotion.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The "responsible" to Fleabag's "foolish". Although this is getting murkier in Season 2 when Fleabag pulls herself together and Claire's ordered life begins to fall apart.
  • Go-Getter Girl: A grownup version, but nonetheless, Claire is wealthy and successful in contrast to Fleabag.
  • Hidden Depths: Her reaction after the awards ceremony shows how insecure and self-conscious she feels about not having any of Fleabag's natural humor and charisma.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Claire can be snappy, snide, and uptight, especially with Fleabag, but she loves Fleabag very much and is clearly suffering from grief over her mother, too.
  • Stepford Smiler: When she's not being a Stepford Snarker, she's being one of these, especially around Dad and Godmother, who she never confronts (unlike Fleabag, who does).
  • Stepford Snarker: Is very abrasive towards Fleabag, but mostly to hide her unhappiness with Martin and stepson Jake.

    Martin 

Martin

Portrayed By: Brett Gelman

Claire's husband.


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    Jake 

Jake

Portrayed By: Angus Imrie

Claire's stepson, Martin's son.


  • Ambiguous Disorder: Jake is odd, but it's never clear exactly about what his deal is beyond being creepy as fuck.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: He does not like his father. Martin claims Jake never likes to see him, and Jake even quietly urges Fleabag to get Claire to leave Martin.
  • Creepy Monotone: He always speaks in a flat, emotionless tone.
  • Enfant Terrible: He's a teenager so this trope shouldn't apply, but everyone's secret conviction that he is going to kill someone one day falls under this.

Friends, Lovers & Others

    Boo 

Boo

Portrayed By: Jenny Rainsford

Fleabag's best friend, who committed suicide before the events of Season 1.


  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Boo is dreamy and sweet.
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted. While she does commit suicide, Fleabag calls this a cry for help and attention to bring her boyfriend back rather than a serious attempt. Unfortunately, it killed her.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Fleabag was indirectly responsible for Boo's suicide, and it continues to haunt her even after she's come to accept her mother's death in Season 2. Exactly why she died is one of the driving questions of Season 1.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: Fleabag did this to her in-universe, when she slept with Boo's adored asshole boyfriend in the backstory, and drove Boo to suicide (although she didn't know it was Fleabag).
  • Kind Hearted Animal Lover: Loved guinea pigs and is very kind.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: To Fleabag. It seems to be why Fleabag never communicates with the audience in flashbacks, only after Boo's death.
  • Posthumous Character: She has already committed suicide by the first episode, but still remains a significant part of the story.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Fleabag, as made clear in the flashbacks.

    Harry 

Harry

Portrayed By: Hugh Skinner

Fleabag's on-again off-again boyfriend.


  • Destructive Romance: With Fleabag. He's far too high-strung for her, she isn't as emotionally involved with him as he is with her, and much of the time this manifests in Fleabag being fairly dismissive of him and him being far too short-tempered with her.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Deconstructed. He certainly thinks he's this, but he's often condescending and short-tempered with Fleabag. He also overreacts like crazy to virtually everything she does and treats her masturbation as some kind of personal offense worth throwing a hissy fit over, he's unsupportive, Wants a Prize for Basic Decency, is overly-controlling and there are a few hints of genuine misogyny that leak out.
  • Love Martyr: To Fleabag as she struggles with her grief. He does eventually give up, though.
  • Love Will Lead You Back: Fleabag believes this of him in the later part of Season 1, but it doesn't work. Though there will always be fondness and warmth between them.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: His dynamic with Fleabag. He's a lot softer and more emotional than she is.
  • The One That Got Away: Season 1 makes it clear he is this to Fleabag when he finally breaks up with her and moves on.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: Played straight for a lot of Season 1, but subverted when she pushes him too far.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Often throws the support he gives Fleabag in her face.

    The Priest 

The Priest

Portrayed By: Andrew Scott

The priest marrying Godmother and Dad, and Fleabag's new love interest.


  • The Alcoholic: It's never remarked upon, but he's at minimum tipsy in most of his scenes, and takes up every offer for a drink. At one point he refuses a drink of water because he wants "a clear head".
  • Betty and Veronica: The "Betty" to most of Fleabag's other love interests.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: Fleabag scorns him for arguing this in his first appearance, although she comes around to seeing him pretty differently.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Deconstructed. He needs to remain chaste because of his religious calling, but his attraction to Fleabag makes him very unhappy.
  • Irish Priest: Played by Irish actor Andrew Scott using his own accent.
  • Medium Awareness: He's the only other person who notices Fleabag talking to the audience.
  • Nice Guy: One of the few characters that can uncontroversially be called a good person, and the only one of Fleabag's love interests. His life can be defined by love: loving his parishioners as a father, loving God, and loving Fleabag.
  • No Name Given: Like Fleabag herself.
  • Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny: Realistic example. He really wants Fleabag, but he takes his vow of celibacy very seriously, so sex becomes this for him.
  • Sexy Priest: Fleabag thinks so, as to a lesser extent does Claire, and probably Godmother.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Even counting how much everyone swears.
  • The Vicar: Less silly than this trope usually is, but still.
  • White Sheep: Apparently his brother is a paedophile and his parents are violent alcoholics. Although he is a Functioning Addict (or so the amount of booze he drinks would indicate), he's also a genuinely good-hearted person.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Played for drama due to his occupation. In Season 2, Episode 5, they finally do, but can't become a couple.
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    Bank Manager 

The Bank Manager

Portrayed By: Hugh Dennis

  • The Atoner: He truly does feel terrible about his past actions and is genuinely trying to better himself. He shows how far he's come when he performs the key act of kindness in series 1: urging Fleabag to forgive herself, and giving her a second chance with the cafe.
  • Hidden Depths: After a disastrous first meeting in which he appears to be a garden-variety jerk, he reappears and actually bonds with Fleabag. He admits that he's fucked up the good life he once had with his sexual impropriety and yearns to just go home. In return to his outpouring of honesty, Fleabag is sincerely honest with him, and he silently assures her that he won't tell anyone her truth.
  • Nice Guy: One of the handful of characters who actually tries to better himself.
  • Not So Different: To Fleabag, as shown by their coincidental participation at the same resort. His greater experience and family support allows him to give a crucial life lesson to Fleabag though.
  • Odd Friendship: With the thirtysomething Fleabag by the end of series 1. He even keeps an eye on her cafe in one series 2 episode.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: The essence of his arc throughout series 1.

    Arsehole Guy 

Arsehole Guy

Portrayed By: Ben Aldridge

  • A-Cup Angst: He seems to have a fetish for small breasts, which Fleabag can't help but find irritating.
  • Friends with Benefits: He has this type of relationship with Fleabag.
  • No Name Given: Known only as "Arsehole Guy" because he's into anal sex.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: He's extremely handsome and he's very aware of it. While he's happy enough with it to have a big photo of himself on his bedroom wall, he also implies it isn't always a good thing.
    Fleabag: When did you realise you were so good looking?
    Arsehole Guy: I knew I was different when I was about 9... but shit got real around 11. Aunts got... weird.

    Bus Rodent 

Bus Rodent

Portrayed By: Jamie Demetriou

    Counsellor 

Fleabag's Counsellor

Portrayed By: Fiona Shaw
  • Actor Allusion: Her complaint of having dry forearms is shared by Shaw's character in Killing Eve (which was also created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge).
  • One-Scene Wonder: Has literally just one scene, but it's a very memorable one which earned Shaw an Emmy nomination.

    Belinda 

Belinda

Portrayed By: Kristen Scott Thomas

A successful businesswoman who meets Fleabag at an awards ceremony presented by Claire.

    Hot Misogynist 

Hot Misogynist a.k.a. David

Portrayed By: Ray Fearon

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