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Zoya the Destroya
Portrayed By: Alison Brie
- Adorkable: Is "Girl Next Door" cute and really dorky.
- Agony of the Feet: Debbie takes some cocaine before a match and ends up breaking Ruth's ankle for real.
- The Atoner: She puts up with a lot of poor treatment from Debbie out of guilt over sleeping with Debbie's husband. Though after Debbie breaks her ankle in a moment of coked-up rage during a bout, Ruth makes it clear that that's the final straw and she's done playing the martyr.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Zoya ends up winning the GLOW crown at the in-universe series finale.
- Brainy Brunette: Brown haired and quick to learn the fundamentals of wrestling with her acting talent and knowledge. At the end of of Season One, she had planned a script for the Pilot when Sam goes AWOL.
- Dirty Communists: Her entire schtick.
- Evil Is Hammy: She takes a trip to the ham shop when she's playing Zoya.
- Evil Twin: Her good twin, Olga, helps Liberty Belle rescue her daughter.
- Fake Russian: In-Universe, as Zoya the Destroyer.
- Flyover Country: She's from Nebraska and has been compared to a "Farmer's Daughter". In Season 3, when she takes up the Liberty Belle persona, she gives her a Midwestern flavor that sounds and looks like a cross between Judy Garland and Esther Williams and even considers herself an expert on different steak cuts as she is from Omaha.
- Foreign Wrestling Heel: Zoya, who "eats stars and stripes for breakfast".
- Game-Breaking Injury: Debbie fractures her leg during a particularly intense match and is sidelined for eight weeks. Ultimately subverted in that they find a way to incorporate her into the last match of the series.
- The Generic Guy: In stark contrast to everyone else, Sam and Bash have a very hard time figuring out a workable persona for her.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Sam, who's around twenty years her senior.
- Hate Sink: The point of both her wrestling personas. Her initial "homewrecker" character is heavily based on her actual conflict with Debbie, whereas Zoya represents everything Cold War America despises about the Soviet Union.
- Number Two: Ironically considering Sam hates her at first, she eventually falls into this role to him. He often consults with her about his decisions (while making it clear he in no way values her opinions) and she pretty much writes, directs, books and performs their first taped show due to his absence. By the end of season 2, she is officially appointed as his co-director.
- Sibling Murder: She murders Olga, while the latter gets her surgery for her deformed foot.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Debbie, who loathes the sight of her.
- Waiting for a Break: She's an aspiring actress at the start of the series.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Debbie. By the end of the season, they go from hatred to a tentative mutual support.
- Would Hurt a Child: Zoya has kidnapped and is willing to kill Liberty Belle's daughter.
Portrayed By: Betty Gilpin
- All-American Face: As Liberty Belle.
- Alpha Bitch: Downplayed example. She doesn't go out of her way to insult anyone but she has a vendetta against a very contrite Ruth and she doesn't interact with the other women on the regular and carries a sense of superiority (as opposed to someone like Tamme who would take time to chat with a drive thru attendant about children). During their fight in the seventh episode of the second season, Ruth also accuses Debbie of only wanting to be friends with her in the first place so that she could feel smug about having a more successful life than Ruth.
- Blonde Republican Sex Kitten: Debbie is blonde and Liberty Belle is very anti-communist and one of her favorite people is Ronald Reagan.
- Arguably could be considered one to Tex and/or his business associates.
- Career Versus Family: A big conflict in Season 3 as her work in Vegas takes her away from her baby boy Randy. She deals with another working mother (a flight attendant) giving her a hard time about it.
- Conditioned to Accept Horror: A more charitable interpretation of her complete lack of sympathy for Ruth almost being raped by a sleazy TV executive; as far as she's concerned, being forced to have sex with sleazy men to get a break is just part and parcel of being a woman working in TV and cinema during the 80s.
- Deadpan Snarker: She has a dry sense of the ridiculous and isn't afraid to lampshade the ridiculousness of her cast-mates and fellow producers.
- Deuteragonist: While the main focus of the series is the development of GLOW, the show's secondary arc is Debbie's attempts to adapt to the world of wrestling (she didn't even intend to audition in the first place, and just happened to confront Ruth over the affair in the middle of it), as well as her recovery after discovering the affair between Mark and Ruth.
- Disappeared Dad: Her mother reveals that Debbie's dad left after she was born, the closest thing to a father figure she has is her mother's boyfriend/second husband Ron.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Played with; she has pretty valid reasons to be pissed off at Ruth, given that the latter had an affair with her husband, but the series gradually suggests that her marriage and life was far from perfect to begin with and her refusal to even consider letting go of some of her anger and spite towards Ruth is increasingly unreasonable, unfair and harmful not just to Ruth but to herself as well. Her breaking of Ruth's ankle during a bout in a moment of coked-up fury is definitely played as this, however, and her apparent lack of remorse afterwards is shown to be entirely unreasonable, leading to Ruth making it clear in no uncertain terms that whether Debbie forgives her or not, she's done taking shit from her.
- Eagleland: Her wrestling persona parodies Type 1 all the way.
- Liberty Belle : How do you spell "freedom" ? U - S - A!
- Genre Savvy: In-Universe example. Her artistry as a wrestler finally takes off as soon as she realizes wrestling is basically a type of soap opera, which she knows how to do.
- Happy Holidays Dress: Wears a low-cut, off the shoulder gown in the GLOW Christmas show.
- Housewife: After being written off her soap opera show, she becomes a stay-at-home mom.
- It's All About Me: Ruth accuses Debbie of this during their fight in episode seven of season two, suggesting that she was only friends with Ruth in the first place to have someone to look down on, and of barging her way into the wrestling show partly in order to ensure that Ruth wouldn't have any success that might possibly overshadow Debbie's. It's implied she's not far off the truth.
- Mama Bear: In person, very loving and protective of her son Randy. As Liberty Belle, she's "a proud American Mother" who'd never imagine a world without freedom and is ready to kick any Soviets that threaten the freedom of her and her children.
- Parents as People: She loves Randy but admits to Cherry that she sometimes wishes she never married and had a baby given how difficult it is to be a producer, wrestler, and a single mother.
- The Prima Donna: Is this when it comes to her character and when trying to find her a heel, to the point that Sam ends up neglecting the other women.
- Punny Name: Liberty Belle, playing off of bell/belle.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Has a gift for giving these off to people who have offended her in a big way (Ruth, Mark, Bash, a Working Mom shaming flight attendant).
- Shower of Angst: She takes one after accidentally breaking's Ruth's ankle in a match.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: She mostly got attention for her body as a teenager and it has influenced her Weight Woe practices.
- Southern Belle: Debbie puts on a Southern accent as Liberty Belle to make the name a pun. It also makes her sound more wholesome.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Ruth, though it takes her a long time to trust Ruth enough to work with her in the ring. As Steel Horse tells her, you don't have to like someone to wrestle well with them.
- X-Pac Heat: In universe, the crowd ends up turning on Liberty Belle after the "get a job" post match skit with Welfare Queen doesn't go over with the crowd as hoped. Fortunately, Ruth is able to salvage the situation by faking a kidnapping of a little girl in the crowd and passing her off as Liberty Belle's daughter.
- Weight Woe: Desert Pollen had Debbie insecure when a dance instructor makes a comment about her backside stirs up insecurities about her body and about her motherhood (as she is the star and has a feminine and athletic body without being "too" any of those things), she ends up vomiting at the end. She even has been dieting since age 14 because all people notice is her body.
Portrayed By: Sydelle Noel
- Action Girl: Before having to take over as the trainer for the girls, she's a trained stuntwoman. The first scene we see of her TV show is her chasing after a criminal.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: Cherry Bang sounds like something from Sam's movies. Lampshaded by Mallory the casting director, who says that can't possibly be her real name.
- Career Versus Family: She enjoys her stunt and wrestling work and is working on procreating but finds out that pregnancy can be grueling with the combination of the physical work she does, even dangerous, and that it could set her career back.
- Deadpan Snarker: She often voices snark at Debbie's Diva-like attitude, Sam's practices, Melrose's behavior, and any other thing that seems ridiculous. She even snarks at herself for being serious.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Taken for granted by Sam, who just assumes she'll be fine with training the rest of the girls. The girls also have varying reactions to her - from Ruth and Carmen, who value her even as they gripe about the training, to Melrose, who is cruel and mocking to her.
- The Gambling Addict: In Season 3, She ends up $5,000 in debt to the casino playing craps.
- Happily Married: To Keith.
- Hollywood Voodoo
- Loser Leaves Town: She fights against Yolanda for the right to be Junkchain. Subverted since only "Black Junkchain" leaves, which allows Cherry to take the role of Black Magic.
- My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Not a worry for her, but as she is in her late 20s or early 30s (given she has been working as a stunt double since The '70s), Keith confides that he wants to start having kids with her.
- Odd Friendship: With Debbie. They bond over (semi) quitting smoking, walks of shame, and just why they call a wrestler "Steel Horse".
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: In Season 3, she ends up $5,000 in debt to the casino and resorts to mud wrestling to pay it off.
Portrayed By: Britney Young
- Adorkable: Very sweet of nature and face, Bash even remarks that there is no way she could be able to scare children.
- Ambiguously Brown: When everyone switches characters for a night, she announces she's the only other one who can play Welfare Queen due to being half-black, which comes as quite a surprise to the rest of the crew.
- The Artifact: In-universe, Machu-Pichu is her name in the ring when she's initially conceived of being a Wrestling Monster, depicted as a Mayincantec warrior. However her sweet nature and inability to act results in this being dropped and instead, Machu-Pichu is merely just Carmen playing herself.
- Badass Adorable: Her "winsome" countenance and easygoing nature make her a perfect "gentle giant"....that could take down Welfare Queen.
- Bad Liar: Her attempt at convincing her dad she's dating Bash folds like a house of cards at one look from him. She also provides some not-very-convincing comments during Debbie and Ruth's training session with her brothers.
- The Big Guy: The big girl, named after a mountain citadel.
- Brainy Brunette: Brown hair with a knowledge of wrestling history and how wrestling personas should work.
- Gentle Giant: Her size initially gets her cast as a heel Wrestling Monster, but Bash quickly convinces her that her natural sweetness makes her better suited to a face.
- Mayincatec: Her wrestling theme (maybe)
- Odd Friendship: With Bash. He pretends to be her boyfriend after knowing her for five minutes, helps her after her panic attack, and confides in her about his money/parental problems.
- Parental Abandonment: Her mother left for unknown reasons.
- Performance Anxiety: At GLOW's first live show, she has a panic attack before getting into the ring and runs out of the gym, nearly having a heart attack.
- Raised by Dudes: Lives with her dad and two older brothers - all wrestlers. Seems to have the opposite personality to all of them.
- Wrestling Family: She's from one of these, allowing her to teach the girls a bit about wrestling. Her father disapproves of her being in the ring. He comes around in the season 1 finale though.
Portrayed By: Marc Maron
- Alliterative Name: Both actor and character alike.
- Chivalrous Pervert: This line says is best"I can't objectify you now that I know you're human!"
- Disappeared Dad: Is actually Justine's dad and she just met him.
- It's Been Done: He has been working for ten years to try and get his film Mothers and Lovers made, and was planning to use GLOW as a way to fund it. It turns out that shares too much with Back to the Future.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He has a very abrasive personality and he is definitely a slightly misogynistic jerk but has his sweet moments when he shows that he really cares about the show. He also got some bonding moments with Ruth and helps her when she gets an abortion. He also sticks up for Ruth when she tells him that she was nearly raped by a TV executive..
- MayDecember Romance: He tends to date his actresses, even when they're much younger than him, and this includes when dating Rhonda/Britanica. He makes a drunken pass on Justine until he finds out she's his daughter, and her fangirling over him is parental idolisation, and over the course of the second season slowly falls in love with Ruth, and is offended when she outlines the age difference as a reason why they can't date.
- Papa Wolf: In the 10th episode. He finds out Justine (who is his illegitimate daughter) is seeing Billy the pizza boy, and gets violently overprotective of her.
- Parental Incest: Hitting rock bottom at a party, he puts the moves on Justine and kisses her. She recoils in horror and admits she's his daughter. Oops.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Zig-Zagged. He has no problem indulging in stereotypes but also has no issue with actually hiring a diverse cast, such as the openly gay Yolanda, and shows no objection to Yolanda and Arthie getting together (actually telling the latter he finds them adorable). Kieth describes him as more sexist than racist and its implied he was a former civil rights activist... who joined up to get laid. Overall, its clear he's more insensitive to race issues rather than outright bigoted, and has issues with women that he's at least trying to deal with.
Portrayed By: Britt Baron
- Badass Adorable: "Scab" may be brash, loud and fierce, but her clothes, hairstyle and petite frame means she looks pretty cute, too. Especially if you're into punk girls.
- Deadpan Snarker: Oh so very much.
- Easily Forgiven: Even though she tried to frame Rhonda and get her fired Rhonda didn't hold it against her and even convinced Sam not to fire her.
- Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: She has some unconventional ways of interpreting Sam's work in film.
- Fangirl: She is this for horror movies and even of Sam's films. Averted for wrestling itself - she doesn't really want to wrestle so much as she just wants to reconnect with her father.
- Genki Girl: She turns into this when she gushes to Sam about his movies and script "The Wrath of Kuntar".
- Generation Xerox: Her father, Sam, and her are pretty similar, being heavily into gory horror, both being opinionated and quick to anger, Sir Swears-a-Lot, and both being AV Club geeks. He's pretty happy when he realises the extent of this.
- Karma Houdini: Tried to frame Rhonda for the theft of Sam's camera and suffers no recourse for it.
- Luke, You Are My Father: "The Liberal Chokehold" reveals that she's Sam's illegitimate daughter.
- The Quincy Punk: Her wrestling persona is this, one that is seen as threatening to Yuppies and Middle America. While she's a legitimate punk music fan, she's much more mild-mannered and quieter than this persona off the ring.
- Spear Carrier: She helps the show out in season 2 by appearing as a variety of bit characters
Rhonda Richardson (later Howard)
Portrayed By: Kate Nash
- Brainless Beauty: She is the go-to Ms. Fanservice and extremely ditzy, which is ironic considering that her wrestling persona is based on intelligence.
- Dysfunctional Family: At a low point in her storyline in Season 2, she reveals that her parents are both alcoholics.
- Easily Forgiven: Even after she was set up to be framed by Justine, she said she wasn't mad and even talked Sam into not punishing her.
- Fiery Redhead: Has scarlet auburn hair but mostly averts this trope as she is sweet and even-tempered even with Sam and when she does get furious and emotional, it's rare.
- Hot Scientist: Her character Britannica is this.
- The Illegal: She is revealed to be living in the United States illegally and she marries Bash for her green card.
- Nice Girl: Among the nicest in the entire series.
- Nouveau Riche: She is married to Bash, the wealthy son of a family that founded a food company, and she is enjoying the trappings of being young and rich in the 1980s; but she is savvier about money than Bash, who needed his wife to create a savings account for his uncashed checks (often above three digits) at a local bank, and rather than go for the much more expensive suit in red that her mother in law offers to buy for her, she picks the alternative: a baby pink suit that is closer to her taste and is cheaper despite not being as "posh" as the previous one.
- Sleeping with the Boss: She's sleeping with Sam in the first season, and she gets married on TV to Bash in the second season finale.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Wears a pair of Nerd Glasses as part of her Britannica outfit.
- Spoiled Sweet: Now that she is married to Bash, she is filthy rich and can enjoy the many privileges of living in a penthouse style suite on the hotel but she'd rather walk downstairs and join the rest of her castmates on the elevator.
- Stylistic Suck: The "rap" video she makes to promote GLOW.
- Three-Way Sex: What she ends up doing with Bash in Season 3, although it originally was intended to be Cuckoldry.
Portrayed By: Gayle Rankin
- Animal Motif: Wolves.
- Birthday Hater: The girls find out that it's her birthday, and, led by Jenny, drag her roller-skating. Sheila ends up begrudingly having a great time.
- Color Motif: Mostly dark colors and thick, black eyeliner.
- Deadpan Snarker: On the same level as Justine.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Is initially very anti-social and even puts a dead squirrel on Ruth's bed to get her to stay away. By the end of season 2, she considers every member of the team to be a part of her pack.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: She becomes one in-universe, getting by far the most fan mail and even getting people doing impressive cosplays of her.
- Loners Are Freaks: At first, until the girls come to accept her.
- Messy Hair: Messy wig.
- Otherkin: She knows she's human, but she truly considers herself to be a wolf.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Her appearance as Liza Minnelli in Freaky Tuesday counts and then she sheds her wolf persona in the desert after recovering from dehydration.
- Arthie: I've never seen her dressed as a human woman before.
- Wrestling Monster: While she first insists that her wolf identification has nothing to do with werewolves, she comes to embrace the character by the time the pilot is filmed, being taken to the ring in a cage and howling.
Portrayed By: Kia Stevens
- Author Tract: Her whole wrestling persona is about how poor black women are abusing the benefits system to live like queens while the common working man suffers in poverty.
- Big Beautiful Woman: She is a very beautiful woman and has easily the most glamorous outfits of the group.
- Career Versus Family: Held back on her comedic and acting career after her son was born and regrets it.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Sam doesn't seem to have any clear plans for her at first, and her gimmick is rather thrown together based on her race and the costume she chose at the party. She quickly becomes a massive fan favorite among the wrestlers and audience alike however due to her charismatic performances, and Sam actually books her to go over Liberty Belle at the end.
- Education Mama: She put her son first while he grew up, and is extremely proud her son is at Stanford.
- Ethnic Scrappy: Meant to be reviled by the audience for her laziness. Yet everybody loves her for her charismatic performance.
- Everyone Has Standards: Welfare Queen may be brazen about spending the taxpayer's dollar on luxuries but she really dislikes bigotry.
- Game-Breaking Injury: Doing a show every night in Vegas takes a massive toll on her back, which she covers with wine and pills until she finally breaks down backstage. This also happens to be the same night Bash announces the show is being extended for a year.note
- Nice Girl: Friendly, kind, and supportive. She alternates between being a maternal figure and a friend to the younger women at work, she takes the time to talk with a fast food employee about children, and she offers support to Debbie when it comes to being stood up by Sam and Bash or difficulties of being a single mom.
- Odd Friendship: With Debbie. Their wrestling personas are polar opposites; she is kind, friendly, and down-to-earth whereas Debbie can be a diva but she befriends and gives her emotional support on the basis that they are the only Moms in the group of wrestlers.
- Sassy Black Woman: Witty and verbal yet very wise. But she also proves to be very sweet and friendly, even taking time to advise Debbie, as one mother to another.
- Token Religious Teammate: Her "Freaky Tuesday" Beatdown Biddie is a proud member of a church
- Uncle Tom Foolery: Her son accuses her of playing a minstrel character. Her public humiliation after losing the crown doesn't help.
Portrayed By: Jackie Tohn
- All Women Are Lustful: She enjoys male attention, is flirtatious with the male crew members, and she takes it very hard when she finds out that Justine (a younger teenager) has been having sex more than she.
- It's suggested that she desires sex more than marriage in the finale of the Second Season.
- She suggests Ruth tell Russell to stop giving her hickeys and start performing his suctions on her clitoris.
- Attention Whore: Has a bit of this, and Cherry calls her out over it.
- This is addressed by Jenny in Season 3 in a very emotional episode.
- Berserk Button: Anti-Semitism or jokes about Jewish culture is one. Justified in that her father was a Holocaust survivor who lost his family and insists on living in a house with either an attic or basement in case the family ever had to hide.
- Cluster F-Bomb: She really shouts a lot of obscenities, whether she is angry or mild.
- Country Matters: One of the many cuss words she uses.
- Easily Forgiven: After the incredibly cruel prank she played on Cherry and stealing Ruth's good shoes in the second episode and tattled on Debbie in the 6th she was forgiven by all three and the rest of the girls and treated as if she never did any of it.
- Fun Personified: Aims to be this trope, stating that she is the kind of girl who wakes up with nothing to do and will end up in a Van Halen video at the end of the day.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Both her and her wrestling persona.
- Heel Realization: Undergoes this in Season 3 where she realises just how much of a hypocrite she is about her casual racism towards Jenny's race, given her sensitivity about her own Jewish heritage. When Jenny breaks down recounting how her family barely survived the Cambodian Genocide, much like Melrose's father barely survived the Holocaust, she tearfully apologises for how insensitive she's been.
- Hidden Depths: After a bunch of stereotypical Jewish jokes gets her accused of making a supposed parable for the group all about her, she breaks down weeping and reveals her aunt and eight cousins were killed in the Holocaust, and her father still worries it could happen again.
- Jewish American Princess: States herself as Jewish and is a bratty party girl who drives her own limo around.
- Jewish Complaining: Does some very comedic complaining.
- Shaped Like Itself: Her wrestling persona is an '80s party girl who masters her sex appeal and is named Melrose.
- Spoiled Brat: Downplayed but she comes from a wealthy background and part of her rebellious behavior is a coping mechanism.
- Those Two Guys: with Jenny.
- Token Religious Teammate: She is very devoted to the teachings, history, and current events surrounding her religion and culture. Even serving an impromptu and improvised Seder at a campfire with the other girls.
Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling (G.L.O.W.)
Stacy Beswick & Dawn Rivecca
Ethel Rosenblatt & Edna Rosenblatt aka The Toxic Twins
Portrayed By: Kimmy Gatewood and Rebekka Johnson
- Alter Kocker: Ethel and Edna have strong Yiddish accents. However, they aren't Jewish themselves, and the Jewish Melrose accuses them of being anti-Semitic.
- The Bus Came Back: In-Universe with the Biddies, who get turned into the Toxic Twins in season 2. In season 3 on the floor show, the Biddies are reinstated.
- Chatty Hairdresser: She was a hairdresser and said her clients found her and her friend hilarious enough to be on tv.
- '80s Hair: In a show populated with the volumuinous coiffures of the decade, her's and Dawn's are by far the most perfected and of-the-moment given their profession.
- Fun Personified: Stacy, along with Dawn, abandon the Beatdown Biddies characters for a very rock and roll and sexy wrestling personas claiming that their self-esteem was being affected by playing two old ladies. They're used to represent a fun party that a teenager could have gone to if pregnancy hadn't ruined her life for a PSA.
- I Love Nuclear Power: During a fight with Melrose, they get sprayed with something Nuclear and transform into the Toxic Twins.
- Innocently Insensitive: They often are crass and loud-mouthed, to the point of being Politically Incorrect Hero types, but their remarks about lesbians really shake Yolanda and Arthie.
- Never Mess with Granny: Parodied as her and Dawn's team the Beatdown Biddies.
- Those Two Guys: They're practically inseparable. Discussed in season 3's Bottle Episode "Outward Bound".
Beirut the Mad Bomber
Portrayed By: Sunita Mani
- Academic Athlete: A serious medical student who also has great acrobatic and gymnastic skills, as evidenced by her cannonball and flip at the pool.
- Badass Bookworm: In season 1, she's a medical student who studied in between wrestling practices.
- Bi the Way: Her comments about falling for Yolanda seem to suggest that she didn't realize she could be into girls and had considered herself straight before.
- Explored in Season 3 when her relationship with Yolanda becomes something serious. Yolanda actually confronts her on this, albeit without bringing up the notion of bisexuality.
- Bollywood Nerd: Is Hindi and a medical student who studies frequently.
- Born-Again Immortality: Tries to do this with her Beirut character (Phoenix theme and all), but her thunder is literally stolen by the Biddies.
- Brainy Brunette: Dark haired medical student.
- Hate Sink: In-Universe, her character winds up making her a little more this trope than she's comfortable with.
- Middle Eastern Terrorists: Albeit against her comfort.
- The Medic: She serves this role in the group, trying to steer the other women away from tampons to pads (preventing Toxic Shock Syndrome) and helping with the cut that Rhonda received when some bigots meant to throw objects at Arthie but missed.
- Reality Ensues: She ends up failing out of med school due to her wrestling schedule. However, she admits to Sam in Season 2 that she probably would have ended up failing anyway, and only even went there because her parents wanted her to.
- Romantic Wingman: Serves as this to Justine when she sees that Justine has a crush on Billy, and has a hard time approaching him; she orders pizza and leaves to study for 40 minutes so the two can have some alone time.
- Suddenly Sexuality: Over the course of Season 2 she falls in love with Yolanda, and is indicated to have started dating her in the finale.
- Too Soon: The pilot is taped during the TWA 847 hostage crisis, so her stereotypical Islamic terrorist character is rather poorly received by the audience, to the point that she is pelted with racial slurs and beer cans.
- Those Two Bad Guys: With Jenny, particularly during the first season as their characters are often used as evil henchmen.
- X-Pac Heat: When audience members react violently to her Beirut character, she's unnerved and seems to think that they hated her rather than just her character.
Vicky the Viking
- Portrayed By: Marianna Palka
- Brawn Hilda: She's a fit, tall, broad built woman who isn't particularly feminine which is why she was passed over for the "Liberty Belle" role in favor of the more feminine and conventionally beautiful Debbie.
- Granola Girl: Shades of this. In season 3, she is able to navigate a hiking trail with nothing but the rock formations leading her, and is the most prepared for their camping trip.
- Horny Vikings
- Nice Girl: She is a pretty friendly person who hangs out with the cast and Season 2 shows her to be very loyal and admiring of Ruth to the point of standing up for her to Sam and getting fired for it.
- Naughty Nuns: Her "Freaky Tuesday" persona is not only Nun Too Holy, but she seems to have a very kinky streak.
- Nun Too Holy: Her "Freaky Tuesday" persona is a very menacing nun, along with being slightly kinky.
- Put on a Bus: Early in season 2, she gets fired for standing up to Sam, but The Bus Came Back when Ruth convinces Sam to rehire her later in the season.
- The Resenter: She was on the American Olympic wrestling team and a proud American, so her gimmick of "Vicky the Viking" clearly irks her. She responds to Debbie's pro-American speech by picking her up and hurling her across the ring while screaming that she used to be Liberty Belle.
- Seems to hold no real grudge at Debbie in season 3, although will snarkily bring it up from time to time.
Portrayed By: Ellen Wong
- Badass Adorable: Fortune Cookie is "Cute like Panda....but fast like Dragon!"
- Dirty Communists / Yellow Peril: Her wrestling persona, an antagonistic Asian stereotype, pairs up with Soviet Zoya the Destroya in the final match of season 2 and in season 3 this tag-team continues.
- This becomes a tearjerker in Season 3 when she reveals that her family was persecuted by the Communists in Cambodia, and was a survivor of ethnic cleansing. Playing a stereotypical Chinese communist every night ends up sending her into a depression.
- Fashionista: Has the best mid 1980s Californian clothing items, the most of the moment hair and makeup, and uses her styling expertise to create the costumes for the shows. She ends up being promoted to GLOW's official costume designer, and is recognized and complimented by other artists in Las Vegas .
- Fun Personified: Likes going out, birthday parties, bold colored make up, and is very easy-going.
- Good with Numbers: Pretty much figures out how much she needs to be paid for all the additional wardrobe work she does.
- Immigrant Patriotism: Ironically her comments on birthdays indicates she's quite the fan of western values, and not overly fond of her native Cambodia.
- Explained in season 3, when she reveals that her family came from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge.
- Pink Is Feminine: Often seen wearing pink clothing and even pink makeup.
- Team Mom: Often concerned about the others (sometimes to smothering levels) and the only one practical enough to take a sewing machine to a live taping.
- In season 3, she brings the food for the campsite and fusses over people's costumes during Freaky Tuesday.
- Those Two Guys: with Melrose.
- Valley Girl: Has the mannerisms put down, implied to be her fulfilling the American Dream. Given what one knows about Cambodian history from the 1960s-1980s and her past, she is a refugee.
Portrayed By: Shakira Barrera
- But Not Too Gay: She is a proud lesbian but given the time period and having moved to a city she isn't familiar with, she acts straight so she avoids hostility and it pains her.
- Closet Key: Is this for Arthie.
- Dance Battler: Her first match against Zoya is a dance battler. It's implied that she incorporates her dance moves into her combat as she pulls a move while practicing a match.
- Good Bad Girl: She works as a stripper on the side but she is a very sweet and friendly person.
- Hypocrite: To some extent, she gets very upset by Stacie and Dawn's casual, unintentionally homophobic remarks, to the point she angrily labels them bigots. However, when Artie expresses she's not sure what her actual identifier is, and wonders if she even needs one, Yolanda dismisses her as a 'straight girl who's confused about what she is', which clearly upsets Arthie.
- Lipstick Lesbian: She likes women, and she's often dressed femininely with a full face of makeup.
- No Bisexuals: Espouses this view while falling out with Arthie; when Arthie brings up how she doesn't really identify as gay explicitly, Yolanda angrily accuses her of being a straight girl who's 'confused', seeing gay and straight as a pure binary with no alternate ground. Unfortunate Truth in Television as many bisexuals can attest to getting this treatment from lesbian and gay parts of the LGBT community.
- Platonic Prostitution: She flirts with Mormon dealers at the casino just to make life easier, it's part of her closeted act to survive the unfamiliar in Vegas.
- Plug 'n' Play Friends: A Downplayed Trope: after some initial resentment over her taking Cherry's spot, the other women quickly accept her as a friend.
- Spicy Latina: Her wrestling character is this persona but Yolanda is a very sweet and even-tempered person of Latin descent.
Sebastian "Bash" Howard
Portrayed By: Chris Lowell
- Ascended Fanboy: He is a rich kid who decided to use his trust fund money to make his own wrestling show after years of being a devoted fan.
- Ambiguously Bi: Throughout the first season, it's heavily hinted he might be gay, and his "butler" Florian might actually be his lover, but nothing explicit is said about the subject. However, in season 2 he also claims to be in love with Rhonda, and actually marries her. It remains unclear whether his love is genuine, or whether he's in denial because of internalized homophobia. His bisexuality is somewhat confirmed in season 3 when a gigolo Rhonda hires to pose as a handyman to flirt with her to make him jealous ends up participating in a threesome with Bash kissing and fondling him.
- Camp Straight: Camp Ambiguously Bi, but the point remains. Bash is very much in touch with his emotions, enjoys wearing makeup, has no issues holding Sam's hand at times, is very close with the wrestlers, and has an entire room in his house dedicated to playing dress up.
- Genki Guy: Is very excitable
- It's All About Me: His biggest fault, he's not really very self-aware, and can oftentimes be insensitive to others. He's the one who suggests many of the more offensive characters the girls play, due to his rich conservative upbringing making him obliviously a casual racist, and he doesn't respect Debbie's position as a co-producer outside of when it makes his workload easier. This is largely what alienated Florian and ultimately his death, as he contracts AIDS while taking time away from Bash.
- It's All My Fault: Blames himself for Ruth's injury, because he's the one who encouraged everyone to exert themselves more.
- Manchild: Started GLOW because he really loves wrestling, is very excitable, irresponsible with money, and is easily persuaded by candy.
- In season 3, Bash is shown to be easily excited by jugglers and magicians on the Las Vegas strip.
- Nice Guy: Especially when compared to Sam, he's very supportive and open to the suggestions of the wrestlers.
- Odd Friendship: With Carmen. He has barely met her when he pretends to be her boyfriend in order to convince her father to let her train as a wrestler. Later on, he confesses his money problems and the fact that the show might never make air to her.
- Spoiled Sweet: Comes from a rich family, but genuinely cares about his housekeeper and the wrestlers.
Portrayed By: Bashir SalahuddinCherry's husband and stunt partner
- Adorkable: He is very proud when he shows Cherry his referee uniform.
- Give Away the Bride: He escorts Rhonda/Britannica down the aisle for her televised wedding (both for the show and so she isn't deported).
- Happily Married: To Cherry, they are often seen talking, boinking, joking, and supporting each other's ambitions.
- My Biological Clock Is Ticking: He confides to Cherry that he wants to start a family while she is still able to conceive, she is either indifferent or disagrees.
- Nice Guy: Very cheerful and good-natured, he gets along with Sam and Bash and the girls, even his wife's former tormentor Melrose.
- Only Sane Man: Of the main male cast, he is this to Sam and Bash's impulsiveness, a better husband than Sam and Mark, and really knows how to handle violent audience members.
Portrayed By: Andrew Friedman
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Not so much a bitch as a Dirty Coward, but while Glen appears friendly enough with the girls and with Bash and Sam, it turns out he's an utter worm. When Tom Grant (the network head) arranges a 'meeting' with Ruth in his room, Glen is there to make Ruth comfortable before being quietly dismissed by Tom so he can make his move on Ruth, in a manner that makes it clear this isn't the first time and he knows the drill (making him complicit in potentially multiple rapes and sexual assaults). He later tries to get out of delivering the news to the girls that they can't move to another network now that KD-TV is canning GLOW, due to the contract they wrote up.
- Malicious Misnaming: He gets called "Clit-Dick" a number of times.
Portrayed By: Victor QuinazRuth's boyfriend in Season 2 and 3 who starts working in the GLOW crew.
- Adorkable: He falls over Ruth in attempts to impress her: his impression of Katharine Hepburn amuses her.
- Nice Guy: Despite Debbie's suspicions due to his history as a porn cameraman, he is very affable and friendly. And very supportive of Ruth and finds her talented.
- Sex God: He is rather passionate to the point of giving hickeys to Ruth.
Sandy Devereaux St. Clair
Portrayed By: Geena DavisA manager of the Fan Tan Casino where GLOW performs and becomes a mentor to Debbie.
- '80s Hair: Has a shoulder length mane of brown curls, a bit long to qualify as Power Hair.
- Benevolent Boss: Very kind, generous, and helpful to the showgirls and the wrestlers of GLOW even being a source of wisdom for Debbie (regarding being a woman in a managerial/producer role) and even went so far as to make sure that Cherry didn't face any further consequences for her gambling debt and even sat and comforted the now-unemployed "Rhaspody" showgirls after Bash pulled out his investment from the show.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!: Played by 63 year old Geena Davis, and absolutely stunning when she puts on her old showgirl outfit.
- White-Dwarf Starlet: Averted. She used to be a showgirl and beauty queen in her youth, but started working behind the scenes at the Fan-Tan Casino and as a performer for the Libertine; she tells Debbie that being older and working above and behind the scenes is fantastic compared to still being a starlet who is dependent on the approval of men.
Portrayed By: Kevin CahoonA drag performer who befriends and mentors Sheila.
Family & Friends
Portrayed By: Rich SommerDebbie's now ex-husband who cheated on her with Ruth.
- Adorkable: When trying to reconnect with his wife Mark is so cheesy at doing exactly what he learned in counseling. It's so bad but he is honestly trying, which is probably why Debbie stayed.
- Hate Sink: In the first season, at least, where he symbolizes some of the worst traits of ostensibly straight-laced Reagan-era yuppies. In addition to cheating on his wife, it's clear that he's very unsupportive of her.
- Hidden Depths: Subtle but there. At the end of the first episode during her outburst Debbie spouts out that Mark was the one to tell her about the affair with Ruth.
- He learned to cook while Debbie was gone and he honestly tried to learn from his mistakes and use his marriage counseling exercise.
- Informed Flaw: Is constantly said to be unattractive but that's not really supported. He managed to sleep with both Debbie and Ruth and it wasn't money. Debbie was working when they started dating and Ruth and he never exchanged money.
- Kavorka Man: Harry freakin' Crane managed to sleep with and knock up both Debbie and Ruth (for reference, the latter was Trudy Campbell). The line to file your complaints about the injustices in the world starts here.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Subtle but there. It becomes apparent that he has always tried to belittle Debbie's professional achievements and thus to encourage her to be, and stay, a housewife.
- Has a mild case of My God, What Have I Done? at the final episode when Debbie tells him he's never been supportive of her.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In season 2 Mark did this hard. He took the divorce much better than Debbie and he even started dating his secretary. He does everything he can for his and Debbie's son and is shown to be nothing but a good father. The one time he gets mad is entirely justified when Debbie forgets to pick up their son and sells all the items inside their house. All he does is calmly tell her off for it. He's a changed for the better man.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Discussed between Ruth and Sam after he first sees him; he is shocked that the pudgy, bespectacled yuppie managed to marry and reproduce with gorgeous and shapely blonde Debbie and boink pretty and leggy Ruth two times.Sam: Even I'm better looking than him.
- Your Cheating Heart: He's slept with Ruth twice. His admitting to it causes the feud between Ruth and Debbie.
Portrayed By: Casey JohnsonPizza delivery boy that Justine calls and becomes her boyfriend.
- First Love: Is Justine's first boyfriend.
- Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind: Is a wannabe punk rocker but works a steady job and plays board games.
- Formerly Fit: In season three Justine states that he's put on weight, but is "still cute."
- Nice Guy: He's a wannabe punk rocker, but is among the nicest of the male cast.
- Pretty Boy: Justine and Arthie sure think so.
Portrayed By: Winston James FrancisCarmen's father and wrestling legend.
- Back for the Finale: He reappears in the 10th episode to give his support to his daughter.
- The Big Guy: Is a literal giant
- Cruel to Be Kind: Puts down his daughter's desire to wrestle because he knows women aren't respected in wrestling during the 80s.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Being the 1980s he's not wrong when he tells his daughter that women are a side show in wrestling.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Appears he wants Carmen to do this when he mentions wanting her to marry a "nice man" and to start a family but makes it clear that he'd rather have her work at an occupation where people would respect her rather than the circus side show of women's wrestling.
Portrayed By: Elizabeth PerkinsBash's intimidating, fashionable arch-Republican Mother
- Blonde Republican Sex Kitten: Played with, she is very attractive and stylish with wheat-colored locks and politically conservative beliefs and loves Nancy Reagan but she isn't sex kitten-ish and is older than the usual trope.
- Deadpan Snarker: Launches it at Bash whenever she can, and she does.
- (Regarding cutting Bash off from an allowance) Oh sit down, you're embarrassing yourself. We're not on Falcon Crest.(Regarding Rhonda's surprise at Bash inheriting 40 million from his grandfather's trust and remarking that it's a joke) Oh yes, I'm the comic relief.
- Fashionista: Decked out in the haute couture and preppy fashions of the time and she looks amazing.
- First-Name Basis: Everybody calls her Birdie, including Bash.
- I Want Grandkids: Or at least while she is still young enough to be mistaken for their mother.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She is moved by Ruth's speech when the wrestlers make phony speeches about overcoming drug addiction and offers a room at the Hayworth for the show.
- She also develops a kinship with Rhonda, seeing her as someone who can steer Bash in the right direction and love him for what he is.
- Jerkass Has a Point: She really does want Bash to really do something worthwhile and start making stable financial decisions.
- "Redistributing" the funds Bash got from the phony crack addiction stories into her actual drug relief programs also counts.
- Lady in Red: She appears again in a red tweed suit that adds to her intimidating persona.
- Power Hair: Her reappearance in Season 3 gives her a resemblance to then First Lady Nancy Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in contrast to the longer, more elaborate looking hair in Season 1.
- Rich Bitch: She is so intimidating that Debbie tells Ruth not to look directly into her eyes.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Carries this attitude with Bash, not emotionally supportive, or even watched the show claiming she doesn't watch TV but then makes a reference to the then-popular Falcon Crest; she does express pride in how he got married to a suitable woman (Rhonda).
Portrayed By: Alex RichBash's Butler and (maybe) boyfriend.
- Camp Gay: Season 2 confirms that he's gay. Or was, rather.
- Childhood Friends: After he leaves, Bash looks longingly at a photo of the two as children when they attended a wrestling show together. Its apparent that they were childhood friends who used the butler pretext so they could keep hanging out into adulthood without getting 'real' jobs.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Ambiguously a case of this then, depending on if he and Bash were in fact lovers. Given Bash's internalised homophobia and rejection of his own homosexual leanings, though, its equally likely Florian was instead a Patient Childhood Love Interest.
- Put on a Bus: Disappears early in season 2 due to Bash writing him a check that bounced.
Portrayed By: Annabella SciorraJustine's Mother.
- '80s Hair: Her hair is a very voluminous perm.
- Precision F-Strike: Her first appearance (at the end of "The Good Twin") has her doing this, at the realization that her teenage daughter is doing background acting work on a cable access show directed by her one-night stand.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She is very happy being married to her current husband (a stable father of two boys) after dating a series of guys who were "hot and cold" with her.
- Wicked Stepmother: Averted. She is married to another man (it is implied to be a recent marriage) who has two "shy" sons who she focuses much of her attention on, to the chagrin of her teenage daughter.
Portrayed By: Horatio SanzFather of one of Justine's classmates and the owner of a strip club chain.
- Benevolent Boss: He's the owner of a chain of strip joints and a casino in Vegas and Yolanda mentions that he is very trustworthy, pointing out he's her boss.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Sam meets him at Justine's school dance in the penultimate episode of Season 2 and he attends the taping of the final show in the finale, after which he offers the cast and crew a job in Vegas.
Portrayed By: Marc Evan JacksonBirdie's Butler.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He first appears as Birdie's gatekeeper, greeting Bash and the girls with barely-concealed contempt. However, when Bash tries to track down Florian, Gary softens and doesn't hesitate to help him.
- Old Retainer: Likely has been working for the Howard family for a long time, given that he is wise to Bash's antics and why Birdie has low-tolerance for them, he must have seen him grow up.