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Ryan King (Matthew Perry)

The main character, Ryan is a sports talk radio host who has recently lost his wife in a car accident. In the first episode, he is trying to get back to work, but his boss will only take him back if he joins a support group for people who have suffered losses in their lives.

Lauren Bennett (Laura Benanti)

The group's leader. Has a sweet and caring personality, but not much in the way of actual training; tries to help in any way she can, though. She is the one who convinces Ryan to join the group for good.

Anne (Julie White)

A lesbian prosecutor whose partner has died of a heart attack. Has quite the foul mouth.

  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Can't hold the snark around Ryan, but every now and then does something that shows how much she likes him.
    Anne: And, King? I like you better than I like this guy. *points at Ryan's cardboard cutout that represents him as he was before*
    • Exemplified at the end of "Matchup Problems", when they decide to help each other finally move on from the deaths of their respective spouses. They tie their wedding rings to the end of two balloons and let them sail up to the sky.
  • Brutal Honesty
  • Censor Box: As a Running Gag, so she can freely swear as needed.
  • Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Takes on this role sometimes.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen
  • Five Stages of Grief: Represents anger.
  • Freudian Slip: She agrees to represent Danny in his divorce to help get him a fair deal. It works, but she wants to take it farther and make Danny's adulterous wife suffer despite even his objections. The exchange gets to the heart of what she's really been anger about this whole time.
    Danny: I just wanna move on.
    Anne: Danny, the woman made a vow. She promised to be there through good times and bad by your side forever. She doesn't get to leave because she gets bored, or she finds someone new, or she forgets to take her damn heart medication!
  • Grumpy Bear
  • Hello, Attorney!
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Has this dynamic with Ryan. When her nanny cancels at the last minute, the first person she looks towards and asks is Ryan (who responds as sympathetically as possible in the situation) before asking the rest of the group.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: A variant in that Anne is not attracted to Ryan at all, but gives him her First Kiss after her partner's died just "to get it out of the way".
  • Jade-Colored Glasses
  • Mama Bear
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: It's revealed she struggles with respecting her partner's memory and being angry at her for lying about taking heart medication.
  • Not So Different: Much as she sometimes hates to admit it, she can relate to Ryan more than anyone else in the group due to losing a spouse and struggling in the dating world.
  • Precision F-Strike: All the time.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Ryan's Blue.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Usually wears only masculine suits, but, when Fausta gets her to put on a dress, everybody comments on this.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot
  • Sound-Effect Bleep
  • Stalker with a Crush: In episode four, Anne is casually pursued by another lesbian woman. Since she's not ready for commitment after her partner died, she freaks out, complaining to the group about how the woman is a stalker.
  • Stepford Snarker
  • The Stoner: Use to do a lot of marijuana back in the 70s. Then at Lauren's bachelorette party, where she knows she'll be uncomfortable due to the wildness and the male strippers, she partakes in some special brownies to help her through the night.

Yolanda Mitsawa (Suzy Nakamura)

An anesthesiologist whose fiancé left her. Is a very anxious and awkward person who thinks everything is too sexual (including jazz and cats.)

  • Abusive Parents: Her grandmother seems to be the verbally abusive type, which might account for her awkwardness and fear of authority.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Sonia uses this as argument to get her to refuse going through a drug test... which was probably the worst argument she could use, given that Yolanda is very nervous around authority in general.
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: Tried to graduate from the group once, but came back very quickly. Subverted as she wasn't feeling very prepared and was forced by the group (who didn't want to disappoint Lauren) to go through with it.
  • Extreme Doormat: As she says, she goes where the power is.
  • Freudian Excuse: She attributes being a doormat to her upbringing.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: With Sonia's help, pretends to be this on her new job, but cannot keep up with it for very long.
  • My Beloved Smother: Implied to have one of those, though she calls her mom a "tiger mom".
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Mr. K insists on treating her that way.
    Mr. K (at the End of the World party): I need to be with everyone I love and Yolanda.
  • Odd Friendship: With Sonia.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Sonia's Red.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: At least to Mr. K. The other members of the group seem to have mixed reactions about her; Anne goes ballistic when Wyatt mistakes her for Yolanda.
  • The Gadfly: Sometimes says things she doesn't mean just to look cool, or because of peer pressure.
  • The Resenter: "Go Deep" reveals she's actually been holding back resentment towards Ryan for always eating up the group's time with his problems and towards Lauren for not reining that in.
  • The Unfavorite
  • Weak-Willed: Follows the shift of power, to hilarious results.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: One of the few times Yolanda ever demonstrated any backbone was when she gets temporarily graduates from the group. She still leans on the others to help her through her problems, just in different locations. Ultimately, they proceed to phase her out and lie about what happened, which she yells at them for. When they tell Yolanda she's a lot to take, Lauren attempts to mediate and the truth comes out.
    Yolanda: Don't pretend to be good at this. If these losers hadn't pressured me into graduating so you could have a victory, no one would ever leave this group.

Owen Lewis (Tyler James Williams)

A Deadpan Snarker whose brother went into a coma after a skiing accident. Starts out as The Quiet One, but gradually comes out of his shell after Ryan joins the group.

Mr. Benjamin K (Brett Gelman)

A Cloud Cuckoolander with a Mysterious Past that gives some really creepy vibes to everyone else in the group. Acts like a Stalker with a Crush to Ryan.

  • Ambiguous Disorder
  • Ambiguously Gay: Besides his fascination with Ryan, he attends Lauren's bachelorette party uninvited and joins in enjoying the male stripper.
  • Brutal Honesty: Every now and then.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Might be a case of this, since he's designed the Curiosity rover sampling arm.
  • Former Child Star: Used to be one, albeit briefly. This may or may not be the tragedy that drove him to group.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Gives Steven a Glove Slap and flips his car for taking fifteen minutes out of Ryan's radio talk show.
    • Later on, does the same thing to Ryan's Porsche at Steven's instigation.
  • Ear Worm: In-Universe, Electric Night. Becomes part of the episode's soundtrack.
  • Friend to All Children: Proves to be a fantastic nanny when he babysits Anne's kids. He gets them to indulge their fun-loving sides, while still being completely well-behaved for their mother and getting all their chores done.
  • Fun Personified: Despite how he creepy he can appear, he makes every task he engages in fun for others. He reasons that's why Anne's kids take to him.
  • Glove Slap: On Steven.
  • Hidden Depths: Was responsible for designing the Curiosity rover's sampling arm, much to Ryan's surprise. He also sings very well, and is able to write a song on the spot.
  • Idiot Savant: Goes by social rules no one understands, is so creepy and weird people of the group try to avoid his company, but was also the designer of the sampling arm of the Curiosity rover's, is able to make graphics and carry out philosophic conversations quite easily, is able to flip a car, and doesn't flinch at Bob Costas's handshake.
  • Mayan Doomsday: His belief on it starts the End of the World party in The World Ain't Over 'Til It's Over.
  • Momma's Boy: Refers to his mother as the person he's closest to.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Keeps referring to Yolanda as such. That said... when Yolanda is on a single's cruise and isn't succeeding in the least, K ends up boarding the cruise to help find her a date.
  • Mysterious Past: His last name, reason for being in the group, and general life are all left up in the air. It gets to the point where Anne, Owen, and Yolanda have each devoted time to trying to figure out the truth.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Goes running around in Ryan's university in his birthday suit for Ryan's birthday's Scavenger Hunt.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: In-Universe, that's how people react to him.
  • No Sense of Personal Space
  • No Social Skills
  • Noodle Incident: No one is quite sure what happened for Mr. K to be in the group, because they're all afraid to ask.
  • Odd Friendship: With Ryan, and, sometimes, Owen.
  • One-Letter Name: Finally averted as of Comeback Player of the Year, where his first name is revealed to be Benjamin.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Him acting normal is considered a red alert sign.
  • The Un-Reveal: His reason for being in the group remains a mystery, and he refers to himself as a complex puzzle.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He seems to think he has this with Yolanda and that that's why it's okay for him to repeatedly insult her, despite her insisting otherwise.

Steven (John Cho)

Ryan's boss. He's the one who convinces Ryan to go to group therapy. He is also more than a bit weird himself.

Sonia (Sarah Baker)

A nurse who joined the group when one of her too many cats died. Is firstly presented as somewhat shy, but shows more backbone as the series go on.

Carrie (Allison Miller)

Ryan's Sassy Secretary. Often has to put up with her boss and Steven's antics.

  • Better as Friends: Never spoken out loud, but that's apparently how things stand between her and Ryan.
  • Betty and Veronica: Plays the Betty to Hannah's Veronica to Ryan in episode thirteen.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: She's the Light Feminine to her friend Hannah's Dark Feminine.
  • Hollywood Homely: Not overtly, but the show sometimes presents her as someone Steven and Ryan won't even take into consideration. She's played by Allison Miller! Other occasions present it more as them treating her as a close friend/one of the boys rather than a sexual/romantic conquest.
  • Nice Girl: Sure, sometimes she does feel annoyed when Ryan's acting his craziest, but here is a girl who is always around when her boss needs her, often goes way beyond her call of duty to help him, and, like Ryan states in episode thirteen, has been there for a him ever since Janie died.
  • Only Sane Woman: Between Ryan and Steven, she's got her work cut out for her.
  • Sassy Secretary
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Episode thirteen.
  • Ship Tease: Has some with Ryan and Steven.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Has some with Ryan.

Fausta (Tonita Castro)

A Latina lady who is grieving the death of her father and brother.

  • Brutal Honesty: Seems to think not understanding English gives her a free pass.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Just won't realize that Anne is lesbian.
    Anne: ¡Soy lesbiana! I looked it up just for this.
    Fausta: [Laughs] No, no, no. Wrong word, lesbiana. One day, I tell you what this means.
    Ryan: I feel like she's trying not to understand.
  • Funny Foreigner
  • Gratuitous Spanish
  • Narcissist
  • Shipper on Deck: For Ryan/Lauren, but it's Played for Laughs.
  • Spicy Latina: Seems to think of herself as this. The others disagree.
  • Stepford Smiler: Seems to be one of those, but it's ultimately Subverted. Before the tragedy she's going through, she can either choose to smile or cry, and she chooses to smile.
  • Team Chef
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Mr. K seems to think she, Sonia and Yolanda are going to go to hell. Apparently thought this of Anne, since she doesn't invite her to her niece's birthday party, but they've gotten over that by now. Also thought this of Ryan at first, but apparently got over that too.
    • In the case of Anne part of it was also an awareness that Anne wasn't ready to smile at something like a birthday party especially since she had set up a table for 'those who can not be here with us'. She points this out when Anne sits at that very table.
  • You No Take Candle: Her understanding of English is limited.
  • You're Drinking Breast Milk: The secret of her cakes.

Danny (Seth Morris)

A discharged soldier whose wife had a son with another man while he was on deployment. Faces all his problems by drifting away in his imaginary city, Harborville.

Terrell Owens (Terrell Owens)

A future Hall of Famer wide receiver. He has something of a friendly love-hate relationship with Ryan. In the pilot, he gets tackled by Ryan. Half a season later, he ends up flipping Ryan's car with Steven and Mr. K. As of of last handful of episodes of season one, he ends up as Ryan's temporary secretary.

  • As Himself
  • The Cameo: Though in this case, it may be a case of becoming a recurring character since he's shown up in no less than three episodes so far.

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