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The main characters of the Hatchetfield saga.

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Main Characters of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals

     Paul Matthews 

Paul Matthews

Played by: Jon Matteson

Appears in: The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals | Black Friday | "Forever & Always" | "Time Bastard" | "Honey Queen"

Mentioned in: "Watcher World" | "Jane's a Car"
"I don't like musicals. Watching people sing and dance makes me very uncomfortable."

A normal guy whose main defining characteristic is his dislike of musicals.

  • Accidental Hero: Paul is just a normal guy who suddenly has the fate of the world resting on his shoulders when it is up to him to destroy the meteor.
  • Accidental Misnaming: One of the ironic reversals from TGWDLM to Black Friday is how in the former, which revolved around Paul's circle of coworkers and acquaintances, nobody knew Emma or could remember her name. This time, with the plot centering on Emma's brother-in-law Tom and their high school circle, it's Paul whom nobody knows and whom Tom calls by the wrong name.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Paul shows no signs of being attracted to men (or anyone other than Emma) in the show, but fans have seized on the soundtrack version of "What Do You Want, Paul?" having Paul stammer he wants "money, a partner, kids" rather than saying a wife and kids.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Hive Mind ends up designating Paul as its archnemesis, whether he likes it or not.
  • Back from the Dead: Can anyone infected by the blue shit actually die?
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: "Let It Out" ends up being a song about Paul trying to throw off the Hive Mind's influence in an argument with himself.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Goes from being the one non-singing actor in the show, what with hating musicals and all, to leading the final Reprise Medley as "the star of the show".
  • Beneath the Mask: The point of "Let It Out" is the Hive Mind trying to convince Paul that beneath his mask of a content, unambituous life, he really is deeply unhappy and needs the Hive Mind to take away his pain. Whether it's right or it's Gaslighting him is a matter of interpretation.
  • Berserk Button: Paul is a very mild person, but he makes no secret of the fact that he dislikes musical theatre, and when pushed on this becomes very angry about it.
  • Book Ends: Emma and Paul don't participate at all in the main events of Black Friday, appearing only in the first scene and the last.
  • Casting Gag: To a lesser degree than Emma, but Paul's role of being the first character in Black Friday to denounce Wiggly as creepy is ironic given that Matteson is also the voice of Wiggly.
  • Call-Back: Paul's appearance in Black Friday is an excuse for numerous callbacks to The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, starting with his very first appearance where he says "I don't like that musical commercial" and ending with him and Hannah recreating the "Wear a watch!" moment from TGWDLM.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Apparently it's generally known in "Forever and Always" that half a beer is too much alcohol for Paul to handle, and might lead to him having to turn in for the night lest he start seeing Pink Elephants.
  • Classical Antihero: Is very open about the fact that he's not particularly ambitious or noble to start out with, including telling the Greenpeace Girl he feels no responsibility to "save the planet". This changes once the alien invasion begins.
  • Continuity Cameo: Emma and Paul's appearance in Black Friday is basically this, serving to immediately let us know that this is indeed Hatchetfield but not the same one we saw in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals.
  • Defiant to the End: Even with the Hive Mind having almost complete control of his body, Paul manages to pull the pin on the grenade and scream "I DON'T LIKE MUSICALS" before blowing up the meteor. Unfortunately, those aren't quite his last words...
  • Demoted to Extra: Since he never goes down to the mall and misses all the action, the Black Friday timeline's version of Paul never gets to show the heroic qualities he did in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicalsand is reduced to just being Emma's awkward boyfriend who serves as The Watson so she can deliver Tom's backstory.
  • Drink-Based Characterization: He takes his coffee black. This seems to be less about Real Men Take It Black than that Paul is a generally boring person and doesn't want to make extra work for Emma.
  • Endearingly Dorky:
    • His awkwardness and polite nature is part of what attracts Emma, as he's a nice change from the usual assholes she has to deal with at work.
    • Lampshaded in Real Emma's horror at Paul excusing himself to go to the "little boys' room" at a bar — "I married a geek!"
  • The Everyman: Paul is set up as one of these, although he gets more development by the end of the show — his only notable trait is that he doesn't like musicals, and serves as an Audience Surrogate for how a normal Real Life person would react to inexplicably waking up inside the world of a musical theatre production.
  • Hero of Another Story: Every one of Paul's appearances after The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals plays him straight as a dorky Non-Action Guy, whose latent heroic qualities are completely unknown by the people around him, which makes for a lot of Dramatic Irony to the audience.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Paul goes to blow up the meteor, knowing in all likelihood it's a suicide mission. He succeeds, but the Hive Mind survives, which means so does he.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Bill. Bill mentions that Paul used to babysit his daughter Alice and take her to school, and the two still work together. They seem very close, and Paul is extremely hurt by Bill's death.
  • Honorary Uncle: In "Jane's a Car", Tim refers to him as Uncle Paul, suggesting that, even if this is a timeline in which Paul is married to Emma and therefore literally Tim's uncle, Tim has grown close to Paul and Emma.
  • Killed Offscreen: In Nightmare Time Episode Two, it turns out he was killed months ago by his clone Paul 23.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: For fans of TGWDLM, Emma and Paul's very presence in Black Friday spoils one of the biggest questions fans had, whether this show is a sequel, prequel or Alternate Universe to the previous one (it's the latter). That said, this is revealed in the very first scene.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Paul isn't a hardcore loner but he is pretty aggressively uninterested in most of the passions other people have, from the company softball league to saving the environment to, of course, musical theatre. This goes from being something others find mildly off-putting to something the Hive Mind declares anathema that makes it become Paul's Arch-Enemy.
  • Meaningful Name: Paul's surname, Matthews, is a reference to the protagonist of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), who was named Matthew Bennell.
    • Paul's first name may be a reference to the Apostle Paul, notorious for being the most stubborn of unbelievers until a Heel–Faith Turn is forced on him on the road to Damascus. Especially likely given the line "You've gotta believe in something, Paul" from the Opening Chorus.
  • Meat Versus Veggies: Paul is reluctantly willing to go along with Emma's idea of going vegan, but eventually puts his foot down that he's willing to go vegetarian but can't give up eating cheese. Or, rather, Paul 23 does this, but is mimicking what the real Paul's reaction probably would've been.
  • Mr. Exposition: He's weirdly well-informed about the things he hates; in addition to knowing a lot about musicals despite being purely defined by his distaste for them, he also opens Black Friday by giving us a mini-lecture on various Flash in the Pan Fads involving toys in the past, setting up the premise.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Paul distinguishes himself from all the other customers at Beanie's by being considerate to the baristas and ignoring the obnoxious "tip song" policy... although, as a Hypocritical Humor joke, it turns out this is just because he's sweet on Emma ("I don't give a shit about them").
  • Official Couple: Paul and Emma from The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals are unequivocally this for the Hatchetfield universe — not only are they the main canon ship of the show they're in, they've been strongly favored by fans as the OTP since the show came out, with the Official Couples from Black Friday (Tom/Becky and Lex/Ethan) vying for second place. The fact that TGWDLM puts them through some major Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome (their one chance at a first kiss is interrupted before the show comes to an end) only intensifies this, which is why Nightmare Time announcing "Forever & Always" would be a story about their wedding was subject to much hype.
  • One True Love: "Forever & Always" confirms what The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals implied — Emma is the only person Paul's ever really loved — and, more than that, being with her is the only time in his life he's genuinely felt passion about anything. Paul 23 is, of course, guessing that this is how the real Paul felt when he wrote his wedding vows, but considering he came to feel the same way shortly after meeting Emma, he's probably right.
  • Only Sane Man: As time goes on, he is (along with Emma) truly the only sane man, but is also this compared to his more eccentric coworkers, especially evident in the scene where Bill and Ted are arguing.
  • Performance Anxiety: "Forever & Always" reveals that his dislike of musical theatre extends to a distaste for participating in any kind of acting or performing, even in private. At least, this is how his clone Paul 23 feels, and we can assume since Paul 23 shares Paul's Genetic Memory he feels the same.
  • Ridiculously Average Guy: A major plot point since Paul is so content with his boring life and job that the Hive Mind is unable to convert him. As Nick Lang is fond of pointing out, he doesn't even have enough passion in his soul to be "the guy who hates musicals", he just doesn't like them.
  • Salaryman: Paul is set up as this trope — he's perfectly happy in what most people would consider a Soul-Crushing Desk Job, because he doesn't seem to have many interests other than having a comfortable, secure life in which he gradually accumulates enough money to become a Family Man.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Paul remains a guy defined by his outspoken disapproval of things other people are into, objecting to musical theatre, and later, the Wiggly toy fad and Black Friday shopping. (Emma even namedrops this trope, telling him to "get off the soapbox" before they go in to meet Tom and Tim.) In the Black Friday timeline, though, he doesn't get to directly experience being The Cassandra.
  • Stepford Smiler: During "Let It Out", he claims "I've never been happy" despite seeming perfectly content with his life up until the invasion. Possibly invoked by the Hive Mind who are trying to convert him, and lampshaded by Paul himself who sings "Is this me, or is this you?!?" beforehand.
  • Team Dad: As part of his Only Sane Man gig, he becomes the leader of the gang and looks out for everyone else.
  • Teeny Weenie: Robot Emma is very devoted to her husband and doesn't generally seem to have any complaints about their sex life, but can't resist some snark about how, as a sexually experienced woman of the world, there is room for improvement in that department. (This is an Actor Allusion to a character Jon Matteson played in Royalties on Quibi who was hilariously and obsessively insecure about his dick size.)
    Robot Emma: You've taken my favorite bar, Emma Perkins, but I'm not letting you have my husband. Paul's not big enough for the both of us. (Beat) He's barely big enough for one of us.
  • Tenor Boy: It seems like Paul would be in this vocal range but it's hard to tell just from his speaking voice, since he after all does not sing because he hates musicals. The ending devastatingly confirms Jon Matteson indeed has a beautifully piercing leading man tenor.
  • Unusual Euphemism: In every timeline, Paul seems to refer to sex as "being intimate" with someone whenever he's around Tim (the real meaning of which Tim quickly figures out).
  • Uptight Loves Wild: The main appeal of Paul and Emma's Opposites Attract relationship, from Paul's POV. He's a very boring, steady guy whose life was devoid of excitement or surprises until he met Emma; asking her out is the first really spontaneous thing he can ever remember doing, and to him her wild mood swings and random bursts of enthusiasm and anger are what make his life interesting.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Isn't very good at trying not to sound crazy when he initially tries to get Emma to "consider the implications" about the world turning into a musical.

     Emma Perkins 

Emma Perkins

Played by: Lauren Lopez | Nick Lang (understudy in one performance of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals)

Appears in: The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals | Black Friday | "Forever & Always" | "Time Bastard" | "Perky's Buds"

Mentioned in: "Honey Queen"
"Yes! I thought I was gonna fucking die... in Hatchetfield! But we're not, Paul! We got out of there, and we're never going back! FUCK YOU, HATCHETFIELD!"

A barista attempting to work her way through community college. Paul's crush. A globetrotter for much of her young adulthood, she stayed in Hatchetfield after the funeral of her sister Jane to try to make something of herself.

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Despite herself and after a little "what?", she looks like she's on the verge of snickering when Paul refers to her as "the latte hottie" to convince Ted that she needs to stay with their motley group of survivors.
  • AM/FM Characterization: "Forever & Always" reveals that Emma is very much a creature of The '90s and she's very into stereotypical stoner bands like 311. (This is also an Actor Allusion to Lauren Lopez's guilty pleasure tastes in music, although Lauren is very Straight Edge in Real Life.)
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Just watch Emma halfheartedly muddle her way through the choreography in "Cup of Roasted Coffee" (which Lauren Lopez said was harder than just doing it for real).
  • Book Ends: Emma and Paul don't participate at all in the main events of Black Friday, appearing only in the first scene and the last.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Emma steals Paul's "Okay... okay... okay..." in Black Friday, this time turned from an expression of fear and confusion to one of frustrated anger at Tom.
  • Brainy Brunette: The only character to figure out that the meteor was the source of the blue shit.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy:
    • Musical version. Unlike Paul, Emma is a talented singer and dancer who even performed in a musical back in high school, but has no interest in theatre simply because she doesn't want to put in the effort. That bad attitude may be why she was the only employee of Beanie's to escape assimilation.
    • Also applies to her scholarly intellect, in that she admits the reason she didn't go to college earlier was she didn't care, Prof. Hidgens considers her his best student, and she's the one who comes up with the idea that the Hive Mind has a Hive Queen in the form of the meteor.
  • Burger Fool: Very much has this attitude toward her job, to the point of eventually admitting she habitually spit in the coffee.
  • Cain and Abel: Had a relationship like this with her sister. When "the good sister" died suddenly and tragically, it was her wakeup call to try to get her act together.
  • Call to Agriculture: In a twist on the more wholesome version of this, Emma plans to move out West to start a cannabis farm, thinking it's a surefire business to get in on the ground floor of once nationwide legalization hits.
  • Casting Gag: Much to the surprise of fans, Emma and Linda Monroe both appear in Black Friday, and have almost exactly opposite personalities and stations in life. That said, Emma and Linda are parallel in being strong-willed women with men playing Henpecked Husband to them (including Linda's lawyer, who, like Paul, is played by Jon Matteson). And they're both Deadpan Snarkers with cruelly sharp tongues, and they both hate Becky Barnes.
  • Commitment Issues: With relationships, with jobs, with communities. Emma 2's "The Reason You Suck" Speech in "Forever & Always" tells her as much — "You weren't living your life, you were running away from it!"
  • Continuity Cameo: Emma and Paul's appearance in Black Friday is basically this, serving to immediately let us know that this is indeed Hatchetfield but not the same one we saw in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: In Black Friday Emma reveals that her (and Jane's) parents died some time ago, making Tom and Tim the "only family she has left".
  • Coughing Up Blood: A hilarious Surprisingly Realistic Outcome where she tries to give Paul a Last Kiss while dying from her injuries... only to kill the mood by spitting blood all over his face.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Outdoes Lauren Lopez's past roles in this department, and that's saying something. Making fun of other people's interests remains the main thing she and Paul bond over.
  • Deconfirmed Bachelor: Swore her whole life she would never, ever get married, and in fact "Forever & Always" reveals she abandoned a serious boyfriend in Guatemala because things were getting too serious with him. It was a surprise to everyone on her side of the aisle when she and Paul ended up tying the knot after six months of dating. It turns out that wasn't actually her but her Robot Me from the future, and when the real Emma shows up she's horrified at the idea of being married to Paul — but Emma 2, having all of Emma's personality and memories, says she felt the exact same way when she first met him and predicts the real Emma would've fallen for him soon enough.
  • Delinquent: Was this as a child, leading to her becoming a rootless drifter as an adult.
  • Demoted to Extra: Emma is determined to stay out of trouble and take care of herself first... and in the Black Friday timeline, she mostly succeeds, until the very end of the show.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Emma in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals has brown-blonde hair done up in a braid that she has pinned to her hair. It remains there even as the show goes off the rails. To show in Black Friday that she is happier, her hair is pure brown and she wears it down under a hat for the winter.
  • Final Girl: Emma ends up being this in TGWDLM.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: It turns out that as a teenager Paul saw Emma perform the lead in Brigadoon... And in a twist on this trope, he hated it.
    Paul: You're the reason I don't like musicals!
    Emma: (flattered) Oh, I'm your origin story?
  • Future Me Scares Me: Robot Emma isn't literally her future self, but she's a copy of her from the future, and she scares the hell out of Real Emma — to the point that Emma fiercely denies the other Emma is her in any sense.
  • Hated Hometown: She was afflicted with Small Town Boredom pretty hard as a teenager and spent the next ten years trying to get as far away from Hatchetfield as she could.
    Emma: (boarding the rescue chopper shouting over the rotor noise) ...Oh... YES! I thought I was gonna fucking DIE, in HATCHETFIELD! BUT WE'RE NOT, PAUL! WE GOT OUT OF THERE! And we're... NEVER GOING BACK! (flips the bird) FUCK YOU, HATCHETFIELD!
  • Ironic Death: She declares that all she ever wanted was to die outside of Harchetfield. She gets her wish, in the sense that she makes it as far as the neighboring town of Clivesdale.
    • The irony comes back in "Forever & Always" — Emma 2 tried to give her what she wanted by setting her up to die in the jungles of Guatemala, but Real Emma survives and comes back to die in Hatchetfield anyway.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's very grumpy and foul-mouthed. Justified in that she starts of the show stuck working a shitty job, with a shitty boss and customers, in a town she absolutely hates. Her interactions with Paul show off her softer side.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: For fans of TGWDLM, Emma and Paul's very presence in Black Friday spoils one of the biggest questions fans had, whether this show is a sequel, prequel or Alternate Universe to the previous one (it's the latter). That said, this is revealed in the very first scene.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Subverted. Paul very much sees her as this trope, and feels endlessly blessed by the joy she's brought into his life. But she's not an innocent, carefree character who exists just to motivate Paul to change up his life and be happy — she soon reveals she has a lot of her own baggage. "Forever & Always" is a hilarious cascade of that baggage piling higher and higher.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The required uniform at Beanie's has Lauren Lopez in short shorts for the whole show.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: A major source of pain for her is that she always turned down her sister's invitations to come home, saying she'd catch the next one... until eventually, the "next one" was an invite to her funeral. She knows she only has herself to blame for this, and it's part of what made her take stock of her life and decide to get her act together.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: She's repeatedly shouting "No!" while Prof. Hidgens strips out of his jacket, in sharp contrast to most of the audience (and Ted).
  • Not Quite Dead: The real Emma Perkins is said at the beginning of "Forever & Always* to have been Killed Offscreen in a literal Bus Crash. Turns out she was more of an Action Survivor than Emma 2 thought.
  • Not What I Signed Up For: Part of the reason why she resents Nora forcing her to sing and dance so much. She signed up to serve coffee and shitty pastries, and nothing else.
  • Official Couple: Paul and Emma from The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals are unequivocally this for the Hatchetfield universe — not only are they the main canon ship of the show they're in, they've been strongly favored by fans as the OTP since the show came out, with the Official Couples from Black Friday (Tom/Becky and Lex/Ethan) vying for second place. The fact that TGWDLM puts them through some major Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome (their one chance at a first kiss is interrupted before the show comes to an end) only intensifies this, which is why Nightmare Time announcing "Forever & Always" would be a story about their wedding was subject to much hype.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When Paul gets grabbed by "Greg" after Hidgens' betrayal Ted takes the opportunity to steal his gun and run for it. Emma, despite being unarmed and a tiny woman half Greg's size, somehow saves Paul offstage anyway.
  • Only Sane Man: She is often the person reacting the way most normal people would to Hatchetfield's weirdness, which makes her and Paul fine bedfellows.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Hidgens likes her because she picked up his groceries for him at least once.
    • She tries to comfort Charlotte, who she just met, when she starts freaking out over the apotheosis. She also is genuinely concerned for her when she realizes she's been infected, and is upset that Hidgens had to kill her.
    • During Charlotte and Sam's attack on the group, she pleads with them to leave Bill alone because he has a daughter.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Emma manages to physically fight off the zombies twice despite being a "cute little barista" with no combat training, first saving Paul from "Greg" offstage (despite Greg being twice her size and, theoretically, a football player), then somehow wrestling herself free of the assimilated Ted and grabbing his gun. (Although it is true the Hive Mind earlier explicitly said it was going to deny Paul a quick and easy death and may be toying with them.)
    • She also acquits herself pretty well fighting against her Robot Me duplicate in "Forever & Always", despite the latter apparently being engineered with Super Strength and elite combat skills — she manages to fight Emma 2 to a standstill, even after Emma 2's Curb-Stomp Battle against a whole roomful of angry bikers twice her size.
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy: Emma's view of her Opposites Attract relationship with Paul; she's aware how other people see her as an unstable, moody jerk and deep down hates herself for it, and finds herself surprised by how much she appreciates Paul's steadfast reliability and how it awakens her own desire to be responsible and care about the future.
  • Screaming Woman: Emma averts this for most of the show, reacting appropriately to the danger around her once she thinks about the implications but generally being more levelheaded than the people around her, including Paul. She succumbs fully to this at the sheer horror of the Downer Ending the Hive Mind has engineered for her. Her abject howl of despair as the assembled zombies happily reprise "Showstoppin' Number" is a peak moment in horror comedy. In what may be a parody of the trope or a hint at her impending assimilation, the end of the show is Emma "screaming" out a piercing high note to end the song "Inevitable".
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Before the events of the Hive apocalypse start, she's noticeably attracted to how Paul tells her she doesn't have to sing for his tip — which he says is all for her and she doesn't have to split it— and agrees with her that it's not really a tip if she has to do extra work for it. Paul's first reaction when the Hive poisons everyone in the coffee shop is to tell her they need to run and leads her through an escape path to relative safety. Emma tries to communicate to Paul that she's attracted to his chivalry and knows that he didn't visit Beanies to stick it to Starbucks.
  • The Stoner: "Forever & Always" reveals that Emma's idea to start a cannabis farm as a business venture in TGWDLM was, in fact, because she's a frequent smoker herself, and that her standard line when asking a guy to sleep with her is to propose that they "get high and see what happens".
  • The Show Must Go On: For one legendary performance Nick Lang had to come in and play Emma at the last minute because Lauren got sick. There's no recordings of that performance, but there is one of him having to learn the choreography to "Cup of Roasted Coffee" the afternoon before the show. (Weirdly fitting, since Emma is also supposed to have only learned the dance the night before.)
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Emma comes off as a pretty amoral person, but in Forever & Always she balks at the idea of ever actually killing someone (and Emma in TGWDLM never violently attacked any of the zombies until it was made very clear they weren't human — or even meaningfully sentient individuals — anymore). She insists to Paul that Emma 2 can't be her in any sense because she's a murderer, and even when locked in a battle to the death and Paul is stuck with a Sadistic Choice, she's the one begging Paul to "Put down the knife!" while Emma 2 is yelling at him to "Stab this bitch in the throat!"
  • Tsundere: A mild but notable example of this trope. Foul-mouthed, abrasive and opinionated to most people she meets, especially in comparison to Paul. Notably, when Paul talks to Ted about the "hot barista from Beanie's" it turns out Ted meant Zoey and is shocked anyone could have a crush on "the crabby one".
  • Unkempt Beauty: Emma gets progressively more disheveled as time passes in this play (as a result of having to rush through a quick change at the beginning of Act 2) but it doesn't make her any less desirable to Paul.
  • Unknown Rival: The combination Starkid Homecoming/Black Friday announcement video establishes that both Paul and Emma know Becky, and Emma for some reason hates her. Later livestream fundraisers established that Emma was a few years behind Becky in high school (while Paul, who went to a different high school, presumably met Becky as an adult). Nick Lang revealed there is a specific reason for Emma's grievance, although it may not be a very reasonable one (since Emma isn't always a reasonable person). Now that the show is released, it seems fairly clear that, aside from their personalities clashing, Emma probably resents Becky for being her dead sister's romantic rival whom the whole town seems to ship with her brother-in-law. (Although she doesn't react visibly to Tom and Becky being together at the end, having bigger things to worry about.)
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The whole plot of "Forever & Always" could've been avoided if Emma hadn't decided to let some shady startup sequence her DNA for $200 back when she was younger.
  • Walking the Earth: Spent most of her life doing this, getting as far as Guatemala, before coming back to try to be responsible.
  • Witness Protection: As the sole survivor of Hatchetfield, PEIP gives Emma a new identity, "Kelly", and the deed to the farm out West she's always wanted. Seems awfully decent of them considering their past policy of killing all witnesses. Turns out it was, in fact, too good to be true.

     Ted Spankoffski 

Theodore "Ted" Spankoffski

Played by: Joey Richter

Appears in: The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals | Black Friday (cameo) | "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" | "Forever & Always" | "Time Bastard" | "Abstinence Camp" | "Daddy" | "Killer Track"

Mentioned in: "Watcher World"
"Well if I'm gonna die, I'm gonna go out doing the thing I love — screwing around with another man's wife."

A self-described "sleazeball". Works with Paul, is screwing around with Charlotte behind her husband's back.

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Despite the direness of his situation during "Showstopping Number" Ted can't help but get sucked into Hidgens' pitch for "Workin' Boys".
  • The Alcoholic: The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals shows him pushing Bill around for being Straight Edge, and in "Time Bastard", when his failure to pick up any women at the wedding triggers his loneliness and depression he ends up swiping a bottle of vodka from the bar and getting embarrassingly sloppy drunk in front of the whole reception.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Ted mostly seems to be a straight guy, and a particularly misogynistic and predatory one at that, but during Prof. Hidgens' "Showstopping Number" he's the one Eating the Eye Candy while Emma is resolutely Not Distracted by the Sexy.
  • And I Must Scream: Ted's final fate once he closes the Stable Time Loop and dies, his soul drawn into the Bastard's Box.
  • Ascended Extra: After appearing in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals as Paul's Foil and the stock Asshole Victim character in a Zombie Apocalypse movie, Ted surprisingly becomes a major character multiple times in Nightmare Time. He's the true identity of the titular character in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man", and he becomes the actual protagonist of "Time Bastard" and turns out to be a twisted version of The Chosen One.
  • Asshole Victim: After an epiphany about being a better person he reveals himself to be a coward and flees at the sight of danger, leaving Paul to be dragged away. This scene precedes his death at the hands of General MacNamara.
  • At Least I Admit It: No matter what else you can say about him, the guy isn't a liar; he's very up-front about what sort of (terrible) person he is, and what people should expect from him. While he's still an utter pain in the neck, he's at least somewhat easier to deal with than, say, Hidgens.
  • Back from the Dead: Can anyone infected by the blue shit actually die?
  • Becoming the Mask: Ted's role in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man is one long, hilarious joke about doing this.
  • Blessed with Suck: When Tinky somehow anoints him as his Chosen One — the "Time Bastard", who has been "aborted from the flow of time and space" — it seems like what this means in practical terms is he and he alone has the ability to Time Travel through the portal in his office. Ted definitely thinks of it as a blessing, giving him the power to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and exultantly embracing the title "Time Bastard"; if only he'd watched more episodes of The Twilight Zone and understood how prone Time Travel stories are to ironic endings.
  • Butt-Monkey:
  • The Cameo: He appears in the final number of Black Friday.
  • Cannot Spit It Out:
    • He actually does have feelings for Charlotte, but refuses to actually say so. The closest he gets is suggesting she leave her "scumbag" husband for him... a sleazeball.
    • When he was a young man, he was deeply in love with his best friend Jenny, but was terrified of ruining their friendship, so he didn't say anything for years.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Classic example of this trope. His self-confidence is so high he'll go to the lengths of publicly hitting on the bride at her own wedding, and he's developed a list of numbered "lessons" in the "arts of seduction" ("Lesson #46: Dress... to touch breasts") he rattles off to himself before his date with Jenny in "Time Bastard". (He's pretty clearly a Take That! at the "pickup artist" community, as was his predecessor on How I Met Your Mother Barney Stinson.)
  • Catchphrase: He has an obnoxious habit of trying to make these happen, like his Borrowed Catchphrase from Borat "MAH WIFE!" and his telling his supposed best friend "You're fucking useless, Paul".
  • Combat Pragmatist: He's not a trained or talented fighter, but he survives as long as he does in the Bad Future of "Time Bastard" mainly because he's willing to do anything to save his hide and has an instinctive knack for finding an unexpected cheap shot to pull when he really believes he's in danger.
  • Con Man: A new, more proactively evil version of Ted appears as one of these in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man", posing as the title character to swindle Lucy Stockworth out of her fortune.
  • Cosmic Plaything: For some unknown reason, the Eldritch Abomination known as T'Noy Karaxis, the Weaver of Time and Space ("Tinky" for short) has taken a personal interest in him, and "aborted him from the fabric of the universe", giving him the power of Time Travel. This ends up not being the blessing from the cosmos he thinks it is.
  • Death of Personality: When Ted is killed and converted by the assimilated PEIP soldiers they've refined the process so it's almost instantaneous. Awful as Ted is, it's deeply chilling to see the light in his eyes go out.
  • Dirty Coward: He runs away when Paul is attacked without thinking. When he meets the military group he claims to be the only survivor in order to move out faster.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • He proudly proclaims that while Sam is a "scumbag", he himself is merely a "sleazeball". He has a point — he may be cheating with Charlotte but never cheats on anyone, and never tries to deceive anyone about what kind of person he is.
    • He was willing to go along with Hidgens' murderous scheme in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" at first, but it turns out to be a case of Didn't Think This Through and he balks as soon as Hidgens kills Jonathan. And when push comes to shove, he surprises everybody by actually Taking the Bullet for Lucy.
  • Extreme Libido:
    • Ted takes this to the point where in Real Life he'd pretty clearly have a sex addiction. It's not just that he can't stop hitting on every woman he sees — including, bizarrely, hitting on Emma at her own wedding, in front of everyone — but that when he's by himself he compulsively masturbates — including at work — with no concern for how this might affect other people or his own employment.
    • "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" reveals that he has an erection constantly around Lucy and has no shame about this, and Lucy brushes this off as just part of him being an ape-man.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
    • Ted was already basically this, before the apocalypse revealed his worst traits. He's obnoxious and entitled, so people around the office avoid him.
    • "Time Bastard" reveals that despite thinking of Paul as his best friend (whereas Paul thinks of Bill as his best friend) he wasn't even invited to Paul and Emma's wedding, and ignored this fact and crashed the event anyway.
      Paul: You're making some people here uncomfortable. Including Emma. So could you... be a pal?
      Ted: Fine. I know when I'm not wanted.
      Paul: (off-handedly) Really? That's news to me.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Seeing his future self and everybody else trapped in the Bastard Box drives him insane.
  • The Gadfly: He doesn't put a lot of thought or intention behind it, but he can't seem to help but piss people off constantly; his reaction to the life-and-death situation in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals while they're trapped in Prof. Hidgens' bunker is to relentlessly bully Bill just because Bill's wholesomeness gets on his nerves.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Ted's trauma at the knowledge that he caused Jenny's death and that none of it can be changed because he's been in a Stable Time Loop all along — symbolized and amplified by Tinky giving Ted a peek inside the Bastard's Box when this happens — completely breaks his mind, leaving his memories shattered and his ability to follow a coherent train of thought destroyed. The new Ted looks and acts so different from who he used to be that his older self lives alongside his younger one in Hatchetfield for 15 years with no one making the connection.
  • Gone to the Future: When Ted travels to the Bad Future of 2104, he discovers CCRP's historical records show he vanished off the face of the Earth and was presumed dead 85 years ago, leading to his office being boarded up. Unfortunately, it turns out his particular Time Travel story is a Stable Time Loop, which means that this was Foreshadowing he never successfully returns to his own time and his "death" in 2019 — which is the same year his aged future self, the Homeless Man, actually does die — is established canon.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Unlike the version of Ted in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, the version of Ted in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" does make the necessary evolution into not just a better person than he was but a truly good person by Taking the Bullet for Lucy from an enraged Hidgens. Ironically, he "evolves" by... devolving from a man to an Ape-Man.
  • Hidden Depths:
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Like many time travel stories, his attempt to Set Right What Once Went Wrong in "Time Bastard" is what causes things to go wrong in the first place. He always thought he lost his chance with Jenny because he was weak and pathetic, but she liked the sweet, shy boy he once was — and he had actually been plucking up the courage to confess his feelings to her, and would have been able to do so had his future self not interfered. Not only did Ted blow it with Jenny, he also sealed his own fate to eventually be trapped in the Bastard's Box.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Of all people, college Ted had genuine concerns about destroying his friendship with Jenny, or making her feel uncomfortable, so he never told her he loved her.
  • I Hate Past Me: Anyone else would say that college-aged Ted in "Time Bastard" Used to Be a Sweet Kid, but present-day Ted has only contempt for how much of a weak, effeminate coward he is, which is why his plan is to knock him out and replace him.
  • It's All About Me: Has a very, very difficult time thinking about anything other than his own interests for more than a few seconds at a time (and almost all of the time it's just his one interest). Even when he's giving his Even Evil Has Standards speech to Hidgens in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man expressing his reluctance to go along with killing Lucy, he describes his feelings entirely in terms of how hot Lucy is and how much money he expects to get when he marries her. "Time Bastard" teases "Tedgens" shippers by having Prof. Hidgens try to open up about his own past to Ted, including revealing that he's into men by starting to tell the story about himself and Chad, only for Ted to blow him off so he can continue talking and thinking about his own problems.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite the below entry, the Hatchetfield series does give us some moments where it seems like Ted has the power to change. He's one of the survivors during "What If Tomorrow Comes?" at the end of Black Friday — meaning he made the right choice and was able to fight off Wiggly's influence before the mall burned down — and can be seen holding embracing Charlotte and comforting her before the end of the show. He also makes a surprising Heroic Sacrifice at the end of "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man", saying he'd rather die as the Ape-Man Lucy thought he was than live on as the human and sleazeball he really is.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk:
    • Later in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals he vows to be a better person and declares Paul to be his best friend. When he abandons Paul seconds later he claims that while he's a better person, he's still not a good person.
    • Averted in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man", where, surprisingly, coming to identify as "Konk" instead of "Ted" really does bring out his inner goodness and he sacrifices his life to save Lucy. Then Played Straight, sickeningly, in "Time Bastard", where getting a second chance to start his life over in 2004 just reveals how much the 15 years since then have made him a selfish piece of shit.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • He rather insensitively tells Bill that in these times there are people who are alive and those who are dead, and Bill's daughter is good as dead and so will he if he risks going out to rescue her. He ends up being correct as Alice has already been assimilated by the time Bill reaches her, which leads to Bill's death.
    • His speech to Charlotte about her 'refusing to be happy' and choosing Sam over him might be incredibly mean spirited and fueled by Charlotte not wanting to sleep with him at the time, but from what little we saw of her phone call at the beginning implies that she was miserable in her marriage with Sam.
  • Just Friends: Young Ted and Jenny were this, with each one terrified of screwing up their relationship with the other by admitting their feelings. Unfortunately, Ted was unable to overcome this fear and take the first step with Jenny before Jenny ran off with another man. At least, that's what he assumed happened...
  • Kavorka Man: He's definitely not as attractive as he seems to think he is, and indeed most women who meet him are disgusted by him, but he does still somehow seem to repeatedly end up with women way out of his league — first Charlotte, then Lucy Stockworth in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man"'s timeline, although in that case Lucy's standards are wildly lowered by her thinking he's a half-human animal.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Paul and Emma kill him because he's the only one who knows she's a robot.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: How "lovable" it is is debatable, but there's a lot of humor that comes from how Ted can't seem to stop talking about sex literally to save his life — especially when there's attractive women around he can make uncomfortable by doing so.
  • Love Redeems:
    • The one redeeming quality Ted seems to have in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals is the sincere feelings he has for Charlotte, and her death may be what sends him off the deep end into pure cynical nihilism. This is reinforced by a surprisingly tender Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moment with Charlotte in his cameo in Black Friday, and his Heroic Sacrifice to save Lucy in the ending of "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man".
    • Subverted in "Time Bastard". The Hope Spot at the beginning of the story makes it seem like getting a second chance at earning Jenny's love might be what it takes to bring back the innocent boy Ted once was and turn him away from the path he's on. It doesn't — the present-day Ted can't shed the man he's become, and uses his Time Travel powers to brutalize Andy and treat Jenny like a piece of meat.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Has his shirt off in one of his first scenes. Does it again when posing as the title character of "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man".
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Ted believes that his Time Travel abilities will give him a previously-thought-impossible second chance to redeem what he thinks is his greatest failure, letting Jenny run off with another guy because he wasn't alpha enough to lay claim to her first. It turns out his attempt to change history causes his greatest failure, and it's a much worse failure than he thought — Jenny didn't abandon his younger self, his future self killed her.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Trying to warn Paul that his fiancee is a robot gets him Killed to Uphold the Masquerade.
  • No Name Given: Ted's last name remained unrevealed until Episode 2, Pt. 2 of Nightmare Time, "Time Bastard", because it would've been a "spoiler" for Nerdy Prudes Must Die. (Until many things had to be rearranged because of NPMD being indefinitely delayed by the COVID-19 Pandemic.) It turns out to be the Meaningful Name "Spankoffski" (for someone who is both, personality-wise, a jerk-off and spends almost all his time jerking off).
  • Only in It for the Money: Unsurprisingly, this is Ted's motivation at first for joining in Hidgens' plan in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man", and unlike Hidgens he just wants the money to indulge his vices and not for any grand plan like mounting Workin' Boys on Broadway. Unlike Hidgens, though, he lets his priorities slowly change by falling in love with Lucy for real.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Time Bastard" reveals his full first name is "Theodore".
  • Pet the Dog: When a brainwashed Sam goes after Charlotte, Ted picks up a trashcan lid and uses it as an impromptu shield to protect himself from the zombies. He has a split-second to decide what to do as Sam points a gun at Charlotte; Ted charges forward and whacks Sam on the head.
  • The Pigpen:
    • Not only does he regularly make A Date with Rosie Palms at work, but he's sloppy enough about it that the characteristic smell of him doing so lingers in the room for the next eighty-five years. Eww.
    • He also reveals during the shower scene in "Time Bastard" that when he's getting ready for a special occasion on which he intends to seduce a woman, he makes a special point to "Wash the butt and balls".
  • Porn Stache: His defining physical trait. "Time Bastard" shows us he refers to it as a "bush-brush", and considers it the "most sensual part of a man." He gets mad at Hidgens for making him grow out a full beard instead in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" and says it's a major damper on his "sexual charisma".
  • Red Baron: After Executive Kilgore kinda-sorta explains the meaning of the title "Time Bastard" to him, Ted enthusiastically embraces it and resolves to use his newfound Time Travel powers to the fullest. This turns out badly for him — especially the part where him using the title "Time Bastard" with Andy and revealing he's from the future sets Andy up to become Executive Kilgore in the first place.
  • Serial Homewrecker: Ted sleeping with the married Charlotte, and implies this is a pattern for him. However, it's also shown that he has sincere romantic feelings for her, making it hard to tell whether he genuinely is this trope, or if he's just claiming to be so he can cover up his emotions, since she still wants to stay with her husband. Wrecks another home by inadvertently coming between Lucy Stockworth and her fiancé Jonathan Brisby in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man."
  • Significant Double Casting:
    • The fact that The Guy Who Didnt Like Musicals is a stage show with a limited ensemble cast means that it didn't seem like a big deal at all that Joey Richter portrayed both Ted and the Homeless Man. Pretty much everyone was blindsided by "Time Bastard" revealing they really were meant to be one and the same the whole time.
    • Notably, that's the second time this has happened to Ted, as, for similar reasons, it also comes as a shock that Konk, the Hatchetfield Ape-Man, is actually Ted pulling a con.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: He and Charlotte literally do this in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals.
  • The Slow Path: Being Trapped in the Past, he gets back to 2019 by living as a homeless man for 15 years.
  • Take That!: Ted started out as one for pretty much every habit the creators could possibly find annoying in a coworker (most notably giving a highly negative Shout-Out to the played-out meme "MY WIFE!" from Borat). "Time Bastard" makes it clear that Ted is specifically a parody of the worst behaviors and attitudes that come out of the pickup artist community, especially the whole concept of being Just Friends.
  • Taking the Bullet: What he does to save Lucy from Hidgens in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man".
  • Tempting Fate: He seems so happy and smug about doing the smart thing and betraying the others when he finally makes it to the extraction point that his fate is almost a foregone conclusion.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: He told Charlotte in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals that if the world is going to end, he wants to spend it doing what he loves: "fucking another man's wife". Black Friday ends with him and Charlotte reunited and huddled together, waiting for midnight. He at least isn't pushing her away as he did before.
  • Time Travel: The plot of "Time Bastard" revolves around Ted, of all people, getting this as his special power, after he discovers that a Time Portal has somehow opened up in his office. Unfortunately, he didn't think through the implications and assumed his powers were much more flexible than a little logic would indicate they should be.
  • Together in Death: Ted gets a major Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other with Charlotte when the two of them silently clasp hands as they wait to see what happens at midnight in the ending of Black Friday, which ambiguously ends with them vaporized by a nuke. (The fact that they're also clutching hands with Robert Manion's "Hot Chocolate Boy" character has launched a lot of Wild Mass Guessing as to their relationship to that character.)
  • Trapped in the Past: Ends up stuck in 2004 because he'd travelled back to before his office was a time machine.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Lampshaded in "Time Bastard", where Sylvia — who works on the "top floor" and outranks most of the rest of the CCRP cast — wonders out loud why the hell he hasn't been fired yet. In fact, despite his unprofessional demeanor and work habits, Ted is a substantially higher-ranking employee than Paul, Charlotte or Bill, with a detached office and a door that closes (for more convenient jerking-off-at-work purposes) rather than a cubicle like they have.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Of "Time Bastard". Although the Trauma Conga Line he goes through likely will make you sympathize with him by the end.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Surprisingly, we find that back in his college days Ted was a sweet, withdrawn, and extremely decent guy who cared a lot about respecting women's boundaries and was terrified of ruining his friendship with Jenny by pushing for something more. Unfortunately, losing Jenny taught him all the wrong lessons and made him determined to become a "pushy asshole" like he assumes the guy Jenny left him for was, so he could never be hurt like that again.
  • Wham Shot: Ted puts on the heavy coat and beanie hat he finds in the alley behind what will someday become the CCRP building, and we suddenly recognize him as the Homeless Man from The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals and Black Friday.
  • Wrong Time-Travel Savvy: Spends Time Bastard trying to fix his past but it ends up being a Stable Time Loop.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: It turns out Ted's story in "Time Bastard" is the kind of classic sci-fi tragedy where the time traveler thinks he's destined to Set Right What Once Went Wrong only to discover, too late, that he caused all the things in his life that went wrong by time traveling and he's always been trapped in a Stable Time Loop.

     Charlotte Sweetly 

Charlotte Sweetly

Played by: Jaime Lyn Beatty

Appears in: The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals | Black Friday (cameo) | "Time Bastard"
"Counseling's working out reeeaaaal swell."

One of Paul's coworkers, who is unhappily married to Sam and cheating on him with Ted. Quiet most of the time.

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Seems to be the reason she ended up with Sam in the first place, and then sought solace for her terrible relationship with Sam (a "scumbag") with Ted (a "sleazeball").
  • Angrish: The resurrected Charlotte is so filled with violent rage her lyrics seem to be riddled with Malapropisms ("Sorry to interrupt/But we've got bones to pluck") and redundant phrases ("We're gonna kick your ass/And then we're gonna... FUCKING kick your ass!") Makes sense, since the song is about the Hive Mind losing its patience with trying to seduce people through music, instead Cutting the Knot by just killing them.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When Ted saves Charlotte from a brainwashed Sam, she picks up his gun and points it at the zombies, screaming at them to go away. This ends up saving the remaining survivors, for the next couple of hours at least.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: She reveals when praying for Sam's life that she's been bottling up a ton of anger toward him, which is why she feels so much guilt that he seems to have actually died. All that repression may explain why once she turns she sings a paean to violence and murder ("Join Us and Die").
    • That hidden rage comes out again when she ends up one of Linda Monroe's sadistic cultists in Black Friday.
  • Body Horror: Charlotte reappears immediately after her death and resurrection, meaning she still has her entrails — now bright blue — dangling out of her ribcage.
  • The Cameo: After the death of Sherman in Black Friday, Jaime Lyn instead fills crowd scenes of the cult of Wiggly by playing Charlotte. Charlotte never calls attention to herself, but steals Hannah's magic hat, harmonizes with Linda in "Wiggle", and is the only cultist we see who decides not to die with the burning Wiggly doll, instead finding solace in Ted's arms during the final number.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even during her violent rampage during "Join Us and Die", she hesitates before attacking Bill, and then she and Sam start attacking Ted instead. Whether this is because she was moved by Emma's appeal to her that "He has a daughter!" or because of the original Charlotte and Sam's history with Ted is unknown.... or maybe the Hive Mind didn't want to kill Bill until after revealing to him that said daughter was assimilated.
  • Hidden Depths: She seems like such a classically innocent doormat of an abused wife that it's a surprise when we see how passionate her revenge affair with Ted seems to be. It's also made clear she is well aware of what a piece of shit Sam is, which makes it more tragic that she won't leave him and find happiness elsewhere.
  • Incredibly Long Note: Assimilated Charlotte returns with a line that reminds us that under the pastel sweater and timid mannerisms, she's still Jaime Lyn Beatty.
    Charlotte: It is time... to DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEE!
  • Introverted Cat Person: Her Iconic Outfit includes a pastel sweater with a picture of a cat on it, instantly letting us know she's a bit of a social recluse whose aesthetic sense tends toward the comforting and reassuring. Jaime Lyn Beatty, though, has said that she doesn't actually have a cat because she's allergic, which just makes her more pitiable.
  • Kick the Dog: Charlotte grabbing Hannah's "magic hat" off her head and putting it on herself when she mentions it protecting her seems calculated just to be cruel. It may also be the reason she's the only member of the Wiggly cult we see survive the burning of the mall.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the character sheets of just about every character assimilated in TGWDLM, we've asked if anyone infected by the blue shit is capable of dying. Apparently yes, in this case — Charlotte and Sam are never seen again after Hidgens puts them down with a point blank shotgun blast, in all likelihood because he went on to dissect their bodies.
  • Nervous Wreck: Most likely caused by her destructive relationship with her husband, her guilt over cheating on him, or just her general nature, Charlotte's hands shake after conversations and she has cigarettes, a lighter, and a flask at work.
  • No Name Given: As of Nightmare Time Season 1, Charlotte is the only main character of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals whose last name is still unknown (since she still hasn't been a main character of a Nightmare Time episode).
  • Oblivious to Love: She doesn't seem to get that Ted really does have feelings for her — though, to be fair, he's not exactly doing much to make it easy for her.
  • Out of Focus: All of the other main characters from TGWDLM get quite a bit of focus in the first season of Nightmare Time, but Charlotte's only appearance in the season is a brief scene in "Time Bastard".
  • Redemption Earns Life: Charlotte is one of Linda's cultists who takes Lex up on her last-minute challenge to abandon Wiggly's service rather than burn to death in the mall trying to save the last doll. This may or may not have only bought her another half hour or so of life before World War III kills the whole human race — but at least she gets to spend her last moments among people she loves, free of Wiggly's control.
  • Shrinking Violet: Charlotte is very much this, one reason she's a bad match for Sam. Her call sheet describes her as a caricature of a middle aged office lady who dresses exclusively in pastel sweaters with pictures of cats.
  • Shout-Out: Charlotte's line "All you gotta do is" in "Join Us and Die" is a Call-Back to Jaime Lyn Beatty as Neato Mosquito in Starship. She even uses the same voice she did in that show!
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Literally does this with Ted.
  • Sole Survivor: The only character we see as a full-fledged member of the Wiggly cult who survives to the end of Black Friday, although the creators say everyone who escaped the mall other than Lex and Hannah (including Becky and Tom) was touched by Wiggly's corruption to some degree.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Compared to her husband Sam who thinks nothing of canceling their 'cuddle night' just to go out with Zoey, it's clear her affair with Ted is out of a desperate need for passion and love.
  • Together in Death: Ted gets a major Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other with Charlotte when the two of them silently clasp hands as they wait to see what happens at midnight in the ending of Black Friday, which ambiguously ends with them vaporized by a nuke. (The fact that they're also clutching hands with Robert Manion's "Hot Chocolate Boy" character has launched a lot of Wild Mass Guessing as to their relationship to that character.)
  • Wet Blanket Wife: What her cop husband sees her as, in a textbook version of this trope.

     Bill Woodward 

Bill Woodward

Played by: Corey Dorris

Appears in: The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals | "Watcher World" | "Forever & Always" | "Time Bastard"

Mentioned in: Black Friday
"I'm trying to reconnect with my teenage kid and you're just gonna leave me hanging?"

Paul's best friend, a divorced man who spends most of his time trying to reconnect with his teenage daughter Alice.

  • The Alleged Car: "Watcher World" reveals one of the most embarrassing things about Bill is that he still drives an AMC Pacer (a classic Trope Codifier of The Alleged Car from the 1970s).
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Alice clearly considers Bill this.
  • Ascended Extra: Becomes co-protagonists with Alice in "Watcher World", in an effort to give them the opportunity to Earn Your Happy Ending they were cruelly denied in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals.
  • Back from the Dead: One would think that being shot in the head would do it, and, failing that, being blown up by a meteor, but neither works.
  • Black and Nerdy: He is played by the only black member of the cast of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, and he's in the show because he's Paul's best friend, but he very much averts the Token Black Friend trope (a black guy who's the protagonist's best friend to be stereotypically "cool" and make him cooler by association). He's significantly less cool than Paul or anyone else in the show — which, knowing Paul, is saying something.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: We don't get to see very much of the evil zombie version of Bill in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, but this is more than made up for by Bill and Alice's Final Battle in "Watcher World".
  • Bumbling Dad: "Watcher World" confirms the hints from The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals that he was one of these — mostly his obliviousness to how much Alice hates being at Watcher World and how his elaborate scheme to try to brute-force his way into a relationship with her by spending "quality time" at a Crappy Carnival filled with Incredibly Lame Fun is just going to make her hate him more.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the YouTube version of TGWDLM you can hear the audience audibly gasp when Paul wrestles the shotgun out of Bill's hands and lets it fall to the floor, so desperate to talk Bill out of his despair he's unmindful of Alice slowly reaching toward it.
  • Commitment Issues: Despite his romantic life looking up all of a sudden in "Forever & Always" with his new squeeze Sylvia in the picture, a tense phone call with his ex has Bill start ranting to Paul again about how marriage is a scam and committing that hard to another person is just a way for their secrets to sneak up and betray you. No word yet if he's going to stay a Confirmed Bachelor or Sylvia will change his mind on the matter down the line.
  • Cuckold: She had the decency to come clean she was in love with her Old Flame Allan and divorce him rather than cheat on him behind his back, but Bill clearly finds his ex-wife throwing away years of marriage with him because he was never her One True Love deeply painful and humiliating.
  • Disneyland Dad: He and his ex-wife seem to be locked in the traditional bidding war for their daughter's affection. Except that in a reversal of this trope, his wife, who as usual is the custodial parent, also has more money than him — he tries and spectacularly fails to one-up the trip to New York where they saw Hamilton with a touring production of Mamma Mia! and a trip to Red Lobster.
    • This trope comes back in an even more literal sense in "Watcher World", where the whole half-episode is Bill literally dragging Alice to a "shitty Disneyland knock-off" to try to fix their relationship before college.
    • "Forever & Always" finally gives us a little more clarity on this situation that makes Bill a lot more sympathetic than he had been — unlike most instances of the Disneyland Dad trope, Bill's ex directly left him for another man, so of course her household is a lot more financially stable than his. The fact that she initiated the divorce for selfish reasons also lends credence to Assimilated!Alice's argument in "Not Your Seed" that he could've fought for primary custody and won if he'd really wanted to, and to his own argument to Alice in "Watcher World" that the divorce is his ex's fault.
  • Driven to Suicide: Almost happens after he finds out his daughter has been assimilated and it's partially his fault she didn't leave the town. Paul stops him, though he is killed anyways.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: "Watcher World" reveals that Bill refuses to encourage Alice in her dreams of working in theatre and becoming a playwright, even though she's already won a scholarship for a script she wrote.
  • Foreshadowing: He's name-dropped in an early scene of Black Friday, when Paul mentions he's been trying to get his hands on a Wiggly doll. Since we know that Bill's only child is seventeen years old, this is rather potent foreshadowing of the later reveal that only adults are interested in Wiggly; the spell is clearly over Bill and not Alice, as Lex, who is Alice's age, is immune.
  • From Bad to Worse: Most of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals has him trying to mend his relationship with Alice. It's not as easy as it sounds when his ex-wife is the parent who can spoil her rotten, and Bill doesn't like Alice's girlfriend Deb because he believes his daughter can do better. When the Hive apocalypse starts, his consolation is that he put her on the bus to Clivesdale, so he knows that she's away from the singing zombies. Then he gets a phone call from Alice, and repeats, "You got off the bus?!" Apparently, she stayed in Hatchetfield to spend a day with Deb, who started singing, and is trapped in the school. All Bill can do is promise her to stay put in the school and he's coming for her. A brainwashed Alice reveals the Hive broke down the door in the choir room.
  • The Ghost: Bill's ex-wife has as yet never actually been seen onstage, nor has her name even been mentioned (unlike, say, Tom's dead wife Jane, Becky's ex-husband Stanley or Linda's husband Gerald).
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Paul. Bill mentions that Paul used to babysit his daughter Alice and take her to school, and the two still work together. They seem very close, and Paul is extremely hurt by Bill's death.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Alice is a Phoneaholic Teenager and Bill barely even knows how social media works, which is just part of why they don't get along.
  • I Have a Family: Infected!Charlotte is about to kill Bill but then turns aside after Emma shouts "He has a daughter!" Unfortunately, that seems to be because the Hive Mind thought his daughter being the one to kill him would better fit the Rule of Drama.
  • It's All My Fault: Bill is relentlessly haunted by his fears that he's failed to be a supportive enough parent to Alice, and that this failure may have indirectly led to her death. The assimilated Alice gleefully confirms each and every one of them.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: He knows very little about Alice's life or her plans or her hopes and dreams, partly because she's intentionally keeping him in the dark and partly because he's just a terrible listener.
  • Loser Protagonist: Becomes this in "Watcher World", with the Carnival Barker openly mocking him at the climax about how "He's a failure as a father! He was a failure as a husband! He's a failure at everything he's done in his entire life!"
  • Non-Action Guy: Ted relentlessly mocks Bill for being this to try to dissuade him from going to rescue his daughter. It doesn't work. This is played up even more in "Watcher World", with Bill's seething frustration at failing to win a "Test Your Strength" Game — with the jeering crowd making constant digs at his masculinity — being his Rage-Breaking Point.
  • Offing the Offspring: Bill is unable to bring himself to shoot his own daughter even after she becomes a zombie, which directly leads to his own death in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals. "Watcher World" has him subjected to Mind Manipulation that brings out all his inner resentment of Alice and almost does make him kill her, but once again The Power of Love at the last moment stays his hand.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Alice has been out of the closet for a while, as pansexual, bisexual, or lesbian, and Bill more than supports her pursuing a romantic relationship with another girl. He merely wants her to have the perfect girlfriend that is a good influence on her.
  • Overprotective Dad: Most of his problems with Alice stem from his constant desire to meddle in her life for her own good without really knowing much about her. Mind that he's more than fine with her being out of the closet; he just thinks that Deb is not a good influence and that she can do better.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Alice accuses him of never paying attention to her in "Not Your Seed" in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, and he repeatedly proves himself to be clueless about basic facts about her life.
  • Papa Wolf: A more laid-back version, but certainly feels that his daughter can do better than Deb. You also have to admire that he's willing to leave Hidgens's safe house to rescue her despite the fact that Ted accurately points out that Alice is surrounded by singing zombies and is good as dead. Paul admires this bravery so much that he says he's going with Bill to help.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Bill and his ex are trying very hard to pretend to be Amicable Exes, and it's not fooling anyone — every time one of them contacts or mentions the other it's to find some way to put the other one down.
  • The Power of Love: Bill's saving grace in "Watcher World" is that, as flawed a father as he is, deep down he really, truly does want what's best for Alice and refuses to be pushed across the line of actually harming her.
  • The Resenter: Bill's Overprotective Dad tendencies have a not-so-hidden dark side of simmering resentment at the burden trying to be a good dad to Alice has been on his life, which comes spilling out dramatically in "Watcher World".
  • Romantic False Lead: Bill turns out in "Forever & Always" to have always been this for his wife, and to be in the position of the poor bastard left behind in a stereotypical First Guy Wins plot from a Romantic Comedy.
  • Rule of Drama: Twice, in both The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals and "Watcher World", Bill ends up the victim of a cosmic being who takes great pleasure in exploiting the daddy issues between him and Alice to create a dramatic final confrontation.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Bill's death at the top of Act II of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals is our first clear sign this story isn't going to end happily.
  • Straight Edge:
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: Bill not only gets one in "Watcher World", where he and Alice not only survive but manage to repair their relationship, it actually sticks — when we next see him in "Forever & Always" he and Alice are still on good terms, with Alice seeming to have chosen him over her mom, and he's got a new girlfriend Sylvia all of a sudden.

     Professor Henry Hidgens 

Professor Henry Hidgens

Played by: Robert Manion (The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, Nightmare Time Season 1) | Nick Lang ("Honey Queen")

Appears in: The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals | "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" | "Forever & Always" | "Time Bastard" | "Honey Queen"

Mentioned in: Black Friday
"You don't think I'm ready for you? I've been waiting in the wings. The stage is set! It's showtime!"
Click here to see Professor Hidgens as played by Nick Lang 

It'll unify humanity in a thundering chorus
No exits from this Broadway venue
So crash those shiny cymbals
Got a show stoppin' hymnal for you

Emma's eccentric biology professor. A doomsday survivalist, he's prepared for a variety of apocalypses, including one involving singing and dancing zombies, which he saw coming thirty years in advance. A lonely man, his closest companion is his Amazon Echo. He is also passionate about musical theatre and hopes to produce his own stage show, Workin' Boys.

  • The Alcoholic:
    • In The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals Hidgens freely admits there isn't much to do while holed up in his bunker but drink.
    • "Time Bastard" reveals that despite having been the officiant at the wedding he doesn't feel much need to keep up decorum afterwards, openly Drowning His Sorrows at the bar and commiserating with Ted about how lonely watching someone else's wedding makes him feel.
  • All for Nothing: His plan in The Hatchetfield Ape-Man to steal the Stockworth family fortune to fund Workin' Boys was doomed from the beginning as Lucy had already exhausted the money. He takes this about as well as you'd expect.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Has vaguely overdramatic mannerisms that gradually become increasingly Camp Gay until they burst into full flower with "Showstopping Number". Has apparently never loved any woman besides his Amazon Echo, but has constructed an elaborate fantasy musical world revolving around "tossing around the old pigskin" with "his boys".
    • Accentuated by how resolutely he's Not Distracted by the Sexy when it comes to Lucy in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man".
    • "Time Bastard" makes this a lot less ambiguous, with him about to launch into his story of how "Chad" from Workin' Boys is apparently a real person and The One That Got Away, before Ted cuts him off.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Doesn’t believe in the Hatchetfield Ape-Man but considers a musical alien zombie apocalypse not only a totally valid possibility, but one of the most likely.
  • Ax-Crazy: In The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals he ends up verging on this when fully in the throes of his rant about giving over humanity to the alien plague. "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" reveals the craziness was always there just beneath the surface, and all it takes is having the funding for Workin' Boys seemingly within his reach only to be ripped away for him to go on a screaming murderous rampage.
  • Back from the Dead: Can anyone infected by the blue shit actually die?
  • Badass Normal: Musical zombie version. His "Showstopping Number" announcing his Face–Heel Turn happens before his assimilation, and contains the most impressive choreography in the show.
  • Big Bad: Of "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man". While he and Ted were in cahoots to scam Lucy out of her money, Hidgens is clearly the brains behind the plan while Ted has doubts and eventually abandons it. He finally snaps, kills Jonathan and Ted, and finally tries to extort then kill Lucy.
  • Breakout Character: Was this to a massive degree for The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, to a degree perhaps unseen for a Starkid show since Lauren Lopez as Draco in A Very Potter Musical — so much so that Team Starkid was pretty much forced to add a Kickstarter stretch goal for their next show to actually make some version of his magnum opus Workin' Boys in the form of a Web Video where he was the protagonist. The delay of Workin' Boys due to the COVID-19 Pandemic in turn pretty much forced them to heavily advertise him as one of the main characters of the first Nightmare Time story, "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man".
  • Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: It seems unlikely his musical Workin' Boys is autobiographical, if only because he's clearly spent most of his life alone in his bunker, but once he gets into performing it Hidgens seems to forget there's any difference between himself and his character "Henry".
  • Cool Old Guy: Is a pretty scary combatant in a gunfight and a pretty enthusiastic and skilled musical theatre performer, for a white-haired guy who seems to be in his 50s or 60s. In "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man", he's able to run, climb and fight like a mad ape-man himself despite being an elderly human.
  • Con Man: "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" has him adopt this as his new vocation, having run out of other options for finally getting Workin' Boys onstage.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Has been preparing for the apocalypse for decades and has a bunker.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
  • Eccentric Mentor: Plays this role to Emma in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals and Lucy in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man". In both cases, pulls a Face–Heel Turn to become an Evil Mentor.
  • Evil All Along: His Villainous Breakdown in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals seems to indicate his posturing as humanity's savior was never really sincere. His elaborate Evil Plan in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" makes this even clearer.
  • Face–Heel Turn: He joins the aliens due to his distaste for human society, belief that humanity is doomed regardless, and love of musicals.
  • Freudian Excuse: As mentioned in Dark and Troubled Past, it was deleted from the play itself, but watching his college friends die of plague. It explains both his rabid survivalist tendancies and obsession with making his musical and "hanging out with [his] boys" again.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Hidgens, thankfully, gets cut off in his conversation with Ted in "Time Bastard" before he can tell us exactly how he physically has sex with his AI "girlfriends".
    Hidgens: With a little imagination and some elbow grease, you can have sex with anything. It doesn’t even have to be elbow grease. Any lube will do. Life finds a way, my friend. Life finds a way.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite being a mad scientist and survivalist, he has a passion for theatre and even wrote a musical in his spare time.
    • "Forever & Always" gives us yet another one of his hidden depths, a surprisingly wholesome one this time — at some point he got licensed as an officiant, allowing him to conduct Paul and Emma's non-denominational wedding ceremony. It's ambiguous whether he's a civil celebrant or he actually got ordained as clergy in a religion of some kind.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His years of study of the alien musical virus only lead to him succumbing to its temptations and being horribly killed and assimilated by it. Hits even harder in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man", where his years of study have only convinced him the Ape-Man doesn't exist, and decides to use the myth of the Ape-Man to seduce Lucy Stockworth and murder her for her fortune... a plot that ends up with him horribly killed by the Ape-Man, who was Real After All.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: His devolution into evil in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" ends with him hooting and hollering in the nude like an animal, even as the "Ape-Man" has become gradually both more human and humane.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: His dream of staging Workin' Boys seems to be his one point of weakness that, in every timeline, eventually turns him into a monster.
  • Large Ham: As only Robert Manion can. There's a repeated pattern of him getting hammier and hammier as it's revealed he's been Evil All Along. In "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" we get to see this explode into a full-on Villainous Breakdown.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: This trope entry was once mostly white text due to Hidgens' betrayal of humanity being such a significant plot twist in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, but now it's basically the first thing people hear when it comes to his character — the song "Showstoppin' Number", where this is revealed, is the most famous part of TGWDLM and his character the Breakout Villain, with actually making some version of Workin' Boys even becoming a Kickstarter backer reward for Black Friday.
  • Loners Are Freaks: He has been living alone in his decaying mansion for the past several decades with only his "AI", the Alexa virtual assistant in an Amazon Echo, to keep him company for the past few years, and it hasn't done wonders for his mental health.
  • Mad Artist: Hidgens' whole character revolves around revealing that his Mad Scientist persona is actually a mask for being a Mad Dramatist — his true "first love" is musical theatre and it turns out his desire to protect humanity from destruction loses out to his desire to produce his magnum opus, Workin' Boys: A New Musical. His absurdly complex plan to seize the Stockworth fortune in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" seems to have been influenced by his inability to do anything that doesn't somehow play on Rule of Drama.
  • Mad Scientist: Yes, Hidgens did predict to the exact detail that this particular zombie apocalypse would happen, despite Paul's skepticism. The "mad" part gets worse after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Meaningful Name: Nick Lang says giving him the name "Henry Hidgens" was a purely accidental similarity to My Fair Lady, but Jeff Blim was among the people who made the connection to Robert Manion's Rex-Harrison-esque performance.
  • Mercy Kill: Makes the bizarre decision to order Alexa to self destruct to spare her the horrors to come (even though she can't because "she" is just an ordinary home appliance).
  • Money Dumb: It's a subtle joke how insanely high the amount of money he demands from Lucy to fund Workin' Boys is — $30 million would make it the third most expensive show in Broadway history, and one that's supposed to be just about a bunch of guys hanging out on a football field with no apparent need for elaborate costumes, sets, props or stuntwork. Of course, this makes him a Hypocrite for screaming at Lucy about what an "IDIOT!" she is for wasting her fortune searching for the Ape-Man; hilariously, it also implies that, given that he lives in a mansion with stables, horses, electric fences, etc. that he could've easily funded the musical himself a long time ago if he were better at budgeting. See Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?
  • Mr. Exposition: Prof. Hidgens is the obligatory Mad Scientist with an unlikely level of familiarity with the alien phenomenon who shows up midway through a classic science fiction monster movie for the benefit of the main characters (and the audience).
    • He plays a similar role in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man", in this timeline becoming an expert on Hatchetfield's local cryptids rather the alien virus invasion. Except this time it's an act.
  • No Name Given: Technically, his first name is not given in TGWDLM, and it's left ambiguous if the main character of Workin' Boys, Henry, is named after himself. As of the announcement of the standalone Workin' Boys short film it's been confirmed that Henry is in fact his real first name, and he's addressed as such several times in Nightmare Time.
  • Old, Dark House: Robert Manion's Zoom background in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" gives us the first actual glimpse of what Prof. Hidgens' "whole house like a panic room" looks like, and it turns out to be some kind of decaying Gothic mansion. Don't ask how he can possibly afford it, unless this isn't the first Get-Rich-Quick Scheme he's pulled.
  • The One That Got Away: "Time Bastard" has him start to reveal that one of the "workin' boys" from his musical, at least, apparently actually existed and was more than just an "old college chum".
  • Only in It for the Money: In "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man", his only interest in Lucy Stockworth, unlike Ted, is in her fortune, which he plans to use to fund his staging of Workin' Boys. His steadfast devotion to this goal is what drives his descent into evil.
  • Pet the Dog: In "Forever & Always," he attends and officiates Paul and Emma's wedding.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Parodied, in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man". Prof. Hidgens has never shown any particularly racist/sexist/homophobic attitudes before, but this story reveals he does seem to have one particular prejudice he's stuck on — a rabid, patriotically American hatred of English people. This may be why he has no interest in actually marrying or having sex with Lucy, issues of orientation aside.
  • The Professor: As his title implies. A bit of a subversion, in that he plays this role in the plot even though he's only a community college professor, although it's implied his relatively lowly position is because of his unconventional ideas.
  • The Quisling: Prof. Hidgens joins with the aliens due to rant against The Evils of Free Will and love of musical theatre.
  • Robosexual: In "Time Bastard" he launches into a Too Much Information convo with Ted about the fact that he is one (and if a conversation repulses Ted of all people you know you're crossing the lines of common decency). Played for Laughs in that he's not talking about actual sapient robots he created but off-the-shelf virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri. Dramatic Irony in that he's totally unaware there's a real hot Robot Girl in the room with him at the time.
  • Robotic Spouse: Parodied. Hidgens says he loves his Benevolent A.I. assistant Alexa as much as he could any human woman... even though "she" is clearly just an off-the-shelf Amazon Echo.
  • Self-Deprecation: Hidgens' obsession with musical theatre making him an Ax-Crazy traitor to humanity who's sacrificed all decency and morality to his madness... as a character, of course, in a series of musical theatre productions.
  • Serious Business: The whole joke of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals is his bizarre, psychotic obsession with musical theatre somehow turning out to actually be the cause of the impending global apocalypse. In his repeat appearances since then it's shown that this obsession doesn't go away even in timelines where this isn't true, and is in fact the main driver of him turning out to be Ax-Crazy and Evil All Along.
  • Situational Sexuality: Despite being gay, he treats his "AI" as female and acts like they are in a romantic relationship.
  • Slasher Smile: Has a pretty devastating one when he goes full Ax-Crazy.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Hidgens is smoking a cigarette when he comes in with a shotgun to save everyone from the assimilated Charlotte and Sam.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Said word-for-word by Hidgens when he undergoes his Villainous Breakdown in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" and violently turns on Lucy. It turns out that this isn't about his scientific theories this time — he does, in fact, fully agree that the Ape-Man doesn't exist — but his bizarre obsession with producing his crappy musical.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: For all his bluster about welcoming death and apotheosis, Prof. Hidgens is brought up short when he realizes how... viscerally painful the process is going to be.
    Hidgens: Yes! Make me one of you! (as Greg and Stu reach for his tummy) No! Not my tummy! (shrieks as they tear out the contents of his tummy)
  • Top Wife: "Time Bastard" reveals that Prof. Hidgens practices Polyamory with his "AIs"; Alexa, inside the Amazon Echo that runs his house, is his Top Wife (much as the Top Wife in an old-school harem would be the one running the household) while Siri in his iPhone is his mistress.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Spends the entire second half of "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" in a rapidly accelerating descent of this. First, he kills Jonathan after he figures out the scam. Then he loses it further when Ted abandons the con. He finally is reduced to a psychotic rage when he learns Lucy lost the fortune he'd been desperately seeking.
  • Villains Out Shopping: In "Forever & Always" and "Time Bastard," he takes a break from preparing for Armageddon and working on his musical to attend a wedding.
  • Walking Spoiler: Hidgens' betrayal of humanity is one of the biggest spoilers for Act 2, and, thanks to Robert Manion's performance in "Showstopping Number", it's all anyone wants to talk about regarding his character. The role he plays in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" isn't any less spoileriffic.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Not much effort is made to explain just how Prof. Hidgens can have a fully-equipped apocalyptic redoubt — complete with a secret lab for doing Alien Autopsies and vivisections — on the salary of a community college professor. It's not too unrealistic in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals if he's been preparing for decades and spending his money on little else, but Nightmare Time's "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" leans all the way into the absurdity, revealing that his house is an enormous Gothic mansion with horses and stables out back, containing an enormous vivarium that serves as a natural habitat for the Ape-Man, as well as God knows what else.

Main Characters of Black Friday

     Lex Foster 

Alexandra "Lex" Foster

Played by: Angela Giarratana

Appears in: Black Friday | "Jane's a Car" | "The Witch in the Web" | "Daddy" | "Yellow Jacket"
"If I don't support my drinking habit, who will?"

And when the sun shines down upon me
I'll know I'm righteous, babe
In this time of crisis, babe
And when the sun shines down over Cali
The future's priceless, babe
The past's a virus, babe

A high school dropout who recently turned 18. Works at Toy Zone, the big toy store in Hatchetfield, and is a notorious delinquent, in and out of juvenile detention in part due to taking the fall for her mother's misdemeanors.

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Everything is going according to plan for Linda Monroe (and therefore Uncle Wiley and Wiggly), until Lex changes the whole equation, by using her connection to the Black and White to summon MacNamara's gun and becoming the only person in the mall armed with something more than a boxcutter.
    • Happens again in "Yellow Jacket" when Webby helps her remember her power, using it to summon the remote control for Otho's Explosive Leash into her hand in order to kill him.
  • Abusive Parents: At the very least, her mom is The Alcoholic and a drug addict, and Lex thinks it's absolutely necessary to get Hannah away from her as soon as possible.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Despite her feelings about Toy Zone and Frank, his song "Our Doors Are Open" is such a tour de force she can't help but get into it and briefly get excited about Black Friday herself. It helps that she's in a good mood because her plan to steal the Wiggly looks like it's going to work — and that the snatch of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" he sings to Lex earlier indicates Frank is diegetically a great singer.
  • Ambiguous Criminal History: Frank says she has "a record"; it's not specified for what in the story, but side materials say it's from her supplementing her income by dealing weed on the side. In "The Witch in the Web" the fact that she has a previous conviction for drug offenses is why she gets double Ethan's sentence for selling her mom's pills.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Her song "CaliforMIA" starts with the line "My mom's a bitch," which says it all. Though it turns out she has good reason to dislike her mother so much.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Her plan to run away seems to prioritize getting her sister Hannah away from her mom. Once the Black Friday riots begin her whole motivation switches to desperately trying to keep her sister safe.
  • The Caper: Her arc revolves around a plan to steal a Wiggly from her place of employment and sell it online.
  • Children Raise You: A sibling variant. In the Title Track of Black Friday, she reflects on how much she loves her sister and how much her birth changed her, and realizes she needed Hannah just as much as Hannah needed her.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: This seems to be the reason for Lex's smoking habit. There's some Hypocritical Humor when she's aghast at Hannah doing the "Smoke Club" dance and immediately follows it with "I need a cigarette".
  • Cool Big Sis: To Hannah.
  • Delinquent: Plans to rob her workplace in order to, legally speaking, kidnap her sister from her mom. But she means well.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In a resentful snark-off between her and Emma from TGWDLM she'd win handily.
  • "Dear John" Letter: Leaves a blisteringly harsh parent/child version of one to her mom at the end of "CaliforMIA".
  • Despair Event Horizon: The song "Black Friday", which adds another meaning to the Double-Meaning Title of the show — for Lex, Black Friday was when she thought all her problems were going to be solved and instead it's when she's watched all her dreams fall apart, ending in an ignoble and senseless death.
  • Disappeared Dad: Lex's mom seems to be a single parent, with her dad nowhere in sight. It appears to be the opinion of the town that she Really Gets Around, and it's uncertain whether Lex and Hannah even have the same father.
  • Freak Out: She has a pretty big one in "Jane's a Car" when she accidentally almost kills her boyfriend Ethan by making an incredibly irresponsible mistake and shifting the car they were working on into gear right before he wanted her to test the engine by gunning it. She didn't — this was Jane's ghost in the car setting her up as a scapegoat, the first of Jane's many callous cruelties.
  • Genre Savvy: Defiantly says "It's not a trope!", about her plan to run away to LA to become an actress, probably because she knows those stories don't tend to end well in movies.
  • Hardcore Punk: "CaliforMIA" is a song in this style, reflecting both Lex's personality and her West Coast dreams.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Her insensitivity usually isn't innocence, but her attempt to throw a pep talk into her Breaking Speech to Tom to snap him out of Wiggly's spell doesn't go so well.
    Lex: That's why it works on adults. Because you guys have more holes, you need more things and you need it harder! You gotta worry about your loveless marriage, or your kids that are gonna hate you! Or your endless mortgage! I mean, you're like forty!note  You probably think your life is over! I mean, I don't, I'm gonna be an actress. Do you get what I'm saying?
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: For all the tropes on this page painting her as a delinquent and thief, her main motivation is trying to get away to provide a better life for her younger sister.
  • Killed Offscreen: Colonel Schaeffer confirmed that, aside from Emma, no other human resident of Hatchetfield survived, so it’s highly likely Lex was infected by the Hive Mind offscreen during The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals.
  • Money Dumb: There's some intentional Black Comedy in Black Friday with Ethan and Lex celebrating the $7,000 from the sale of the Wiggly doll as though it were a huge amount of money. (It's a huge amount of money to pay for one doll, yes, but for them to dance around screaming "We're set! We're set!" as though it's enough money to move to Los Angeles with no job prospects is... very optimistic.) A rejected script for Nightmare Time called "Ethan Doesn't Die" would've confirmed this, showing a timeline where they go on the run with Hannah and, thanks to their poor budgeting skills, start running out of money within the first week.
  • Only in It for the Money: Out of all the factions competing for a Wiggly, she and Ethan are the only one who don't care at all about having one for its own sake, instead planning to auction it to the highest bidder who couldn't make it to a physical store on Black Friday (since legitimate online orders sold out weeks ago) to fund their trip to LA.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Her given name, Alexandra, is only used once, when Frank is chewing her out.
  • The Promised Land: As is traditional in stories like this, she sees Los Angeles as one.
  • Promotion to Parent: Her mother is an abusive alcoholic, so she's the one who takes care of her sister Hannah, with her boyfriend Ethan filling a sort of "jokey stepdad" role.
  • Psychic Powers: It turns out she has a similar psychic gift to Hannah's — while her sister can see into the Black and White, she can physically reach into it and manifest objects from it into the real world. (This is known as "apportation" in Real Life paranormal studies.)
  • Put on a Bus: She and Ethan are mysteriously absent from "The Witch in the Web", leading many to worry that she'd abandoned Hannah to run off to California without her. It turns out she was put on a prison bus and is currently doing four years of hard time for dealing drugs — a fall her mom set her up for.
    • We're then meant to think The Bus Came Back and she was magically released from prison to come take care of Hannah from now on. It's pretty obvious that no such thing has happened and this is the Witch wearing Lex's identity to try to gain Hannah's trust.
  • The Resenter: She's this hardcore to all the adults in her life she feels have let her down. It seems like she has a point when it comes to her mom — although Nick Lang hints her mom may have a Freudian Excuse — but it becomes really harsh when she blames Tom for ruining her life by quitting teaching when his wife died, as though it wasn't a much worse experience for him. Her Character Development is later when she comes to him, as the Wiggly has brainwashed him, and apologizes for how his life went down the drain. Lex says that she needs his help and knows that he's a good man.
  • The Runaway: Plans to become one, along with Ethan Green and her sister Hannah.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: There is a lot of cursing in this show in general, but Lex especially is prone to it, particuarly when she's upset or excited.
  • Soul-Sucking Retail Job: Working at Toy Zone is implied to be this at the best of times — and Black Friday is the very worst of times.
  • Struggling Single Mother: Lex's family is quite poor and lives in a trailer park, although Lex (fairly or not) doesn't sympathize much with her mom's struggles.
  • Summon Magic: Lex is able to use her powers at a critical moment to save her life by summoning MacNamara's gun in "Black Friday", and the remote control for Otho's Explosive Leash in "Yellow Jacket".
  • Taking the Heat: In "The Witch in the Web" we learn that it was Lex's mom Pamela who put her and Ethan up to trying to sell her painkillers on the black market, and that she initially told the truth about this to Duke, only to resolutely deny everything when put on the witness stand. Apparently she was terrified of both her and Pamela ending up in prison and Hannah being left to go into the foster system, reasoning that as awful as being left alone with Pamela is it's the Devil Hannah knows.
  • Tomboyish Name: "Lex", short for Alexandra.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Lex has no clue she has any kind of special powers until she's about to lose consciousness from being strangled by Sherman, which awakens her connection to the Black and White and lets her see MacNamara's ghost.
  • Troubled Teen: Lex Foster is barely eighteen, and she's already developed a smoking habit, drinks, has dropped out of high school, and dislikes and distrusts all adults automatically. Given that her mother is an Alcoholic Parent, her boss is a slimy creep, and the one teacher that seemed to believe in her quit his job recently, it's understandable. She does manage to hold down a Soul-Sucking Retail Job, but it's solely so she can save money to run away to California with her boyfriend and her little sister to become an actress. When the show begins, she's scheming to steal a hot-ticket item from the toy store she works at so she and her boyfriend can fund their trip by auctioning it off online for far more than it's worth.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: MacNamara sings "Monsters and Men (Reprise)" to tell Lex this when she's about to give into despair and let Sherman kill her.

     Hannah Foster 

Hannah Foster

Played by: Kendall Nicole (Black Friday, "The Witch in the Web") | Lauren Lopez ("Yellow Jacket")

Appears in: Black Friday | "The Witch in the Web" | "Yellow Jacket"
"It's only black in my dreams. In Nightmare Time. Is this Nightmare Time too?"
Click here to see Hannah as played by Lauren Lopez 

What if tomorrow comes
To break the dawn
And take the night

Lex's 13-year-old sister, whose welfare motivates most of her actions. She's noted to be quirky and quiet, though Lex insists she's simply "creative."

  • Affectionate Nickname: Lex calls her "Banana", and Ethan's Catchphrase is greeting her with "What's shakin', Banana?" (This may be a reference to the dish Bananas Foster.) Becomes a very dark moment when the voice of Wiggly appropriates this nickname and starts threatening Hannah, "I'm going to peel you... I'm going to split you in two!"
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Hannah turns out to be so powerful that if some evil entity were able to co-opt her power — most notably, if Willabella Muckwab's spirit were able to possess and merge with her — that would be enough to end the world right then and there. What this means, though, is that if she is able to learn to fully control her powers and use them for good... she could save the world, not just in this timeline but across all of them.
  • Be Yourself: The ending and aesop of "The Witch in the Web" — she comes to realize that Willabella Muckwab is only a ghost, with hardly any actual power compared to a living person, and that she is sovereign in her own mind and her power belongs to her, and no one has the authority to make her believe she's anyone other than herself or to make her do anything she doesn't consent to.
  • The Cassandra: Although most of Hannah's prophecies don't make any obvious sense and even if Lex and Ethan understood them wouldn't be anything they could act on, she's still in many ways a Cassandra. Lex interpreted her refusal to come to the mall and put on Lex's backpack as just a meltdown, but Hannah was right that the mall represents danger, and wearing the backpack (which Lex intends to hide the Wiggly doll in) will bring trouble their way. The worst moment of all is when she tries to warn Ethan of his impending death but he's Comically Missing the Point.
    Ethan: Do you believe that, no matter how bad it looks right now, things will get better?
    Hannah: Not better. Badder. Much badder.
    Ethan: Hey, what's with that grammar, huh? Even I know it's "more bad".
  • Child Prodigy: Miss Holloway in "The Witch in the Web" is an immensely experienced and talented Hot Witch who's probably much older than she looks — and she directly tells Hannah that her power can't hold a candle to what Hannah can do. Uncle Wiley's Living Memory ghost is, true to his name, wily enough that Miss Holloway can barely fight him off even though it's her own mind where in theory her power is sovereign — but when Hannah realizes Miss Holloway might actually die she manages to annihilate Wiley with a single blast of uncotrolled power.
  • Children Are Innocent: Lex plans to run away to protect Hannah from her mother's abuse, and despite how much of a burnout Delinquent she's become, seems intent on sparing Hannah from a similar fate. She becomes incensed when she thinks Hannah may have gotten the idea to take up smoking even though she herself smokes like a chimney. Hannah spends the whole show as an innocent victim menaced by monstrous adults, with Wiggly completely unable to possess her himself and resorting to threatening her with violence. It turns out that being immune to Wiggly's corruption is a trait shared by all children.
  • The Chosen One: "The Witch in the Web" reveals that Hannah is the "most powerful psychic mind to ever exist", and control over her mind and her powers is the key to determining the ultimate fate of the world — across all timelines. It's a lot of weight for a 14-year-old girl to bear.
  • Dream Weaver: Her powers may not seem that useful in the physical waking world, but "The Witch in the Web" reveals that in the Dream Land known alternately as "Drowsy Town" or "Nightmare Time", she's very close to being The Omnipotent, able to create or destroy at will — and it's only because she hasn't yet learned to control her power that she's vulnerable.
  • Easily Forgiven: Hannah seems to forgive Tom and Becky and go with them pretty readily at the end of the show, despite her last interaction with them being their Wiggly-mad selves trying to brutalize and kidnap her. She does trust Lex, and she did see Tom and Becky go up against Linda, the real architect of her misery, but there'd still probably be more of a realistic adjustment process if the show weren't about to end at this point. (Of course, she knows from Evil Ethan, if nothing else how powerful a manipulator Wiggly is and even tried to warn them "He'll trick you!" at the time, so this may just be her being Wise Beyond Their Years.)
  • Eyes Out of Sight: She conspicuously has to shove her bangs out of her eyes multiple times during her dancing in "CaliforMIA". Her long bangs connote her shyness and introversion, as well as not being that great at grooming herself. By the time period of "The Witch in the Web", they're long enough that she can wear them swept to the side and they don't get in her eyes anymore, which seems symbolic of how this version of Hannah is a great deal more lucid and in control of herself than she used to be.
  • Familial Body Snatcher: The ghost of Willabella Muckwab has been waiting for centuries for one of her descendants to be powerful enough to make a fitting host so she can reincarnate physically and resume her Evil Plan to destroy the world. Finally, in the year 2005, Hannah Foster emerged as her Chosen One.
  • Final Girl: Miss Holloway and Duke aren't killed in "The Witch in the Web", but they are neutralized so Hannah has no choice but to face down the Big Bad alone. The ending implies Hannah is being set up as one of sorts for the whole Hatchetfield multiverse.
  • Flash Sideways: Uncle Wiley reveals in "The Witch in the Web" that Hannah, alone among living humans, is aware of the existence of Alternate Timelines and able to see into them — indeed, that her birth was somehow the cause of Alternate Timelines existing in this setting. (Possibly due to some vague invocation of the observer effect in quantum physics.) Of course, she's not aware that she's aware of this — she doesn't know what he's talking about when he says it, she just knows that she gets constant flashes of Déjà Vu and the like that she can't explain.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: One of the biggest laugh lines of the show is when Hannah, channeling MacNamara — possibly literally — says her only completely lucid dialogue in the show and responds to Paul whining about how he doesn't know what time it is without his smartphone with, "Wear a watch."
  • Harmful to Minors: She doesn't actually see Ethan die, but watching him be set upon by crazed screaming adults was bad enough, and her Psychic Powers let her sense his death from a distance. That's enough to give any kid PTSD, even before she's accosted by a malicious, cackling Evil Doppelgänger of Ethan later on.
    • She goes through a lot worse in "The Witch in the Web", and it's intentional — Willabella's whole strategy is to traumatize her so badly in her nightmares while she's still a child and can't handle it that she'll give up and withdraw into "Drowsy Town", letting Willabella take over her body and identity.
  • Heroic BSoD: She suffers a massive one when Ethan's Bad Double appears to her, followed by the voice of Wiggly himself berating her and demanding she surrender. Even though she's Genre Savvy enough not to actually listen to their demands that she give herself up, Wiggly's plan works anyway by making her Freak Out enough she abandons her hiding place, just in time for a Brainwashed and Crazy Becky and Tom to find her.
  • Imaginary Friend: She has one named "Webby", a "giant spider from outer space", who frequently gives her advice (much to Lex's frustration, since the advice is telling her not to go along with Lex's plan). Given what we learn about her powers and the Black and White — especially Wiggly's voice snarling "Webby is a stupid bitch!" — it seems likely Webby is Real After All, a benign entity from the Black and White in opposition to Wiggly like the one MacNamara becomes. (The fact that Webby is a spider may be a Shout-Out to IT's true form.)
  • Improbable Weapon User: When Hannah reclaims her power in "The Witch in the Web", she grabs her white ukulele and starts smashing everything around her with it. Since the ukulele is a symbol of her own power over her own mind and soul, and everything around her is a parasitic illusion made by Willabella hijacking her mind, the ukulele smashes through Willabella's dreamscape with the force of a sledgehammer without being even scratched by the impact.
  • Kiddie Kid: Hannah is 13 years old, but her mental issues make her come across as much younger. This was very pronounced in Black Friday, with Lex talking to Hannah slowly and carefully the way you would with a five-year-old; in Nightmare Time, where she's a year older and not in such an immediately traumatic situation, she's a good deal more lucid.
  • Killed Offscreen: Colonel Schaeffer confirmed that, aside from Emma, no other human resident of Hatchetfield survived, so it’s highly likely Hannah was infected by the Hive Mind offscreen during The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals.
  • Mad Oracle:
    • In Black Friday Hannah is only able to speak in disjointed phrases, which have no direct relevance to the situation and only end up making sense to the audience in hindsight. She doesn't seem to fully understand what she's saying herself, only slowly realizing how her prophecies relate to events as the audience does.
    • She's gained a certain degree of lucidity a year later in "The Witch in the Web", and Miss Holloway reveals to us that because she has some idea of what Hannah's talking about already she's able to hold a meaningful conversation with her much more easily than anyone else has.
  • Magic Feather: Ethan gives her his baseball cap and tells her it's imbued with "the power of Grayskull" to protect her from all harm. It may be he was unwittingly telling the truth.
    • The Reveal in "The Witch in the Web" goes both ways — the baseball cap is more significant than Ethan just making up a story on the spot to placate Hannah, and it really is a token Miss Holloway gives the children she helps that really may have some kind of magic on it. That said, the plot of "The Witch in the Web" makes it very clear that Hannah's own power is far greater than anything Miss Holloway can do — if Miss Holloway's magic hat were actually able to protect her from all harm she'd have been in no danger from Uncle Wiley or any of the other threats they faced — and the hat's main purpose really is to remind Hannah of her own power, in classic Magic Feather fashion.
  • Magic Music: The technique Webby teaches her to hold Willabella Muckwab's nightmares at bay and maintain her connection to her is to play and sing songs on her ukulele. It's when her mom gets mad at being kept up at all hours by her playing and takes her ukulele away that Nightmare Time begins encroaching on her mind in earnest. Reclaiming the ukulele in the Spirit World is how she's able to reassert control over her own mind and fight off Willabella's control once and for all.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: If Frank and Ethan's comments are anything to go off of, Hannah is considered to be a weird, creepy, possibly crazy child, and she doesn't appear to have any friends, or anyone who cares about her besides Lex and Ethan. However, she's really a sweet kid.
  • Past-Life Memories: In "The Witch in the Web" Willabella Muckwab constantly attacks Hannah with her own memories, to try to browbeat Hannah into believing that she's Willabella's reincarnation and accept that Willabella is her true identity (allowing her ghost to finally possess her). The most intense of these memories, intended to finish the job, is making Hannah live through Willabella's memory of her own execution.
  • Personal Dictionary: It turns out a lot of the childish or strange language the Hatchetfield series uses for its supernatural phenomena comes from Hannah's own idiosyncratic vocabulary she uses for them — making it understandable that they'd be odd phrasings, since she was a little kid with no one else to talk to about it who'd believe her when she started coming in contact with them. Words that originate from her seem to include:
    • "Webby" as the name for the Big Good of the setting who manifests as a spider totem and who's bound Willabella Muckwab's ghost in a psychic web.
    • "Tree-People" for the spirits trapped in the Witchwood used to form this web; possibly "Hatchet-Men" or "Men with Hatchets" for the Ancient Conspiracy that put them there.
    • "Nightmare Time" for recurring, lucid nightmares caused by incursions of Willabella Muckwab's spirit into her personal Dream Land that open up her awareness to the larger Spirit World. Miss Holloway seems to be aware that "everyone has a Nightmare Time" and that one's worst fears and deepest traumas aren't mere memories in one's subconscious but actually exist in the Spirit World in a form that the Lords in Black can exploit.
  • Plagued by Nightmares: "Nightmare Time" turns out to be Exactly What It Says on the Tin — as Hannah progresses through puberty and she rapidly loses her external sources of emotional support, the ghost of Willabella Muckwab reaches out to try to seize control of her powers before she comes into adulthood. This takes the form of relentless psychic assaults in her sleep, ravaging her with terrible nightmares that try to merge her consciousness with Willabella's and convince her the two of them are one.
  • Plucky Girl: All the more awesome since Hannah spends most of her screentime with a visibly terrified expression. She's trapped in a mall with Wiggly cultists and the last doll trying to convince her to give into despair. What does she do? Refuse to do so, because Ethan told her to always believe in a better future. What's more, she refuses to tell Linda that Tom stole the Wiggly doll, giving her a steely Kubrick Stare.
  • Power Incontinence: As of yet, she can't control her powers, and when she's experiencing strong emotions like fear they go out of control in a way that's directly dangerous to her (hence the Witch in the Web's whole strategy of using her own "Nightmare Time" against her). Uncle Wiley brags about how just a tiny bit of leaked psychic energy — "barely a toot" — was enough to resurrect him inside Miss Holloway's mind, which was just about the worst thing that could've happened to Miss Holloway and Hannah at that point.
  • Psychic Powers: She's born with a natural connection to the Void Between the Worlds known as the Black and White. It turns out to run in the family.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: "The Witch in the Web" reveals that the reason she's so stressed and incoherent all the time is that she remembers every Alternate Timeline in the Hatchetfield multiverse simultaneously; some tutoring from Webby, and later Miss Holloway, allow for at least that timeline's Hannah a degree of control over this so that she may better interact with her surroundings.
  • Screaming Woman: Kendall Nicole spends a lot of time screaming while playing Hannah in "The Witch in the Web" — Nightmare Time really ends up living up to its name in this story.
  • Signature Instrument: Her white ukulele that Lex bought her as a present. It is notably not the same as the black ukulele that Willabella Muckwab replaces it with while she's in Nightmare Time, to deny her access to her power and Webby's songs. It's a deeply disturbing moment when Willabella's influence reaches into the real world for the first time to turn Hannah's real ukulele black. The big Wham Line moment when she reclaims her power in Nightmare Time is that Willabella took away Hannah's power in the real world by switching the two instruments, which means that when she reclaims her power over her own mind in Nightmare Time she finds the white ukuklele was with her all along.
  • Tomboyish Baseball Cap: Complete with the tomboyish braided pigtails, although she doesn't start out with it — it's a gift from Ethan. In the Nightmare Time timeline, she instead gets the baseball cap from Miss Holloway directly.
  • Villainous Lineage: Is descended matrilineally ("the daughter of my daughter's daughter's daughter...") from Willabella Muckwab, the first worshiper of Wiggog Y'Wrath and the Lords in Black, author of the Black Book, and greatest and most Wicked Witch to ever have lived. Her powers seem to indicate that she's Willabella's reincarnation, or that it's her destiny to be Raised as a Host for Willabella's inevitable return. This is a lie Willabella's ghost is trying to get her to believe and that she eventually heroically overcomes.
  • Waif Prophet: She fits this profile pretty much exactly.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: As all too often happens, her psychic gifts don't seem to do her any good, since no one including her understands her precognitive flashes and they've otherwise rendered her unable to function.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Miss Holloway tries to explain to Hannah in "The Witch in the Web" that, yes, it is very possible for her to die in "Nightmare Time" if she fully succumbs to her fears — but this is her power making it possible, not Willabella Muckwab's, and all Willabella can actually do is manipulate her and turn her own mind against her. When she is in full control of her mind, nothing can harm her inside her own Nightmare Time, symbolized by her reclaiming Webby's ukulele.

     Becky Barnes 

Rebecca "Becky" Barnes

Played by: Kim Whalen

Appears in: Black Friday | "Jane's a Car" | "Daddy" | "Yellow Jacket"

Mentioned in: "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man"
"That's called a bribe, sir, and it's illegal. Or it should be."

Take me back in time to love you
Hold me closer than before
Heal my heart and mend what's broken
To feel you once more

A nurse who works in the pediatric wing of St. Damien's Hospital downtown. In her early 30s and divorced. Having chanced to encounter her recently widowed high school sweetheart Tom Houston, the two have rekindled their relationship.

  • The Alcoholic: Linda mocks her cruelly for becoming one after Stanley left her, although Linda is not a reliable source of information. She does admit that she was a drinker and partier before she got married.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The town seems to mock her for how such a Nice Girl ended up with a vile, abusive drunk like Stanley (who, according to "What Do You Say?", even ended up in prison at some point). This show, however, does not play this for laughs, making it clear how Stanley groomed and manipulated her and by the time she realized what was going on she was too frightened of him to leave.
  • All-Loving Hero: Her reputation in Hatchetfield, and why people like Linda find her a cloying hypocrite. It's poked fun at in "Jane's a Car", where she comments while playing a Light Gun Game with Tim that she'd rather try to find a way to save the zombies from their condition than kill them. Of course, people like Linda who assume this means she's an Actual Pacifist with no stomach for violence are very dangerously wrong.
  • Alliterative Name: Which seems to play into how people refer to her on a Full-Name Basis.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Oh, hell yes. Becky is a sweet, caring woman who just wants to get some toys to the children in the hospital, who also happens to have stabbed her abusive husband, possibly killing him, and later shoots Linda in the head.
    Becky: It's funny. Stanley's the one that made me go to nursing school... that's why I knew where his femoral artery was.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Becky's sudden burst of Heroic Willpower where she throws off the influence of both the sedative and Wiggly's possession at once, so she can grab the gun Tom dropped, kill Linda and foil Wiggly's plans once and for all.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In contrast to Tom, Becky's aura of Incorruptible Pure Pureness makes it seem like she'll stay Above the Influence... and yet she did come to the mall for a Wiggly doll, which we learn from Lex is always a fundamentally selfish desire. The Littlest Cancer Patient at the hospital didn't really want one either! Which means she can be and eventually is also fully possessed by Wiggly.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Becky and Tom's initial reunion is filled with extremely tense silences. "What Do You Say?" indeed.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Played deadly serious. Becky tells us she realized she had no chance to leave her husband when she saw him beat a kid almost to death just for the crime of her flirting with him. It's his refusal to even let her go to Jane's funeral because he knows Tom is her First Love that makes her finally snap.
  • Crowd Chant: She seems to think she can turn the people of Hatchetfield against Linda by starting one, imploring the guy Linda bribed to let her into the Toy Zone line to "Tear that check! Tear that check!" Unfortunately, Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs — the only reason anyone else objects to him taking the bribe is they'd rather they were the ones being bribed.
  • Divorce Requires Death: Her Dark Secret is that Stanley didn't disappear because he ran out on her, he disappeared after she stabbed him in the woods and left him for dead. It's implied he wouldn't have let her go any other way.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After suffering at the hands of her husband for years, the last straw is when he refused to let her go to Tom's wife's funeral, even saying he'd rather see her dead than let her do that. For the first time ever, she fought back against his abuse, and wound up stabbing him and leaving him to die. She bites back again, even harder, when she shoots Linda in the head at the end of the show.
  • Domestic Abuse: Her husband Stanley was controlling and emotionally abusive, and all but stated to have beaten her, before abandoning her for another woman. Except he didn't do that last part, because she finally killed the son of a bitch or, at the very least, she left him for dead after stabbing him. Regardless, Becky never saw Stanley again after that.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Tom and Becky are just as much under Wiggly's spell as the rest of the customers in the toy store, but they're shocked at the violence displayed by the other shoppers during "Feast or Famine".
  • Extreme Doormat: As many people do with Wide Eyed Idealists, Linda thinks Becky's ideals amount to this and that her sermons amount to exhorting other people to be as weak as she is. For Linda, this is a tragic error in judgment.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Hers is somewhat more abrupt than Tom's and took a lot of audience members off guard, with the sweet girl we've known up to this point suddenly morphing into a Femme Fatale Wicked Witch who's fully willing to drug and rob Hannah.
  • Fiery Redhead: She's got a lot of competition in this show when it comes to being fiery and passionate, but when we first meet her she's in Soapbox Sadie mode who can't hold back how much Linda's bullshit upsets her and tries to rile up Torches and Pitchforks against her.
  • First Girl Wins: The road they took to get there was littered with tragedy, but she finally gets to be with her First Love by the end of the play.
  • First Love: Tom Houston, and it turns out her unconscious hope of seeing him again was what kept her going through her marriage.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Dragging Tom to safety and dressing his wound is definitely this for Becky, although he was already her Old Flame.
  • Foil: And Arch-Nemesis, for Linda Monroe. Apparently they've known each other since high school, and Linda has taken a great deal of pleasure in watching her downfall and taunting her over it, while Becky sees Linda as everything wrong with Hatchetfield. Becky finally gets her revenge in as bloody and direct a way as possible at the end of the show.
  • Freudian Slip: When she sees Tom Houston she inadvertently introduces herself as "Becky Houston".
  • Friend to All Children: Does not have kids herself, and sees her patients at the hospital as her family. "Jane's a Car" reveals she's pretty good with Tim, too.
  • Full-Name Basis: Pretty much everyone calls her "Becky Barnes", probably because as an Alliterative Name it rolls off the tongue (like "Bucky Barnes"). Just for clarity's sake, Nick Lang confirmed for everyone that this isn't technically her full name because her legal first name is in fact "Rebecca", and she does in fact have an (unrevealed) middle name.
  • Glory Days: The Greek Chorus in "What Do You Say?" reference this trope by name to describe the days when she and Tom were the perfect couple in high school, compared to their emotionally damaged, much less glamorous current selves.
  • Grand Theft Me: Jane's eventual Evil Plan in "Jane's a Car" is to do this to Becky. Tragically, she succeeds.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Tom's more of a Classical Antihero but he definitely wants her.
  • High-School Sweethearts: Becky and Tom were this, although their story didn't work out as neatly as the storybook version of this trope.
  • Hospital Hottie: Shows up to wait in line wearing her hospital scrubs, and despite Linda's put-downs she's clearly still an object of lust for most of Hatchetfield's men.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: This is how Linda sees Becky's public image, anyway, and why she takes such vicious glee in undermining it and pointing out her flaws. It turns out Becky is pretty open about her Hidden Depths and that she was a somewhat shallow party girl before she met Stanley. And the fact that she got out of that marriage by murder means she really isn't as inclined to judge people as Linda seems to think. She judges Linda only because Linda really is that awful.
  • The Ingenue: Played with. This is Kim Whalen's usual character type, and Becky definitely fits the idealistic and wholesome traits of this archetype. (Even the bitchy Greek Chorus of "What Do You Say?" get offended at imagining her having sex.) But she's definitely a fallen ingenue, older and more damaged than she once was. Linda is right that her All-Loving Hero pose is meant to compensate for her own insecurities... though she doesn't know part of that is her guilt over having murdered her husband.
  • Informed Flaw: Linda sneers that "Becky's put on some weight" in "What Do You Say?", but there's really nowhere on Kim Whalen's body you could point to her packing extra pounds, and unlike Dylan Saunders as Tom she's not dressed to look as if she might be hiding it.
  • Irony: The thing that makes Becky seem like such a goody-two-shoes, her nursing career, is something her husband forced on her to help him pay the bills. And it's what gave her the anatomical knowledge necessary to kill him.
  • Ironic Death: Her backstory had her kill her husband after he tried to prevent her from getting close to Tom again. "Jane's a Car" has her achieving her dream of finally reconnecting with Tom, her One True Love... only for him to — from her perspective — attack and kill her in the same place she killed Stanley.
  • I Will Wait for You: Becky meant to do this when Tom shipped out to Iraq. She blames herself for being tempted away into starting a relationship with Stanley as her own worst mistake.
  • Killed Offscreen: Colonel Schaeffer confirmed that, aside from Emma, no other human resident of Hatchetfield survived, so it’s highly likely Becky was infected by the Hive Mind offscreen during The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Becky's justification for hunting for a Wiggly is to give a Christmas present to the horribly suffering children in the pediatric wing of St. Damien's hospital.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Becky never changed her name after marrying Stanley. This is notable because when she meets her First Love Tom Houston again in "What Do You Say?", she makes the Freudian Slip of introducing herself as "Becky Houston".
  • Mythology Gag: The anecdote about Becky Barnes being stuck up a tree for two whole days seems to originate from the original fundraiser livestream for Black Friday, where — because no one knew anything about the character of Becky yet — people were spitballing about her being the star of a clichéd cutesy slice-of-life story about a Plucky Girl growing up in Oireland.
  • Never Found the Body: As a nurse, she knows the wound she dealt to Stanley was likely to be lethal... but she didn't stick around to check before fleeing, and now she's haunted by the thought either that his body will be discovered someday and she'll go to prison, or that he survived and will be coming back for revenge.
  • Noodle Incident: She climbed a tree once when she was a little girl, and stayed there for two days. The audience has never been told why or how this happened, but the people of Hatchetfield talk about it a lot, even in stories in which Becky doesn't appear. Heck, even the narrator gets in on making quips about it in Jane's a Car. Hidgens describes it as a "bit of Hatchetfield lore". The Langs have said this will be explained in a future story that focuses on Becky's past.
  • Old Flame: Her relationship with Tom.
  • Old Maid: The formerly married, now divorced version of this trope. The Greek Chorus of women shoppers around her aren't shy about commenting on how pitiful they find her current situation.
  • Super Couple: In-universe, Becky and Tom were this to everyone in high school with them, as the star athlete and cheerleader, to the point that years later they have a gossipy Greek Chorus obsessing over their reunion.
  • Trauma Button: She's got her fair share of PTSD too — she visibly flinches when Tom raises his voice and snaps at her. (Which, to his credit, he immediately realizes and apologizes for.)
  • Unkempt Beauty: She's still attractive despite the extra years and the fact that she's up in the very early morning for Black Friday shopping. Noticeably, Kim Whalen is a lot less dressed down than Dylan Saunders — her makeup and her hair certainly don't look like she's been up for hours without a chance to shower.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Linda loves bullying and mocking Becky over this, thinking of it as a sign of her weakness and hypocrisy that let her be stuck with a crappy job at the hospital and an abusive husband who used her up and left her. She's right about a lot of it, but dangerously wrong about exactly how Becky's marriage ended.
  • Woman Scorned: The town gossips think Becky's devotion to her charges at the hospital, leading to her camping out for a Wiggly with the town parents, are her overcompensating for losing her husband and any chance of having her own kids.

     Tom Houston 

Tom Houston

Played by: Dylan Saunders | Jeff Blim (understudy in one performance of Black Friday)

Appears in: Black Friday | "Forever & Always" | "Time Bastard" | "Jane's a Car" | "Yellow Jacket"
"I do not get flashbacks. I remember bad things vividly."

What Tim wants, Tim will get
Anything that he wants, he can have it
All I need is some time
All I need is a break from the madness

Emma's brother-in-law, suffering PTSD from both his two tours in Iraq as a U.S. Marine and the more recent car crash that claimed the life of his wife Jane. With help from Emma and his old flame Becky Barnes, he is working to reconnect with his son Tim.

  • Actually Pretty Funny: After expressing his disdain for the plot of Santa Claus is Goin' to High School he suddenly changes his opinion to "This is the best movie ever!", probably because the big love scene in the movie happens to coincide with him getting it on with Becky in real life.
  • The Atoner: He blames himself for his wife Jane's death, and he's been unemployed and barely functional for a year since then. He's become hyperfocused on his goal of getting his son Tim a Wiggly doll as a Christmas present, believing that this is the only way he can make up for taking Tim's mother away from him and somehow restore his family to what it once was.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Classic example of this trope — not that Dylan Saunders doesn't look great with a beard in Real Life, but his hair, clothes and general grooming make it clear Tom's beard is the result of just not shaving or showering for days at a time.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Wiggly is already preying on his existing mental instability at the beginning of the show, but you can see him deteriorate in real time until even he succumbs to becoming one of Wiggly's raving minions.
  • Bumbling Dad: Downplayed. He's not a Homer Simpson stereotype like the Father in The Trail to Oregon!, but it really does seem like Jane was The Reliable One who kept the family going and was better than him at everything, including parenting Tim, and now that she's gone everything is falling apart. (It's definitely at least partly the grief and self-loathing telling him he's useless, but Emma confirmed in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals that Jane's well-meaning competence was good at making other people feel like crap.)
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Becky and Tom's initial reunion is filled with extremely tense silences. "What Do You Say?" indeed.
    • He's this way during his own songs too, cutting himself off before he can bring himself to talk to his wife's death with the refrain "Flash—bang—", mimicking the experience of a PTSD Trigger.
  • Carpet of Virility: Of both the "rugged" and the "unkempt" kind, since the only reason we can see his manly chest hair is that he's walking around with the top several buttons of his shirt open (as if to indicate he's gained some weight since he bought it).
  • Cool Teacher: Tom used to be this for Lex — his job was teaching Shop Class at Hatchetfield High, which was known as the "easy A" class. When the class was canceled thanks to him going on "indefinite leave" and never coming back, Lex's GPA went down badly enough she decided to just drop out, and blames him for sending her life into a tailspin.
  • Determinator: Tom's reason for getting a Wiggly is the most typical one of the main cast and seemingly the least consequential, but just like in Jingle All the Way, he's absolutely determined not to let his son down. It seems like an admirable trait at first, but as Wiggly deepens his grip on Tom's mind it eventually leads to Tom snarling that he Would Hurt a Child just to secure the love of his own.
  • Disneyland Dad: Tom refuses to directly engage with Tim because of his guilt, which leads him to instead try to buy Tim's affection with gifts, which only pushes Tim away further. Their fight in Act 1 about how Tom wouldn't play any of the games Tim wanted to at Pizza Pete's because he was obsessed with winning a prize from the skee-ball game foreshadows his obsession with Wiggly despite never even having asked Tim if he wanted one.
  • Driven to Madness: "Jane's a Car" ends with a massive downer ending where Tom has finally gone completely insane, having to live with the knowledge that, with him unable to stop the car running over Becky and then totaling itself again against a tree, he's once more watched one or both of the women he loves horribly killed.
  • Epiphany Therapy: He's not completely okay all of a sudden, but the moment we know He's Back! is when he sings the line "Flash—" and the spotlight goes off but does not lead into the "Flash—bang—" refrain, which indicates the trigger still exists but he can now recognize it and stave it off.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Tom and Becky are just as much under Wiggly's spell as the rest of the customers in the toy store, but they're shocked at the violence displayed by the other shoppers during "Feast or Famine".
  • Face–Heel Turn: He's not exactly heroic up to that point, but he's a sympathetic character, one who stands up for Lex during the riot and expresses shock at Ethan's death... which is why it's so shocking when Wiggly's influence intensifies and he suddenly Would Hurt a Child when he sees Hannah clutching the one Wiggly doll left in the mall.
  • Family Theme Naming: Mildly. Tom's son's name is Tim.
  • First Love: Becky was his just as he was for her, but unlike Becky's situation, he really was head over heels for Jane to the point where he seemingly hasn't thought about her again until he sees her today.
  • Forced into Evil: His slipping under Wiggly's influence until he Would Hurt a Child is one form of this trope. "Jane's a Car" is a much worse version, where he's fully conscious that what he's doing is wrong but Jane's manipulation and browbeating backs him into a corner where he feels he has no choice but to eventually give in to her demands that he commit murder so she can pull a Grand Theft Me. The stress of this internal conflict rapidly destroying his once-recovering mental health is very hard to watch.
  • Glory Days: As with Becky, he seems to have peaked in high school.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: As is common for PTSD sufferers. Anytime something pokes at his open wound of guilt over his wife and son, he snaps at them in as Jerkass a way as he can.
  • Handy Man: In better times, Tom was one of these — he owns a wide selection of tools and brags "There's nothing I can't fix", and ended up getting a job teaching Shop Class because of it.
  • Heroic BSoD: Coming back from the war only for his wife to die was this for him. He's quit his job and totally withdrawn into himself. MacNamara describes either him or Becky as a "warrior of light who is asleep".
  • Heroic Willpower: He's the only character able to successfully fight off Wiggly's possession while physically holding one, which, as weak as he may curse himself for being, definitely counts for something.
  • He's Back!: When he finally comes to his epiphany at the end of "If I Fail You".
  • High-School Sweethearts: Becky and Tom were this, although their story didn't work out as neatly as the storybook version of this trope.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: His ongoing and crippling PTSD over the sense that Tim considers Jane's death his fault. It turns out it's worse than that — it actually is his fault, at least from his perspective.
  • "I Want" Song: "What Tim Wants". Ironically, it's very clearly his own "I want" song, not his son Tim's — his delusional belief that if he can just buy a Wiggly doll he can somehow fix his relationship with his son and bring everything back to normal. Tellingly, he sings this song immediately after his son was telling him what he actually wants — for him to spend time with him — and blowing him off.
  • In Vino Veritas: "If I Fail You" tells us that Jane took Tom out to bars a lot during their relationship because he'd only really open up to her emotionally when he was drunk.
  • Jaded Washout: Whatever happened to him in Iraq, it wasn't good, but he seems to have been doing well enough until the death of his wife compounded his existing PTSD and turned him into a trainwreck.
    • The lyrics of "If I Fail You" reveal that he was emotionally walled off long before Jane's death ("I was gone long before you"), and describes how one of the many chores Jane did in their marriage was getting him to open up ("She liked to loosen me up just to get at my heart/She'd poke at each of my wounds to see what I'd say").
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Emma describes him as an asshole, and he's certainly prickly, but he's a good man who loves his son and is protective of Lex and Becky.
  • Kick the Dog: He and Becky become pretty damn scary and unsympathetic once Wiggly's evil spell takes hold of them, but it's extra harsh when he abandons Becky and leaves her unconscious in a mall filled with violent cultists, because getting out of the mall by himself with the Wiggly doll is now the only thing that matters — after he promised "I'll never let you go" in their big duet.
  • Killed Offscreen: Colonel Schaeffer confirmed that, aside from Emma, no other human resident of Hatchetfield survived, so it’s highly likely Tom was infected by the Hive Mind offscreen during The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals.
  • Lovable Jock: Or, at least, was beloved by the members of the Greek Chorus he went to high school with.
  • Meaningful Name: Tom's last name being a place name and his status as a washed-up jock who went into a more dangerous line of work after the end of his sports career seems reminiscent of Johnny Utah in Point Break, who was himself named for Joe Montana.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: According to "What Tim Wants", his reaction right after the car accident.
  • Old Soldier: He might look bedraggled and washed-up, but he's still a damn US Marine, and even when the Retail Riot is in full swing he's badass enough to easily fight off or scare off anyone who threatens him or Becky... until the Man in a Hurry pulls a knife.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Becky tells us the stab wound missed Tom's vital organs (and, giving the lack of High-Pressure Blood, any major arteries) so he "should be fine". That said, it's probably still not a great idea for him to engage in vigorous activity afterwards — either kind.
  • Papa Wolf: Like a lot of men, he has trouble expressing affection except through anger directed at others, whether it be fighting his way through all the other parents to get Tim the Wiggly doll or standing up briefly for his quasi-surrogate daughter Lex when the riot breaks out.
  • Parents as People: He loves his son dearly and only wants to get him the toy he wants for Christmas so he can see him smile again. But, as hard as he tries, he's not perfect—he's clearly avoiding dealing with his wife's death in a healthy manner, and is so emotionally disconnected from Tim, he didn't even realize that Tim didn't actually want the toy.
  • Parental Obliviousness: He's dead set on how buying a Wiggly for Tim will fix everything even though, in the first scene, Tim is right there telling everyone how he already ruined their Thanksgiving at Pizza Pete's with his obsession with winning tickets to get him a prize instead of actually having fun. It isn't until Lex brings it up that he realizes he never directly asked Tim if he wanted a Wiggly doll at all.
  • Pet the Dog: Even though he seems to be as Wiggly-obsessed as everyone else in the line, in the lead-up to "Feast or Famine" when the Man in a Hurry roughly shoves Lex out of his way, he cares enough to shout "Get your hands off her!"
  • The Quarterback: Tom used to be one, in the kind of town where it automatically made him the Big Man on Campus.
  • Reluctant Psycho: He spends much of "Jane's a Car" wrestling with whether he's becoming one.
  • Sanity Slippage: He gets it pretty bad in "Jane's a Car", until unfortunately when he finally decides to reach out to Becky and tell her what's going on with him he's in full You Have to Believe Me! mode.
  • Secret-Keeper: "Jane's a Car" is a pretty harsh look at the Sanity Slippage that comes from having to bear the burden of this role.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Tim tells us he has a PTSD diagnosis from the war and isn't supposed to hold a gun, even to play a Light Gun Game, but it turns out that's not the end of it — his PTSD became way worse after his wife died in a car accident. Played with in the lyrics of "What Tim Wants", where his trigger is represented by the lyrics "Flash—bang—", which sounds like a reference to a flashbang grenade but is in fact about being blinded by the headlights of the other car.
  • The Show Must Go On: This happened to Dylan Saunders for the second time in Starkid history, after the incident where Nick Lang had to go onstage for Lauren Lopez noted in Emma Perkins' character sheet above. Black Friday was a bumpy production where the whole cast was beset by a mystery illness during the run of the show, and one night Dylan was feeling too unwell to go onstage at all, meaning Tom Houston had to be covered by another member of the cast. Notably, unlike the role of Emma in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, Tom has two solo songs and two duets with Becky, which meant the only person who knew the songs well enough to replace him was songwriter Jeff Blim. While Nick playing Emma was the more memorable (and memeable) replacement due to the Cross-Cast Role aspect, Jeff playing Tom was arguably a much greater feat, especially since it required quickly rewriting all the scenes where Tom is onstage at the same time as the Man in a Hurry (including being stabbed by him) and Jeff having to also play the major role of Gen. MacNamara, carrying six songs in one performance. (Thank goodness MacNamara and Tom never meet! We do have to wonder what those quickchanges were like..)
  • Super Couple: In-universe, Becky and Tom were this to everyone in high school with them, as the star athlete and cheerleader, to the point that years later they have a gossipy Greek Chorus obsessing over their reunion. The women in the crowd seem happy to go after Tom if Becky doesn't, damaged goods and all.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Dylan Saunders does a very haunting one, which Tom wears whenever he's not pissed off at someone, which is why he spends so much time getting pissed off.
  • Trauma Button: The song "What Tim Wants" and "If I Fail You" reveal that anything that reminds him of the car accident is this for him. He bristles at the tropey, media-sensationalized idea of "PTSD flashbacks", though, as do many sufferers in Real Life.
    Tom: I do not get flashbacks. I remember bad things vividly.
    • The ending of "Jane's a Car", with Jane running over Becky and then slamming into a tree while he desperately tries and fails to stop her, slams this Trauma Button hard enough to break the console. Possibly permanently.
  • Trauma Conga Line:
    • A lot of bad things have happened to him in his life when we first meet him in Black Friday — sadly, none of them are particularly unusual bad things, but his PTSD from the war followed by his wife's tragic death were a pretty harsh one-two punch that left him barely standing. The events of Black Friday chew him up a lot more, until you can really feel it when he snaps at Lex "I've had a shitty day, and I'd like to go home."
    • "Jane's a Car" gives us a Hope Spot of a timeline where Black Friday didn't happen and Tom is starting to put his life back together... only for Jane's return as the car to immediately send it all crumbling and take things rapidly From Bad to Worse until poor Tom is completely Driven to Madness.
  • Unkempt Beauty: In "Take Me Back", Becky tells us that Tom was "way more put together" back in high school, but despite how badly he's been put through the wringer since then, he's still a ruggedly handsome Dylan Saunders.
  • Weight Woe: The other shoppers are quick to snipe at him for having gained a few pounds since high school.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Lex is trying her best to do this when she holds him at gunpoint to try to break Wiggly's spell, but her Innocently Insensitive approach isn't what does it; the inspiring thing about "If I Fail You" is that he successfully gives one to himself. He talks himself into the realization that, even after everything that's happened, what Tim really wants more than anything else is a relationship with his father.

     Linda Monroe 

Linda Monroe (née Murray)

Played by: Lauren Lopez

Appears in: Black Friday | "Honey Queen"

Mentioned in: "Jane's a Car"
"I hope you don't get a Wiggly. I hope you fucking die."

I demand your love and worship too
If I don't get it I will end you
'Cause I will be adored

A well-known local millionaire and president of the Hatchetfield Boating Society. Most notable for her stint as the prophet of the Cult of Wiggly.

  • Abusive Parents: As much as she seems to spoil her sons, she's also pretty emotionally neglectful of them (which is a constant theme with parents obsessed with the Wiggly dolls). She casually tells Gerald that if their son River needs to go to the bathroom he can "hold it like a man".
  • All Take and No Give: Once Uncle Wiley fully inducts her into the Religion of Evil, she's completely open about this being her ideal for all her relationships.
  • Alpha Bitch: She's well out of high school by the time this show starts but hasn't let go of any of those schoolyard bully habits.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: She uses the Yiddish word mensch to describe herself in "Adore Me" (and Lauren Lopez is Jewish in Real Life).
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Her reaction to Hannah's "magic hat":
    Hannah: (eyes clenched shut) Magic hat! Nothing can hurt me!
    Linda: (laughs) You little fool. You think this is going to protect you? A magic hat? That's ridiculous! Only dolls are magic!
  • The Beautiful Elite: Fully believes herself to be this. Subverted when it turns out that Sherman Young, of all people, is just as "elite" as she is.
  • Bitch Alert: See Establishing Character Moment below.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The gray to Zoey's black in "Honey Queen", allowing Linda, a loathsome villain in Black Friday, to take the role of protagonist. While Linda swindles and blackmails her way to the top, she has affection for some of her family members and relatable insecurities; Zoey, meanwhile, is a self-aggrandizing sociopath who uses her family and friends as a means to an end. When Linda blackmails Zoey by threatening to reveal her promiscuous ways to her well-respected grandmother Mima, Zoey's response is to murder Mima for the inheritance money, having already betrayed her brother Zach out of his share.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Oddly averted — though Uncle Wiley certainly does something to her when he "opens her heart" to Wiggly, unlike all the other insane cultists she seems to be mostly the same person afterwards. It may well be that it's because she's so much of a sociopathic narcissist already that she can be converted to Wiggly's side with her sanity intact, which is why Wiggly made her The Chosen One.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: She's smart enough that she doesn't really try to pretend her actions are somehow morally justified — she just rejects the idea of morality entirely, believing that everyone around her is as much of a bastard as she is and would do the things she does if they could get away with it. (This is why Becky Barnes upsets her so much and why she works so hard to tear her down.) Once Black Friday is in full swing, she ends up taking this trait up to eleven under Uncle Wiley's influence, going from The Cynic to full-on Straw Nihilist and accepting his offer to see the world horrifically destroyed if it means she gets to feel special.
  • The Chosen One: Chosen by Wiggly to end the world, anyway. Interestingly, she seems to be chosen because being the Chosen One was always part of her worldview.
  • Curse Cut Short: Hilariously, given her shameless propensity for both the Precision F-Strike and Cluster F-Bomb, in her line from "Adore Me" she seems to censor herself — the second repetition of the line "I demand your love and worship too/If I don't get it I will end you" has her just pause and give a pelvic thrust on where the word "end" should go, as though she couldn't decide between the words "fuck", "kill", or something worse she can't think of at the moment.
  • Dark Messiah: In the aftermath of the Black Friday riots she becomes Wiggly's "Mother" and "Prophet" and the leader of a fanatical cult. (Or, rather, "exciting new religion that I started".) Hilariously, she becomes the leader of an Apocalypse Cult without giving up any of her petty Alpha Bitch habits. She does things like interrupt giving a sermon to chatter on the phone.
  • Dark Is Evil: Her sweater is white, and her hair is blonde, but once she becomes the evil cult leader in Act 2, her most salient feature is that she's "the woman in the black cape".
  • Deal with the Devil: Eagerly accepts Uncle Wiley's offer to become Wiggly's "Mother" and be the most special person in the whole world at the cost of damning the whole world to destruction.
  • Desperation Attack: It seems Lex and Tom have Linda dead to rights at the end of the show, with Tom having her restrained and at gunpoint, and Lex about to burn the last Wiggly and ruin all her plans... and then in the course of one desperate, piercing scream she seems to get an adrenaline-fueled burst of strength to wrestle herself out of Tom's grip and twist his arm hard enough to make him cry out in pain and drop his gun (keeping in mind she's five feet tall and a third Tom's size and Tom is a combat veteran) and then barrel her way across the stage and seize the Wiggly from Lex's hand before she can react. This may be the supernatural power Wiley promised to her, or she may just be dead set on getting her way. (Note that this is a Call-Back to Emma, also played by Lauren Lopez, unexpectedly wrestling herself free from a zombified Ted in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals.)
  • The Dragon: She's this to Wiggly in the grand scheme of things, making her Co-Dragons with Uncle Wiley, although in terms of the Lakeside Mall plot she's the Big Bad and Sherman Young is her Dragon.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Her first scene in the show is her scolding her husband over the phone for not wanting to stay in the car, telling him to tell their son to 'hold it like a man' instead of coming inside to use the bathroom, bribing her way to the front of the line while bragging about her rich husband's job, and insulting Becky for her past abusive relationship. All within the span of only a few minutes.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In Nightmare Time 2, it becomes apparent that she truly loves her youngest son River and her husband Gerald, even leaving a heartfelt voicemail where she admits that though she hasn't said it recently, she really does love him, which is made heartbreaking because she is not aware he has been killed
  • Evil Genius: Linda is both very intelligent and very deliberately cruel.
  • Evil Gloating: One of her favorite hobbies, crossing over with Breaking Speech.
  • Evil Matriarch: Is very much the tyrannical ruler of her Henpecked Husband and her four Spoiled Brats. Uncle Wiley's offer is to become this for all of creation by becoming God's (Wiggly's) "mother" by bringing him into the world. Sure enough, in the Religion of Evil she founds her official title is "Mother".
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Her blonde hair, petite size and angelic, innocent voice give way very quickly to the reality that she's a shameless ruthless Alpha Bitch, but she still seems to have no trouble getting people to buy into her crap, including when it reaches the point of demanding they actually worship her as a demigod. She specifically very much reflects the blonde version of this trope (and the occasions where Lauren Lopez has worn a blonde wig or dyed her hair in the past to play Draco Malfoy and Tanya Freemont.) She even gloats at one point about her four "beautiful blond boys" in a way that sounds at least a little Aryan supremacist.
  • Fetishized Abuser: An abusively sexy lady. Was this to Gerald (and is now his abusive wife), and apparently continued to be this to at least two other men, and is now this for a whole (mostly male) Apocalypse Cult of fanatical worshipers who literally kiss her feet. Lauren Lopez pulls it off really well. (Note that her "harem" of male cultists makes her cult a mortal Gender Flip of Uncle Wiley and his bevy of female Sniggles in the Black and White.)
  • Fur and Loathing: In contrast to the other very dressed-down shoppers' practical winter gear, she's prominently sporting an expensive fur hat and fur-lined cape.
  • Freudian Excuse: Honey Queen reveals she has an emotionaly abusive father who takes every opportunity to belittle her, which does a lot to explain her need for adoration.
  • Gold Digger: It's strongly implied she's a Trophy Wife for her Henpecked Husband Gerald, who's apparently a quite well-known and highly-paid plastic surgeon.
  • Hate Sink: Intended to very much be the villain you love to hate. Nightmare Time makes it clear she was this for the town before anything that happens in Black Friday went down. When Tom is desperately trying to think of someone who "deserves it" he can have Jane Kill and Replace the first name that comes to mind is Linda; Jane objects on the grounds that Tom can't possibly be attracted to Linda, forcing Tom to admit she's right and continue searching for an innocent.
  • Henpecked Husband: Her husband Gerald, who apparently finances her whole lifestyle but still gets kicked around as though he's a feckless Bumbling Dad. Indeed, it's a punchline in itself when we find out, after hearing her bark orders to him on the phone for a while, that he's her husband and not her chauffeur or butler. Apparently she's having him sit in the car idling the engine to keep it warm all day (even though she ends up trapped in the mall for eighteen hours, founding a cult along the way).
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Linda tries to argue this in her defense to Uncle Wiley for why she acts the way he does, but he scoffs — love is an inherently reciprocal relationship, and Linda is incapable of loving others. What Linda wants is the entirely selfish desire to be adored.
  • Idle Rich: She apparently thinks of "President of the Hatchetfield Boating Society" as her job.
  • It's All About Me: Is refreshingly honest about this. Especially fun with the Insane Troll Logic where, after successfully arguing that it's ridiculously unfair to sell all 850 Wiggly dolls to Sherman Young, she then turns around and argues that a one-per-customer limit is equally unfair, when the obvious correct policy is for the limit to be four (because she personally has four kids).
  • Jerkass: She's rude, entitled, and selfish, and those are probably the three nicest things you can say about her.
  • Keystone Army: Wiggly gives Linda the gift of having her insane narcissism validated — the Black Friday riots are wreaking havoc all over the country, but the core of Wiggly's plan is the cult centered on the Lakeside Mall in Hatchetfield, Michigan, and for unclear metaphysical reasons has to be completed with Linda as his appointed prophet, or it will fail. The ghost of MacNamara directly tells Lex that all they have to do is kill Linda Monroe, a single five-foot-tall Rich Bitch, to save the world. Pity no one told that to the big kahunas in Washington DC before they went and tried fighting on his own turf, with disastrous results.
  • Kick the Dog: She's nasty to everyone, but she really seems to have it out for poor Becky in particular. It takes a special kind of horrid to not only mock a woman's past abusive relationship to her face, but gleefully rub in the fact that everyone knew what was going on, but didn't help her.
  • Killed Offscreen: Colonel Schaeffer confirmed that, aside from Emma, no other human resident of Hatchetfield survived, so it’s highly likely Linda was infected by the Hive Mind offscreen during The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals.
  • Mundanger: While Wiggly himself is the Greater-Scope Villain causing the disaster that drives the story, Linda is an ordinary human who poses the most direct threat to the other characters (and seems to have been a bad person long before Wiggly appeared).
  • Narcissist:
    Uncle Wiley: And this town, ooh, Hatchetfield. Sure is a special place, you understand? And you, little lady, you are the most special person in it.
    Linda: I know that!
  • Newhart Phonecall: She seems to feel the need to keep up a meandering, aimless phone conversation with her unseen husband Gerald throughout the whole show, even though there's no real practical reason to keep him updated, apparently because she's used to having him be her sounding board for her constant gossiping and complaining. This turns out to be one long setup for the payoff of having her shot in the head and having Gary immediately pick up the phone and tell Gerald, "We need to talk about the will."
  • Obnoxious Entitled Housewife: She's president of the local boating society and mother to several beautiful blonde boys, who believes her kids are entitled to a Tickle-Me-Wiggly and uses her lawyer as a defense against anybody who thinks otherwise. She joins the Wiggly cult as a prophet both so she can bask in adoration and so she can get the Wiggly dolls for her kids.
  • Omnicidal Maniac:
    Linda: I will destroy everything
    And then I will destroy everything
    I guarantee I'll destroy everything in my path
    Unless I get what I—shit, it's Gerald. (picks up phone)
  • Only Sane by Comparison: She's the most intelligent and lucid member of the Wiggly cult, but that's only because she was a narcissistic sociopath to start with; therefore, Wiggly's influence didn't actually change anything except giving her a new outlet for her cruelty, and validate her sense of superiority by making her Divine Prophet.
  • Pretentious Pronunciation: There's several signs that Linda's snobby trans-Atlantic aristocratic accent is an affectation (considering she grew up in Hatchetfield and went to Hatchetfield High with Becky and Tom). She consistently pronounces "Cinnabon" like it's a French word, "SEEN-a-bonn", she overenunciates an "h" sound before any word that starts with a "w" sound, like Stewie Griffin, and she rolls the "r" in the word "rhinoplasty" (and pronounces the "h") as though it's Italian ("hhRRRREENO-plasty").
  • Psychic Powers: It's not clear if Uncle Wiley actually kept his promise to give her power when she accepted his deal, but it seems like by becoming Wiggly's "prophet" she does now have some psychic connection to the Black and White — she can sense there's only one Wiggly doll left in the mall after the riots, and says she can "smell" that Lex has been in contact with it. We're told that if she should physically possess a Wiggly doll, her connection to him will be strong enough that she'll know what to do to bring him into the world (which we're never given the details of).
  • Religion of Evil: Starts an Apocalypse Cult that explicitly says she thinks she's superior to all human beings and that she will destroy the entire world in order to set herself up as an absolute ruler, and treats all her minions as disposable to that end. Thanks to Wiggly's influence, they all eat it up.
  • Rich Bitch: The basis of her character.
  • Screaming Woman: She refrains from unseemly public displays of emotion most of the time, but when Lex is about to burn the last Wiggly doll she lets out a piercing shriek that starts out terrifying and goes on long enough to be hilarious.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: She arrives minutes before Toy Zone opens and just walks into the #2 spot in line by writing a check to a guy to let her cut in front of him. Unfortunately, she has no way of cutting in front of the #1 spot in line, Sherman Young (who apparently has just as much money as she does and is so fanatically devoted to collecting children's toys he got in line a week ago).
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: It's a Starkid show, so no one is shy about dropping regular F-bombs, but it's a striking contrast between Linda's snobbish exterior and her willingness to launch into profane rants whenever she's upset.
  • Skewed Priorities: She continues to banter with her husband while delivering an apocalyptic rant to her cultists, and the fact that she still wants to finish her original goal of collecting four Wigglies for her sons if possible (even though only one Wiggly is all she needs to open the portal and destroy the world) indicates she hasn't quite internalized what this "apocalypse" thing means in practice. Her initial description of what happened to Gerald after the riots start says it all:
Linda: What? No, I'm not frightened, I'm — I'm annoyed. Because some asshole took my doll, and... and... (bursts into tears) I HAD A HAIR APPOINTMENT TODAY!
  • The Sociopath: As broad a caricature as she is, Linda is a pretty good portrait of one of these — not just the lack of empathy or conscience but especially the constant need for stimulation and reinforcement to make her feel special.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: As proud as she is of being a mother, she's also pretty quick to cop to the fact that none of her children were actually wanted or planned and she doesn't actually seem to love them very much except as status symbols. (And it turns out that two of them were especially unplanned because they're not Gerald's.)
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. As Uncle Wiley points out in his speech, Linda does have a therapist, probably a highly paid one, but as is all too common with Narcissists it doesn't do her any good because she's bullshitting the therapist about how she actually feels and what she actually wants — not to be loved, but adored.
  • Too Important to Walk: She revels in this during "Adore Me" and "Wiggle", making her male followers turn themselves into a human sedan chair and parade her around in various poses, in a way that makes her petite stature come off as even more regal than if she were taller.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Though Black Friday gives the impression her husband Gerald is pathetic and servile, it turns out in Honey Queen that he is just as amoral as she is, fell for her after he witnessed her tampering with another girl's skiis during a skiing competition, and absolutely adores her.
Linda: I can win honey queen. But I have to do it my way: destroy them all.''
Gerald: God, I fucking love you.''
  • Wicked Cultured: Of all the characters in the show Linda is the only one who indulges in Lovecraftian Purple Prose, describing the future portal as a "cyclopean gateway", and making Biblical references like "He will rise up with joyful noise/And turn dust to ash and dust".
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Linda to Becky, at the end of the show. If Linda actually knew the full story of why Becky's husband disappeared, she might not have died the way she did.