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The Hustlers in general
- Caper Crew: (original crew) Mickey is the Mastermind, Stacey is the Distraction, Ash is the Hacker, the Gadget Guy, and the Safe Cracker, and the Driver. Danny (and later Sean) is the New Kid. Albert and Stacie (and later Emma) take turns acting as the Partner in Crime; everyone except Ash takes turns as the Conman.
- Code of Honour: The crew definitely have one, the Grifter's Code and specifically refer to it as such in "Diamond Seeker". It's never explicitly laid out, but going on what we see they'll never con an innocent, they'll never rip off their partners, they'll never let a mark outwit them and they'll always look out for each other.
- Con Man: Everyone in the gang, naturally.
- Five-Man Band: Played classically in the first three seasons, though things got a bit blurry afterwards, as Billy, Sean and Emma didn't fit into the defined roles quite as neatly.
- The Leader: Mickey.
- The Lancer: Danny.
- The Smart Guy: Ash and Albert tended to share the role; Albert in terms of con knowledge, Ash on the technical side.
- The Big Guy: Ash on the few occasions when they needed someone physically threatening.
- The Chick: Stacie and later Emma.
- Graceful Loser: This is the main thing that separates them from the marks, especially Mickey. On the rare occasions our heroes completely lose, they tend to take it quite calmly, and in one episode where they were completely and utterly owned by a little girl, though they didn't know that, they actually showed approval, with Albert saying they had witnessed a master at work. By contrast, whenever a mark loses, they tend to scream, yell and throw tantrums.
- The one time this didn't happen, when JW3 absolutely wiped the floor with the group, they were more in shock at how thoroughly they'd been outwitted than anything.
- Honor Among Thieves: The bent cops will often try to call them out on this, claiming there to be no such thing - but then they have to coerce people to betray other crooks. Albert says to Emma that all con men rely on honour among thieves because that's the only way they know they're not going to get screwed over mid con by one of their suppliers of fake goods.
- Karmic Thief: They generally target people who deserve it, partly to justify their crimes to themselves since otherwise they are in it just for the thrill and the money. In addition the victims are invariably very smug, dogkickers and outright jerkasses in their demeanor. Notably the hustlers are reluctant to go after the really evil victims, like gangsters and killers, purely because they know their normal marks won't chop them to pieces if they get caught out, and not because they think their normal targets deserve it more.
- Loveable Rogue: The main reason the group are protagonists; for all that they're technically criminals, at heart they're not bad people.
- OOC Is Serious Business: If they ever break cover to confront their mark, then it's likely they regard him/her as so heinous they need the lesson rubbed in personally.
- Revenge: If you ever go after someone they care about, they will destroy your life with a thoroughness even their regular scams lack.
- To give an example, one episode had a deadbeat scammer con Danny's gran using the memory of her dead husband. The team not only swindled him out of all the cash he had - £150,000 - but left him homeless by conning a bank into buying the land he lived on. Ouch. note
- True Companions: Very much this. They'll bicker and squabble like a real family, but they'll always look out for each other first and foremost.
Michael "Mickey Bricks" Stone
Played by: Adrian Lester (Series 1-3, 5-8)
The main character and leader of the team in every series except the fourth. Mickey is a confident and charismatic man who usually plays high-status characters. He chooses to grift because he loves the thrill, and also because of the fate of his father, an honest man who worked hard all his life only to drop dead of a heart attack the day before he retired.
- The Ace: He's regarded as the greatest grifter of them all, and something of a priority among London's police department.
- Berserk Button: Three of them:
- Firstly, he hates bent coppers, especially those who try to force him to do criminal acts on their behalf. He's so against them that in "Curiosity Caught the Kat", he actually helped the police with a sting operation for a nasty apple by the name of D.I Fisk. He assured the overseer, C.I Wainwright, at the end of their con that he would totally understand if she tried to catch him after their collaboration ended.
- Second, Mickey hates being called a thief, emphasising that he's a con man rather than a common thief. Ironically, despite his protests, Michael and his crew are exceptional thieves when required; they just don't like explicitly stealing money from their targets.
- And finally, the biggest berserk button of all, he hates being told what to do. It almost gets him sent down by Victor Maher before Albert smartens him up, and nearly leads him to reject Emma and Sean as he didn't like Albert setting them all up. Lampshaded when Emma tells him Albert had identified it to them as a character flaw.
- Beyond the Impossible: Invoked: when Albert gives them a choice of three odious targets, they all have to pick one. Mickey chooses all, something distinctly noted by even Emma and Albert to be considered impossible. Not only does he pull it off by the end of the episode, he manages to add a fourth mark as well; a fashion model who conned Eddie's Niece out of her money.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Not quite as good as Ash, but he's got an impressive range of English and American accents to call upon in the team's various schemes.
- Brought Down to Normal: In one episode, he gets scammed when trying to buy a new phone over the Internet, and loses his mojo.
- The Chessmaster: Often sets up his plans so that everything plays out in just the right manner so that their targets essentially give them the money without ever realising that they've been scammed, or in a manner that prevents the target retaliating even if they do. In earlier series', Danny and Mickey's different con approaches provide much drama.
- Clock King: Prone to this, as his habit of meticulously planning out his cons requires certain events to happen to the second in order for it all to work.
- Con Man: The best in the series.
- Everyone Has Standards: In "New Recruits", he asks Emma about the possibility of a date, which she politely turns down. Later, after getting smashed drinking a mark under the table, she starts to reconsider but he shuts the conversation down the moment she brings it up. It's left unspoken, but it's pretty clear he won't take any kind of advantage of her when in that state, even if it's just agreeing to a date.
- Evil Feels Good: Far from evil, but it's made clear repeatedly that the thrill of outwitting his marks is every bit as important to him as the financial gains of their scores. Played with, in that he feels it's Good Feels Good.
Mickey (to Emma): It's not about the money. It's about the game.
- Freudian Excuse: His very specific code of conduct stems from watching his father work himself to death just before retirement playing by the rules, leading him to target those who profit at the expense of others by not caring about said rules. That said, it's obvious from watching him work that the thrill of outwitting his marks is just as important as any sort of moral outrage at those he rips off.
- Gentleman Thief: A textbook example; classically handsome, suave, cultured, always impeccably dressed and only targeting people who thoroughly deserve it.
- Graceful Loser: He often says his motivation for taking down a mark is to see if they can dish it out as well as take it, and he apparently holds himself to that. That said, he's so good at what he does there's only two occasions in the entire series where he does actually lose - "A Touch of Class", where he foolishly got involved with the mark and ""Ties That Bind Us", where JW3 completely played the whole team.
Mickey: I played the game, and I lost.
- Has a Type: "Leggy brunette" according to Ash, but judging by Stacie, Emma and even DCI Britford he likes strong, intelligent and sophisticated women who can keep up with him mentally.
- Hates Small Talk: Invokes this as his excuse for not calling Stacie while she was conning her way round America. She doesn't buy it.
- The Leader: Very much so, especially from season 5 onwards when Danny's not around to challenge him.
- OOC Is Serious Business: When Mickey gets angry, it's a sure sign that the mark should be extremely concerned.
- Precision F-Strike: Given that he hardly swears (or is actually impolite) in any circumstances, him telling a bounty hunter to "Go screw yourself" in "Diamond Seeker" is rather jarring.
- Put on a Bus: In season four, when he went to Australia.
- The Bus Came Back: For the rest of the series, returning to Britain at the start of the fifth series.
- Scary Black Man: When he has to be, both in-character and (occasionally) out. It's never entirely forgotten that he once pummelled his wife's lover with a baseball bat when he found out she was cheating on him.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Very rarely seen without an expensive suit. In fact, when he's dumped naked in the middle of London as part of a grifting challenge by Albert, acquiring one is almost the first thing he does.
- Stealth Mentor: To Danny. Often harsh on him, but "The Henderson Challenge" reveals he sees Danny taking over from him the same way he took over from Albert as inevitable, and wants to make sure he's ready when it happens.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He was quite hard on Danny when he joined the team. He's a lot softer towards Emma and Sean, even taking pains to reassure a despondent Sean about his place on the team after he almost blew the team's cover when a mark spiked his drink.
Played by: Marc Warren (Series 1-4)
- The Ace: While he's officially the team "Roper", he still has a good knack for playing other angles depending on the demands of the role.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Defied: he cannot do a British accent, no matter how much he thinks he can. The gang's scams often have him using American accents.
- The Chessmaster: Mickey learned from him after all, and he's still capable of running rings around his former protege at times - his setting him up with his new crew of Emma and Sean being a prime example.
- Cold Reading: Is a master of it. A season 2 episode shows him giving Danny a crash course in it to an astonishing degree.
- Cool Old Guy: Albert might be old, but he can still scam his way through anybody and is very much The Heart of the team.
- Everybody Has Standards: When he's playing convincer to a mark who insults Stacie (she was pulling off another part of the scheme with another player) as a hooker, a brief cut shows his initial reaction is to sock him one. He doesn't in order to avoid blowing his cover, but it's still a telling moment for someone his age.
- The Gambling Addict: Albert's gambling habit has landed the crew in more than one scrape, and is implied to be a major reason why he has never retired from grifting. JW3 is able to find him and the crew by staking out London's biggest casino and waiting for them to show up.
- Later played for extreme sadness when his ex-wife reveals it as the reason she cut him out of her daughter's life growing up - she was never sure whether he'd appear after a night's gambling a millionaire or with people looking to kill him, and couldn't have that kind of life for their child. After the shock wears off, he admits she was probably right to. At episode's end, he misses his best chance to reconnect with them both seeing them off at the airport because he loses track of time at a game.
- Gentleman Thief: He loves playing this part, despite being a cobbler.
- Graceful Loser: When Joseph Whittaker-Wright III utterly wipes the floor with the team and they're too late to stop him escaping, Albert can only laugh and marvel about how impressive JW3's con was. He's notably the only one, as even Mickey can't believe what's just happened.
- It's Personal: His grudge against Wendell Casinos is very much this after Wendell's ancestors fraudulently branded his great grandfather a cheat. Wendell himself insulting his grandmother is one of the only times we see true Tranquil Fury from Albert.
- Like a Son to Me: Pretty clear he regards Mickey as such. Certain episodes make it explicit.
- Meaningful Name: He's the oldest of the crew.
- Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: Any time he's incarcerated; the one time he was shown in prison at the start of the fifth season, he noted that he was actually enjoying the 'holiday'.
- Nice to the Waiter: He's friends with every concierge in London and in later seasons often finds marks like this. His ex wife uses this to find him in the season 7 finale.
- Noodle Incident: Barred from Indonesia after selling them some fighter jets in the 1970s that still haven't arrived, and declines to visit Birmingham for a con as he doesn't like the city for unexplained reasons.
- Old Master: There's not a scam in existence he doesn't know how to play, even if he can't always do it physically himself any more.
- Stealth Mentor: To Mickey. Even though Mickey's a master grifter in the present day, Albert still sets up situations for Mickey to learn from - he's the one who points first Danny then later Emma and Sean in Mickey's direction, and is also instrumental in getting Billy an "in" with Danny.
- Surpassed the Teacher: Regards Mickey as this in most respects, with the slight subversion in that he'll still find ways to teach Mickey the odd important lesson.
- Team Dad: The gang all consider him this; "The Delivery" revealed that Albert actually has a daughter he never knew about, but he missed an opportunity to spend more time with her when he became caught up in the gang's latest celebratory card game.
- Troll: Once made up a historical con in "The Henderson Challenge", having Mickey and Danny put themselves through hell in London for a day, just so he could reveal he'd out-conned them afterwards.
Ash "Three Socks" Morgan
Played by: Robert Glenister.
- Badass Boast: He delivers one to a pair of warring gangsters in "Picasso Finger Painting". Subverted in that he's actualy stalling to give time for their plan to work, and the gangsters end up deciding to shoot him anyway.
- Brief Accent Imitation: He is the Man of a Thousand Voices after all.
- A Day in the Limelight: He's normally very much in the background compared to Mickey and Danny - but in later seasons "Conned Out of Luck" and "Picasso Finger Painting" both feature him taking the lead in cons when Mickey is incapacitated, while "The Fall of Railton FC" revealed more of his backstory.
- Distracted by the Sexy: In a role as a bent horse-owner, is delighted when the mark plies him with both champagne and a pair of beautiful women to make him sign the (dud) horse over - leading to him missing the fine print that stipulates the horse has to win a race before the team sees the bulk of their cash.
- Everyone Has Standards: Is enraged when his old football team is shut down due to financial mismanagent, leading to him convincing the group to go after one of the agents involved.
- Evil Counterpart: Has his own in Benny - an arguably better grifter with none of Ash's integrity.
- The Fixer: Has so many connections around London that he can collect around £30 000 worth of Rubles in a few hours when their current mark has been unable to collect that same amount on his own.
- Gag Penis: "Three socks". There's a great moment in season 4 where Stacie works out what happened in the Distracted by the Sexy entry, and needles him with the nickname, much to his visible embarrassment.
- Kick the Dog: Is noticeably more of a dick to Eddie than the others in later seasons.
- Large Ham: His speech at the start of "The Fall of Railton FC". Also when he's in-character during cons, especially if he's playing an Upper-Class Twit.
- Man of a Thousand Voices: Ash has attempted a range of accents as part of his covers, such as a museum cleaner from a third world country or an old man from the West End.
- Mr. Fixit: He's the most technically minded member of the team.
- Not Me This Time: As a noted West Ham FC fan, takes the rap for defacing Eddie's prized photo of Liverpool legend Ian Rush in "Gold Finger". Except he's actually blameless for once - it was actually Mickey, Albert and Sean being dicks - and his pleading innocence gets them all kicked out of Eddie's bar.
- Number Two: Mickey's right-hand man in nearly all-things.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: To a degree; most of Ash's disguises are easy to see through for the audience, but in-narrative he disguises himself for the benefit of people who haven't met Ash as himself. Touched on in "Confessions" when he encounters the team's mark when disguised as a motorcycle courier, having earlier met him masquerading as an obnoxious restaurant critic. The mark almost rumbles him based on his appearance, but Ash's helmet and very different accent allow him to get away with it.
- The Peter Principle: Invoked: despite his experience and knowledge, he states a few times he's not interested in being a leader the same way Danny is desperate to be. The few times he takes the lead on a con happen because he's forced to due to Mickey being out of action for some reason (losing his mojo or being kidnapped by gangsters).
- Promoted to Parent: For an episode; his godson shows up out the blue while the kid's father is doing a deal elsewhere, leading Ash to have to try and be a responsible adult for once.
- Rousing Speech: He gives one about the beauty of football and what it means to Britain at the start of "The Fall of Railton FC". It noticeably fails to inspire the rest of crew until he adds that it will also involve "Lolly. Lots of lolly".
Ash: "Because football is my game, football is your game, football is OUR game. AND I WANT IT BACK!"
Ash: "Yeah, well, you're supposed to clap and cheer at that bit, y'know?"
Ash: "There's lolly in it. Lots of lovely lolly."
Everyone: "Oh, ok, why didn't you say so?"
- Unwilling Suspension: "Picasso Finger Painting" opens with Ash hanging upside down by his ankles in a deserted warehouse. He proceeds to explain how he ended up in this predicament as Emma, Sean and Albert arrive to free him.
Played by: Ashley Walters (Series 4)
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Billy vanishes without explanation between seasons 4 and 5.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Had such a rough childhood he has apparently never even heard any fairy tales; the gang had to tell him the tale of "The Emperor's New Clothes" when they were attempting a con based on the same principle. A few episodes later he was revealed to be a drug pusher before becoming a grifter.
- Establishing Character Moment: As his group entry scam, Danny has him get rid of a girl who he already promised Billy's spot to, anticipating she'll go nuts. He thinks better of it and goes back to help - only to find Billy already making out with the girl.
- Naïve Newcomer: Like Danny, was a newbie to long cons.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Only appeared in one season and was never heard from again; we are left unaware where he went after the fact.
Played by: Kelly Adams (Series 5-8)
- Abhorrent Admirer: She sometimes attracts these, even outside their scores. The moneylender who insists she go flamenco dancing with him in season 8 is probably the weirdest.
- All Women Love Shoes: After their first big score, Sean comments that she can buy enough Jimmy Choos to outfit three octopi.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite her basically growing up in the grifting world, she dismisses grifting legends - like their Code of Honour or Mickey's getting scammed being bad luck - until shown otherwise. Even Sean is quicker to believe than she is.
- Berserk Button: Sexism. She notably takes great pleasure in conning marks that ogle her, only started taking part in the group's jokes on Eddie after hearing him describe DI Brixton as "a fit bird with a hint of mucky" and drank Harry Fielding under the table in a drinking game partially for his dismissing her as "just a girl". Even Ash joking her role is to make the lunch during "The Fall of Railton FC" earns him the stoniest of Death Glares, sending him packing.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Like Ash, she has a talent for this. Several season 7 episodes deconstruct it, showing her taping a conversation based on the role she'll be playing then working hard to get the accent and mannerisms note perfect. In one case she stays up all night getting a brief voice recording right.(Although in this instance, as well as imiating an accent she was also attempting to imitate a specific person's voice who was known to the mark.)
- The Chick: As with Stacie, the gang's only female member.
- BrotherSister Team: With Sean.
- Celebrity Resemblance: One of the group's cons (which we only see the tail-end of) has her imitating Kylie Minogue. Lampshaded when she says afterwards she doesn't even look like Kylie, with the rest of the team just staring at her in silence.
- Cool Big Sis: To Sean. Her brother in trouble is one of the few things that'll cause her to flip out. After the drink-spiking incident mentioned in Sean's entry, she drank the perpetrator under the table shot-for-shot to exact vengeance despite it seriously undermining Mickey's plan.
- Does Not Like Men: Explicitly states in her second episode that a series of bad relationships have put her off dating. She eventually comes around to Mickey's charms though, even if it takes until the very last episode.
- Dude Magnet: Like Stacie before her, the crew take advantage of her looks to distract marks a lot.
- Establishing Character Moment: Her playing a con so impressive in the season 5 opener it actually fools Mickey and Ash. For Albert, it was her effortlessly swiping his wallet, convincing him to take her under his wing.
- Everyone Has Standards: Noticeably less keen on the constant hazing of Eddie than the others. When he seeks their assistance in getting even with the woman who conned his niece, she's the first one to go for it, even though it means leaving three other marks by the wayside.
- Malicious Misnaming: Throughout season six, she keeps referring to Lucy Britford as 'Lucy Bitchface'.
- Ms. Fanservice: She's always seen in classy dresses that show off her legs prominently.
- Parental Abandonment: Abandoned by her father as a child.
- Pet the Dog: Notably nicer to Eddie than the rest of the gang. Most of the time, anyway.
- Promoted to Parent: To Sean during their childhood. While she let him believe they were looking out for each other growing up, the truth was very different.
- Show Some Leg: She very rarely wears anything that covers her legs from the thighs down.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Her attraction to Joe (her Childhood Sweetheart) seems heavily based on the fact he's a good, honest man. When she finds he's taken more than he was owed from the scam she engineered to help him, that visibly dims.
- The Smurfette Principle: She replaces Stacie from season 5 onwards as the only lady on the team.
- Verbal Tic: Emma always seems to put the emphasis on 'con' whenever it's part of a word like "Convinced."
- Will They or Won't They?: With Mickey: despite a constantly-underlying UST between the two, it takes until the very end of the series for them to get together once the final score is over (and even then it's implied more than anything).
Played by: Matt DiAngelo (Series 5-8)
- BrotherSister Team: With Emma.
- Casanova Wannabe: Took over Danny's role as this. He's successful enough that Eddie pointedly warns him off his niece when she comes to visit. Amusingly inverted in the Grand Finale, when a returned Danny, the team's original example of this, immediately starts flirting with Emma, to his visible discomfort.
- Early Installment Weirdness: His first appearances note that he wants to get out the grifting trade to become an actor. While subsequent stories had him gain confidence enough to stay a con artist, it's odd that this should never come up again given his essentially having to fool marks by acting.
- Establishing Character Moment: His reeling off an incredibly comprehensive list of information about their marks in "New Recruits" despite being utterly guttered from drinking games finding out said info, firmly establishing he's got a good brain but needs a bit of seasoning. It's enough to get Mickey off his back despite Emma's disapproval.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Why his plan to con his not-so Disappeared Dad goes badly wrong until Emma steps in; he assumed that by providing him with the team's usual setup, he'd prove to be the type of deadbeat mark that'd try and fleece his partner to keep the wealth to himself. Except his dad isn't. In fact, the rest of the episode shows cheating his partner never even occurred to the senior Kennedy.
- Knowledge Broker: Not in the regular sense, but one of his main jobs in the crew is to discover all he can about the mark. He proves insanely good at it, often presenting screeds of information on their mark's character, habits and patterns - often including tiny little details that prove crucial to success later on.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: He briefly thinks Mickey and Emma have a thing.
- Naïve Newcomer: Takes over Danny's role as this - as his sister is far more experienced and savvy, he's the one that often needs Mickey's methods and tricks explained to him.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Overshadowed by potential awesome in this case; when Albert formally introduces them all (after an episode spent unwittingly trying to scam each other) he talks at length about Emma's potential - and never once mentions Sean. This actually played into his development: where Mickey usually focused on Emma, Ash took Sean under his wing, enabling Sean to develop into an understudy Mr. Fixit throughout the series.
- OOC Is Serious Business: When his dad comes back, the first inkling we have of have of how serious things are is an Imagine Spot where the normally easy-going and charming Sean follows him into an elevator and breaks his nose.
- Parental Abandonment: Sean's issues with his father's abandonment are so great that he jeopardised an ongoing con when he realised that his father was back in town, much to Emma's fury.
- The Peter Principle: He's an incredibly talented organizer and technical man, but he's not a master planner like Mickey. The one con he's shown running, against his and Emma's returned Deadbeat Dad, turns out to be a disaster at every turn after he consistently misjudges what his father will do, with it being shown that not only did Mickey and Ash have a backup plan for it all going wrong, but that his own sister fully expected them to.
- Tagalong Kid: In his first few episodes, as he wasn't even sure he wanted to be a grifter. A few adventures conning marks helped him grow out of it.
- Unsuspectingly Soused: In "New Recruits", he gets smashed when the mark spikes his orange juice with vodka.
Played by: Rob Jarvis (Series 1-8)
- Berserk Button: Eddie will put up with just about any minor scam from the group as they avoid paying for their drinks - but defacing his photo of Ian Rush is the only thing in all 8 series to get them all barred.
- Butt-Monkey: Often a victim of minor cons performed by the gang, generally to get out of paying their tab.
- Hidden Depths: "The Father of Jewels" reveals that Eddie collects WW2 memorabilia, which he uses to help the gang create fake art from that era as part of their current con.
- Morality Pet: To a degree; the gang may play small cons on Eddie, but two of their most elaborate scams were attempted because he explicitly asked for their help, and Mickey once went against his usual rules and confronted the mob when they burnt down Eddie's bar during the gang's latest con.
- Papa Bear: In his own way, Eddie was shown to be very protective of his niece, Casey, when she was staying with him for a few days, to the point of explicitly warning Sean not to do anything with her.
- Spanner in the Works: Ironically ends up helping the team in "Benny's Funeral". He tries to learn card tricks to get out of his Butt-Monkey status, with the titular grifter giving him a damn impressive grounding in a very short time - which, as Benny's supposed to have lost his mojo, is the only thing that clues the gang in that Benny's a Not-So-Harmless Villain out to rip them off.