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Characters / Markiplier: Wilford Warfstache

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Character subpage for Wilford Warfstache. Spoilers for Who Killed Markiplier? will be unmarked!

Appears in: The Fall of Slenderman, The Warfstache Affair, Warfstache Plays: Slender, The Ned Affair, Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Interview, Warfstache Interviews Markiplier, A Date With Markiplier, Markiplier TV, Who Killed Markiplier?, Wilford 'MOTHERLOVING' Warfstache, A Heist With Markiplier
Click here  to see him as Colonel William.
Click here  to see him in "Wilford 'MOTHERLOVIN'' Warfstache".

He is currently a senior reporter for AFC News. He quickly became a rising star for his hard-hitting journalism after he interviewed Slender Man, and went on to interview Phone Guy, and Markiplier himself. While he was a senior reporter, he went on to host his own show Warfstache Tonight! which would later become a talk show. He also pitched an idea for "Markiplier TV" (in which he hosted the game show Disc of Riches in place of Bim Trimmer), but was turned down.

“Who Killed Markiplier” reveals his backstory: he is a former Colonel whose real name was William J. Barnum, until he tragically suffered a complete mental breakdown that led to him eventually changing his identity. After this event, he traveled across the world using many pseudonyms while hunted by Abe the Detective, and encountered him during what seems to be the 70's while under the name "Wilford Motherloving Warfstache". It is unclear how much later Wilford became a journalist.


  • Accidental Murder: When he was the Colonel, he shot the District Attorney while trying to grab his gun from them. He also supposedly shot Mark during a game of Russian Roulette, though that was purposely set up to kill.
  • Ambiguously Human: From his pink mustache to his "humble abode" which consists of a bizarre, psychedelic-looking pink-and-white vortex of clocks - Warfstache is definitely no normal person.
    • Even back when he was Col. Barnum, he seemed to have otherworldly abilities, though they were apparently limited to just teleportation and quick-change acts. IRL Mark also explained that in "Who Killed Markiplier?", Markiplier's plan to hijack the Colonel's body was not going to work, so the Manor manipulated him to hijack Damien and Celine's bodies instead.
  • Berserk Button: Wilford loses his temper twice in Five Nights At Freddy's: The Interview whenever "Phone Guy" dicks around and repeats the word "hello?".
    • The first time:
      Phone Guy: (after a long pause) Hellooo??
      Warfstache: MOTHERFU--!
      (cue a "please stand by" screen)
    • The second time:
      (after the studio lights are mysteriously cut out)
      Warfstache: Oh, what the bloody hell now?!
      (eerie creaking sounds are heard in the distance. Wilford sits there uneasily in silence)
      Phone Guy: Hello?
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  • Backstory Horror: His murder sprees and serial adultery were Played for Laughs for a long time, until the events of "Who Killed Markiplier, where it's revealed that his zaniness is due to rather traumatic events in a haunted house that had to do with the loss of his friends and the AccidentalMurder of the District Attorney (by his hands), though it isn't the fact that he killed the District Attorney that sends him off the deep end. It's the fact that they get back up. His serial adultery might stem from the fact that he, back when he was William, ran off with Mark's wife.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He's clearly not right in the head and thinks murder is just a big joke.
  • Color Motif: He's heavily associated with the color pink
  • Composite Character: Word of God states that he takes inspiration from Hunter Van Pelt and Colonel Mustard when he was the Colonel.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: An odd variant of this, considering he wears pink and lively clothes and he has a pink mustache.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In Wilford 'MOTHERLOVING' Warfstace. Sure, he's the title character, but the video focuses on Abe and his realization of the world that's the main focus.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: He scares Slender Man away when he tries to kill him, screaming at him "WARFSTACHE DON'T TAKE NO SHIT FROM NOBODY". Justified in that Wilford is an equally powerful (if not even more powerful) Reality Warper.
  • Fallen Hero: As revealed in “Who Killed Markiplier?”, he used to be an eccentric but somewhat sane person until all of his friends were killed and their bodies went missing, before finally witnessing the dead body of one of his friends, the District Attorney whom he accidentally murdered, coming back to life. This resulted in the trauma shattering his mind and leading him to no longer taking death seriously.
    • While he was briefly a junior reporter, he took his job seriously by trying to find out the truth about Slenderman. However, he later got distracted from his job by killing people.
  • Family of Choice: As a child, he was raised with Markiplier in the Manor and they were as close as brothers. Subverted when they had a falling out over William having an affair with Markiplier’s wife Celine, causing both of them to develop bitter feelings towards each other.
  • Former Friends Photo: Shares one with Damien and Markiplier to further show their past relationship as childhood friends. A second photo showing the addition of Celine together with Markiplier notes her role in the timeline and progression of relationships
  • Freak Out: He suffers through this in "Who Killed Markiplier", triggering his insanity that led him to take on the identity of Wilford Warfstache.
    William: I-I thought you were dead... I-I-I mean, of course you're not dead! You're not — How could you be dead? I mean, I-I wouldn't have killed you... I didn't kill you! I mean, of cour — I-I...Of course! I didn't kill anybody! (through laughing) I didn't- It was all a joke! Of course, it was all a joke! Were you in on this?!
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: He goes insane after witnessing the resurrective powers of Markiplier Manor firsthand, interpreting it as all of his friends playing a cruel joke on him, causing him to believe that all deaths are jokes as well.
  • Identity Amnesia: As "Who Killed Markiplier" reveals, Wilford used to be William Barnum before being driven insane by witnessing the DA resurrected in front of him, even though he'd kept careful watch over them for ten hours. His previous Trauma Conga Line, losing his former friend Mark, his best friend Damien, his past lover Celine, and accidentally murdering both the Detective and DA coupled with his mental break when they come back to life caused him to adopt the identity of "Wilford Warfstache". This is quite possibly Played for Drama when certain phrases or hints pop up related to his past, hinting there are some parts of William that carried over.
  • I Didn't Mean to Kill Him: Wilford says this in “The Ned Affair” after instinctively shooting Ned. He first uses this phrase when he killed the District Attorney, which was indeed an Accidental Murder.
  • Karma Houdini: He is wanted for murder after he was caught having an affair, and murdered an entire family, and murdered Markiplier with seemingly no repercussions. He still has his talk show and is able to become a game show host for “Disc of Riches”. Justified in that he's a Reality Warper, so who can really stop him?
  • Ladies and Germs: “... and other configurations of being”. Justified since he’s an Ambiguously Human Reality Warper.
  • Laughably Evil: Explicitly this when he kills Markiplier on his TV show.
  • Laughing Mad: Breaks down and starts laughing when the District Attorney comes back to life in the final chapter of Who Killed Markiplier?. He thinks he's been duped, and thus laughs at the cruel prank he thinks his friends played.
  • Loon with a Heart of Gold: When he was the Colonel, he was repeatedly stated and shown to be an eccentric, and he could be brash, but ultimately devoted to and loves his friends. Contrast him with the other characters in “Who Killed Markiplier” aside from Damien, and he's one of the genuinely kindest characters to the protagonist. And though he does shoot the District Attorney, it was an accident and he regrets it. The trope is lampshaded by both Celine and Damien.
    Damien: The Colonel is an eccentric, it's his best quality and his worst.
    Celine: (After the Colonel shoots the District Attorney): You can't blame him, honestly he's a good man.
  • Lunatic Loophole: An essential part of his origin story, and arguably what made him who he is. As Col. William he got caught up in Markiplier's supposed murder and the chaos that followed. Other than Markiplier and possibly the Detective he is the only survivor, (and the only one that never died in the first place) however the events drove him insane. Though he didn't leave unharmed, he did get to live on and have his own adventures as the lunatic he now is. He also survived his own manhunt in "The Warfstache Affair" and "The Ned Affair" mostly by accident, and presumably escaped Freddy in "Five Nights At Freddy's: The Interview" simply by being crazy enough. Though slightly downplayed, because he's also a Reality Warper, but there's no doubting he's insane enough to find his way out of sticky situations anyway.
  • Meaningful Name: His original name, 'William', means 'stalwart protector'. Deep, deep Irony.
  • Murder Makes You Crazy: Interestingly subverted. Killing the District Attorney and Markiplier isn't what drove the Colonel insane, it was seeing the DA’s dead body come back to life, since it simply defies reality.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Markiplier's original plan was to hijack Colonel's body, but the Manor knew it was impossible, so it manipulated Mark to hijack Damien and Celine's bodies instead.
  • No Name Given: In “Who Killed Markiplier?”, he is only referred to as "the Colonel." Word of God and bonus material reveals his name is William.
    • Averted in Wilford 'MOTHERLOVING' Warfstache, his full name is revealed as William J. Barnum.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: He might be silly and act stupid, but Wilford Warfstache has killed many people.
  • Obliviously Evil: He doesn't seem to understand why people keep dying around him.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Heavily implied to have this ability, with his suddenly appearing in various rooms when the District Attorney is distracted or examining a picture. He's not the only one to do this, but is definitely the most prominent out of the cast, with Word of God supporting this idea. Furthermore the ability likely stems from the supernatural nature of Markiplier Manor.
    • Played straight in Wilford 'MOTHERLOVIN'' Warfstache, where it's utilized to escape the chair Abe tied him to, even when Abe is staring directly at him.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Possibly intentional. To begin with, (most notably when he used to be Col. William Barnum), Wilford spoke with a distinct, upper-class English accent. Since then, his accent has changed to a slurred, yet aristocratic-sounding American accent. This is most likely due to his Sanity Slippage.
  • Pre-Insanity Reveal: Who Killed Markiplier?, chapter 4 especially, serves as one for him.
  • Reality Warper: As seen in "A Date With Markiplier", he can shift reality to his whim. He may be even more powerful than Darkiplier himself, considering Dark can only drag you into his world, and Wilford can make his world suddenly appear.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Warfstache was created in 1928, when Who Killed Markiplier? takes place. If we take Mark's age into account, William Barnum was born sometime in the year 1900. That means that he is nearly 120 years old, despite looking 29.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He has pink hair and wears pink suspenders
  • Reluctant Psycho: Downplayed, since it’s difficult to understand exactly what’s going on in Wilford’s head, but the narration in the Bubbles! section of "Markiplier TV" seems to imply that Wilford doesn’t kill people because he’s bloodthirsty. It would seem that he tends to believe the murders he commits are outside of his control/just a misunderstanding... until reality or his conscience periodically catches up with him. This theory is confirmed following the events of "Who Killed Markiplier?".
    Narrator: Are you constantly haunted by the ghosts of everyone you killed, and maybe you think it was you that was the problem, and maybe it wasn’t just a misunderstanding where you were trying to tickle them with a knife?
  • Removed from the Picture: In "Who Killed Markiplier?", Markiplier breaks his framed photo of the Colonel after he runs away with his wife.
  • Russian Roulette: He’s shown playing the game during the party with the Detective in '’Who Killed Markiplier?’’. He also played another game with Markiplier, causing the latter's (planned) death.
  • Sanity Slippage: Suffers one at the end of “Who Killed Markiplier” after seeing the District Attorney’s dead body, which he's been mourning for ten hours suddenly stand up. He's so messed up over it that he thinks his friends' deaths are all a joke. Thus, all deaths are just jokes. Word of God confirmed this to be the origin story of Wilford Warfstache.
    Mark: (The Colonel) was standing over your body the entire night mourning his actions. That doesn't mean madness. Madness comes from seeing this body you've been staring at for ten hours suddenly just... get back up.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Defied in Who Killed Markiplier?. He adamantly refuses to leave the manor even when it becomes obvious something supernatural is going on, and is furious when Chef, George, and Benjamin depart the scene.
    Colonel: I won't let my friends die in this godforsaken house!
  • Serial Killer: From what we've seen so far, Wilford has murdered more than a few people. Detective Abe, the District Attorney, a husband and wife, their neighbour, a police officer, Markiplier himself, a contestant on Disc of Riches (and reportedly other contestants of the show in the past) and Septiplier.note 
  • Smarmy Host: Of his own talk show. Even before that, Warfstache's speaking style, according to Word of God, was half based on this trope. The other half was his stiffing his upper lip to keep the pink mustache from falling off.
  • Start of Darkness: His start of villainy (As Wilford Warfstache) came from accidentally shooting the DA. Though it isn't the DA's death that starts his villainy, but the fact the DA simply gets back up.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He is seen during the party sequence in "Who Killed Markiplier?" aiming his gun at the Detective and at his own head. And yet, subverted as he is the last major character left alive at the end. He also willingly (though he was drunk and emotional) participated in a game of Russian Roulette, though he didn't get the short end of the stick in that situation.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In Wilford 'MOTHERLOVING' Warfstache. He genuinely sorry for what he's done and wants to help Abe when he's nit able to make sense of the world around him.
    Abe: Am I crazy?
    Wilford: No! No-no. No, no, no, no! My friend, you are NOT crazy. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you are crazy.
  • Trauma Button: Largely downplayed, but the word "murderer", especially in reference to himself returns memories he lost and/or causes him to hesitate, cringe and nervously laugh. He reacts two times in "Wilford MOTHERLOVING Warfstache"
    • Once when Abe says it:
      Abe the Detective: "Name after name after name just to distance yourself from the real name you should be called: Murderer!"
      Wilford Warfstache: (After pausing confusedly, suddenly remembering) "Abe... Abe! Abe, it's been years!"
    • Once when he himself says it:
      Wilford Warfstache: "Just for tonight, let's forget about all the, th-the chasing and the killing, and the shooty-shooty bang bang, god you're a murderer! Ahuhuh…" (nervously chuckling and visibly disturbed, hesitating to continue)
      • This may have originated in "Who Killed Markiplier? - The Final Chapter". Abe accuses Colonel William of being a murderer before the Colonel denies it, murdering Abe. We see by Wilford's mental breakdown at the end of the video that he cannot understand or handle being responsible for death, so the word is likely attributed to the Detective and feelings of shame/madness.
        Abe the Detective: "Well, you're one to talk about friends, you MURDERER!"
        Colonel William: "I didn't kill anybody! This is MADNESS!"
  • Twisting the Words: When Slenderman confesses to him about wanting to teach children and visiting Jamaica, Wilford misconstrues it as Slenderman being a pedophile that is addicted to heroin.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Shares this with Celine. Everything that happened in Who Killed Markiplier? was a result of Celine cheating on Mark with him.
  • Up Through the Ranks: William was a private when he still lived in Markiplier Manor and the Chef worked for him, earning the rank of Colonel after he left during an undetermined amount of time later.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Played With. As the Colonel, his mustache started off black, but after going insane it slowly and naturally turned pink. In 'Wilford 'MOTHERLOVIN'' Warfstache', he wore a pink afro wig, and in 'Warfstache Interviews Markiplier', the hair on his head is dyed bright pink.

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