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Ben Harper

Played by: Robert Lindsay

  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's very sarcastic to his family and appears to have low opinion of them, but way, way deep down inside, he still cares about his family.

Susan Harper

Played by: Zoë Wanamaker

  • Women Are Wiser: Subverted. She likes to think women are more competent than men and that she's specifically more reasonable than her husband, but in reality she's just as crazy as Ben.
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Nick Harper

Played by: Kris Marshall

  • Manchild: When he comes of age, he is as irresponsible as he was as a teenage and is incapable of holding down a job because of it.

Janey Harper

Played by: Daniela Denby-Ashe

  • Fourth Date Marriage: Janey marries a guy she's known for only ten days, because they met at a wedding where a fortune teller said Janey would meet her true love. She runs off with someone else and asks for a divorce on the same day.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Janey, who studied French, Economics and History at A-Level and went on to university, is a clear-cut example of this trope because she often plays dumb.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Janey is 15 in the first series, gives birth to Kenzo in series four when she is 19, but by the time of series 11 is "almost 30".
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Michael Harper

Played by: Gabriel Thomson

  • Momma's Boy: Not to extreme levels, but some episodes do draw attention to the fact that his mom adores him. He's the youngest child of the family and significantly younger than his brother and sister.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: After nine seasons of being consistently attracted to women, he suddenly came out as gay in the tenth season.

Roger Bailey

Played by: Kieron Self

  • Manchild: Taken to LUDICROUS extremes. Roger, despite being a dentist, is child like, simple minded, always cheerful and enthusiastic.

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Abi Harper

Played by: Siobhan Hayes

  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Janey. They are of similar age and have similar personality. Abi comes into the Harper to stay with them while she is at college. Susan invites her to stay when Janey goes off to University.

Alfie Butts

Played by: Rhodri Meilir

  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Nick. He says that he is a friend of Nick's and he moves in with the family when Nick is away. He is lazy and slow. He's not very successful in his chosen profession of a musician.


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