Michael Richard Kyle, Sr.
Portrayed by: Damon Wayans
- Abusive Parents: He loves his children, but he is not above insulting them, making fun of them (especially Junior), giving them harsh punishments as Disproportionate Retribution to prove a point or just for his own amusement.
- Benevolent Boss: Michael is friends with the workers at his shipping company at treats them kindly, but still reminds them that he's the boss.
- Catchphrase: Michael had "Ehhhh... No." whenever someone made an idiotic suggestion and he felt like giving them false hope, and a Running Gag was Michael dragging out the "Ehhhh..." part or coming with increasingly creative ways to drop the phrase. Eventually adopted by the rest of the cast.
- Deadpan Snarker: One of the most sarcastic fathers ever.
- Happily Married: He and Jay love each other a lot.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's clear that Michael truly does care for his family, despite his Jerkass behavior.
- Manipulative Bastard: Michael forced Junior to live in the garage for around about two seasons, as he had kicked Junior out of the house. By the time he was allowed to move back in, Michael had converted his son's room into his own play area and didn't want to give it up. Eventually, Junior was joined by his wife and son in "The Remodel", which led to him asking Michael if they could convert the garage into an apartment. An entire episode was spent doing that, after which Michael tells Junior he can move back into the house purely so he can take the remodeled garage for himself. And everyone else just went along with this.
- Parental Favoritism: He is much nicer to Kady than he is towards Junior or Claire.
- Sore Loser: In "Of Breasts and Basketball", after losing a basketball game to Junior, Michael starts making excuses as to why he lost, e.g. claiming Junior was showboating and being derisive to him the whole time, and went as far as to punish Junior for beating him. Then, Junior soundly beats Michael again at a rematch, with Michael having to do Junior's chores.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: The way he picks on his own children is Played for Laughs.
Janet Marie "Jay" Thomas-Kyle
Portrayed by: Tisha Campbell-Martin
- Big Eater: Jay's gluttony is a running gag.
- Catchphrase: Jay had "What kind of foolishness...?" whenever someone did something stupid.
- Cute, but Cacophonic: Jay has an... interesting laugh.
- Happily Married: She and Michael love each other a lot.
- Jerkass Ball: While not as frequently cruel, sometimes she can be as callous as Michael.
- Never My Fault: Despite being saner than her husband, their are times when she will not admit she's in the wrong. When Michael wants to go to a therapist, she flat out tells him that they only go to therapy when 'she' has a problem with 'him'. It's also implied that she only goes to therapy to be told that she is right and Michael is wrong rather than get real help, as when it became apparent that the therapist Michael chose over their normal one note was not going to automatically side with her, she stormed out of the office.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: After her Season 2 makeover.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Jay is convinced that she's a lot smarter and more attractive than she really is.
- Teen Pregnancy: Jay was pregnant with Junior during her senior year of High School.
- Tsundere: To Michael, a rare case considering she's, well, married.
Michael Richard "Junior" Kyle Jr.
Portrayed by: George O. Gore II
- Big Brother Instinct: One episode featured Junior befriending a group of jerkasses who take advantage of him and pick on him. Because they're cool, Junior refuses to stand up to them...until they started hitting on his younger sister.
- Book Dumb: In the first season, when he was an underachiever at school but not particularly stupid otherwise. From season 2 onwards, he becomes The Ditz.
- Butt-Monkey: His stupidity makes him the butt of all the jokes and his father always makes fun of him.
- Dumbass Teenage Son: He even once forgot how to spell his own name.
- Flanderization: His stupidity. He goes from Book Dumb in season 1 to a complete moron in later seasons.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: He is a horrible student (Foolish), while Claire gets good grades (Responsible).
- Genius Ditz: He has shown himself to be quite bright when the chips call for it, and he's a very talented portrait artist and cartoonist. Also, it's hinted that his flash cartoon parodying his own family might become a hit.
- Malaproper: He occasionally mispronounces words.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: Flanderized to where even his little sister has to help him with his homework. Little sister is about ten years younger than him. In later seasons, he's more or less at extreme levels of stupidity, although an episode focuses on the idea that Junior's son is a trigger for otherwise unseen levels of intelligence.
Claire Marie Kyle
Portrayed by: Jazz Raycole (season 1), Jennifer Freeman (seasons 25)
- Brainless Beauty: After the first season, she is played by a more conventionally attractive actress but she also becomes much ditzier.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: She is selfish, vain, boy-crazy, and always complaining about her parents.
- Butt-Monkey: Second only to Junior. She is very clumsy and occasionally picked on by her father. A running gag involves her falling down stairs.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Really emphasized in the home movie episode where she destroys the tape of her getting hurt, declares it's the last time they'll ever see it... and then trips as she storms upstairs.
- Ditzy Genius: She is The Ditz, The Klutz, and inept at almost everything (singing, cooking, cheerleading etc.) She is also inexplicably an A student, probably just to have a book smart sibling in contrast to Junior's Book Dumb.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Being Junior's sister, she is the Responsible by default. She would be the Foolish in any other show.
- Girly Bruiser: Can break the nose of her brother's bully with a punch.
- Lethal Chef: One episode has Franklin trying to help improve her cooking... and it doesn't quite pan out.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: She was smart and level-headed in the first season, when played by Jazz Raycole. After the actress change...not so much.
Portrayed by: Parker Mckenna Posey
- Alliterative Name: Kady Kyle.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: In later seasons, she becomes annoying to Claire.
- The Baby of the Bunch: Originally the youngest member of the family.
- Bratty Half-Pint: She can be a mischievous brat, especially in the final seasons.
- Daddy's Girl: It's revealed Michael's Parental Favoritism for Kady was because she has always preferred Jay to him, ever since the day she was born where she would cry whenever he went near her, and so he has been trying to win his daughter's affection literally since she was born.
- Deliberately Cute Child: She sometimes takes advantage of her cuteness to get away with some sort of action.
- Little Miss Snarker: She tends to be very sassy with her boyfriend.
Franklin Aloysius Mumford
Portrayed by: Noah Gray-Cabey
- The Ace: A genius who also has many talents in various areas.
- Black and Nerdy: Black and a nerdy genius, although he's not socially awkward.
- Catchphrase: Franklin (and later, Michael) had the habit of making a particularly bad joke and then following it up with "Any-who...", with a slight elongating of the "any" much in the way of "ehhh.....no".
- Child Prodigy: He had accomplished attending and graduating from Harvard University by age 7.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The later seasons can be called "The Michael and Franklin show".
Portrayed by: Andrew Mcfarlane
- The Ace: He saved children from a burning orphanage after his first date with Claire.
- Characterization Marches On: Tony was initially just a Nice Guy boyfriend of Claire's, that in his early appearances got a bit rude when Michael's Overprotective Dad tendencies got a little too far. Then he got a bit more subdued and even nicer, until he becomes a holier-than-thou Christian evangelist, and pretty condescending to Claire and Michael when they do or say things that doen't agree with his beliefs.
- The Ditz: Occasionally shown to be very dimwitted.
- The Fundamentalist: Tony often sought ways to prove his devotion to purity and to God using extreme measures.
Portrayed by: Meagan Good (season 3), Brooklyn Sudano (seasons 45)