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Protagonists

     The Todd Brothers 

The good ol' boys that headline the comic. Twin fox brothers, they couldn't be more different if they tried, with Nip being a rather reckless fool that gets into countless shenanigans while Tuck is the more down to earth, sensible one. Don't let their different demeanors fool you; the Todd brothers are a tight-knit duo, and those that cross them learn the hard way why it's not a good idea to cross them.

Shared Tropes:

  • The Alleged Car: Zigzagged with Daisy, the Todd Brothers' jeep, which is initially presented as an absolute wreck when Nip buys it in strip #40, but which is ultimately patched up and made into a hard-running, reliable workhorse of a car.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Normally, they're both fairly laid-back, easy-going types. Push their buttons, though, and they can get mean. Outright invoked in strip #257, where it's stated that most of Malarkey County's toughs and roughnecks avoid picking fights with the brothers, likening it to picking a fight with your weight in rabid weasels.
  • Interspecies Romance: Neither of the foxes is shown having an interest in vixens. Tuck is pursued (and ultimately caught) by Thelma the possum, whilst Nip tries to ask the Pop's Auto Girls out on dates, and ultimately hooks up with Zelda Porcupine.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Generally, Tuck is the sensible, down-to-earth, solid, workaday man, whilst Nip has been running around doing stunts out of Jackass all his life.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Thelma and Tuck go from "swooning girl, rejecting guy" to the Official Couple in strip #204, after a Big Damn Kiss in strip #199. Then repeated again when they get married in strip #907, with Nip and Zelda getting their own Relationship Upgrade from "dating" to "engaged" (married offscreen) in the very next strip.

Nip Tropes:

  • Chess Master: Nip is capable of coming up with surprisingly far-reaching, complicated plans to achieve goals he desires, be it a simple prank or to achieve a greater good.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Downplayed, but after the Harvest Dance, with Tuck hooking up with Thelma and having been shut down by Beebee because her then-beau Gus Gunthry has a pretty well-paying job, Nip finds himself questioning what he'll do with his life. Fortunately, fate intervenes and he finds himself on the road to being a professional stunt man.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Of the two brothers, Nip is definitely the worst driver, not helped by his Thrill Seeker attitude, which means he tends to roar around at top speed and try to pull off crazy stunts.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Well, it might be a bit of stretch to say he's obfuscating with it, but people tend to underestimate Nip because they see "redneck", and then they see his Thrill Seeker antics and correct themselves to "dumb redneck". In reality, Nip is actually quite cunning, and more than willing to exploit it when people look down on him.
  • Thrill Seeker: Nip is a hardcore adrenaline junkie, who has been doing stupid, risky stunts for fun his whole life. His parents are actually thrilled when he decides to become a stuntman, because they figure he was always going to be risking his fool neck anyway; at least this way he gets paid for it.

Tuck Tropes:

  • Battle Couple: He's not a regular fighter, but he is more than capable of handling himself in a brawl. As is his viciously talented indy wrestling girlfriend (later wife), Thelma Possum.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Anything relating to redneck stereotypes will piss Tuck off. Downplayed in that he won't usually get violent over it, but he makes it very clear how much he hates the stereotypes.
    • One thing that will make him violent? Insulting Thelma.
  • Furry Reminder: In strip #485, it's mentioned that Todd's "strong musky cologne" is actually his natural musk glands; in reality, male foxes do have musk glands, and produce a notedly strong odor.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Initially, he rejects Thelma because of how ardently she pursues him. Seeing her sitting on her own and weeping at the Harvest Dance is what persuades him to finally give her a shot.
  • Not So Above It All: Yeah, Tuck is usually the sensible one compared to Nip. But Tuck can be just as silly, immature or impulsive, under the right circumstances. For example, after trying to get rid of a mole on the property.
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     Thelma Possum (later Thelma Todd) 

Nip & Tuck's Childhood Friend, and initially Tuck's Abhorrent Admirer, Thelma is a sensitive, soft-spoken female possum... who just happens to be a hardcore wrestling fan and more than capable of punching somebody's lights out if she feels so inclined. Her dogged pursuit of Tuck pays off when they get a Relationship Upgrade, and by comic #910, they two of them are married.

     Zelda Porcupine (later Zelda Todd) 

A shy and reclusive porcupine girl, a neighbor to Hortense, who has been crushing on Nip Todd since they were kids together. Brought out of her shell after accidentally securing a position as a dee-jay at the local radio, she and Nip hook up at the cruise celebrating Nip's second ever film, "Rebel Cry".

  • Character Development: Like Thelma, she grows increasingly more confident and outgoing over the events of the comic.
  • Covert Pervert: Despite her shy attitude, she has a very healthy libido, especially when she first manages to get an eyeful of a naked Nip in strip #750.
    Zelda's friend and assistant, Charlotte: "You put his clothes back on right this minute, young lady!—-"
    Zelda (blushing & grinning hungrily): "No. Go 'way."
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Zelda vs Moby here. A verbal rather than a physical beatdown, but no less overwhelming for that.
  • Furry Reminder: Zelda's quills are a recurring element of her interactions, with their painful presence being a source of gags and references throughout the comic. In strip #780, when Zelda's personal assistant Charlotte gently asks if a backless dress isn't a little racy for Zelda's first date with Nip, the porcupine actually forgets about her pre-date nerves to snarkily point out that all of her dresses are by necessity backless, or end up that way after she's worn them once, since her back is covered in needle-sharp quills.
    • Deconstructed in a story-line in the post-revival series, running from strips #86 to #91, where Zelda lampshades just how much of a hassle having porcupine quills really is... and that's why she got hers removed.
  • Hyperventilation Bag: Zelda uses one before interviewing Nip on the radio. He's her crush, you see. And it's a Pool Scene.
  • Reality Ensues: Lampshaded by Zelda in post-revival strip #89; her quills keep people at a literal distance, and she still ends up constantly having to apologize when they get jabbed, she physically damages property all the time, and she's endlessly trying to keep track of stray quills that've fallen out. Ultimately, she found it so frustrating that by post-revival strip #86 she had her quills permanently pulled, using laser surgery to destroy the roots so they won't grow back.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Zelda calling Michael Moby out on his so-called status quo.
  • Shrinking Violet: Zelda is, initially, so shy around people it's painful. She grows out of it.

Antagonists

     Gilly Gopher 

A big city gopher with a head full of college learning and left-wing ideology, Gilly is a recent migrant to Malarkey County who just can't seem to get along with his neighbors.

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Despite his characterization as somebody distinctly lacking in intelligence, Gilly does manage to genetically engineer a six-legged chicken, a flying cow, and an invisible pig.
  • Butt-Monkey: To put things in perspective, the story's 1000th strip consists of Gilly running around screaming as Nip launches fireworks at him.
  • Cant Get Away With Nothing: Gilly is never allowed to have any kind of victories, and even the most innocuous "fault" of his results in instantaneous punishment. For example, when he meets a pair of rednecks and laughs at their stereotypical redneck names, he gets electrocuted by one of them as punishment. For another, in the pioneer's day festival mini-arc, Gilly's joke that this takes the County's residents back about five years results in him being beaten up and tied to a tree.
  • Determinator: Despite the naked contempt his neighbors show him, and their willingness to shower him with everything from insults to pranks to physical violence, Gilly never even considers leaving the County and moving somewhere less hostile.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Well "evil" might be a far stretch, but Gilly firmly believes that genetic engineering is the Farming Of Tomorrow... despite potential risks.
  • Fat Bastard: The "bastard" part may be an overstatement, but Gilly is notably porky.
  • Harmless Villain: For all that Gilly is an "antagonist" in the comic, he's not really a bad person. He just has the misfortune of having a different political belief system to that of his neighbors.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: He's not really stupid, but he has a tendency not to think beyond the liberal philosophies he's been taught and follows, and ignores the inconsistencies therein, and has issues not putting his foot in his mouth when trying to get his points across, as he is basically parroting what he's been taught.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: The general attitude that Gilly's neighbors have is that Gilly believes he knows everything, but what he actually knows pales in comparison. The biggest reason why Gilly fails at any political debate he gets into is because, ultimately, he doesn't understand his own political beliefs, and so he has no way to argue in their favor or discuss the nuance.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Even when he's not trying to be rude, Gilly has a problem to insult or annoy people at the worst possible moment.
  • Stalker with a Crush: When Gilly falls for Zelda after debating with her under her initially anonymous identity as a local Malarkey county deejay (from strip #561 onwards), he becomes so obsessed with finding out who she is so he can ask her out that he breaks into the radio station to find her, unwittingly outting her identity to the whole of the county. Deconstructed in that this is an absolutely terrible idea on his part, which quite permanently torpedoes any chance he may have ever had of getting her to like him, even if they didn't have opposing political views. Most obviously, the first time he sees her after that in strip #570, she immediately maces him when he is foolish enough to approach her again, and in the next strip she gives him a quick "The Reason You Suck" Speech and then deliberately jabs him with her quills, the first time she is ever seen acting that violently in the series.
  • Strawman Political: Pretty much his only real purpose in the thread is to be a punching bag for his liberal political beliefs.

     Gus Gunthry 

A brutish and hulking boar, Gus Gunthry is Malarkey County's resident Jerkass.

  • Can-Crushing Cranium: Played with when a drunken and belligerent Gus Gunthry picks a fight with Nip Todd by crushing his beer can against Nip's head.
  • Domestic Abuse: Downplayed, but Gus' relationship with Beebee has some very unsettling overtones, particularly when he shows up drunk at the Harvest Dance and gets very angry to find she's been dancing with someone else. Fortunately, the closest he ever gets to hurting her is when he roughly grabs her arm, and Beebee breaks up with him afterwards.
  • Fat Bastard: Gus is overweight and one nasty cuss of a man.
  • Jerkass: Gus Gunthry is the most hated man in Malarkey County for a reason. He actually provokes the normally mild-tempered Tuck to attack him in a rage when he brutally mocks him for hooking up with somebody as "ugly" as Thelma.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Zigzagged. In general, karma will come back to bite Gus in the immediate fallout of his latest wrongdoing, but he never learns a permanent lesson from his misdeeds.
    • After he picks a fight with Nip Todd at the Harvest Fall Dance, Beebee breaks up with him.
    • After Gus insults Thelma and agrees to a race to settle the fight, Nip goes out of his way to ensure that karma comes back to bite the Jerkass pig big time, resulting in Gus losing the race and having his beloved car wrecked. And then he goes on to get himself a job as a trucker, which makes him a big man in Malarkey County.
  • Missing Mom: Gus Gunthry's mother left his father for being abusive, and his grandmother did the same to his grandfather, as he admits in strip #573
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Whilst "Feminism" may be a dirty word in Malarkey County, the locals still believe in treating women with courtesy and respect. Gus is a notable exception, with a Stay in the Kitchen attitude even his fellows regard as embarrassing.
  • Stout Strength: He may be a big lardass, but he's also got plenty of muscle under the fat, allowing him to take a lot of punishment (unless you hit his Glass Jaw) and dish even more out.

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Supporting Cast

     Hortense 

The only female lizard in all of Malarkey Country, the insecure Hortense is the region's resident "angry feminist".

  • Abhorrent Admirer: When Hortense gets flirtatious calls from the gator men aboard the cruise ship, initially, she's very flattered, since she's not used to being seen as "sexy" by men. When they keep it up all day despite her lack of reciprocation, then she gets angry.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: A variant; in strip #752, Hortense apologizes for her wildly unusual behavior, in particular snatching Thelma's bathrobe away to force the possum into showing up her new bikini for Tuck, by explaining that the intense heat of the tropical Carribean sun is so different to what she's used to in Malarkey that she was effectively drunk.
  • Bald Women: Like all lizard females, she's completely bald. She wears wigs to make it more apparent to mammals that she's female, since getting breast implants felt wrong/demeaning to her.
  • Freudian Excuse: Hortense gives one over strips #492 to #494; she's the only female lizard in all of Malarkey County, so she feels extremely insecure about her gender, because the only examples she has on what a "woman" is like comes from the mammals around her, which she's biologically incapable of emulating. She clings to an aggressively independent form of feminism in no small part to try and comfort herself in the face of this insecurity.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • Hortense, and by extension all female lizards, lack breasts, despite the female anthros from mammalian species all having prominent bosoms. Even the female opossums like Thelma have them.
    • Hortense uses her lizard's prehensile tongue to snag the wedding bouquet in strip #434.
    • In strip #492, Hortense has a Freudian slip about how being a reptile means she's hairless, coldblooded, scaly, and completely lacking in female mammalian sexual characteristics, which leaves her feeling very un-womanly when she's been surrounded by mammalian women all her life. This is followed by her asking Thelma to carry her back inside before the cold puts her into torpor two strips afterward.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hortense is a smart-mouthed asshole who practically goes out of her way to pick fights, especially with the Todd brotherss, and is pretty much angry towards the world, but does have a good heart under it all and is ultimately shown to be motivated more by uncertainty, insecurity and a lack of a good role model.
  • Shipper on Deck: Downplayed, but in strip #542, Hortense privately admits to Nip that she hopes Tuck and Thelma work things out and get back together - they're currently in the middle of emotional drama after Tuck's attempt to give Thelma a confidence boost backfired - because she believes they're good for each other.
  • Straw Feminist: Defied with Hortense, who is intended as a portrayal of a woman with self image issues trying to define herself using feminism, and being not just unsuccessful, but very troubled because there are so many contradictory feminist philosophies. She's essentially the strip's resident Jerkass Woobie once you learn exactly why she is the way she is.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Hortense blasts Tuck for forcing Thelma into a beauty contest in strips #510-#514. As she points out, beauty contests are stressful, degrading and vicious, and if Thelma comes in last, it'll surely destroy her fragile self-confidence.

Pa & Ma Todd

The parents of our male protagonists, a pair of simple, sensible country farmers.

Pop Otto

The owner of Malarkey County's main gas-station and car repair center.

The Pop's Auto Girls

A band of three beautiful young women - Beebee (rabbit), Janine (mouse) and Sasha (squirrel) - who work as customer service at Pop Otto's gas station. They're actually the latest in a long line of beautiful women who've been working there since the store was founded 30 years ago.

  • Interspecies Romance: Early in the strip, Beebee was dating Gus Gunthry, but she ultimately broke up with him and hooked up with a cougar named Gary instead. All three girls also went dancing with Nip Todd at the Fall Harvest Dance.
  • Irony: In strip #650, Beebee explains that "Magical Princess Usagi was Cut Short at twelve episodes because an executive complained that she didn't have enough appeal for teenage boys. She promptly grew up into one of Malarkey County's most notoriously gorgeous women.
  • Magical Girl: Turns out that Beebee used to be a voice actress and model for a short-lived Magical Girl anime called "Magical Princess Usagi", which is revealed in strip #548.
  • Ms. Fanservice: This is literally their job at the gas station.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Invoked In-Universe, when Nip asks why Beebee would date the likes of Gus. She bluntly tells him it's because he's got a good-paying job.

The Lapin Family

A local family of rabbit farmers. Lil Bit is one of their many daughters — it's unclear if Beebee is too.

  • Berserk Button: Don't go talking about "government mandated population control" where Mr. Lapin or his 14 well-loved kids can hear it.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The Lapin family, being that they are redneck rabbits, naturally has a huge army of kids, with at least 14 children at the first count given in the series.

Tagger

An extremely clever and gifted young beaver pup, Tagger is Nip's best friend. Lil' Bit has a crush on him.

  • The Trickster: Tagger is infamous throughout Malarkey County for his skill at pranks.

Eugene

Thelma's younger brother, and Tagger's rival, being his equal in smarts and pranking ability.

Lil' Bit

A younger member of the sizable Lapin brood, Lil Bit is one of the main recurring "younguns" after Tagger and Eugene. She has a youthful crush on Tagger.

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