This is a page for characters in Over the Garden Wall. Beware of spoilers.
- Voiced by: Elijah Wood
The older of the two brothers, a teenager who is more responsible than his younger brother, but has a habit of getting caught up in himself. A poet who has a way with words, but is awkward around people.
- Adorkable: Short, shy, and prone to occasionally lapsing into self-indulgent poetry.
- All-Encompassing Mantle: Wirt's cape, an appropriate visual symbol of his insecurity. The hat he finds with it implies it's a Union soldier's cape (real or costume).
- Aloof Big Brother: Starts easily irritated with Greg and doesn't really care much when he wanders off. It's implied part of this is Wirt projecting resentment for his stepfather onto Greg (said stepfather's biological son).
- Author Avatar: Based on a teenage Pat McHale, with his costume being inspired by a hypothetical "rock star alter-ego" he imagined for himself back then but never implemented.
- Badass Pacifist: Subtle, but Wirt manages to put an end to the Beast's terror simply by figuring out that the lantern that supposedly carried the soul of the Woodsman's daughter was actually the Beast's soul.
- Big Brother Instinct: He begins the plot without one, growing more protective of Greg when he realizes how poorly he treated him before.Beatrice's Mother: At least wait until the storm dies down a bit. You'll be no good to your brother dead.
Wirt: I was never any good to him alive, either.
- Born in the Wrong Century: Seems to be, considering he's prone to reciting poetry, loves instruments, is very knowledgeable on interior design, and even wears older type of clothing in what seems to be the 1980s.
- Buffy Speak: Stands out particularly loudly among the old-fashioned dialect more frequently heard in the Unknown.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Wirt is in love with a girl called Sara, but is too shy and insecure to ask her out.
- Character Development: As the plot progresses, he finds some self-esteem, learns not to run away from his problems so easily and begins to show a sense of responsibility for his brother. Whilst the ending indicates that he still has a way to go, he is getting better.
- Classical Anti-Hero: Wirt starts off a cowardly, grumpy, and weak willed. Wirt got better.
- Cool Loser: Averted. He thinks he's a loser, lamenting he wasn't invited to a Halloween party. But when he shows, everyone there is happy he came, his unpopularity is all in his head.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has these moments, especially with Beatrice.
- Disappeared Dad: His mother remarried with Greg's father. It's unknown what happened to his biological father.
- Extreme Doormat: Played With. In "Schooltown Follies," Wirt usually does what he's told until Beatrice calls him "a pathetic pushover." Insulted, he then intentionally plays it straight to annoy her.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: He thinks himself the responsible one, but isn't entirely. Often times he'll warn people of the dangers of what they're doing only to accidentally cause exactly what he's worried about. Many of his decisions are also shown to be excessively cautious and defeatist rather than responsible.
- Freudian Excuse: It's implied that the reason behind Wirt's initial dislike of Greg is because of his mother marrying Greg's "stupid" dad.
- Hero with a Unique Name: Wirt's name sticks out as bizarre, as almost everyone else has a mundane name or No Name Given.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Comes close to making one by accepting the position of lantern-bearer so he can save Greg's soul but takes a third option at the last moment.
- Hidden Depths: Has a surprising knowledge of architectural styles and musical instruments.
- Insecure Love Interest: Wirt is in love with a girl named Sara, but fully believes she would never like him.
- It's All My Fault: When Greg makes a deal with the beast.
- Jerkass Has a Point: While not really a Jerkass so much as just an insecure Jerk with a Heart of Gold, Wirt can be pretty impatient and even a little mean with Greg, his innocent younger brother, blaming him every time they get into trouble. However, he's not wrong when he points out that Greg does cause some of their problems, such as knocking out the Woodsman, who was about to save them from the dog, after Wirt already said to NOT follow that plan, or throwing their pennies away for no good reason.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Wirt's a good guy, but he starts out as aloof to Greg when he feels frustrated. However, he grows to truly appreciate his little brother.
- Meaningful Name: He is named after the term "worry wart".
- Nervous Wreck: He's excessively anxious and uncomfortable for the greater part of the series - in the Unknown, sometimes he actually has reason to be.
- Never My Fault: He is quick to blame Greg for causing trouble, but, as the Woodsman points out, he's responsible for Greg and should be preventing his brother from doing these things instead of just saying "I told you so." It's also Wirt's fault they're in the Unknown in the first place, yet he initially thinks that Greg got them lost.
- Nice Hat: Wirt wears a tall red conical hat, which looks a lot like a Dunce Cap or part of a Santa costume redone as a gnome/wizard costume.
- Only Sane Man: He can be this when Beatrice seems overly focused on moving on.
- Parent with New Paramour: His mother remarried for unspecified reasons and had Greg, a fact Wirt resents and strains the relationship between the two.
- Passive-Aggressive Kombat: With Beatrice.Beatrice: Hey, Dunce! This is dreadful!
Wirt: Good! I'm glad you feel that way.
- Primary-Color Champion: A tall, red conical hat and a dark blue coat with yellow buttons.
- Purple Prose: Every single one of his poems. The defictionalized "For Sara" tape is a treasure trove of overwrought high school versification.
- Refused the Call: When the Beast offered to make him the new lantern-bearer, he refused and instead threatened to blow the lantern out.
- Sibling Team: With Greg.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Wirt is awkward, insecure, and grumpy, while Greg is optimistic, cheerful, and confident.
- Socially Awkward Hero: He ended up in the Unknown in the first place because the girl he liked found the tape he made for her and he couldn't take the embarrassment.Beatrice: Well, Wirt, sounds like you're a real loser back home.
Wirt: Oh, thanks a lot.
Beatrice: I mean compared to how you are here. Here you're like a hero and stuff, right?
- Teens Are Short: He's actually of high-school age, but his height is comparable to a middle schooler.
- Took a Level in Badass: Part of his Character Development. Wirt goes from being a non-confrontational Cowardly Lion who is most comfortable following someone else,◊ to a character brave enough to confront The Beast with the latter's own lantern.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Over their journey, Wirt comes to be nicer to Greg.
- Vague Age: Going along with Teens Are Short, Wirt's taller and clearly older than his brother but the reveal that he's high-school age comes as a bit of a surprise.
- Voiced by: Collin Dean
The younger of the two brothers, a young child of boundless energy and merriment. Though somewhat naive and foolish, he never lets anything get him down, not even the mysteries and oddities of the Unknown.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Wirt finds some of his behavior annoying or reckless, and Greg often shows disrespect toward his wishes. However, just as often Wirt's annoyance is portrayed as unjustified, being less of a fault of Greg's and more because he's too uptight.
- Believing Your Own Lies: Well, it's not a lie he came up with, but Greg seems to really thinks that "Uncie Endicott" is their relative.
- Big Brother Worship: Greg is quite fond of Wirt.
- Cheerful Child: He's so cheerful that he can make whole crowd spontaneously happier and nothing really brings him down.
- Children Are Innocent: The worst thing he does throughout the entire story is steal a rock.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: One of his defining traits is his desire to help anyone and everyone he comes across.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: He's a bit of an oddball, but he is just a little kid.
- Deadpan Snarker: He can be rather wry and sarcastic towards people when they do or say something that even he finds nonsensical. Wirt is the most frequent recipient of this, but this quality is most prominently displayed when the Beast asks Greg to put the sun in a china cup.
- The Beast: Lower the sun into this china cup.
- Determinator: Nothing ever seems to wear him down. If he's set on something, he'll go for it.
- Fearless Fool: Greg's innocence and optimism prevent him realizing any danger he's in.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: He's very much the foolish kind, but his foolish behaviour makes things better as often as they make things worse, either through total luck or because his ideas are better than they seem.
- Friend to All Living Things: Greg is shown to be quite the animal lover, given his attachment to his frog, his desire to be best friends with a dog, and the fact that he dresses up like an elephant for Halloween.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gives himself to the Beast in exchange for Wirt's life.
- Meaningful Name: The name Gregory comes from a Greek word meaning "watchful". Indeed, Greg is very aware of his surroundings, especially compared to Wirt, who is usually blind to everything except his inner conflicts.
- Nice Guy: Greg is a lot more chipper and kindhearted than his older brother.
- Nice Hat: He has an upended teapot on his head. It's part of an elephant costume.
- Oblivious Younger Sibling: Greg doesn't seem to notice Wirt's aloofness towards him, mostly because he's only 5-7.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: His fight with the North Wind in Chapter 8.
- The Pollyanna: Greg's come face to face with a monster dog, a demon-possessed woman, and his own brother heaping the blame for getting lost on him, and remained utterly cheery throughout. Especially seen when The Beast sets him three seemingly impossible tasks to complete, as he knows he can't drive Greg into despair and opts to work him into exhaustion instead.The Beast: And I thought you might give up.
Greg: Give up? I'll never give up!
- Selfless Wish: Upon learning that the Queen of the Clouds can't send Wirt home with him, Greg changes his wish so that he can bargain with the Beast instead.
- Sibling Team: With Wirt.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Greg is optimistic, cheerful, and confident while Wirt is awkward, insecure, and grumpy.
- Too Dumb to Live: Too many instances to count. He's usually the one to alert the bad guy or make a bad situation worse, and it's only through luck that he and the others get out unscathed.
- Voiced by: Jack Jones
A frog that Greg picked up, whose name he constantly changes his mind about.
- Author Avatar: Inverted—"JasonFunderburker" is the name of the show's official Tumblr blog.
- My Name Is ???: The credits of episode one has Jack Jones credited as voicing ???.
- Suddenly Voiced: He sings the series's Title Drop moment in Chapter 6.
- Talking Animal: Turns out he can talk, but only by singing, unless he's acting as the narrator.
- Team Pet: Accompanies Wirt and Greg on their adventure.
- Uplifted Animal: He become more humanlike as the series goes on, possibly as a result of being in the Unknown. At the series's beginning, he's an entirely normal frog then a Nearly Normal Animal. By the sixth chapter, he's capable of walking on his hind legs, clearly understands the meaning of Greg and Wirt's words, notices he's naked compared to some more humanlike frogs, and can sing with a human voice!
- We Named the Monkey "Jack": One of the names Greg gives to is Wirt, immediately lampshaded by the real Wirt. The final name Greg decides upon is Jason Funderburker, a name picked by Wirt to make fun of the other guy going after his crush.
- Voiced by: Melanie Lynskey
A talking bluebird with a lot of attitude. After Greg rescues her, she helps guide them home, claiming she owes them a debt of honor. This doesn't keep her from constantly arguing with Wirt.
- Baleful Polymorph: She is a human cursed to be a bluebird.
- Bluebird of Happiness: Zigzagged as she was never really a bluebird to begin with. She does play up the image when trying to help Wirt and Greg get home, but it's so she can more easily lead them in to a trap. She later regrets this and helps Wirt save Greg in the end.
- Deadpan Snarker: Almost always has some comment to make about Wirt or the latest antics going on around them.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She grows from being indifferent, and annoyed by the boys, to being genuinely concerned for their well-being and lives.
- Easily Forgiven: Despite her concerns her family is shown to hold no grudge at all against her when they're human again, even teasing her gently about it.
- Fiery Redhead: Her human form.
- Heel Realization: She comes to realize selling the boys into servitude to Adelaide in exchange for saving her family was a terrible thing to do, and later tries to convince Adelaide to take her as a servant instead.
- Heroic Sacrifice: She was prepared to become Adelaide's servant in Greg and Wirt's place.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Doesn't take kindly to Wirt referring to her as an "it."
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's snarky, rude, and blunt especially in regards to Wirt. However, she grows to truly care for them and gives up the chance to turn her and her family back to normal because she couldn't bear tricking them.
- Karmic Transformation: Beatrice reveals that she was once human and that she had thrown rocks at a bluebird, resulting in herself and all her family members being turned into birds.
- Little Miss Snarker: Rarely communicates in anything but sarcasm.
- Meaningful Name: Creator Pat McHale confirmed that she's named after Beatrice from The Divine Comedy who helps guide wayward souls through Limbo.
- Morphic Resonance: Subtle but still shows up as while her family became bluebirds because of her attacking one her red hair as a human fits with the orange plumage around their chests and neck, and when we see her she's wearing a blue dress with matching hair accessory.
- Must Make Amends: To her family for cursing them into bluebirds, and later to Wirt and Greg for tricking them.
- Servile Snarker: Played with. She owes a debt of honour to the boys and is forced to follow them reluctantly, no matter how much she dislikes it. While her annoyance is genuine, her servitude isn't - she was leading them to Adelaide to sell them in exchange for the cure to her family's curse.
- Talking Animal: The first of the animals in the show shown to be capable of speech. Wirt has trouble believing it at first.
- Tsundere: She comes to care for the boys, though she won't actually admit it.
- You Can't Go Home Again: In contrast to Wirt and Greg who can't go home no matter how much they want to, Beatrice is in a self-imposed exile from her family due to her own guilt.
Inhabitants of the Unknown
- Voiced by: Christopher Lloyd
A very worn man who lives in a forest in the Unknown, constantly chopping up the mysterious Edelwood trees and grinding the wood into oil for a lantern he carries around.
- An Axe to Grind: His axe is mostly used to chop wood, but he does try to fight the Beast with it.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: The show's intro implies that his daughter got lost in the woods and that's how she ended up in the Lantern. The epilogue reveals that he was the one that went missing in the forest.
- Badass Boast: "Hold your tongue or I'll remove it from your mouth!" Said in the final episode, to The Beast.
- City Mouse: Was one in contrast to his wife. He was paranoid about the strange sounds of the woods and the stories of the Beast years before he started carrying the lantern.
- Disappeared Dad: The ending reveals he was the one lost in the woods, not his daughter. His last scene shows him reunited with her.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He never gives his name, and Wirt only referred to him as "woodsman".
- Foil: To Wirt, which emphasizes the latter's Character Development. His isolation and singleminded quest to keep his lantern lit mimics Wirt's fear of socializing and Wirt's preference of safe, no-brainer solutions to his problems. It's best seen when The Beast offers Wirt the chance to take on the Woodsman's role. Wirt (after his How We Got Here flashback showed him how flawed he was before entering the Unknown), refuses, having finally understood that such an existence is pointless and stupid.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: Downplayed; it's implied that the Woodsman has No Social Skills because he's been wandering the forest alone for so long.
- Guttural Growler: His voice is very rough, though being voiced by Christopher Lloyd does help.
- The Hermit: He lives a self-imposed exile in a repurposed mill, milling wood from the Edelwood trees into lantern oil. The epilogue shows he's moved back to a normal house with his daughter.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Wirt even thinks he's the Beast, but this turns out not to be true.
- The Judge: The backstory given in the comic reveals him to have been a municipal judge that moved his family out to the country after making enemies there.
- The Lost Lenore: His daughter, whose soul he believes is in the lantern. The comic adds his wife, who died of fever after an arm injury in the woods, which increased his fear of what lurked within.
- Nice Hat: He is often seen wearing a black tophat.
- No Name Given: He is simply known as the Woodsman.
- No Social Skills: He appears intimidating, antisocial, and speaks in cryptic sentences without explaining himself properly, which causes Wirt and Greg to easily mistrust him.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: At some point in the past, he fought the Beast and won, taking his lantern in the process. Of course, considering the true purpose of the lantern, it's plausible that the Beast let him take it.
- Papa Wolf: He's only working for the Beast because he believes his daughter's soul is in the lantern. He gains this attitude towards Greg when he finds out where the Edelwood trees come from. He refuses to harvest Greg, even though at that point he still believed his daughter's soul was inside the lantern and by helping Greg, he was killing his daughter.
- Soul Jar: The lantern. It must be kept constantly lit, else the soul inside will burn out.
- Sweet and Sour Grapes: After Wirt points out the Lantern actually contain's the Beast's soul and not his daughter's, he finally accepts that his harvesting of oil for the lantern has alienated him from society and will never save his daughter. However, after the Beast's defeat, his daughter is seen to have been alive all along and finally united with him.
- The Dog Bites Back: When he learns that the lantern contained The Beast's soul and not his daughter, he resists The Beast's attempts to manipulate him into pursuing Wirt and instead blows out the lantern, seemingly killing The Beast.
- Tragic Hero: He's devoted to keeping his lantern lit, which has made him a recluse in the woods, living only to harvest the oil from Edelwood trees. He ultimately runs out of oil, and is given a choice by the Beast to harvest Greg's body in the form of a tree or let his lantern go out and lose his daughter forever. He chooses to help Greg.
- Walking Spoiler: Almost every time he appears something huge is revealed. He deserves much whiteness.
- Voiced by: Samuel Ramey
A mysterious, shadowy figure who stalks Wirt and Greg throughout their journey through the Unknown.
- Allegorical Character: The Beast embodies depression and possibly suicide. He's associated with both darkness and light: The darkness represents depression, exhaustion, sorrow and generally the idea of giving up... but the light, the true core of the Beast, is the idea of death as an escape. He confirms as much in his Villain Song, where he outright calls death "a light for the lost and the meek". Effectively, the Beast is the embodiment of that moment where a person falls so deep into despair and pain, physical or emotional, that death becomes the only salvation in their mind. You know... for kids.
- Basso Profundo: His voice actor is a professional opera bass, and he puts his talents to good use, as he gets his own Villain Song.
- Big Bad: He constantly pursues the brothers and is connected to most of the more dangerous things they encounter.
- Body of Bodies: His true form is literally constructed out of the faces of people whose souls he's taken. Overlaps with Eldritch Abomination.
- Botanical Abomination: He appears to be an amalgamation of edelwood trees. And because edelwood is people, you could in one sense consider him a Flesh Golem.
- Casting a Shadow: The light completely drains from the area when The Beast threatens Wirt. We never get to find out whether the Beast can actually do anything harmful using darkness, though.
- The Chessmaster: Of sorts. One thing he seems to be extremely good at is predicting how people will behave and react in a given situation. This allows him to plan far ahead. However, he is not so good with Xanatos Speed Chess. When someone fails to react how the Beast expects them to, he may be driven into a corner, unable to turn the situation around on the fly. This is shown when Wirt manages to Take a Third Option and correctly deduces the Beast's soul is in the lantern. Instead of trying to spin a different lie that would convince the Woodsman to spare his life, the Beast tries brute force, then desperately goes back to a lie that's already been debunked.
- Consummate Liar: He's not to be trusted, but he manages to make plenty of people fall for his lies because he's just that good. Most notably, after losing his lantern, he tricks the Woodsman into thinking his daughter is dead and that her soul is in the lantern. This keeps the Woodsman working for years.
- Dark Is Evil: An Eldritch Abomination that never leaves the darkness of the woods.
- Deal with the Devil: His specialty, having made one with the Woodsman, and tries to make one with Wirt. However, all his deals are lies to get what he wants. The deal he made with the Woodsman to save his daughter's soul inside a lantern? It was his soul the Woodsman was keeping safe. Showing Greg the way home? Tricking Greg into tiring out and freezing to death. Saving Greg's soul in the lantern for Wirt? Saving his lantern.
- Dirty Coward: Post-Villainous Breakdown. Shows shades of this when it's revealed that his soul is in the lantern and not the woodsman's daughter's.
- The Dreaded: Every character who knows the existence of The Beast is scared out of their wits at the mere mention of his name.
- Evil Laugh: A deep, haunting one.
- Evil Sounds Deep: His deep, Darth Vader-esque voice only adds to his menace. It helps that his voice actor is a bass opera singer.
- The Faceless: Spends the entire series hidden in shadow until Wirt reveals his true form for a split second by shining the light of The Beast's own lantern on him.
- Famous Last Words: "No! Woodsman!"
- Faux Affably Evil: He's surprisingly patient with Greg while trying to get him to freeze to death, and generally is very calm and composed. While he rarely presents himself as being outright good, he always makes it sound like submitting to his will is the most reasonable choice in any given situation. This results in a strange ambivalence about him, in that everyone knows he is evil and cannot be trusted, but they end up doing what he says anyways because he just seems to make sense until you really think it through. This ties into his "light and darkness" theme and feeds into his symbolism of death as an escape - he has to be able to make something that people tend to be naturally terrified of start sounding like an attractive prospect.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: They're the only part of him that doesn't look black when he's in the shade. In closeups, you can see he has red pupils, yellow irises, and cyan sclerae.
- Green Thumb: He has some control over the Edelwood trees of the forest. His actual body seems to be made out of Edelwood.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: The most we ever see of is his shadowy outline. We do however get to see a quick flash of his true form in the final chapter and let's just say it's not pretty.◊
- Horned Humanoid: He has numerous antler-like lengths coming out of his head. It's implied they're actually branches. It makes him bear more than a passing resemblance to some representations of the wendigo (such as the one used in Hannibal), which might not be a coincidence considering he "feeds" off people like a wendigo, if indirectly.
- Humanoid Abomination: He is a mysterious humanoid figure with antlers, glowing eyes, is only ever shown in the shadows, and feeds off the despairing, lost souls trapped in The Unknown. Not to mention that the one time we get a brief glimpse of his true form◊, we see that his body is covered with anguished faces.
- Hungry Menace: The Beast's main goal? Survival, which he attempts to prolong through his modus operandi of turning victims into Edelwood trees, in order for the Woodsman to harvest their oil and feed his Soul Jar.
- Karmic Death: Has the flame in his Soul Jar snuffed out by the very man he tricked into keeping it lit.
- Knight of Cerebus: While the mini-series has a fairly dark and sinister tone overall (for a Cartoon Network show, at least) the Beast's very presence is treated with real fear and played about as seriously as possible.
- Lean and Mean: It's not always obvious thanks to his cloak, but he appears to be very thin.
- Light 'em Up: The light in the lantern flickers and expands seemingly at his will, but again to what extent he can manipulate it isn't known.
- Light Is Not Good: While obviously a creature of darkness, he's more subtly associated with light, most notably by his Soul Jar, which is a lantern giving off a white glow, his brilliant white eyes and the fact that his means to tire Greg was basically to ask for him to catch the Sun."There is a light for the lost and the meek."
- Manipulative Bastard: He manipulates both the Woodsman and Greg. He manipulated the Woodsman into using the oil from Edelwood trees to keeping his soul alive by telling him it's his daughter's soul. He makes Greg take Wirt's place and put him through tasks that Greg thought would get them home, but only to wear him out and make him give in.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Is never actually seen doing anything besides standing around, with much of his menacing nature being largely implied. His offscreen battle with the Woodsman in the last episode seems to end with him as the winner. Even though the Woodsman had overpowered him in the past, it is possible that was all according to the Beast's plan. Of course, it's also possible that the Beast just used its mastery over the woods to avoid the Woodsman until he collapsed from exhaustion himself.
- Nonindicative Name: He's only known as "The Beast", but he's humanoid, well-spoken, rather civil, and can sing. His true nature isn't like any kind of animal, but more like a plant.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: His soul needs Edelwood oil to remain lit. People who lose all hope in the forest grow into Edelwood trees...
- Pragmatic Villainy: The Beast usually turns people into Edelwood trees by driving them to despair and resignation to death. Since Greg is The Pollyanna, it was easier for the Beast to be Affably Evil and simply work Greg to exhaustion until he was physically incapable of resisting the Beast's control.
- Quizzical Tilt: Does this from time to time while speaking.
- Sadist: He's not very good at hiding the pleasure he takes from stealing innocent children's souls. When the Woodsman tries to hit him with the axe he laughs sinisterly at his futile attempt.
- Satanic Archetype: Let's count the ways. He's called "The Beast", possibly after the demonic monster from the Book of Revelation. His shadow is that of a Horned Humanoid. He's the original bearer of the lantern ("Lucifer" means "light-bearer"). He tempts people to despair. When he's not tempting people to despair, he's offering them a Deal with the Devil. He lies to everyone he interacts with (you might even call him the Father of Lies). He gives orders and acts with authority while hidden in the darkness of the woods, making him a symbolic Prince of Darkness. And he's the Big Bad of a story and setting, which frequently draws from Dante's Inferno (which also ends in the bitter cold) and may actually be some kind of afterlife or limbo. And, as a bonus, his Villain Song is deliberately the same cadence as "Oh Holy Night", inspiring connections to the way Satan was a fallen angel in the way the song is a corrupted Christian song.
- Soul Jar: The Woodsman's lantern houses the Beast's soul. The Beast carried it originally, but after the Woodsman took it, he tricked the man into thinking the soul in it was his daughter's so he would keep it lit.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: His song is surprisingly jaunty for being sung by an avatar of human misery.
- Villain Song: "Come Wayward Souls", which he sings to potential victims and apparently even the dying ones, to fill them with dread and let him turn them to Edelwood trees. The tavern keeper's song about him might also count. He's also heard singing "chop the wood to light the fire" in a few episodes, announcing that he's nearby. It's almost like a leitmotif.
- Villainous Breakdown: The Beast utterly loses his calm demeanor when Wirt completely rejects his Sadistic Choice and pieces together that it was actually The Beast's soul that was in the lantern all along.
- Would Hurt a Child: Tried to turn Wirt into an Edelwood tree, but eventually went after Greg and very nearly succeeded with him. He orders the Woodsman to kill them with his ax when Wirt exposed his lies. Also, they aren't the first victims the Beast has pursued and therefore not the first children he's turned into Edelwood trees.
- Voiced by: N/A
The main antagonist of Chapter 1. An enormous wolf-like beast with unsettling glowing eyes which comes out of the woods to attack the boys.
- Ambiguously Evil: It pursues Wirt and Greg relentlessly and puts them in a lot of trouble, but its actions suggest it was more interested in eating the candy Greg was throwing around than Greg himself.
- Canis Major: It's as large as a horse.
- Demonic Possession: It turns back into a normal dog after spitting up an Edelwood oil-covered turtle. It should be noted that its eyes are very similar to The Beast's eyes when they're shown up close, appropriate since the Beast is effectively made of Edelwood.
- Nightmare Face: "You have beautiful eyes."
- Sweet Tooth: It pursues the children because Greg kept candy in his trousers.
- Voiced by: Chris Isaak (Enoch)
A town of pumpkin people, led by a pumpkin-headed titan named Enoch.
- Badass Baritone: Enoch has a rather deep voice.
- Cats Are Superior: As revealed in the epilogue, the village leader Enoch is actually a cat.
- Creepy Good: They're super disturbing and undead, but they're legitimately just having a good time and are no real threat.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Despite their menacing appearance, and the fact that they're all skeletons, they're actually quite civil.
- The Dead Can Dance: Wirt and Greg first find them dancing around a maypole and celebrating a harvest festival. The festivities continue for hours, even as the boys leave the town.
- Dem Bones: The entire town is made out of people wearing pumpkin costumes. It's only later that Wirt discovers the costumes are worn by living skeletons.
- Good Counterpart: Enoch can be considered an anti-Beast. They are both tall, dark, imposing creatures with booming voices, but while the Beast guides lost souls to their doom, Enoch provides them with ease and festivity.
- If The Beast symbolizes a premature Death by Despair, Enoch may represent the idea of accepting death with dignity when your time comes. Enoch also represents the idea of a happy afterlife, while The Beast devours the souls of its victims and is associated with either Hell or The Nothing After Death.
- Large and in Charge: Out of all the pumpkin people, Enoch is the tallest and has the largest pumpkin for a head, alongside the greatest authority. Wirt and Greg mistake him for the village maypole at first. Later subverted: underneath the costume, Enoch is a tiny black cat.
- Meaningful Name: A Potter's Field is a grave for the unknown.
- Ironic Name: Enoch, despite leading a town that symbolizes death and the afterlife, shares a name with one of the few Biblical characters who entered Heaven while still alive. It could be a hint regarding his different nature than the rest of the townspeople.
- Reasonable Authority Figure Enoch proves to be this, albeit quite strict.
- Walking Spoiler: While they only appear for one episode (save for a brief appearance in the show's epilouge), The Reveal for that episode revolves around their core nature.
- Voiced by: N/A
Miss Langtree's animal students.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Some of them don't wear shirts (including the pig and raccoon), but none wear shoes.
- Funny Animal: The entire class are woodland creatures wearing clothing, learning to read and write.
- Nice Hat: Many of them wear their own hat.
- The Power of Rock: Greg succeeds in using music to solve many of their problems and save the day. He livens up the school's mealtime by leading them in a rousing song - and then helps their financial difficulties by organizing a benefit concert.
- Saving the Orphanage: The students don't know that the school's in danger of closing due to lack of money. Greg finds out and arranges a benefit concert to save it.
- Voiced by: Janet Klein
Miss Langtree is the school teacher in her father's school for animals, and even though she seems enthusiastic about teaching, she had her heart stolen away by a man named Jimmy Brown when he kissed her once and then left her.
- Apathetic Teacher: Downplayed. She clearly enjoys her job, but is prevented from caring for her students properly due to her emotional baggage.
- Comical Overreacting: She's devastated by her lover abandoning her and has even written a complex song about her sadness through the alphabet. A song which, when heard in full, reveals that he's only been gone three days.
- Schoolmarm: She's the only teacher at the school she runs.
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: She is a slim attractive Gibson Girl, as opposed to her aging father.
- Voiced by: Sam Marin
Miss Langtree's apparently grouchy father, threatening to stop funding her school if she doesn't stop having fun with the animals.
- Fantasy-Forbidding Father: He comes to visit his daughter's schoolhouse, of which he is a patron, and confiscates the musical instruments off the children. Subverted in that he actually funded his daughter's school at the expense of his house and savings. He was taking the instruments to pawn for more funds.
- Fat Bastard: Fairly hefty. It's later subverted: when he takes off his coat, he's a lot skinnier. He's also not a bastard.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: It turns out he's only taking the instruments to sell them for the school.
- Incoming Ham: In keeping with the chapter's wryly self-aware execution: "That's e-NOUGH! Is thiiiis what I've been paying foooor?!"
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Strict and confiscates the musical instruments, So, he sells them to keep the school running.
- Nice Hat: His black tophat.
- Took a Level in Cheerfulness: The school being saved from being closed down makes him a happier person.
- Voiced by: Thomas Lennon
Jimmy Brown is the love interest of Miss Langtree. He turns out to also be the "gorilla" terrorizing the school - actually just a circus costume he couldn't take off.
- Act of True Love: He joined the circus, working to save up the money he needed to propose to Miss Langtree.
- Bastard Boyfriend: Miss Langtree and her father characterize him this way after he apparently left her without explanation. Turns out he actually got a job in the circus wearing a gorilla suit to help pay for a wedding ring, but got trapped in the suit. And if you hear the full version of Miss Langtree's song, you find out he was only gone for three days.
- Clingy Costume: He's been stuck in a gorilla suit all the while, unable to get help due to his frightening appearance.
Strange, but harmless townsfolk who have very specific roles.
- Ambiguously Human: The comic toys with the idea that the Highway Man may be a spirit, and their Early-Bird Cameo in the first episode's intro shows them as a tableau of dolls, and their obsession with designated roles brings to mind the way a child would play with their toys.
- At Least I Admit It: Seemingly their stance on the Highway Man: he's a thief but he does it openly and entirely on his own "workings with his hands." In comparison, they hate and fear the Beast who manipulates others to do his dirty work.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": They introduce themselves entirely by their professions/roles. Also an Enforced Trope: they seem incapable of understanding that Wirt and Greg have actual names, and instead try to shoehorn Wirt into some kind of archetype.
- Expy: The tavern keeper seems to be one of Betty Boop from her looks and voice.
- The Highwayman: One of the residents, notable for having his own "I Am" Song. He might just be an entertainer for the inn who dresses like one, however.
- No Sense of Personal Space: They're rather eccentric and touchy feel-y folks.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: Everything is an excuse to start singing for these people.
- Villain Song: The Highwayman sings a brief song about how he "makes ends meet" by mugging people.
- "The Villain Sucks" Song: The Tavern-Keeper sings about the Beast, explaining his basic modus operandi.
- You All Meet in an Inn: The Inn is a meeting place for characters from a great variety of professions - from the Midwife, to the Baker, to the Highwayman. Justified in that it's in a secluded area and might be the only tavern for a long distance.
- Voiced by: Fred Stroller
Fred is a talking horse who accompanies the main characters for a short time.
- Bad Liar:Fred: Why would anyone go to the parlour for? There's nobody in the parlour. Certainly nobody after your money!
- Dark and Troubled Past: The comics reveal he was an honest cargo horse until he was robbed by the Highway Man. But nobody believed him because the Highway Man was supposed to have been dead for a hundred years. When the judge tried to sentence him to 100 years of hard labor he escaped and ended up stuck as the Highway Man's horse until Wirt "kidnapped" him.
- Plucky Comic Relief: He invokes this in the two chapters he's featured in.
- Sticky Fingers: He spends a majority of his second appearance trying to rob Quincy Endicott, and unlike Beatrice, he doesn't seem driven to steal out of necessity.Wirt: Fred's a talking horse. He can do whatever he wants.
Fred: I wanna steal.
- Talking Animal: He pretended to simply be an Intellectual Animal when Beatrice was around, but then showed he could think and talk in complete sentences. According to a deleted scene he wasn't talking because he was too full from all the food he was eating through the tavern window.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: In his backstory in the comic. After he is mistakenly known as a lying villain, Fred embraces his new identity. Not that he's any good at it.
- Trapped in Villainy: Due to a misunderstanding he was stuck as the Highway Man's steed which he hated.
- Voiced by: John Cleese
Quincy Endicott is the wealthy and extravagant owner of "Quincy Endicotts Health Tea, which he himself never drinks. He believes that his mansion is haunted by the ghost of a woman, which he has fallen in love with.
- Affectionate Nickname: Greg, who treats him as if he were truly his uncle, addresses him as "Unkie."
- Bus Crash: A grave bearing his name can be seen in the graveyard in chapter 9. However, this was probably so far in the future that he couldn't possibly have still been alive—and maybe he never existed and that's just where Wirt got the name "Quincy Endicott". His only appearance in the epilogue is in a portrait that Margueritte is staring longingly at. Given that he was going senile already, he may simply have died from old age.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: A bumbling man with idiosyncratic tendencies (best seen in his Establishing Character Moment when he rests his boots on the table - right smack on his food and cracking his dinner plate). Played for Drama when he reveals he can't tell the difference between his oddball habits and madness, and he fears he may be tipping on the edge of his sanity.
- Love Before First Sight: He falls in love with a portrait of a woman before even meeting her.
- Nice Hat: Owns a tophat which matches his suit.
- Noodle Incident: He all but states that the means he used to accumulate his wealth weren't all that pleasant.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: For all his wealth, Wirt and Greg easily fool him into accepting them as his nephews.
- Uncle Pennybags: He's truly happy to finally have company and does his best to make his guests feel welcome, regardless of how creepy he may be.
- Upper-Class Twit: He apparently runs a tea company, but is not shown doing anything related to work. He admits in his ghost-obsessed state, he even neglected to feed his pets.
- Voiced by: Bebe Neuwirth
Margueritte Grey is the person depicted in the painting whom Quincy Endicott falls for in Mad Love. The two actually live in the same giant mansion and mistake each other for ghosts.
- Cute Ghost Girl: Quincy Endicott finds her to be one. Turns out she's very much alive - unknown to them both, her house in interconnected with his, and her 'haunting' presence in the house was merely her going about her home.
- Everyone Looks Sexier If French: Possibly. While Endicott certainly thinks she's a sight to behold, she speaks with a French accent, has a French given name, and Wirt recognizes her sections of the estate are French Roccoco inspired.
- Real After All: Margueritte is neither a ghost nor a figment of Endicott's imagination - she's merely a woman whose mansion just so happens to be connected with his.
- Walking Spoiler: Finding anything out about her reveals she's not a ghost at all.
- Voiced by: John Cleese
Adelaide is an old lady who appears in Lullaby in Frogland. Also known as Adelaide of the Pasture, with the addition of, "The Good Woman of the Woods" by Beatrice, Adelaide lives in a secluded hut where she presumably quilts, as her tools and magic all draw from the materials of a sewing box.
- Animal Motifs: Like a black widow spider, she has a red hourglass pattern on her shawl, a web of yarn strung around her house, and she traps Wirt and Greg by wrapping them bodily in yarn.
- Big Good: Beatrice implies to the the boys Adelaide is this, and they decide to make finding her the goal of The Quest. Subverted. She's not just villainous, but also aligned with the Beast.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: She expresses her desire to do this to Wirt and Greg.Adelaide: And once I fill their heads with wool, they'll become just like little sheep and follow my every command.
- Disc-One Final Boss: She is the initial goal of the duo's quest, but when they reach her she's revealed to be an evil witch and a servant of the Beast, the Big Bad.
- Expy: Of The Wicked Witch of the West. She has the Robe and Wizard Hat, is not above enslaving children, is a Trap Master and has a Weaksauce Weakness. She melts in a manner very similar to the Witch as well, and the song Greg makes up about her is highly reminiscent of "We're Off to See the Wizard". Even her title as given by Beatrice, "The Good Woman of the Woods", has a similar structure to the Wicked Witch of the West's.
- Faux Affably Evil: She speaks cheerfully about needing a child servant, but has no qualms about making them Brainwashed and Crazy.
- Hypochondria: Played with. Adelaide claims to be frail and teetering at the edge of sickness. This may or may not be paranoia on her part, until Beatrice discovers that fresh night air is hazardous to her health, ultimately causing her to melt into a puddle.
- Robe and Wizard Hat: A little more lively and colorful than usual, but she definitely has the Witch Classic look.
- Solitary Sorceress: Adelaide lives alone the woods and Wirt and Greg are seeking her aid in escaping the Unknown. And Beatrice wants her cure for her curse.
- Trap Master: The moment you step into her house, you're in her web.
- Walking Spoiler: It's basically impossible to say anything about her without revealing that she's actually an evil witch.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Her weakness is the night air, she can barely survive an open window.
- Wicked Witch: She's an evil hag who attempted to enslave the heroes. She's also got the hat and the habit of melting.
- Voiced by: Tim Curry (English), Ángeles Bravo (Latin-American dub)
Auntie Whispers is Lorna's guardian and has vowed to keep her from "becoming wicked". She is a massive, monstrous hag who uses a Mind Control bell to keep Lorna or rather her evil spirit under control.
- Creepy Good: She's actually the one keeping the demon in check.
- Creepy Monotone: She talks like this, which is a bit of Playing Against Type considering who voices her and the roles he usually plays.
- Cain and Abel: When she proves to be surprisingly benign, she warns Wirt to beware her evil sister, Adelaide. Who's ironically already been encountered and disposed of by that point.
- Dark Is Not Evil: In spite of her evil hag-like appearance, she's actually a rather nice woman who's keeping the evil spirit possessing her niece in check.
- Exotic Eye Designs: Her pupils constantly change shape, taking on fairly normal and abstract forms.
- Extreme Omnivore: Her Establishing Character Moment has her popping a live turtle into her mouth before spitting out the shell.
- The Grotesque: By far the ugliest denizen of the Unknown, with a gargantuan head, bulging froglike eyes, white skin and pink hands, and sparse but rotten teeth.
- Large and in Charge: She's huge and acts very domineering towards Lorna. Turns out she was doing it to protect her from the evil spirit inside her. She eases up on her after the spirit is banished.
- Maid and Maiden: The huge, old Maid to young Lorna's Maiden.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Enslaves Lorna with the ringing of a magic bell to keep her at chores and prevent her from meeting others and escaping. This is to keep the evil spirit in Lorna from harming anybody, and it's implied that she keeps the spirit instead of commanding it away because she's afraid of losing Lorna's company.
- Wicked Stepmother: Shelters Lorna and keeps her in Cinderella Circumstances. It turns out she really did love Lorna, and only treated her like that to suppress the evil spirit possessing her.
- Voiced by: Shannyn Sossamon
Lorna is a young, ill girl who lives with Auntie Whispers. She is actually not ill, but possessed by an evil spirit.
- Apologetic Attacker: When she's forced to attempt to devour Wirt and Greg by the spirit inside her.
- Cinderella Circumstances: Auntie Whispers puts her to work to keep "evil spirits" from possessing her mind. In a subversion, this turns out to be completely true.
- Demonic Possession: A man-eating spirit lives inside her, and it's implied that this is causing her illness.
- Happily Adopted: By Auntie Whispers, it seems. Lorna does admit that they aren't related, but she loves Auntie Whispers enough to stay with her even after the evil spirit is exorcised from her body.
- Girl of the Week: She and Wirt quickly fall for one another, but at the end of the chapter, she ultimately opts to stay behind with Auntie Whispers.
- Ill Girl: Has a wan complexion and is prone to coughing fits. These clear up when the evil spirit is banished.
- I'm a Humanitarian: She implies Antie Whispers to be a case of this, although it turns out the real people-eater is the spirit inside Lorna herself.
- Nice Girl: A sweet and compassionate girl.
- Maid and Maiden: The young Maiden to Auntie Whispers' Maid.
- Proper Lady: Is very polite, sweet, and holds no hard feelings against Auntie Whispers. She even wants to stay with her out of love and loyalty when she is cured of the spirit.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Partially a result of her illness. She is shown to have a rosier complexion after being cured.
- Voiced by: Deborah Voigt
The Queen of the Clouds is the ruler of Cloud City, and appears after Greg imprisons the North Wind to grant him a wish.
- The High Queen: She's shown to be nothing but fair, benevolent and gentle.
- Light Is Good: Her only appearance has her bathed in golden light, and among her subjects are angelic cherubs.
- Shout-Out: Her appearance - a blue colour scheme and heavenly glow - voice, mannerisms, and wish-granting powers make her very similar to the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio. Fitting, given that the cloud kingdom was based on animated shorts from the Technicolour era and those that predate it.
- True Blue Femininity: Has a blue dress, blue hair, and is very graceful and kind.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has aquamarine-colored hair.
- Voiced by: Mark Bordnar
The North Wind is locked behind a large gate and wall in Cloud City and is set free by Gregory on accident.
- The Brute: Subverted. His introduction portrays him as this, but Greg manages to stuff him into a bottle with relative ease.
- Evil Old Folks: A mean old man who wants to blow everyone away.
- Expy: As the world of Greg's dream seems to be inspired by old Disney and Fleischer cartoons, the North Wind is almost certainly based on the titular antagonist from The Old North Wind, being a wicked old man who scares a whole town away.
- Fairytale Motifs: Not just any wind, but the North Wind. As a character, the North Wind famously appears in many other fairytales, which helps establish the fantastic nature of the dream cloud kingdom, but also how bitterly cold the wind Greg and Writ are feeling in reality.
- Generic Doomsday Villain: Unlike the Beast, whose main drive is to feed, the North Wind has no clear motive. Justified in more than one way; he's either a character Greg dreamed up or a literal force of nature.
- The Old North Wind: The Trope Namer, and actually a more justified example than most. His character only exists in Greg's head, as a way of coping with the actual cold wind that's making it difficult for Greg to sleep.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He's locked away behind a padlocked gate at first. Greg eventually seals him away again, this time in a bottle.
- Villain Song: When he and his little minions first appear.
- Voiced by: Shirley Jones (mother)
Beatrice's huge family.
- Baleful Polymorph: Thanks to Beatrice, the entire family was cursed into the form of birds. It's for this reason Beatrice is too ashamed and afraid to return.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Beatrice has many, many younger siblings.
- Youthful Freckles: Many of Beatrice's family have freckles and appear to be a lively bunch.
- Voiced by: Emily Brundige
Sara is Wirt's love interest.
- Ambiguously Brown: Despite wearing white facepaint, her exposed neck and hands are a dark brown. Her costume has a kind of a Day of the Dead vibe, possibly suggesting Latin American heritage. The comic series reveals that she's indeed brown-skinned.
- Ascended Extra: She's given a larger role in the comics, where she goes into the Unknown with the brothers.
- Dude Magnet: Has both Wirt and Jason crushing on her.
- The Faceless: A variation. When we first see her, she's wearing a full bodied mascot costume. Her other appearances have her in white face paint. Although we see her facial features, we never get to see what her face looks like naturally, until the comic series.
- Girl Next Door: Gives off this general feeling.
- The Lost Lenore: Wirt, in one of his poetic phases, makes her sound like this in the first episode. The truth is much less dramatic—she's a girl he likes but doesn't think he has a chance with even though he does, as she's pretty obviously into him.
- Non-Ironic Clown: Her Halloween costume, coupled with skull facepaint for a Monster Clown effect.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Wirt's tape for her, and Wirt's attempt to get it back before she listens to it, is what causes Wirt and Greg to enter the Unknown.
- Twice Shy: Although Wirt fails to see it, their interest in each other seems to be mutual, but she's only slightly more forward about than he is.
- Voiced by: Cole Sanchez
Jason Funderberker is Wirt's "competition" for his crush Sara.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Despite being socially inept, he still proactively courts Sara. However, he seems to have backed off after seeing Sara go to Wirt as he's waking up, judging from the way he's holding another girl's hand.
- The Ace: Before he's seen, Wirt's descriptions make him sound like this. There's even a moment when the show seems to be setting up a cool jock character as Jason before revealing he's someone else.
- Bait-and-Switch: Essentially the whole joke with Jason's character. He's clearly set up, based on Wirt's reactions to him, as some kind of Jerk Jock romantic rival who Wirt cannot possibly hope to compete with. In reality, he's a rather pathetic dweeb and Sara clearly has no interest in Jason whatsoever.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: The show's creator stated his appearance and style of dress is based on himself as a teenager.
- Extraverted Nerd: At least compared to Wirt.
- Foil: While Wirt is eloquent in speech, Jason has something akin to a massive speech impediment that makes him stutter. However, unlike Wirt, he's comfortable in the group and has several friends due to him having the courage to actually interact with people despite his shortcomings.
- Full-Name Basis: Or Last-Name Basis. No one ever calls him "Jason."
- Graceful Loser: Immediately sees that Sara prefers Wirt when they're in the hospital and doesn't make too much of a fuss over it.
- Hopeless Suitor: Sara clearly rejects all of his advances. Despite this, Wirt believes he "has his act together" and views him as a great threat in his struggle for Sara's affections.
- Informed Attractiveness: Played for Laughs. Wirt constantly talks Jason up like he's some kind of Greek god who Wirt can't possibly hope to compete with, in reality Jason is a completely normal-looking guy who's way more pathetic than Wirt is.
- Inherently Funny Words: His name is often said by Wirt in an angry harrumph, which is funny enough, but the hilarity of it is best seen in Chapter 9:Rhondi: You okay, Wirt?
Wirt: Yeah! Everything —Everything's JasonFunderberker!
Wirt: Uh! Uh! JasonFunderberkerI-I-Igottago!
- Jerk Jock: Subverted. Wirt's initial vague description and reaction to hearing he plans to ask Sara out gives this impression. In truth he's neither, being; a) a fairly amiable sort of guy, and b) ten times the dork Wirt is.
- Nerd: A stereotypically skinny, awkward young man with a weak, quivering voice.
- Unknown Rival: Wirt's animosity towards him doesn't seem to be reciprocated.
- We Named the Monkey "Jack": Seems honored when he finds out that Greg has named his frog after him.