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Characters / Penny and Aggie

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Penny Levac

I don't really need the perfect shoes. It's just fun to pretend that I do.


Aggie D'Amour

Sometimes doing the right thing hurts. But that's when you have to.

  • The Aloner: Aggie nearly ends up as this in a dream.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Aggie's first crush in the comic is on a guy, and she evidently assumes she's straight at that point. But not only does Karen assume she's gay for a full year, and Lisa briefly consider Sara's theory of attraction between her and Penny, but as of "There Are No Rules", Aggie herself seriously thinks she may be gay. And as of the Distant Finale, she is shown wearing a masculine outfit and is said to be dating girls exclusively.
  • Bifauxnen: In the Distant Finale.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority/ Former Teen Rebel: Aggie actively cultivates a rebellious attitude in memory of her former hippie mother. As she matures, she learns there are other ways to speak truth to power than through protesting and modern art. She ultimately becomes a lawyer.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Aggie's dream about being in love with a female mannequin.
  • Granola Girl
  • Hypocrite: Preaches acceptance and understanding, but she's done things like attempting to slut-shame Lisa for being bisexual ("Any lips of any gender'll do?").
  • Ineffectual Loner: For a while, Aggie has a hard time making and keeping true friends, for fear that they will replace her...
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Defied. After a horrible nightmare, Aggie learns that this trope is, in the words of her mother, "bullshit."
  • Missing Mom: Aggie has difficulty letting go of her mother's memory.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: In the early arcs, she's uninterested in either gender until she meets Marshall.
  • The Snark Knight: Her defining style in the earlier arcs.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Very much how she's seen, with some justice, especially in the earlier arcs.
  • True Art Is Angsty: In-universe, Aggie's rigid adherence to this attitude helps her to produce florid poetry and abysmal videos, and blinds her to the fact that she's quite good at drawing.

Karen Duvall

Penny's and Aggie's rival and Marshall's girlfriend

Pretty people get to do what they want!

Sara Velte

Penny's best and oldest friend

My identity is not for them to define. And it's not for you.

  • The Spock: Sara plays this role to Penny's Kirk — though at times she's more The McCoy.
  • Token Good Teammate: People who don't get along with Penny's clique tend to see her like this. Rich remarks that he's always liked her because of her honesty, Aggie protests that 'Sara is ok' when the Omegas bad-moth the Pennies, and Charlotte states that if there was one of the Pennies she didn't find repulsive, it was Sara.
  • Took a Level in Badass: An non-violent instance, brought about by growing confidence.
  • Transparent Closet: Lisa, Penny and Cyndi can all guess what's going on with Sara.
  • Tsundere: Type A.

Michelle Brown

Penny's other closest friend

Ignorance is bliss. Well, usually.

Lisa Winklemeyer

Aggie's best friend

I'm Whatev, you know? Screw labels.

Duane Teague

Aggie's friend and Penny's platonic boyfriend

If you're gonna dream a hopeless dream...go all out.

  • Black and Nerdy
  • Hollywood Nerd: Duane is academic and cerebral, and maybe a little shy — but his looks and good nature make it perfectly plausible that girls could be attracted to him. And in fact, both Charlotte and Michelle develop feelings for him.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Double subverted in his stuttering relationship with Penny.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: His response to Charlotte.

Daphne Brooks

Friend to Aggie, Lisa and Fred; Sara's girlfriend

I'm not always a great person, but my friends make me better.

Fred Rudolph

Friend to Aggie, Lisa and Daphne

This feeling's always been with me, that things will be all right. I like it too much to fight it.

  • Large Ham: Fred does rather over-play things on stage.
  • Pet Homosexual: Fred seemingly comes close to becoming a pet for a group of girls.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Well, he smiles most of the time.
  • Straight Gay/Camp Gay Fred seems straight at first glance, but tips into camp when rehearsing, performing, or just tipsy. The epilogue shows that he mellowed out considerably after high school.

Marshall Gryvanski

Karen's boyfriend and Aggie's first crush

I like weights. If a weight is about to crush your heart, you can feel the pressure. You know it's coming. With people, you're never sure.

  • Abusive Parents His hedonistic mother verbally berates him in public for being an obstacle to her.
  • Bishōnen: Subverted and deconstructed; Marshall looks the part, but ultimately doesn't act it.
  • Chick Magnet: The only girl never attracted to him, even momentarily, is Penny. Even Sara finds him attractive prior to her realizing that she's gay.
  • Disappeared Dad: Marshall has no idea who his dad even is.
  • Lets Wait Awhile: Marshall has a rationally cautious approach to relationships.

Rich Diggle

Penny's first love

I think what's important is for a man to stop takin' the world's crap and start pushin' back.

Stan Larson

Rich's wingman and Penny's rival/Friendly Enemy

No, wait! I don't have a complex psychology! I'm just in it for fun, chicks, praise and bling!

Jack Kirk

Stan's best friend and Rich's other wingman

I think I can be a good man for her. I think so. Get close to her level, at least.

Katy-Ann Williams

Penny's friend and Jack's girlfriend

We put so much passion into these day-to-day dramas, and the decisions that tell us who we are... those go almost unnoticed.

  • Egocentrically Religious: Played with. Katy Ann views God as not caring about earthly strife because, from His point of view, everything's fine. We soon learn that Katy Ann has a hard time comprehending that bad things can happen to good people, understanding other's moral failings, and grasping the horrifying extent of abuse that people are capable of.
  • Genki Girl: In a fairly controlled form; she's mostly just sweetly energetic.
  • Not So Above It All: Katy Ann's one flaw is her insistence that, as a truly good Christian, she remains high above the "petty dramas" of her peers, and should remain so. As such, she goes through several downplayed instances of Break the Haughty, even forcing herself through one inadvertently when trying to understand Jack's alcoholism by binge-drinking to get a feel for Jack's mindset. (Jack had been sober for a while, the beer Katy Ann found in his room was a grim souvenier of his drinking days instead of his next binge.)
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: Katy Ann holds herself to a very strict moral code, and agonizes over falling short of it.
  • Saintly Church: A one-person embodiment and the diametric opposite of Charlotte's intolerant, near-psychotic fundamentalist nature, although sometimes her religiosity can be a source of angst as well as friction with others.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: A teenage example of the trope, she's easily the most mature character apart from Aggie's father Nick.

Brandi Jones

Penny's friend and Stan's girlfriend

I understand boys. Boys show what they feel. Boys' friends are their friends. Girls are the ones to watch out for.

Cyndi Kristoffer

Karen's onetime collaborator, and the comic's main villain after "The Popsicle War"

I do like to play.

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Under very carefully constructed sheep's clothing is a very scary bitch.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Cyndi is an extreme sadist who it's suggested can't be aroused without the idea of others suffering, and who has a stated fantasy of driving someone to suicide.
  • Faux Yay: Subverted when she crushes on Sara-as-Lady Macbeth.
  • For the Evulz: Everything Cyndi does. Her parents eventually realize she's a genuine sociopath and have her committed to a mental institution.
    Penny: [Cyndi] never tries to win. She just tries to make everyone else lose.
  • Manipulative Bastard: To a sociopathic degree.
  • The Mole: In Penny's clique throughout the first half of "The Popsicle War".
  • Ms. Fanservice: Particularly as drawn by Jason Waltrip.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Cyndi finds it convenient to be underestimated.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: Her last appearance in the comic has her parents driving her to a mental institution.
  • The Sociopath: An almost textbook example. Her parents catch on after the incident with Charlotte, and have her committed.

Samantha Evans

Collaborator, at one time or another, with Karen and Cyndi

Maybe offence just comes naturally to a spoiled rich girl.

  • Everything Is Racist: Samantha is quick to blame others' behavior on racism, and very slow to believe otherwise.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Samantha may even be consciously playing to this trope.
  • You Watch Too Much X: When conspiring with other girls to defeat Penny as the most popular teen in town, Samantha can only think of such ideas as cutting breast-holes in her blouses and having a boy pretend-seduce her on hidden camera. An exasperated Meg finally says to her, "Maybe we could rip off a movie plot."

Meg Macomb

Penny's onetime rival, Cyndi's friend, collaborator with Karen

I've outgrown this. I've outgrown you.

Helen Tomalin

Downbeat friend, at one time or another, of Penny, Charlotte, Aggie, and Karen

If I'm being least I have a use.

  • Abusive Parents/The Unfavorite: Her parents favor her older sister; in her childhood her father tells her he doesn't love her "right now" when she fails to complete an age-inappropriate task, and calls her a whore when she emancipates herself.
  • Attention Whore: Downplayed but eventually realized, in a horribly literal fashion. Helen desperately craves acceptance, approval, and attention, no matter the source; she believes that letting herself be used is the only way to achieve these ends. This culminates in a Heroic BSoD/Villainous Breakdown when she realizes she slept with resident skeezoids Bob and Elmer while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Broken Bird/Bitch in Sheep's Clothing/False Friend: Helen is a sympathetic example of these tropes, and tends to surround herself with examples of same, some less sympathetic than others..
  • Desperately Craves Affection/I Just Want to Have Friends: Very downplayed; after remembering her rape and overhearing Brandi and Stan's healthy sexual relationship, Helen realizes she has heretofore been unable to differentiate between being loved and getting screwed, and has a breakdown.
  • Driven by Envy/The Resenter: Helen drifted apart from Penny's group of friends in middle school, and resents them for excluding her from their clique. She is implied to have been envious of Penny's social status in childhood, as well.
  • Extreme Doormat: Helen wants people to use her, and is at a loss whenever no one needs to.
  • Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: Her entire character arc is a deep examination of this trope, the subversion being that Penny isn't as much of a bitch as Helen believes, and that Helen is in considerably more danger when she associates with her "more accepting" outcast friends. Eventually, Helen leaves town — with a last "screw you" message to Penny, and although there are one or two passing references to her being in Boston, nobody is shown to be overly concerned about her. The epilogue story shows that she's (somehow) made peace with Penny and others, but she also now regards her school friendships as meaningless, and she walks away from a reunion.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Helen believed herself to be this in Penny's clique; was this in Charlotte's and Karen's clique; and her belief that she was this to Aggie's clique leads to Helen herself sabotaging their friendship with her.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: In "The Popsicle War," to some extent. She's being used, and isn't perhaps as crucial to the real villain's plans as she'd like, ending up just looking pathetic.
  • The Mole: In Aggie's clique throughout the first half of "The Popsicle War".
  • Never My Fault: Helen's need to be used often motivates her to put her morals aside.
  • No Social Skills: Helen's idea of lightly mocking Self-Deprecation is calling herself and her friends "judgemental bitches."
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: Of every clique she's in:
    (Helen's inner monologue:) "Please keep believing I'm going to heaven, Charlotte."
  • Rape as Drama: Taking advantage of young women too drunk to give informed consent seems to be a favorite pastime of Bob and Elmer.
  • The Runaway: To Something*Positive's Boston.
  • Sour Supporter: Formerly, of the Pennies.
  • Stepford Snarker/The Snark Knight/Knight In Sour Armor: Played with and inverted. Helen has a sharp, witty, and articulate running commentary inside her head, which often remarks on what she should be doing, rather than what she is doing. The only time she lets her deeply sublimated Snark Knight tendencies loose, she loses a friend. She fares much better in Boston, preventing a suicide, and lambasting her loser ex boyfriend, Grigori.
  • Sudden Principled Stand: Helen, of all people, chews out Charlotte when the latter tries to frame Katy-Ann for a bomb threat. She does this again with Grigori in Boston, more successfully this time.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Answer: Bob and Elmer. Both at once.

Charlotte Simms

Onetime friend of Aggie and Helen, later friends with Duane

Sin is everywhere. This world is filth.

Tharqa Sunflower

Last and least of the Omegas.

  • Fat Bitch: Unlike her friends, has little to no motivation other than doing things For the Lulz, or more accurately, For the Evulz.
  • Fat Idiot: Serves as a Foil to both Karen and Cyndi, who are both far smarter at manipulating situations and emotions, respectively.
  • Informed Ability: She's presumed to be a good coach, a good listener, and warm with her friends. There are only two short scenes highlighting these supposed positive traits.
  • Static Character: By the end of the comic, she is Formerly Fat, having shrunk to slimness, but has not matured or learnt anything.
  • Troll: Far more incompetent than Karen or Cyndi, her pranks can be easily traced back to her and her companions.

Nick and Melody D'Amour

Aggie's parents

Rob Levac

Penny's father

  • Deadpan Snarker: He may be a couch potato, but he's not dumb or unobservant.
  • Jaded Washout: In the earlier strips, though that may be largely Penny's teenage view of him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His characterization when flirting with Lynda as a teenager.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Mistaken by Penny; the trope is subverted in that she's happy for him, thinking his "affair" will bring back the active, upbeat dad she used to have.

Lynda Levac

Penny's mother

Charisma Gryvanski

Marshall's mother and Nick's sometime girlfriend


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