- Played by: Asa Butterfield
An awkward wallflower and son of Dr. Jean Milburn, Moordale's local sex and relationship therapist. Using his remarkable gift for psychotherapy, Otis befriends fellow outcast Maeve and starts an underground sex therapy clinic for the students at Moordale Secondary School.
- Birds of a Feather: With Maeve; both are intelligent outcasts who share a similar sense of humor and academic interests.
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: A talented sexual psychotherapist, but struggles with his own debilitating sexual neuroses.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: An understated example, but throughout the series he catches the attention of Ola, Maeve and Lily. In season 2, he finally loses his virginity to Ruby of all people.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: A significant part of his character development hinges on his masturbation. In season 1, he's grossed out by the idea of it and chooses to pretend he's doing it to avoid Jean trying to give him advice, and when he does try he has a panic attack. Ola ends up inspiring him to finally do it, but after this he becomes addicted to it, which unfortunately causes problems when he's unable to get it up with Ola because he's spent his sexual energy on himself.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Downplayed; a few characters comment on his pasty complexion. Aimee compares him to a Victorian ghost and Maeve's landlady mistook him for a sickly child.
- Endearingly Dorky: Being an unpopular teenage boy, awkwardness is a given. He starts giving sex therapy sessions to his peers despite being inexperienced himself. And it turns out his awkwardness also carries a definite charm that attracts both Ola and later Maeve. (Maeve especially is considered a cool and aloof girl who previsouly dated the school golden headboy.)
- Freudian Excuse: Walked in on his father having sex with a client when he was very young; that incident led to his parents' marriage falling apart. This has made it extremely hard for him to even visualize having sex with someone.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Can hear his peers out about their truly... unusual sexual problems without judgment. However, he still feels ashamed about his own sexuality, even fairly mild things like nocturnal emissions or sudden erections.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: He's best friends with Eric, though Eric is gay. They're friends since they were 9 years old.
- In Vino Veritas: In season two, he gets more than a little drunk and starts spouting hurtful things about both Maeve and Ola to a group of rowdy high schoolers. It doesn't bode well for him.
- It's All About Me: Eric accuses Otis of this when they fight in Episode 5. From what we've seen, Eric isn't totally off the mark: previous episodes show that Otis has a tendency of disregarding Eric's interests and personal life when he becomes too focused on his own problems.
- Like Father, Like Son: Although he doesn't seem remotely like his father Remi at first, Season 2 shows he might be at risk of developing his father's narcissistic and manipulative tendencies.
- Nice Guy: A total sweetheart, and one the main reasons he is such a good therapist. Otis is a good listener and possesses a tremendous amount of empathy towards his friends and the people he treats.
- Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: Is extremely uncomfortable when it comes to his own sexuality, which is ironic considering he is a budding sexual therapist. Otis has trouble masturbating and has panic attacks when he attempts to. He has a particularly bad one when he tries to have sex with Lily and is forced to call his mum for help. The majority of his phobia seems to stem from seeing his father cheating on his mother with a patient, and the fighting his parents went through after Jean found out.
- Parental Sexuality Squick: Not only does his mother talk about sex for a living and tries to "therapize" him, she's constantly having sex and has filmed at least one video on sexual technique which is readily available online. All of this is a lot for Otis.
- The Pornomancer:
- Subverted. He's never had sex, or even brought himself to orgasm until the Season 1 finale, for the latter. But his clinic work has given him this reputation: Aimee nicknamed him "Pleasure Master" and Maeve seems genuinely surprised when he spills to her that he's a virgin.
- When he actually has sex for the first time, Ruby tells him he wasn't great but wasn't terrible, but thanks him for repeatedly checking in to see if she was okay, something most guys don't do with her.
- Safe Word: Sets one up during FOREPLAY with Lily, just after they kiss, which doesn't even end in sex.
- Shrinking Violet: At the start of the series. Otis hates parties, large crowds and was initially happy being the guy in the corner who nobody knows or talked to. He grows out of this mindset as the series goes on, coming to enjoy connecting with the other students and using his talents for something positive.
- Teen Genius: He's a prodigy at sexual therapy, with (so far as we see) a 100% success rate at helping his peers. Downplayed after Season 1, where it becomes obvious that he has some pretty big shortcomings- assuming he can learn a special "one size fits all" fingering trick on the internet, apparently having little or no knowledge of asexuals or how to counsel them, etc.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Not to the same extent as Eric but he does dress in drag to go with him to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Otis is perhaps better at these speeches than he is at sex therapy.
- In season 1 he talks a drugged-up classmate out of suicide (or at least serious self injury) by arguing that, even if he can't have his own idealized form of love, he is good enough to find someone some day.
- In season 2 he passionately defends his mother's ability as a therapist after Groff's attempts to publicly defame her.
- Played by: Ncuti Gatwa
Otis's best friend, and one of the only two openly gay students at Moordale Secondary School.
- Butt-Monkey: The whole school treats him like shit, which in the first few episodes is used for a couple laughs. A Deconstructed Trope in Episode 6, when this is shown to have created a lot of built-up anger and resentment that's brought to the surface after his falling out with Otis, where he ends up lashing out at Anwar as a result.
- Camp Gay: Out, loud and proud (emphasis on the loud, especially when it comes to his wardrobe). Eric definitely checks out the major hallmarks of this trope: effeminate, flamboyant, sassy, dresses in vibrant colors and genderfluid apparel (though this last example is only in private, initially). Additionally, the trope is discussed- while many people feel the "camp gay" trope is exaggerated, gay men who act like this in real life are being their truest selves. The depiction isn't making a joke of his sexuality, but rather makes a point about presentation, especially as it relates to being both black and gay.
- The Chew Toy: Constantly picked on by Adam, has the unfortunate nickname of "Tromboner", and isn't treated very seriously by much of the school. Played for Drama in Episode 5 and 6, where he is ditched by Otis on his birthday, attacked while dressed in drag and tries to 'toughen up' by yelling at his music teacher and punching Anwar, resulting in him being suspended.
- Dreadful Musician: His inability to play the French horn properly is a Running Gag.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After the trauma avalance he's put through during the first season, it mostly ends on a high note for him. He is reconciled with Otis, his father and Adam and at least tolerated by Anwar, he's back in the band, he feels confident enough to bring drag elements into his school attire. The only minus point is that Adam is shipped off to a military school.
- Embarrassing Nickname: "Tromboner," after getting an erection while playing in front of the whole school. "It was a semi!" Also makes less sense considering he plays French Horn.
- Extraverted Nerd: More concerned with social status than Otis, is lot less popular than he thinks he is but that doesn't stop him from with being an outgoing social butterfly.
- Gay Best Friend: Eric is definitely a more layered version of the trope, and as the series goes on he gets his own storylines outside of being Otis's best friend, we get a more in-depth look at his home and personal life and even gets a love interest in Adam.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Otis. They're friends since since they were 9 years old.
- Immigrant Parents: Eric comes from a strict and religious family from an unspecified African country. Eric's father is particularly concerned about blending in English society; he is thus worried (but ultimately supporting) of his son being so shamelessly himself.
- No Indoor Voice: Quite loud at the best of times, but whenever he and Otis are discussing anything private or sensitive he can get overexcited and shout about it at the top of his longs.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The vivacious, extroverted Red to Otis's shyer, more low-key Blue.
- Shipper on Deck: A strong proponent of Otis and Maeve getting together.Otis: I... had a sex dream. About Maeve.Eric: THAT'S BRILLIANT! (entire auditorium goes quiet and stares)
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Enjoys wearing make-up and feminine clothing, though at the beginning he only does this in private. He eventually is encouraged to be more open with it, when he starts sharing it with other people like Lily and eventually makes his a part of his regular wardrobe.
- Wrong Guy First: Gets his first boyfriend, Rahim, in season 2. Though Rahim is lovely, caring and open about his sexuality (all the things that Adam is not) and Eric does have genuine feelings for him, ultimately they don't have enough in common with one another. In the season 2 finale, Eric leaves Rahim for Adam. Right in front of Rahim and the entire rest of the school.
- Played by: Emma Mackey
A social outcast at Moordale Secondary with a reputation for being a slag and bad girl. In actuality, Maeve is a whip-smart girl who befriends Otis and has the idea to start a secret sexual therapy clinic.
- Affectionate Nickname: Her mother calls her "Froggy" or "Frogface", which is clearly an endearing family pet name from Maeve's childhood. Maeve isn't too fond of it, though, especially when her mother first appears.
- Birthday Hater: She claims she hates her birthdays, which has lots to do with her bad luck in the family department, her sad childhood and tough life as a teen. She however looks fairly pleased when Aimee brings her homemade cake or when Otis wishes her "happy birthday".
- Bittersweet 17: She's one of the only characters who's seventeen as opposed to sixteen, and life doesn't appear to be going well for her at the moment.
- But We Used a Condom: Maeve and Jackson had sex and used a condom as protection, but Maeve becomes pregnant. She doesn't spend any time agonizing over it, simply getting an abortion. She never even tells the father.
- Calling Parents by Their Name: When her mother comes back, she exclusively refers to her as "Erin". Her mother doesn't like it.
- Deadpan Snarker: Throws around withering remarks at the rest of the student body, especially the Untouchables.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: In general has a guarded personality, but shows her nicer side with her friends - notably Aimee, Otis and Jackson (and also Eric to an extent). Maeve tends to put up emotional walls and usually doesn't let people get too close to her.
- Delinquent Hair: In the first season, she has dyed blond hair with pink shades and dark roots. Combined with her punk clothes, earrings and a ring in her nose, she looks rather tough and intimidating.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Called "Cock-Biter" around school, due to a rumor that was spread about her giving a classmate oral sex and accidentally biting his penis. This turns out to be a lie - what actually happened was that a guy tried to kiss her but she refused. Angry, he made up the "cock-biter" story as vengeance.
- Emo Teen: Dresses in a stereotypical emo fashion and listens to punk rock. That being said, she does have a pretty good reason for being gloomy.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Early in season 2, she dyes her hair. She goes from platinum blonde with pink tones and dark roots to dark brown hair. She dyes her hair shortly after her mother notes she sported similar hair when she was Maeve's age.
- Freudian Excuse: After a long series of personal abandonments, she started cutting off personal ties out of fear of being let down again.
- Friends with Benefits: She is this with Jackson, at least until he starts wanting a proper relationship with her. They date in the second half of season one, only to break it off over a disagreement in episode eight.
- Good Bad Girl: Under the punk rebel aesthetic and stony exterior, Maeve is emotionally insightful, nice and does remarkably well in her studies.
- Good Is Not Soft: She's a good person, but she often tends to hide it under a tough demeanor.
- Hidden Depths: Is academically gifted, which she struggles with being more open about, and reads feminist and philosophical literature.
- High School Hustler: She used to accept commissions to do people's homework. And then in the first episode she gets the idea to do back-alley sex therapy. Deconstructed, as it's not just pathological anti-authoritarianism; she's an emancipated minor who lives in poverty, and needs the money.
- Lower-Class Lout: Appears to consider herself this in the first season, at least in comparison to her clean-cut boyfriend Jackson. She gets over it.
- Malicious Slander: Her reputation as the school slag and her nickname of "Cock-biter" originated when she was 14, a classmate tried to kiss her and she declined. To cover, he invented the cock-biting story whole cloth.
- Meaningful Name: In the Irish epic The Cattle Raid of Cooley, Queen Medbh (same pronunciation) is a powerful queen with a reputation as a man-eater, who insisted on having wealth equal to her husband's. More mundanely, "Wiley" hints at Maeve's intelligence and her willingness to play outside the rules.
- Misery Poker: When Otis complains about the overbearing nature of his mother, Maeve one-ups him by revealing that hers is an addict. That being said, she doesn't seem to have meant it maliciously, as she quickly smiles and tells him not to apologize.
- Nice Girl: Underneath her cold and aloof exterior, she's a pretty sweet kid. Lampshaded by Otis.
- Not So Above It All: Usually very scornful of soppiness and excessive sentimentality. But she also falls for Jackson after he makes a very public grand romantic gesture towards her. When Eric accidentally garners attention during an assembly and tries to play it off by giving a small lecture on how menstruation is normal and it's "good to have a nice cleanout", Maeve is noticeably biting down on her lip to keep from cracking up at his antics.
- Not So Stoic: Her "screw you all" persona slips several times in the series. Otis hypothesizes that she puts the whole thing on as an act to stop getting close to people and gets a firsthand demonstration when he drunkenly shares his hypothesis with about a hundred people, reducing Maeve to tears.
- Parental Abandonment: Maeve's home life is extremely lonely. It is eventually revealed that her Missing Mom is a drug addict, her father is dead, and her brother — labeled "Idiot Brother" in her phone — is a criminal with no time to spare for her. She has serious abandonment issues as a result.
- Really Gets Around: Maeve has a reputation for sleeping with just about anything with a penis. This is definitively proven untrue. During her abortion, she only lists one current sexual partner (Jackson — the one who got her pregnant), and is not shown to have any others over the course of the season.
- Rebellious Spirit: Though most of the rumors about her are greatly exaggerated, she's still pretty defiant in reality.
- Riot Grrrl: A fan of classic feminist literature and punk rock.
- Smarter Than You Look: She's quite adept when it comes to schoolwork, a far cry from her troublemaking reputation.
- Strong Family Resemblance: When Maeve looks over a photo of her toddler self with family, we notice that she looks a lot like her young mother.
Dr. Jean Milburn
- Played by: Gillian Anderson
Otis's mother and renowned sex and relationship therapist.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Otis is deeply ashamed of his mother's profession and petrified of anyone finding out about it, and Jean is a lot more open-minded about sex than Otis would prefer her to be.
- Amicable Exes: Subverted. She and her ex-husband can have conversations with each other rather easily, but once those are over Jean tends to explode into Cluster F Bombs.
- But We Used a Condom : She's revealed to be pregnant at the end of season 2, even though Jakob had a vasectomy (and she's pre-menopausal).
- Cool Old Lady: She's not that old, but she's a savvy middle-aged woman who Otis's teenage classmates occasionally experience attraction to.
- Everyone Has Standards: As much as she tries to be supportive of anything Otis does regarding sex, she is understandably quite squicked when she catches him masturbating in the car, in public. Though she later tries to focus purely on the logistics, that the car is a shared space and that exposing yourself in public is a crime, at-the-time she was visibly grossed out to see his semen ejaculated onto the window.
- Ladykiller in Love: Gender-inverted. After a long string of one-night stands, she realizes that she's fallen for Jakob, who makes it clear he's only interested in having a committed relationship.
- My Beloved Smother: The main source of conflict between her and Otis. Jean has trouble respecting Otis's boundaries both by invading his room on a regular basis and constantly prying and getting him to discuss his sexual problems when he's clearly uncomfortable about it.
- Open-Minded Parent: Has no problem with letting Otis drink, do drugs or have sex, just as long as he remembers to buddy up (for the former two) and offers him condoms before leaving for a party.
- Parents as People: Jean tries to be a good mother to Otis, and struggles in creating a balance between wanting to help him and giving him space to grow up and let him deal with issues on his own. She also hides a lot of loneliness and fear of being left out of her son's life.
- Really Gets Around: As could be expected from a sexually-open attractive single woman, Jean has a series of one-night stands, which embarrasses her son.
- The Shrink: An interesting combination of the Awesome and Ineffective Shrink. There's no doubt she's talented in her vocation; she unknowingly gives Otis helpful advice and he channels her when counselling his own clients. But Jean also blurs the boundary between treating Otis as a patient (and later the unwitting subject of her new book) rather than as her son by prodding him to open up and discuss his problems even when he's unwilling.
- Single Mom Stripper: Is perceived as such by Adam, who thinks she's a prostitute at first.
- Stacy's Mom: Definitely has this vibe going on. Jean attracts quite a few younger men throughout the show. Adam, her son's classmate, points out that she's like a "sexy witch".
- The Stoic: In both her personal and professional life, Jean tries to keep herself emotionally distant and not let her feelings get the better of her. Though, this being a comedy there are moments when she's Not So Stoic (see Jean cursing her ex-husband when he sends numerous copies of his new book to spite her and getting stuck in a driveway after following Otis to a party).
- Played by: Connor Swindells
A known bully, slacker and stoner, as well as the headmaster's son.
- Armoured Closet Gay: He frequently bullies and harasses Eric for being gay, even calling him a "fag" in one episode, but is later revealed to have feelings for Eric himself.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: The rumor is that Adam's penis is the size of two Coke cans stacked together (length and width). It is one of the major reasons he has trouble climaxing during sex, because the pressure of this reputation causes him to fret and second-guess himself. He ends up flashing the rest of the student body to put to rest the rumors about its size, exclaiming it is only actually above average in terms of national statistics.
- Boomerang Bigot: Calls Eric homophobic slurs and pokes fun of his open homosexuality, despite being a closet bisexual himself. Overlaps with You Are What You Hate.
- Book Dumb: He doesn't do well in school.
- The Bully: Picks on numerous characters, especially Otis and Eric. He has a particular animosity with Eric and even vandalizes Eric's father's car with dog shit when Eric inadvertently causes Adam to lose his dog.
- Butt-Monkey: Nothing goes Adam's way, and if there's someone who's going to be the victim of physical comedy it's usually him. To be fair, a lot of this is self-inflicted due to his own recklessness and flagrant stupidity.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Appears to be aware of how much of a bad person his father is. A shocking example comes in episode seven, wherein he grabs Mr. Groff by the throat and screams about how much he hates him.
- Character Development: Season 2 is a big one for him. He drops his bullying ways with everyone, he faces the fact that he is bisexual and he hates himself, also accepting he is in love with Eric, asking forgiveness from him for all the pain he caused him and publicly announcing that he is in love with him. He also develops a friendship with Ola which helps him improve as a person, which indirectly helps the girls bond.
- Hidden Depths: Cares deeply both for Aimee and his mom's dog Madam. Dog care is something he's pretty good at. He manages to train his manager's otherwise untrainable dog while working at a convenience store. He also struggles with his reputation being the headmaster's son who is shitty at school.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: More like a heart of rusted bronze, buried very, very deep down. He's most certainly an arsehole with redeeming moments that a sprinkled very few and far between. This heart is shown more and grows in season 2, where he really starts growing and improving as a person. He makes serious efforts to improve himself and make amends with those he has hurt, particularly Eric.
- Loving Bully: After bullying Eric throughout season 1, they end up hooking up. Season 2 shows that he genuinely has deep feelings for Eric, and they become a couple by the last episode of the season.
- Performance Anxiety: Has difficulty ejaculating when having sex with Aimee. This is caused by his fear of not living up to his reputation as the headmaster's son and worry he's not a good enough boyfriend for Aimee. This dysfunction ends up making him the first patient of Maeve and Otis's secret sex therapy clinic.
- Odd Friendship: With Otis's mum. They share a joint in one scene and later when Jean shows up at Aimee's party looking for Otis they have an in-depth conversation about Adam's love life.
- Pet the Dog: Literally; one of his few redeeming points is his affection towards his family dog Madam.
- The Slacker: Doesn't do well in school, and pays Maeve to write his papers.
- The Stoner: Often seen smoking a joint.
- The Un-Favourite: His father doesn't make any secret of the fact that he's a disappointment, and is openly warmer and more paternal with his star pupil Jackson, a golden boy athlete. He also directly asks Adam to his face why he isn't more like his hard-working sister.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: It's understated, but he wants his father's approval. But due to his father's extremely exacting standards and Adam's own limitations, that's not about to happen anytime soon.
- Played by: Kedar Williams-Stirling
Moordale Secondary's Head Boy and the swim team's star athlete. He is secretly having sex with Maeve at the beginning of the series.
- The Ace: He's beloved, he's capable, he's friendly and above bullying others and although his reading feminist authors starts as a ploy to get closer to Maeve, he actually becomes interested in them.
- Becoming the Mask: He starts out reading feminist authors to become more attractive to Maeve, but then finds he really likes them.
- Big Man on Campus: He's the handsome, popular star athlete of Moordale. His introduction as Head Boy is met with cheers.
- Book Dumb: While his academic performances are not touched upon, he is significantly less cultured than Maeve, part of his scheme to woo her (inadvertently suggested by Otis) is to catch up on her favorite authors.
- Broken Ace: Later episodes reveal some shards of this. His parents are close to divorcing, he feels enormous pressure by the school and one of his moms to succeed and he's just a little too eager to be corrupted by Maeve's brother. And then of course theres what he does to his own hand in season 2.
- Class Representative: He's the Head Boy, and at first appears to be quite a stereotypical one.
- Drama Club: In season two, he plays Romeo in a sexually-themed production of Romeo and Juliet at school.
- Has Two Mommies: Raised by two lesbian parents. Surprisingly, the show doesn't make that big of a deal out of it. Though one season 2 episode shows his non-bio mom is devastated when he calls her "non my real mom" in anger, for which Jackson later profoundly apologizes.
- Hidden Depths:
- As a competitive swimmer in training, he is under a lot of pressure from one of his moms and his trainer. In reality, he resents the intensity of his training and wishes he could have fun like a regular teenager.
- His attempts to woo Maeve result in developing some additional ones on-top; while implied to be a Ladykiller in Love, he quickly finds himself engrossed in the feminist reading he initially takes in just to impress Maeve and it seems to rub off on him, to the point he's the first male to stand up during the "that's my vagina" I Am Spartacus moment.
- In Season 2, he attempts to get into drama so that he has something in his life other than swimming. Unfortunately, nobody's very understanding of his reasons for doing so, putting more pressure on him. However, people are genuinely surprised that his acting and delivery of Shakespeare's line is decent.
- Lovable Jock: Moordale's premier swimming champion, both popular and affable.
- Nice Guy: He is nothing but friendly to everyone he interacts with. Even after breaking up with Maeve, he still goes out of his way to help her stay in school by threatening to quit the swim team if she is expelled. He's however shown to have some aura of the popular kid who doesn't see the less popular crowd, but he becomes a genuine friend to Viv, a super smart girl who tutors Jackson and is a member of the quiz team.
- School Idol: Seems widely liked. Headmaster Groff clearly likes him much better than his own son.
- Self-Harm: In Season 2, he finally snaps from the pressure and deliberately smashes his hand with weights to get away from his athletic responsibilities for a while. Viv and his parents intervene before it progresses into a full-blown habit.
- Stepford Smiler: Privately, he suffers from severe anxiety issues. He has panic attacks and is worried his parents will get a divorce (he believes his athletic career is one of the only things keeping them together).
Moordale Secondary School
- Played by: Aimee Lou Wood
A member of the Untouchables, the most popular clique in school, and secretly friends with Maeve.
- Brainless Beauty: A sweet girl, but not the brightest.
- Break the Cutie: In the second season, she's sexually assaulted on the bus by a stranger. Despite initially waving it off as just a ruined pair of jeans, she soon finds herself unable to use the bus or have sex without panicking.
- Broken Bird: She loses a lot of her idealism after being sexually assaulted by a stranger in season two.
- The Cutie: She's sweet, bubbly, and absolutely adorable. Even Maeve - who appears to be disdainful of The Untouchables at best - has a soft spot for her. Unfortunately, this turns into Break the Cutie in season two, when she is sexually assaulted on the bus.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Like Otis, her masturbation habits (or lack thereof) become revelant to her arc. After years of prioritizing the pleasure of her boyfriends, Otis suggests she have a wank to figure out what she likes. She ends up loving it.
- Dude Magnet: She's beautiful, popular and has dated three objectively good-looking guys over the course of the series.
- Extreme Doormat: A people-pleaser and tends to let others push her around, especially boyfriends and rest of the Untouchables. This becomes a problem in the bedroom with one of her boyfriends is put off by her faking enjoyment and her inability to put her own sexual needs above his.
- Gasshole: She farts when she's scared.
- Good Bad Girl: She's a sweet and innocent girl with a highly active sex life.
- Grew a Spine: By the end of the first season, she chooses Maeve over her popular "friends".
- Hairof Gold Heartof Gold: Aside from having long, blonde and wavy hair, shes one of the sweetest and bubbly characters in the show.
- Hates Being Alone: And as such she's gotten too used to going along with other people, without developing real desires of her own.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Despite being one of the most popular girls in school, she is nothing but kind to nearly everyone she interacts with.
- Meaningful Name: Aimee (from the French meaning "to love") is a kind-hearted, sweet girl.
- Nice Girl: Significantly kinder than the rest of the Untouchables. She's from a wealthy family, but she's kind, and a loyal friend to Maeve.
- Odd Friendship: A somewhat dim, pretty, popular girl who is good friends with Maeve, a tough, sarcastic, studious social outcast.
- Really Gets Around: She hasn't been without a boyfriend for more than a few days since... ever.
- Spoiled Sweet: A wealthy and socially active girl who is nonetheless very kind and considerate. At worst, she's not very understanding about Adam flashing everyone at lunch, though to be fair, who would be?
- Strange Minds Think Alike: After failing to attract Steve's interest with flattery, they bond over their love of making mind maps.
- Played By: Tanya Reynolds
Student at Moordale who enjoys writing and drawing erotic manga and is fixated on her virginity.
- Ambiguously Bi: While Lily spends most of season 1 looking to lose her virginity to a boy, in season 2 Ola kisses her and while at first she isn't certain if she even wants to remain friends, she eventually decides to be more than friends.
- Creepy Loner Girl: She comes across as this at first - randomly asking boys she's never talked to for sex and flashing her breasts during an entirely platonic conversation with Eric. But her character becomes more nuanced later on.
- Do You Want to Copulate?: Said to Otis, Eric, and OctoBoy. Stems from her early-season desire to lose her virginity and her utilitarian view of sex.
- Drama Club: She writes the songs for Moordale's musical production of Romeo and Juliet.
- Ethical Slut: An eccentric but very sweet kid who happens to be extremely horny and has a hobbyist's interest in sex through her manga.
- Exotic Equipment: She writes an erotic comic strip about a woman on a quest for (as Lily puts it) "alien dick", and the body parts it features most often aren't human.
- Idealized Sex: She writes fictional sex stories, but when the time comes with OctoBoy, she isn't able or ready to have sex.
- Interspecies Romance: The porn she writes about women and aliens.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places: In a quite sweet example, she and Octoboy attempt to have sex in a blanket fort complete with fairy lights.
- No Social Skills: Extremely forward when interacting with people. The fact that Otis, who's otherwise much more socially capable, is uncomfortable enough with intimacy to make even Lily roll her eyes, is used to underscore how hopeless he is.
- Teen Genius: She wrote a musical at sixteen or seventeen, which certainly accounts for something. The erotic comics she creates are also very well drawn, to the point she could probably do it professionally.
- Played By: Patricia Allison
- Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Maeve's Veronica and Otis' Archie.
- Boyish Short Hair: She has her hair cut short and a fairly masculine, straight-forward personality.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Nice as she is, she gets very uncomfortable with Otis' obvious attraction to Maeve and asks him to sever ties with her.
- Daddy's Girl: She's pretty close to her father, despite their occasional bouts of arguing.
- Fire-Forged Friends: After a not-at-all-promising start, she and Maeve develop something of a friendship.
- Girl Next Door: She's a sweet, approachable girl who already spends a lot of time with Otis due to her father's job.
- New Transfer Student: Transfers to Moordale towards the end of season one.
- Nice Girl: Her reaction to catching Otis in a number of compromising situations (watching porn, shoplifting) is to laugh it off and hint that she'd be cool going out with him.
- Odd Friendship: Bonds with Lily, who definitely qualifies as odd. Eventually realizes she wants more than friendship with her. Also becomes the first person to call Adam a friend.
- Quirky Girl, Quirky Tux: Wears a tux or suit for formal occasions, never a dress.
- Strong Family Resemblance: An inversion, played briefly for laughs upon her introduction. She looks and sounds absolutely nothing like her father.
- Their First Time: She and Otis had their first time heavily planned out, but it comes to a crashing halt when she finds he's getting secret texts from Maeve.
Anwar, Ruby, and Olivia
- Played By: Chaneil Kular (Anwar), Mimi Keene (Ruby), and Simone Ashley (Olivia)
The other members of the Untouchables, the most popular kids at Moordale.
- Alpha Bitch: Ruby is the clear leader of the pack and by far the meanest, though this doesn't mean there is no dissent in the ranks, as seen below.
- Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: Olivia leaks Ruby's nudes in revenge for the latter's harsh treatment.
- Camp Gay: Downplayed with Anwar. He's very fashionable but otherwise has no real campy traits.
- Carload of Cool Kids: Eric is impressed in the very first episode that they got a car and got even more cool over the summer. In season two - when Aimee has denounced their friendship - they yell insults at her from their car.
- The Dog Bites Back: Olivia cites Ruby's bitchy treatment of her as the reason for leaking a photo of her vagina and threatening to reveal her identity.
- Everyone Has Standards: Anwar may be a jerk, but he at least stands up to Adam's homophobic bullying of Eric.
- Girl Posse: A clique of popular, fashionable jerks with one gay man (Anwar) thrown in.
- Gossipy Hens: To the point where they formed an entire study group just to smoke weed and talk bad about people.
- Granola Girl: They appear to be very steadfast in their vegan beliefs, though they do seem confused as to what veganism actually entails.
- Has a Type: Ruby admits that she goes after nerdy guys when she feels down. This accounts for Warhammer Tom and eventually Otis.
- Hidden Depths: By the end of Season 1, all of them have revealed some kind of vulnerable sexual hang-up that Otis helps them with. Taken further in season 2. While not to the extent of A Day in the Limelight, each of them get a bit of focus and development; Olivia has a lot of issues with her body and being herself in front of her boyfriend, as well as revealing a past sexual assault that deeply affected her, Anwar reveals that he is a virgin who doesn't have the first clue about how to have anal sex, which gives him a lot of insecurities with his boyfriend and Ruby has recently found out her father has MS, putting huge stress on her entire family. She also takes Otis' virginity and bonds with him afterwards.
- Incompatible Orientation: In season 2, Ruby gets one look at Rahim and decides immediately that he will be her boyfriend. She continues her attempts to seduce him even after he starts a relationship with Eric, even flirting with him while he and Eric are standing in front of her, literally arm-in-arm.
- Pet the Dog: Anwar in episode 6, after making a mean comment that sets off Eric when he was at the end of his rope, gets punched in the face. Rather than take offence at the assault, he recognises that Eric was having a bad day and he was just unfortunate enough to be the straw that broke the camels back with him. He accepts his apology and encourages him not to take it personally if he sees Anwar's mom giving him death glares around town (as Anwar used the assault to come out to his mom and claimed Eric was a homophobic gay-basher).
- With Friends Like These...: Towards Aimee. They constantly take advantage of her, using her house to throw parties and smoke weed in, and even use her mother's credit card to buy pizza.
- Played by: Sami Outalbali
A French exchange student who sets his sights on Eric.
- Foreign Exchange Student: From France. When he's introduced, the horde of Moordale students trip over themselves to get a look at him, and rumors start flying around instantly.
- Head-Turning Beauty: In his introduction, the whole school stops and stares as he walks down the hallway. Even the clique at top of the popularity food chain "The Untouchables" are impressed with him and Ruby decides he will be her boyfriend. Lily says she just had a very small orgasm just from looking at him. Eric stares, calls Otis to have a look and then calls him the hottest man he's ever seen.
- Nice Guy: Very much so — Rahim is self-assured, straightforward, and a little socially awkward, but he takes Eric's eccentricities in stride, is understanding about his religion, and gives Otis a lecture about douching with a straight face.
- Informed Attractiveness: Considered very hot and hunky in-universe.
- Romantic False Lead: For Eric. Although Rahim is handsome and sweet, he doesn't make Eric feel the way Adam does.
- Straight Gay: Unlike Eric, he's not outwardly camp, but is rather straightforward and serious.
Vivienne 'Viv' Odesanya
- Played by: Chinenye Ezeudu
One of Moordale's best students.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Has a crush on a fellow Quiz Head but turns into a babbling idiot whenever she tries to talk to him. Jackson decides to help her out; she's grateful but eventually realizes her crush is a bit of a bore and cuts ties.
- Extracurricular Enthusiast: She's planned her life around her academics and extracurriculars to get ahead in life.
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: She's the smartest kid in her grade, but doesn't have friends and has trouble getting a date.
- Nerdy Bully: She's a bit hostile towards Maeve when she joins the Quiz Heads, and a bit disparaging of Jackson's reliance on his athletic accomplishments. At first.
- Not So Stoic: The first crack in her uptight facade comes when her crush walks past and she immediately turns flighty and giggly, to Jackson's extreme amusement.
- Odd Friendship: With Jackson. What starts as a forced peer tutoring relationship between a lonely nerd and the Big Man on Campus becomes a genuine friendship.
- Schedule Fanatic: Has her life meticulously planned out to optimize her chances of getting into a good school.
- The Spock: She is accused of being unemotional and prone to rattling off statistics about the situation at hand.
- True Companions:
- She's good enough friends with Jackson to help him with his self-harm habit, even doing the right thing by alerting his parents knowing he might never forgive her for it.
- She also bonds with Maeve, Aimee, Ola, Olivia, and Lily while in detention together, over shared experiences of sexual assault or harassment.
Teachers and Staff
Headmaster Michael Groff
- Played by: Alistair Petrie
Headmaster of Moordale, and Adam's strict father.
- Abusive Parents: His affection for Adam is entirely contingent on his academic performance- so, basically nonexistent. Comes to a head in Episode 7, when Adam snaps, grabs his father's neck, and screams "I HATE YOU" in public.
- Big Bad: He becomes the closest thing the show has to one in season 2. While he had always been sort of a thorn in the side of Maeve, he goes above and beyond when he prints the diary of Jean and publishes all across the entire school.
- The Bully: He is one in general,particularly to his son.
- Dean Bitterman: Crabby and stern, and so concerned about his school's public image that he blatantly plays favorites with students.
- G-Rated Drug: He has a huge stash of chocolate bars in his desk, possibly ones confiscated from students. Sean knows about it and implies it's something Groff doesn't want getting out.
- Hidden Depths: For all his negative qualities, he does have a keen eye for noticing details. He finds the drugs of Maeve's brother, and he sees Jean's notebook when Otis puts it in there. He also leaves the house when his wife asks him for a divorce, instead of making her leave, and does seem to love her despite all that happened.
- Jerkass: An unpleasant person, both as a teacher and parent. Most notable is his treatment of Adam and Maeve, the latter he assumes is part of a drug ring with her brother Sean and Otis and when she is caught it's obvious his mind is made up in his decision to expel her despite the pleas of Maeve and Mrs. Sands.
- Kick the Dog:
- Despite showing extreme favoritism towards Jackson and promising him not to expel Maeve if he wins his swimming competition, he responds that he "doesn't take bribes" when Jackson does win and tells him to forget her.
- Copying pages from Jean's diary and spreading them around school in an attempt to discredit her
- The treatment of his son.
- Large Ham: Some of his monologues fall into this category, particularly when he's lecturing Maeve over the drug ring he inaccurately presumes that she runs.
- Never My Fault: Instead of just accepting he was a bad husband and parent, and facing his own fears and insecurities, he blames his failing marriage on Jean's influence.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Bows and scrapes at any attempt to boost his school's reputation. Picture Basil Fawlty as a school headmaster.
- Sexless Marriage: He hasn't has sex with his wife in years and shuts down any attempt she makes to initiate. She's getting a bit desperate over the whole thing.
- Stern Teacher: Principal technically, but is an austere educator nonetheless. This bleeds into his personal life, especially when dealing with his delinquent son Adam.
- Villainous Breakdown: Starts cracking throughout season 2 with his wife leaving him and Jean undermining his authority, and finally has one at the end of the season when he goes on a tirade at the school play, humiliating himself in public and being suspended from his job.
Mr. Colin Hendricks
- Played By: Jim Howick
Science teacher and conductor of the swing band at Moordale. Something of a minor mentor figure for Eric.
- Bourgeois Bohemian: A traumatized and angry Eric accuses him of being this- a wealthy upper middle class geek who thinks he understands swing jazz. In fairness to Hendriks, it seems he actually knows musical theory well, which you can't say for Eric.
- Butt-Monkey: He is fairly put upon.
- In one episode, he horribly flummoxed by his partner's request for dirty talk; his frantic attempts wind up spoiling the evening.
- He has to teach sex ed even though he knows he's not qualified. This gets him involved, very much to his dismay, in the feud between Jean (who wants to handle that department) and Groff (who refuses to let her).
- Cool Teacher: His attempts at being friendly mostly come across as him trying too hard. However, he does encourage Eric to get out of his comfort zone and is understanding of Eric's explosive anger following a traumatic experience, so he is pretty cool in his own way.
- Endearingly Dorky: He's an awkward science teacher and conductor of the swing band with cheerful demeanor which is pretty endearing. He dates Miss Emily Sands who is a very Hot Teacher.
- Large Ham: He's a sweet guy, but some of his antics come across as this.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Though he's not always the most clued-in, he's not a bad person and he does seem to genuinely care for Moordale's student body.
- Totally Radical: He tries to connect with the students by speaking with casual familiarity. It needs some work.
Miss Emily Sands
- Played By: Rakhee Thrakar
English teacher at Moordale. Something of a mentor figure for Maeve.
- Casual Kink: She loves dirty talk. While Hendricks is uncomfortable with it at first, for her it's simply something she happens to like because she feels like a dowdy schoolteacher all day.
- Cool Teacher: Very supportive of Maeve.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: One of the few that Moordale has to offer, particularly in regards to Maeve.
- Secret Keeper: Figured out about Maeve's fake essay-writing ring, and hasn't told anyone yet because she thinks Maeve getting expelled would be a waste of her talents.
- Played By: Mikael Persbrandt
A handyman who redoes the Milburns' bathroom. He and Jean develop a mutual attraction for each other.
- Bilingual Bonus: He's got some undubbed lines in Swedish, and most of them are actually quite funny.
- Funny Foreigner: He has a sort of gloomy, philosophical air and vastly different sense of manners that are played for laughs.
- Hidden Depths: His wife's death affected him deeply, to the point he never had any relationship until Jean appeared. He is also a very wise man, extremely good at reading people (Jean, Jean's ex husband. He also tells Otis that he knows that despite being a bit of an arsehole, he is a good man), and while nice, he will never let anyone push him over, nor be dismissed. He also knows his boundaries and limits.
- Hot Men at Work: Downplayed in that he doesn't get overtly fanservicey scenes while fixing the Milburns' plumbing, but she does develop an attraction for him while watching him work.
- Overprotective Dad: Subverted.STOP KISSING MY DAUGHTER! (smiles) Just kidding.
- Sexy Scandinavian: Jean thinks so.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Seems very foreboding and gloomy at first, but he is a really nice guy and caring parent.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: Once he and Jean start an actual relationship, he wastes no time moving in with her and drives her up the wall with his much laxer standards of tidiness.
- Played By: Edward Bluemel
Maeve's older brother.
- Aloof Big Brother: He disappears from Maeve's life for months at a time with no warning, and bear in mind he's the closest thing to her legal guardian.
- Con Man: Spins a story about he and Maeve being orphans in order to solicit donations for Maeve's new prom dress. Maeve isn't comfortable with it.
- Poisonous Friend: He seems cool, but it becomes more and more obvious that he has no intention of stopping his shadier activities like dealing drugs.
- Played By: Anne-Marie Duff
- Functional Addict: She struggles with drug addiction but has been clean for over a year now. In the past she was implicitly less functional. And it later turns out she isn't as clean as she lets on.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: She's implied to have been this in high school. When she sees Maeve reading a copy of Middlemarch, Erin states that she was meant to read that for class but never did, preferring to smoke or hang around boys instead.
- Never My Fault: Maeve accuses her of this, and from the way we've seen Erin act over the course of the series, she has a point. She never takes real responsibility for her actions, nor does she stop lying to her daughter.
- Parental Abandonment: Appears in season 2 after a long disappearance from Maeve's life, and this explains a lot about Maeve's issues connecting with people.
- Parents as People: She definitely isn't perfect, but she is struggling to do right by Maeve, and is hurt by Maeve's dismissiveness.
- Played By: James Purefoy
- Domestic Abuse: Emotionally. When Jean found out about his cheating, he tried to brush it off by basically gas-lighting her.
- Hidden Depths: For all his smugness and arrogance, he knows how much of an arsehole and a liar he is, and how deeply miserable he is, and does not want his son to commit the same mistakes he did. And he actually gives Otis genuinely good and deep advice.
- Insufferable Genius: An academic who gets very patronizing with Jakob, a plumber and handyman.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: With Otis, and only Otis, he shows that below all his assholery, there is a regretful and self loathing individual. His talk with Otis in the last chapter of season 2 might be his most genuine and open moment with his son. He also gives him really good advice to avoid committing the mistakes he did.
- Sex Addiction: How he tries to rationalize his cheating.
- The Shrink: Type One, Harmful. Uses his access to clients to have sex with them, which is unethical and probably illegal. Also admits he believes his book on "Masculinity in Crisis" is a load of crap.
- Played By: George Robinson
- Abusive Parents: Like Maeve, his parents aren't around. Might be even worse, as they didn't just up and leave, but according to him actually forced him out somehow for being too much of a burden after his injury.
- Appeal to Pity: He's all too aware of the condescending sympathy strangers feel for him, and often uses it to get favors.
- Birds of a Feather: He certainly thinks so; like Maeve, he was the child of drug addicts who then abandoned him, with his disability being directly the result of their neglect.
- Disabled Snarker: He's in a wheelchair which he uses to gain sympathy from strangers, but as he demonstrates with Maeve, he uses it to hide his sarcastic wit.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Gives several contradictory stories on how he became confined to his chair. The most recent and plausible story is that he fell out of a tree, trying to prove he could out climb his brother.
- Stalker with a Crush: Implied. He pursues Maeve despite her initial refusal to get to know him (due to her general antisocial demeanour), and it's shown he watches her from his window whenever she leaves.
- What You Are in the Dark: The end of season 2 is this. His motivations are not clear, but he clearly did wrong deleting the voicemail.
- Played By: Lisa Palfrey