Tawran Mara-Wilar Pawkadyer Samson
A well-meaning adolescent alien sent to Earth to research the essential pieces of the human condition.
- Abusive Parents: By Chapter 3, it's clear that Tav's relationship with their parent, Berria, is incredibly toxic.
- Adorkable: Though they try their hardest, Tav often misinterprets social situations.Tav: ...Are you God?
- Aliens Speaking English: Justified, since Tav's exoskeleton comes with a translator device.
- all lowercase letters: When they're high.
- Berserk Button: Tav eventually cracks once Berria suggests that they're going to mess with their friends.
- Captain Obvious: They have their moments.Zeb: If you could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool with any substance, what would it be?Tav: Water.
- Constantly Curious: Tav is almost always asking questions.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Chapters 5 and 6 reveal that Tav's real parents were killed during a coup d'état on their home planet.
- Eye Scream: Downplayed slightly, but Tav's solution to cutting off contact with Berria is to punch themself in the eye. Later on, they do this again by ramming their face into Benji's sink.
- Fish out of Water: As an alien, Tav doesn't really understand a lot of human customs, especially in the first few chapters.
- Grew a Spine: See Took a Level in Badass.
- Hidden Depths: Though it's hinted at from the beginning, the full extent of Tav's difficult relationship with their family isn't revealed until later on.
- Human Aliens: Tav's exoskeleton makes them look pretty much human.
- Intoxication Ensues: Tav is exposed to weed at a party held by one of their friends. It... works.
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Tav laments upon this during one of their dream sequences.Tav: ...No one would ever really love someone like me.Tav: They would just use me.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Chapter 6, when Tav tells Berria about the talent show. It's clear that they're not "taking any shit" from Berria anymore. Doubles as a Moment of Awesome.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: When we meet Tav again in Act 2, they're a lot more harsh. In fact, their opening line is...Tav: Eat shit, Godrel.
- Rage Breaking Point: In Chapter 3, once Berria implies that they might screw with Tav's friends.
- They're much more prone to these once Act 2 rolls around. Especially notable are when Godrel tries to talk about their dream, when Berria address them as "Tav", and when they get shot in the leg.
- Reluctant Ruler: Or, well, soon-to-be. Tav is expected to secure the title of Eternal President once their parent, Berria, dies or abdicates the position.
- Socially Awkward Hero: Tav is often shy, a trait exacerbated by their unfamiliar surroundings.
- With Friends Like These...: With Godrel. Ultimately, Tav does care about Godrel, at least somewhat, though they make it clear that Godrel is a major thorn in their side.
Another fellow teenager that Tav meets at Bettencourt. Chico speaks - and dresses - efficiently.
- Action Girl: Her character design suggests this when she comes back in Act 2.
- all lowercase letters: All of her dialogue as a teenager is portrayed this way.
- AM/FM Characterization: Chico's portrayal as an offbeat, artsy stoner is supported by her band of choice: Death Grips.
- Big Eater: At Benji's party, Chico eats a donut the size of her head in one bite.
- Bi the Way: She alludes to her bisexuality in Chapter 5 and makes it clear in Chapter 7.
- But Not Too Foreign: The fourth variation. Chico is fully Japanese, and speaks the language fluently, but feels little cultural connection to her ethnicity since she grew up in the States and is distant from her parents.
- *Cough* Snark *Cough*: Chico deploys this around her Statistics teacher, Mr. Adelmann.Mr. Adelmann: Ms. Hatakeyama! How wonderful it is to see you again.Chico: indeed it is :-)Chico: (*cough* asshole)
- Crush Blush: Around Tav... though maybe it's just the weed?
- Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments.Zeb: You sound like a chicken.Chico: you sound like a loser
- Disapproving Look: When she needs to, Chico can bust out some... colorful facial expressions.
- Flowery Insults: Chico's description of Drake is... maybe not flowery, but certainly unique.Chico: drake is just a smarmy wiener who can kind of sing!!!!
- The Hedonist: As is most of the cast, to some degree — it's a prevailing theme of the entire comic. Chico's own philosophy is particularly dark, though. When Jaden remarks that he and Chico seem "too young for this shit" in "Kedzie," her response is... harrowing.Chico: i'm probably gonna die before i'm 30Chico: who cares, you know?
- Her admiration of lightning bugs — in her words, since "they exist only to make everyone else happy" — also suggests this.
- Hidden Depths: Though she's initially portrayed as a somewhat emotionally distant stoner, Chico's character becomes much more fleshed out as she and Tav get closer.
- Jerkass: Not fully, but Chico certainly isn't perfect — at her worst, she's an abrasive, selfish hypocrite. This is especially called into attention during Act 3, when Jaden finds her cheating on Mabel.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Chico, who's normally pretty stoic, panics and lashes out at Tav in Chapter 7 once the implications of the talent show truly set in for her. Tav's internal dialogue makes it clear that this is unexpected.Narration: You've never heard Chico talk like this before.
- Prank Call: Chico dares Tav to do this in Chapter 5.
- Known Only by Their Nickname: Chico is short for "Michiko," but she's almost never referred to as such throughout the series.
- Magical Realism: Very subtly. Chico somehow physically conveys elements such as emojis, "keysmashes," and a lack of capitalization in her own speech. Tav's internal dialogue lampshades this.Narration: And it seems like she... talks... in lowercase? You don't even know how that's possible.
- Native Guide: Of sorts. Chico and Tav end up hanging out quite a bit, and by doing so, Chico teaches them much of what they end up knowing about Earth.
- Romance Ensues: With Tav on the roof in Chapter 5.
- Smoking Is Cool: She and Zeb recount having hotboxed an entire choir room.
- They Do: With Tav, in Chapter 5.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Act 3's flashback sequences show that Chico had neon teal hair during her junior year.
A mousy-looking stoner that Tav meets in Benji's basement. Jaden gets along with everyone.
- Adorkable: Though he's always this somewhat, it's especially prominent when we get a glimpse inside his head in Act 3. He's just as awkward as the rest of us!
- Ascended Extra: Introduced as just another one of Chico's stoner friends, Jaden ends up playing a very large role in the latter half of the story. Eventually, he's the protagonist of Act 3.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Far bigger than those of the rest of the cast.
- Comically Missing the Point: Jaden pulls this ironically in Chapter 7, when he and Chico talk about people hooking up in a library.Chico: i went up there with mabel onceJaden: ...Oh!Jaden: Like, to read?Chico: yes, jaden, to read.
- Heh Heh, You Said "X":Tav: That's what Ms. Doody says, anyway.Jaden: snort (Ms. Doody...)
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: When the narration focuses on Jaden in Act 3, it's shown that he's... pretty hard on himself.Jaden: Your job sounds pretty fun, though!Chico: it has its ups and downsJaden: Just like all of life...!Chico: haha, yeahJaden (to himself) "Just like all of life...?" What was that supposed to mean? You're so stupid.
- Hidden Depths: Hinted at in Act 1, Chapter 6, and explored much more deeply in Act 3. Jaden is deeply addled by his situation at home, what with his parents' divorce and his mother's ailing health. He tries to mask this with humor, but he eventually cracks.
- Messy Hair: Somehow, though, it stands upright.
Profile: A perennially awkward sophomore whose emotions are almost as unkempt as his hair.
- It's also referenced by his character profile in Act 3:
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Subtly, but Jaden's complete abandonment of his usual goofy demeanor when he's with his father is one of the first indications that Jaden's issues with his family run deep.
- Plot Parallel: His arc in Act 3 largely parallels Tav's in Act 1 - though, in retrospect, it's kind of Darker and Edgier. One of the driving aspects of both characters and their development is that they have a parent who's incapacitated (or so Tav thinks).
- Sad Clown: In Act 1, Chapter 6, it's revealed that Jaden's mom is ill, and it's implied that he uses humor to mask his true feelings a lot of the time.
- The Jester: Jaden is prone to being goofy or absurd.
- The Stoner: Even in comparison to the rest of his friend group, all of whom are stoners, Jaden smokes a lot. Starts to get Played for Drama in Act 3.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: Jaden's often the "wise guy" with whoever he's interacting with, but especially with Chico and Zeb.
A friendly fellow teenager that Tav runs into in the park. She and Tav eventually become train buddies.
- Nice Girl: Annie immediately cares for Tav when they hurt themselves and introduces them to the city of Chicago, despite having never met them before.
A friendly fellow classmate that Tav meets in History of Chicago. Lets Tav borrow a pencil.
Zebediah Cook Bacon
Chico's cool friend, who Tav meets in gym class. Zeb always goes with the flow.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Despite Zeb's all-black attire, he's an outgoing and friendly guy.
- Garbage Hideout: He and Chico met when they hid in a Dumpster together while running from the cops.
- Gay Guy Seeks Popular Jock: His crush on Declan fits into this trope.
- Incompatible Orientation: With Declan, as revealed in Chapter 4.
- The Jester: Occasionally, and especially with Chico.
- Left-Fielder: Zeb likes to take conversations to strange places.Zeb: Hypothetical question. If you could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool with any substance, what would it be?
Benjamin Anthony Cooper
An excitable, festively-dressed fellow teenager who is the host of Wednesday's party.
Mabel Berria Quiroga
Another human that Tav meets at the party. She seems a little distant from everyone else.
- Ascended Extra: By far the series' most prominent example. Mabel, like Jaden, is introduced as "another one of Chico's stoner friends," though her Hidden Depths are hinted at even early on. Once Act 2 rolls around, though, it's revealed that Mabel is actually the original identity of Berria Pawkadyer, Tav's parent and the entire story's Big Bad.
The Eternal President of the Paucadian Nation, most powerful sentient being in the galaxy - at least, that anyone who matters knows of - and, of course, Tav's parent. Berria hopes to convert Earth into a mining colony, as the planet's supply of silicon could be used to cure their disease.
- Big Bad: They're the series' ultimate antagonist.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Their soliloquy in Act 2, Chapter 2 reveals that they (i.e. Mabel) were gifted a pendant as a child, much like Tav's, but which made them unable to die. Living out the past 6,000 years without any real contact with other people has driven them insane.
- Falsely Reformed Villain: In Chapter 2 of Act 2, Berria reveals the truth behind their backstory to Tav in an effort to make them give up the pendant and finally allow Berria to die. When Tav refuses, Berria reveals that their niceness was likely a ruse.
- Lack of Empathy: Berria doesn't even dislike humans, they simply don't care about their lives at all.Berria: We need to know everything we can about Earth. We need to overturn its cracks.Berria: And that starts with its stupid fucking human population.
- Manipulative Bastard: Berria is literally inside Tav's head, and they constantly belittle Tav.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: Womp womp. Act 2, Chapter 2 mainly focuses on how Mabel, who seemed to be just another one of Chico's stoner friends, was driven to madness after becoming immortal and became Berria, the blatantly evil space emperor.
- Teach Him Anger: Berria tries to do this to Tav by forcing them to kill an animal.
o'Mara Pityan-Umasi Kendyamaanilos
n'Wilar Muktar-Fankawsi Kendyamaanilos
Tav's cellmate at the Grand Paucadian Detention Facility. Godrel is a master of dream interpretation, telepathy, and being an asshole.
- Visual Pun: He's an asshat.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: It's implied that he and Tav are ultimately this for each other, as vitriolic as their relationship may be. When push comes to shove, Tav is still willing to save Godrel from the firefight on Ng'or Bran, and they make no real effort to stop Godrel from coming with them.