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Jedidiah "Jed" Clampett

Played by: Buddy Ebsen (series), Jim Varney (film)

The apparent head of the family. A good natured man with some common sense. But also an expert marksman.

Jed Clampett provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Dad: He is a well seasoned man and can still wield a shotgun with precise skill.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He is genuinely a well-meaning, friendly shouthernes...but you don't want to see him angry.
  • Bumbling Dad: Averted as Jed, despite his quirks, is a very good father to Elly May and a good father figure to his nephew.
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  • Catchphrase: "Wellllll Doggies!", "Y'all come back now, y'hear?"
  • Doting Parent: Elly May is the apple of his eye.
  • Gold Digger: Once or twice, Jed has attracted these kind of women after they discover that he is worth millions and most of the plot is having the rest of the family trying to protect him from being swindled by them.
  • Good Parents: As shown above, Jed is a very loving family man and in his own way, is a good father to his daughter and nephew. If anything, he is considerably a more competent parent than Mrs. Drysdale who spoils her own son rotten and who has been a collage sophomore for almost 20 YEARS.
  • Deep South: It's implied that he and his family are from Tennessee.
  • Family Man: And how!
  • I Want Grandkids: While never outright spoken, Jed does want Elly May to settle down and get married to a good man and has even tried to set her up.
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  • Mistaken for Servant: More than once Jed and his family have been mistaken for being employees of his own estate.
  • Nice Guy: Jed is a good-natured man and a loving family man.
  • Papa Wolf: He is very protective of his family, especially his daughter Elly May.
  • Poor Judge of Character: The worst trait of Jed is that he is too trusting and due to his uneducated upbringing, doesn't always see the bad in people. There is also his relationship with Mr. Drysdale, whom Jed sees as a trusted friend, unaware that the only reason he keeps sucking up to him is to keep his fortune in HIS bank.
  • Rags to Riches: The whole series starts when Jed strikes oil on his property and moves his family to Beverly Hills once he became rich.
  • Remarrying for Your Kids: The 1993 film had Jed try to search a wife because he feels Elly May needs a mother figure to help her become a lady.
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  • Rich Boredom: Jed Clampett never truly comes to grasp with his wealth and the high lifestyle of Beverly Hills and still seems to prefer the simple lifestyle he grew up with.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Jed, due to his upbringing, isn't much of a business man and it is mostly Mr. Driesdale who "makes investments in his name".
  • Smarter Than You Look: Although he doesn't have a lot of book learnin', Jed has a lot of natural cunning and perception, and routinely outsmarts people who assume that he's dumb because of his rural upbringing.
  • Southern Gentleman: Jed's manners and appearance leave a lot to be desired but he is genuinely polite, helpful and can be charming in his own way.

Daisy Mae "Granny" Moses

Played by: Irene Ryan (series), Cloris Leachman (film)

The cantankerous mother-in-law of Jed and grandmother of Elly May. A shotgun-wielding old woman with a nostalgia for the Confederate States of America.

Granny provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Apron Matron: An early television example.
  • Catchphrase: "JED! JED! JED!"
  • Cool Old Lady: Despite being cranky, Granny can be fun.
  • Doting Grandparent: Sort of averted, although she does love her grandkids. She tends to display "tough love".
  • Good Is Old-Fashioned: Her view of things.
  • Grumpy Old Man: A female version. She is very cranky, quick to judge and habitably has her hand on her shotgun.
  • Hillbilly Moon Shiner: She has a stilt in the backyard and makes her own "medicine".
  • I Want Grandkids: She is very anxious for Elly May to settle down and get married.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She portrays a lot of "tough love". She can be a blunt, rough, cranky, and quick to judge lady but its clear she does love her grandkids and cares about Jed's well-being and fathering.
  • Mama Bear: A grandmotherly version. Despite being harsh with them, she loves her family and anyone who tries to mess with them will have to deal with HER.
  • Mistaken for Servant: More than once she and the family have been mistaken for being employees of their own estate.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Does who do end up learning a VERY painful lesson.
  • Nostalgia Filter: She really prefers the "old, back home" way of things compared to how thing are in Beverly Hills.
  • Older Is Better: She certainly thins so.
  • Racist Grandma: Due to Values Dissonance, she is against "Indians".
  • Rich Boredom: Like Jed, she doesn't care much for the posh lifestyle and prefers sticking to her roots.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With Margaret Drysdale.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: She is a very sour, sharp tongue senior woman.
  • The Match Maker: When she is not brewing her "medicine", she is busy trying to find a husband for Elly May and, less often, a wife for Jed.

Elly May Clampett

Played by: Donna Douglas (series), Erika Eleniak (film)

The beautiful but tomboyish only daughter of Jed. She is more interested in "critters and rassling" than in traditional lady like activities..

Elly May provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: A classic television example, especially considering the era. Elly May is very strong and can easily over power anyone who threatens her.
  • Amazonian Beauty: She is considered to be very beautiful but she is also one of the strongest characters on the show.
  • Cute Bruiser: A beautiful, sweet girl who can easily over power even a large man.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Avoided since Elly May is as sweet as possible, although she can be rather impulsive.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The beauty and brawn to Jane's brains.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: She is beautiful and a genuinely sweet girl.
  • Daddy's Girl: She is the apple of Jed's eye.
  • Does Not Like Shoes / Earthy Barefoot Character: She mostly goes barefoot and it usually takes her Pa and Granny to make her wear them.
  • Dumb Blonde: She's not exactly dumb, but she can be naïve and gullible due to her upbringing and lack of formal education.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: She has a lot of men who come a courtin'.
  • Farmer's Daughter: She is an early television example.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: More "Unfeminine Women Can't Cook", as it's implied that her lackluster cooking skills is due to her tomboyish nature.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Elly May is phenomenally good with animals. She even got a bird and a cat to get along.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Her hairstyle of choice.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She is blonde, pretty and as sweet as a basket of puppies!
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Sonny's reaction upon seeing her for the first time.
  • Indifferent Beauty: She is quite a looker, but she doesn't seem to care too much.
  • Lethal Chef: She is a terrible cook, even by the Clampetts' strange standards. Her biscuits and donuts are hard as a rock and just as heavy. One episode sees her make a meatloaf in the shape of a giant meatball. Said meatloaf bounces like a basketball.
  • Marry for Love: She seems to believe in this. She once rejected Mr. Drysdale's step son's proposal because she didn't love him and knew he didn't love her.
  • Missing Mom: Elly May's mother died some time before the start of the series.
  • Mistaken for Servant: More than once she and the family have been mistaken for being employees of their own estate.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Decades later, and Elly May is still a mainstay on "sexiest tv stars ever" lists.
  • Odd Friendship: Despite their different personalities and lifestyles, she and Jane are good friends.
  • One of the Boys: Much to her father and especially Granny's disappointment.
  • Plucky Girl
  • Proper Lady: Some episodes have Jed and Granny trying to mold her into this but with no success.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: She is cute even in her hick clothes but when she does dress up, she's a knock-out!
  • Southern Belle
  • Socialite: Not by her own nature, but some episodes have the Clampetts or the Drysdales try and transform her into one to better fit in in Beverly Hills/find a husband.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Pretty tall and outright gorgeous.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She is a tomboy but she is not too repulsed by the idea of wearing dresses or cooking. The latter is to her family's dismay.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: While Jed isn't exactly ugly, just old and gruff, Elly May is very beautiful.
  • Unkempt Beauty
  • Unwillingly Girly Tomboy: A downplayed version, Elly May will wear dreses when asked but she is more interested in animals and fighting than typical socialite activities.

Jethro Bodine

Played by: Max Baer Jr (series), Ray Young (Return of the Beverly Hillbillies), Diedrich Bader (film)

Jed's nephew and Elly May's cousin. Described as naive, ignorant, and pompous. Stays in the city to seek better education and job offers. Can't seem to settle down in any job.

Jethro provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Big Eater: He is the biggest eater in the family and is always eagerly waiting for granny to make something to eat.
  • Casanova Wannabe: He fancies himself a ladies man, although he is unaware that most girls aren't that impressed with him, with Jane being a consistent exception.
  • Character Exaggeration: Jethro is considerably dumber even to breech of appearing to have some form of learning disability (mentally deficient) in the 1993 film, and is also a Perpetual Smiler simpleton.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Most episodes have Jethro try out a new career, mostly just to impress and meet girls. Some of them include becoming an actor, movie producer, bank president, marine, just to name a few. He always tends to quit at the end of the episode.
  • Flanderization: Jethro becomes more obsessed with pop culture and becoming a big star as the series goes on.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Assumes since he took twice as long to get through the sixth grade (12 years), that makes him twice as smart as everyone else.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: He is ignorant and naive but not a bad person.
  • Manchild: Jethro, although it's because of his unbridled enthusiasm for the family's new lavish lifestyle and his lack of education.
  • Nepotism: The only reason he can even get started on half of his crazy schemes and find new jobs is due to his relation to Jed and Mr. Drysdale's obsessive need to please the man.
  • Oblivious to Love: He is unaware of Jane's obvious crush on him.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Unresolved for most of the series' run is the one-sided sexual tension that Jane feels for Jethro. Oddly enough, Jethro seemed aware of Jane's feelings when they first got to know each other, but this was completely forgotten by the next episode and remained forgotten.

Milburn Drysdale

Played by: Raymond Bailey (series), Dabney Coleman (film)

The next-door-neighbor, confidant and banker of the Clampetts. He is a greedy little man with a very unhealthy obsession with money. Heis willing to put a lot of effort to keep the Clampett account for his bank.

Milburn Drysdale provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Awful Wedded Life: He has a bad marriage with his snobby wife and he hates his immature college step son. He is always up the wall with their frivolous ways.
  • Big Fancy House: He owns the mansion right next door to the Clampetts'.
  • Characterization Marches On: Originally, Mr. Drysdale was a responsible, intelligent banker. However, in later years he turns into a odious, deceitful, moneygrubbing maniac.
    • This was actually reverted in the 1993 film, where he's back to being a relatively-responsible banker (as his employee is the one scheming to steal the Clampetts' fortune).
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He is the President of the Commerce Bank where the Clampett's keep their fortune. He is also very greedy, selfish and obsess with money and treats his employee's rather poorly.
  • Everybody Has Standards: He is understandably exasperated with his spoiled, irresponsible step son and cuts him off after going to college for 19 YEARS and tries to push him into the working world against his equally spoiled wife's wishes. He also is exasperated by his wife's own snobbishness.
  • Get-Rich-Quick Scheme: He regularly has them, often using the Clampett's to "invest" in them. Especially jarring since he is already very rich and he usually makes the investment's without consulting them first.
  • Glad I Thought of It: Whenever one of his schemes seem to be going his way, he always takes the credit, whether or not it was him or Ms. Hathaway who thought it up.
  • Gold Digger: A unique and downplayed example. He is always thrilled at the prospect of one of the Clampett's especially Elly May, marrying a rich suitor since he believes he would believes it would increase the already astronomical Clampett account he manages in his bank.
    • Alternatively, he is willing to PROTECT the Clampett's from these kinds of people, albeit, it's mostly because he's worried over their finances more than anything.
  • Greed
  • Henpecked Husband: His wife is always nagging him, especially about the Clampett's and rarely does he manage to truly stand up to her.
  • Jerkass
  • Manchild: One episode shows he watches cartoons.
  • Meal Ticket: He already has the very large Clampett account in his bank but that won't stop him from trying to set up Elly May or Jed with an equally wealthy person to increase the holdings, or to ensure that they stay in Beverly Hills forever.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker: One of the earliest classic television examples. All Mr. Drysdale cares about is keeping their money in his bank. He undergoes a character arc over the course of the series; he goes from shallow (before meeting the Clampetts, he says he'll get along fine with them because "they're my kind of people — they're loaded") to being charmed by the Clampetts' folksy ways in contrast to his snobbish wife, to devolving back into this trope by the end. In way it makes sense; by that point, he's reinvested all their money, which makes up the vast majority of his bank's holdings; them trying to pull out would create a one-man run on his bank and ruin him for life.
  • Money Fetish: He has it BAD. An example is that whenever he fantasizes about a woman's figure, he is talking about the kind she keeps in the BANK VAULT.
  • Never My Fault: Whenever one of his schemes fails, he always blames Ms. Hathaway, whether or not she actually thought of it.
  • No Accounting for Taste: It is never made clear exactly WHY an opportunistic, profit obsessed bank president married an impoverished Bostonian Blue Blood woman who sees non-blue bloods as her and her son's inferior. He himself seems astonished that she married the woman.
  • Nobility Marries Money: He has this with his wife Margaret, in a way.
  • Shipper on Deck: He wanted his step son Sonny to marry Elly May in order to get a closer hand to the Clampett fortune and also for Sonny to "pay him back" for putting him through collage for over a DECADE.
    • Basically he is this to any wealthy individual for the Clampett's just for the sake of increasing the Clampett fortune in HIS bank.
  • Unwanted Spouse: He has a poor relationship with his snooty, blue blood with Margaret.

Margaret Drysdale

Played by: Harriet MacGibbon (series), Penny Fuller (film)

Milburn's wife and the mother of Sonny. A haughty member of one of Boston's oldest families, she frequently acts like a blue-blood, forgetting her father had lost his fortune. She absolutely LOATHES the Clampett's and often schemes to get them out of Beverly Hills, not caring that they are her husband's most important depositors.

Margaret Drysdale provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Aristocrats Are Evil: While calling her evil is a stretch, Mrs. Drysdale is a very spoiled, haughty and shallow woman and hates the Clampetts with a passion. The status of her blueblood lineage is also questionable as well.
  • Awful Wedded Life: She and her husband are always at each other's throats, especially about the Clampett clan.
  • Big Fancy House: She and her husband own the mansion right next door to the Clampetts'. She also owns a home in Boston where she spends a good deal of time at.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: She strongly opposes her son's interest in a bumpkin like Elly May.
  • Doting Parent: She spoils her son Sonny rotten.
  • Gold Digger: It's made clear that she only married Mr. Drysdale for his money.
  • Grand Dame: She is very rich and a large set woman.
  • High-Class Gloves: Regularly wears them.
  • Hypocrite: She once told her husband that money isn't important with a straight face...only to get pale when he threatened to cut her off. She also looks down on the Clampetts due to their rural upbringing and believes they don't belong with "The High Class", but she doesn't admit that her own family lost their fortune (and possibly their pedigree) and it's only through her marriage to Milburn that she still retains her lifestyle.
  • Idle Rich: She is very against working for money and looks down on people who do.
  • Impoverished Patrician: She is from an old blue blood family who lost their fortune and married Milburn to get it back.
  • My Beloved Smother: She is this to her son Sonny.
  • No Accounting for Taste: It is never made clear exactly why an opportunistic, profit obsessed bank president married an impoverished Bostonian Blue Blood woman who sees non-blue bloods as her and her son's inferior.
  • Nobility Marries Money: Her marriage to Milburn, in a way.
  • Old Money: She constantly reminds people that her ancestors came on the May Flower.
  • Pretty in Mink: She owns a variety of expensive fur coats.
  • Pride
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: She is this to whatever visiting nobleman or woman comes to Beverly Hills or to other blue bloods.
  • Rich Bitch: That's putting it mildly.
  • Remarrying for Your Kids: In Sonny's début episode, she told him that she only remarried in order to preserve their high class lifestyle for him.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: She considerably has it even worse than the Clampetts. Her goal is to drive them out of Beverly Hills by any means necessary, even though her husband constantly reminds her that they are his biggest depositors and losing their account could very well ruin his business.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With Granny.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: She still believes that her blue blood makes her superior even to other millionaires.
  • Snobs Vs Slobs: She truly hates the Clampetts.
  • Social Climber: She will do anything to get to the top of High Society and stay there.
  • Socialite: She is obsessed with being this.
  • Upper-Class Twit: She is very wealthy but due to being Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense, she is prone to this as well.

Sonny Drysdale

Played by: Played by Louis Nye.

Son of Margaret and stepson of Milburn. A thirty-something college student who is infatuated with Elly.

Sonny Drysdale provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All Take and No Give: Basically every relationship he has ever had is this. He fully expects everyone to cater to his every whim, his family to support him both financially and for ego nourishment and absolutely refuses to see anyone as his equal.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He is absent in the 1993 film and replaced with a high school aged boy name Morgan who is implied to be Mr. Drysdale's natural child. The boy also has a crush on Elly May to boot.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: His mother strongly opposes his interest in Elly May.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: He has been going to college for many years in order to "find himself".
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: He is very taken with Elly May.
  • Hypocrite: He claims to hate money and says he doesn't care about economics but he absolutely loaths the idea of earning a living and whines whenever his step father threatens to cut him off.
  • I Can Change My Beloved: He is only interested with Elly because he sees her as a chance to mold himself a "perfect woman".
    • Averted since he admitted that he has no interested in marrying her, he just wants to work on her.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: In spite of having no academic talent, Sonny Drysdale is a graduate of several Ivy League colleges (Dartmouth, Yale and Harvard, to name a few).
  • Lazy Bum: He has never worked a day in his life and doesn't plan to until Milburn outright forced him to get a job selling door to door.
  • Love at First Sight: More like LUST at first sight. He was against the idea of a blind date with Elly May until he got a good look at her in a swim suit.
  • Manchild: He still lives with and depends with his mother and step father for everything, he has been going to college for nearly 20 years and he constantly throws tantrums when he doesn't get his way.
  • Momma's Boy: He is practically a text book case.
  • Narcissist: He is really full of himself and sees himself as God's gift to women.
  • Proper Lady: He is very interested in transforming Elly May into one.
  • Rich Idiot With No Day Job: He absolutely is repulsed by the idea of working and it's implied that the only reason he keeps going to college is to have an excuse not to do it.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Even worse than his mother.
  • Shipper on Deck: Mr. Drysdale wanted him to marry Elly May in order to get a closer hand to the Clampett fortune and also for Sonny to "pay him back" for putting him through collage for over a DECADE.
  • Spoiled Brat: In spaded!
  • Taking Advantage of Generosity: He is in his 30's and has been mooching of his step dad all of his life.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He doesn't care about his stepfather Milburn, despite the fact that he has been mooching off of his for years and the man has put him through college for almost 2 DECADES! He still has the nerve to act like a brat to the man.

Jane Hathaway

Played by: Nancy Kulp (series), Lily Tomlin (film)

Mr. Drysdale's long suffering but loyal and efficient secretary. Though she reluctantly carries out his wishes, she is genuinely fond of the Clampett family and tries to shield them from her boss's greed.

Jane Hathaway provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Affectionate Nickname: Not exactly a nickname but The Clampetts always call her "Miss Jane".
  • All Women Are Lustful: She is very hot for Jethro for most of the series and has expressed interested in some other handsome men as well.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The brains to Elly May's beauty and brawns.
  • Big Sister Instinct: She genuinely cares about Elly May and has her best interests at heart. One episode even had her posing as a fashion critic when Elly started private school and lied to the other students that her hick clothes were the latest fashion statement in order to protect Elly from being rejected by the other students.
  • Christmas Cake: She is nearing middle age and she does have an interest of settling down, usually with Jethro in mind.
  • George Jetson Job Security: In the 1993 film, Mr. Drysdale briefly fires Miss Hathaway for falsely sending the Clampetts to jail, only to be rehired when Jed wants her to keep her employment.
  • Hollywood Dateless: Poor Jane.
  • Hollywood Homely: Poor, poor Jane.
  • Odd Friendship: Despite their different personalities and lifestyles, Jane and Elly May are good friends.
    • If anything, she is probably the most genuine friend they have in Beverly Hills, with even Granny liking her and they see her as part of the family.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: She is a little plain looking but when she does dress up, she is quite lovely.
  • Token Good Team Mate: She is the nicest and most moral member of the Commerce Bank crew.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Unresolved for most of the series' run is the one-sided sexual tension that Jane feels for Jethro. Oddly enough, Jethro seemed aware of Jane's feelings when they first got to know each other, but this was completely forgotten by the next episode and remained forgotten.

Pearl Bodine

Played by: Bea Benaderet (series), Linda Carlson (film)

The mother of Jethro and Jethrine and Jed's cousin. It was her idea to move the family out to Beverly Hills and convince Jed to do so. An aspiring yodeling singer, she is unaware that no one really likes it. She has a bit of a rivalry with Granny.

Pearl provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: She was very interested in Mr. Brewster who had no interest in her.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: A very downplayed version. She was the most excited by the family's new wealth, wouldn't stop prodding Jed into moving to Beverly Hills and had a desire to move there herself as well as she felt that the family shouldn't keep living such a hick lifestyle.
  • Deep South: She still lives in the Clampetts home town and often visits with Jethrine.
  • Dreadful Musician: Her singing has caused some people to complain more than once.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Inverted with her son Jethro. She is the serious one and Jethro being wacky is putting it mildly.

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