Adam Frederick Goldberg
The narrator of the show and youngest child of the family who chronicles his and his family's life in the 80s.
- Affectionate Nickname:
- Barry sometimes calls him "Adrock".
- Beverly calls him "Schmoopie".
- Annoying Younger Sibling: He'll usually be this to Barry and/or Erica. Subverted with Barry as the series goes on: While the two occasionally squabble, the two share a close bond and are both usually willing to participate in the other's shenanigans.
- Author Avatar: Given that he's a younger version of creator and producer Adam F. Goldberg.
- "Oh, balls!"
- As narrator, "It was (exact day-and-month date), nineteen-eighty-something..."
- Also as narrator, he'll list a number of things relevant to the scene or sequence. The last thing he gets to is usually somewhat questionable which he describes as "whatever this was."
- Hollywood Nerd: A massive one. Especially come the 8th season when he's considered good looking enough to be accepted among the popular kids even though it turns out he's still as unathletic as ever.
- Hopeless Suitor: Post-Dana he's pretty pathetic when it comes to romance, with both attempts failing horribly, not helped by him calling the girls "New Dana" and "Pancake Girl" respectively. Subverted when he starts dating a girl named Jackie in Season 4.
- Idiot Ball: Sometimes Adam is fully aware that whatever scheme Barry comes up with is going to backfire. Other times, he goes right along with the fullest certainty of success.
- Kiddie Kid: He has shades of this. Despite being a teenager, he has a love for his action figures and gleefully plays with them like a young child would: One episode revolved around Adam having difficulty over donating his action figures; he gets them back in the end.
- Lovable Nerd: He's a nerdy boy who in general has an awkward, yet sweet demeanor.
- Momma's Boy: While he's often exasperated with Beverly, he has the best relationships with all the adults, and several episodes revolve around him trying to break away from her influence, then realizing he really does need her.
- Highlighted in the Mother's Day episode, as he's the only one who remembers to get her a gift, and goes the extra mile when he does out of appreciation.
- The Movie Buff: Frequents the local video store and makes movies frequently, to the point that his films are the center of quite a few plots.
- Nerd: He has an immense passion and knowledge in math, wears glasses, doesn't have a very good reputation, and is bullied on an occasional basis.
- Nerd Glasses: He's quite the nerd and wears glasses.
- Nice Guy: Most of the time. Well, out of the five main family members, he's not as cantankerous as Murray; aloof as Erica; tempermental as Barry; or high and mighty as Beverly.
- Nice Jewish Boy: Being Jewish and ticking at least a few boxes, he falls under here too.
- Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The nice to Barrys mean and Ericas in-between.
- Official Couple: With Dana from Season 2 to late Season 3, then Jackie from Season 4 through 6, and Brea Bee since season 7.
- Older Than They Look: He's a teenage boy, but could easily pass for a kid in his pre-teens.
- Old Shame: In-Universe, occasionally admitted to via narration by his adult self looking back.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: He's nerd smart and wears glasses.
- Unreliable Narrator: He openly admits in the pilot that he doesn't always remember things exactly as they happened, which is used to Handwave the show's Anachronism Stew.
Barry Norman Goldberg (Big Tasty)
The middle child of the family. Older brother to Adam and younger brother to Erica.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: He'll usually be this to Erica.
- Big Brother Bully: He flips back and forth between this and Big Brother Instinct with Adam.
- Big Brother Instinct: Depending on the Writer, he can zig-zag between this and Big Brother Bully very often. Though despite his surly treatment of Adam, he really cares for him and tries his best to help him out whenever he's in a quandary.
- Big Brother Mentor: Adam usually goes to him for advice on dating.
- Big Ego, Hidden Depths: During his most vulnerable moments, he reveals himself to be far less sure of himself than he normally seems, and admits that he considers himself to be a loser deep down.
- Boisterous Weakling: Barry's confidence in his fighting ability is inversely proportional to his actual fighting ability. The only person who he can successfully overpower is Adam, who is even more wimpy and uncoordinated than he is.
- Book Dumb: He thinks farts are an inert gas, confuses historical figures for others, and there is too much else to list.
- Breakout Character: An overwhelming number of episodes tend to focus on or feature him prominently.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Several episodes imply and "Oh Captain, My Captain" outright states that he has an incredible amount of innate potential but chooses to apply almost all of it to stupid and frivolous pursuits such as his doomed rap career.
- Butt-Monkey: Though in fairness, it's usually brought about by his own stupidity.
- Brutal Honesty: He has zero filter and truthfully expresses how he feels about everything and everyone, often without acknowledging that the other person may find it offensive.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He can get to be this at times.
- Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: Played with in his friendship with Matt Bradley. Barry is the clear loser and Matt is cool, but Matt is so chill he doesn't challenge Barry's delusions of grandeur and excessive put downs, and is perfectly content and even happy to follow under him in the JTP.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Of all the Goldberg children, Barry is probably the most deserving of being called a moron by his dad, and is nowhere near close to being the peerless badass that he believes himself to be. At the same time, though, his unbending to devotion to his dreams regardless of how stupid they may be, lack of interest or care in what others think of him, and absurd level of confidence in himself bestow him with an unconventional sort of charisma that naturally draws others toward him. He's also regularly suggested to have genuinely excellent potential in a variety of fields, which he can occasionally make use of to great results.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Barry's advice, while complete nonsense, can be spot on once in a blue moon. For one, putting yourself out there without fear of looking silly really did help Erica become more popular at college.
- Determinator: His most consistent positively-portrayed trait is his refusal to ever give up when he puts his mind to something. Several characters who initially look down on him eventually grow to respect him after seeing just how far he's willing to go to achieve his goals. Coach Mellor in particular is constantly moved to the verge of Manly Tears by his spirit, despite otherwise finding him to be annoying.
- The Ditz: Easy to fool, makes a Missing Steps Plan on a regular basis, and by his own admission, he can't follow instructions with too many steps.
- Dumbass Teenage Son: The not-so-bright teenage son of the Goldberg family.
- Dumb Muscle: Barry places far more value on physical prowess and sports than on learning and intellect.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Very early on his show his driver's license gives his name as Barry Stuart Goldberg. Just a bit later he says his name is Barry Norman Goldberg.
- Extraverted Nerd: He's a stupid, uncoordinated loser with terrible social skills, and yet carries himself as though he were both The Ace and the Big Man on Campus of his school. This confidence has ironically made it so that, by the later seasons, his delusions aren't all that far from the truth.
- The Fool: A classic example. A directionless, delusional idiot who nonetheless manages to find both great success and the respect of many around him through a combination of boundless drive, buried potential and unshakable confidence.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Usually the foolish one to Adam and Erica.
- Genius Ditz: This bumbling idiot goes on to graduate from Harvard Med.
- Girly Run: A literal Running Gag.Murray: Who runs like that?
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Depending on the episode, he has a bad temper and can get angry over the pettiest of things.
- Hidden Depths: "Oh Captain, My Captain" reveals he loves science and is quite good at studying it when properly motivated. It is also fairly obvious that most of Barry's ego is simply him trying to convince himself that he isn't a loser.
- Hollywood Autism: Never mentioned by name, given the time period, but Barry displays a fair number of behaviors that make it likely he has a mild form.
- I Reject Your Reality: Oftentimes Barry will choose to believe obvious lies and reject the truth if it fuels his ego. The best example of this is when his Uncle Marvin admits that instead of actually teaching him Karate by having him do chores (like in Karate Kid) Barry convinces himself that his confession is just a test and that he is still a blackbelt since the only other alternative would be that he isnt and would, according to Barry, send him spirling down a deep dark path he would never fully recover from.
- Iconic Outfit: His Philadelphia Flyers shirt, Big Orange. He replaces it in Season 3 after the original is destroyed with another Philadelphia Flyers shirt.
- Insufferable Imbecile: Downplayed. He's not stupid per se but acts rather knuckleheaded and mean-spirited in his ill-thought out attempts to be popular. He's really pretty together when he gets his priorities in order.
- It's All About Me: He doesn't always consider other people's feelings or needs and expects everyone to do what HE wants. This nearly costs him the JTP in one episode.
- Jerkass: Tends to be this time to time, especially to his brother.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sure, he's a short-tempered, stupid bastard who occasionally harasses his little brother Adam, but at the end of the day he actually cares about him and his family in general.
- Large Ham: He's prone to overreacting and behaving dramatically when the situation doesn't call for it, and is generally very loud and abrasive.
- The Leader: Of the JTP, mostly because they're as dumb as he is, but he's got the biggest mouth.
- Like Father, Like Son: He is prone to overreacting, makes grandiose gestures for the approval of his peers, and has an unrealistically inflated sense of his skills, just like his mother.
- Magnetic Hero: Albeit an unconventional one. Barry's bizarre antics and ridiculous self-confidence often draw others toward him out of morbid curiosity. This curiosity eventually morphs into something in-between acceptance and admiration down the line, and has caused him to form many Odd Friendships across the series. This is perhaps most notable during his appearance in Schooled, where he ends up charming C.B. into becoming his friend, despite C.B. having initially approached him with the intention of sabotaging his relationship with Lainey.
- Manchild: Has the short temper, absurd sense of entitlement, lack of tact and undeniable innocence of a toddler despite spending much of the series as a high schooler.
- Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The mean to Adams nice and Ericas in-between.
- No Indoor Voice: Due to his Hair-Trigger Temper.
- No Social Skills: He's a loud, abrasive idiot who instinctively treats almost everyone as though they should bow down and submit themselves to his overwhelming awesomeness.
- Official Couple: With Lainey from season 2 through season 6, then Ren in the last few episodes of season 7 to the first four episode of season 8, and as of mid-season 8 with Joanne Schwartz.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: When he's in rapper mode, he goes by the name Big Tasty. His singing isn't that bad, but his lyrics need work.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Thinks he's a skilled martial artist, dancer, rapper, athlete and ladies man. Not a single one of these is true.
- With Friends Like These...: Generally treats the JTP closer to lackeys than he does friends, though once in a while he'll show that he cares about them deep down.
Erica Dorothy Goldberg
The oldest child in the family. A former nerd who reinvented herself in high school.
- Big Brother Bully: Well, Big Sister. Not as much of a jerkass as Barry, but Erica occasionally berates Adam for his nerdy/geeky demeanor.
- Erica: I told you, nerd, get out of my room!
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Downplayed. She's often the most levelheaded of the Goldberg children, but is also the most openly rebellious against Beverly.
- Butt-Monkey: Not to Barry's extent, but one prime example is in "The Circle of Driving Again", where she's the black sheep in college and constantly hit by a frisbee.
- Closet Geek: She still likes some of the things in her youth that don't seem cool to her now, such as Star Wars and "New Kids on the Block".
- Cool Big Sis: Back when they were younger, Erica played with Adam constantly; later, while she often finds him annoying, she will still help him out time and again.
- Deadpan Snarker: Second only to her father.
- Gender Flip: Of Real Life Adam Goldberg's brother, Eric Goldberg.
- Generation Xerox: She shares her mother's matchmaking talent and her father's dry wit and low tolerance for stupidity.
- Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The in-between to Adams nice and Barrys mean.
- Not So Above It All: At times she can be just as boneheaded as Barry.
- Official Couple: with Geoff.
- Only Sane Woman: Tends to come off as this compared to the rest of her family.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Until the ninth grade, Erica had to wear Nerd Glasses and braces, and had stringy hair. Now she's among the hottest girls in school.
- She's Got Legs: Erica's wardrobe favors flattering skirts and shorts.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: In "La Biblioteca Es Libros", when Murray starts bonding with Barry by sharing his beers to rewad his work efforts as a pizza deliverer, Erica expresses jealousy since she herself has been working longer and yet gets no time with her father in return. When Barry gets fired from his job for continually getting lost on the way to his deliveries, he pretends to still be in employment to keep his bond with his father. Eventually, Erica exposes Barry's firing and Murray realizes he really should have given equal attention to his daughter. In reconciliation, Murray hands Erica a beer, but just as he is about to cherish a bond with his daughter, Beverly walks in on them and disapproves of her daughter drinking, resulting in Murray breaking the moment of affection and taking his wife's side, proclaiming "You are grounded!" to Erica.
Murray Christian Goldberg
The patriarch of the family who tends to be a bit of a grump.
- Bumbling Dad: It's more because of a lack of interest in trying than actual ineptitude. When he gets his rear in gear, Murray can be more effective as a parent than Beverly.
- "(Something the kids have done), moron!"
- "I'm home. Nobody bother me."
- Comedic Underwear Exposure: Soon as he comes home from work, he kicks his pants off and lays back in his chair.
- Deadpan Snarker: Very fluent in the art of sarcasm.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The older responsible to his young foolish Marvin.
- Grumpy Bear: By default, his attitude and tone of voice give off this vibe.
- Happily Married: To Beverly.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Bill.
- Hidden Depths: "Smother's Day" shows that he's actually a talented ventriloquist.
- Homage: Or even a Shout-Out. The resemblance in looks and mannerisms to a live action Fred Flintstone cannot be accidental.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: Dont call his kids morons. Only he can call his kids morons.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's constantly exasperated and speaks wither with sarcasm or yelling most of the time, but he truly does love his wife and kids.
- Lazy Bum: Whenever he's not working, he's laying on the couch in his underwear.
- Parental Neglect: Downplayed. He usually leaves the more hands-on parenting to Beverly and Pops.
- Straight Man: Towards Beverly, being the more level-headed to Bev's ambitious demeanor.
- Surrounded by Idiots: He calls his kids morons more often than by their names. To be fair, it's not always inaccurate.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His relationship with his father, Big Murray. He subverts this with his own kids: While he berates them regularly, and rarely outright says he loves them, he does take effort to be a good dad to his kid and fix any screw ups he makes with them.
Beverly Solomon Goldberg
The matriarch of the family who absolutely babies her kids.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Due to her Doting Parent methods, her children occasionally view her as this.
- Berserk Button: Anything within the venue of "not getting her way" ticks Beverly off, but the mere mention of drugs will send her into a specific rage.
- Breakout Character: An overwhelming number of episodes tend to focus on or feature her prominently.
- Catchphrase: "If (something she doesn't want her children to do) then I have failed as a mother!"
- "My shmoo!"
- Character Development: By the time Erica goes to college in season 5, Bev understands her life cannot revolve around being a mother forever, and embarks on a journey of self-discovery.
- Doting Parent: Deconstructed; Beverley's parenting style is essentially babying her kids whether they want it or not, but later seasons prove that tending to their every need and swooping in to get them out of trouble have left them, Erica especially, completely unprepared to survive in the adult world.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Downplayed, but it's there. Possibly signifying a time change, Beverly goes from more of a 70s style flip curl in the first two seasons to more of a Princess Diana-meets Dorothy Hamill layered look in the third season.
- Good Parents: She's a loving and caring mother and knows what's right for her children.
- Happily Married: To Murray, albeit not an overly romantic one.
- Hot Teacher: As of Season 4, when she begins a job as a substitute, much to her children's embarrassment.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Though the entire cast wears clothes straight from The '80s, Beverly tends to dress up more, resulting in some truly spectacular outfits, including Shoulders of Doom and that hairdo that looks shellacked.
- It's All About Me: Beverly is ridiculously self-centered and a limelight hog. Usually, her crazed over-mothering is rooted in wanting to be loved by her kids rather than out of care for them.
- Jerkass: She's usually neglecting the personal space her kids need, ridiculing the authority figures in their classes, and tends to be pushy to her friends. Not to mention, she sometimes ignores someone's advice and pleas when it comes to her selfish demeanor.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She can be selfish, smothering and wholly blind to reality, but it's mostly out of love and she will make things right if she goes too far.
- Jewish Mother: Fits this to a tee.
- The Matchmaker: Loves fixing people up, to the point of having a Rolodex of just about everyone in town called her "Yentadex."
- Mama Bear: Do not mess with her kids or get on their bad side. Most of the teachers at the kids school have learned to fear her.
- My Beloved Smother: The show calls her this by name, shortening it to Smother.
- Never My Fault: To I Reject Your Reality proportions, but her one greater delusion is that it's "Never my Kids' Fault." It takes a significant amount of Break the Haughty to get Beverly to acknowledge that neither she nor her children are perfect.
- Obnoxious Entitled Housewife: She ticks a lot of the boxes; she is a wolverine where her kids are concerned, and is forever looking for the get-rich-or-at-least-noteworthy scheme, such as trying to get her recipe book published on her own account, and tries to live vicariously via her children, who are of course brilliant, talented and gifted in her eyes.
- Stacy's Mom: Adam's friends openly admire Beverly's looks and refer to her, to Adam, as "your hot mom".
- Supreme Chef: She takes pride in her cooking even to the point she dumps out entirely cooked turkeys when they don't meet her exacting standards to Barry's chagrin. And all to please Pop-Pop who still remembers her only by the first Thanksgiving she cooked for him.
- Then there's her signature shrimp parm...
- Took a Level in Jerkass: While her heart's still in the right place, her "smotherly" traits had really taken over her entire personality the following five seasons. Her petty intentions are far more ambitious and she doesn't bother listening to reason as she used to.
- Yandere: She is a very loving mother...too loving. As described by Adam, his own mom goes beyond the boundaries of a good mother. So much so that upsetting her is a risky move, by both relative and stranger alike.
Albert "Pops" Solomon
Beverly's father, Murray's father in-law and grandfather to the kids. Especially close to Adam.
- Catchphrase: "By god, woman!"
- Cool Old Guy: In Adam's eyes, he's the coolest member of his family.
- The Casanova: After his wife died, Pops couldn't bring himself to have another meaningful relationship with a woman, so he casually dates and sleeps around with a laundry list of hot grandmas.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Pops has his lapses in judgment, but the man is a World War II veteran and gives good advice sometimes.
- Magical Jew: He is the most unambiguously Jewish character on the show, and also the least insane family member and quite often gives good wise advice to daughter Beverley, son-in-law Murray, and to his three grandchildren Erica, Barry and Adam.
- The Mentor: Usually to Adam, but does give out sage advice to other members of the family.
- Out of Focus: After Season 1. He still gets focus episodes from time to time, but mostly serves as a supporting character, especially in Season 3.
Ben "Pop Pop" Goldberg
Murray's ill-tempered father.
Murray's underachieving younger brother.
Adam's friends and colleagues
Dana Eleanor Caldwell
Adam's girl friend turned first girlfriend turned girl friend.
- Adaptation Name Change: Her Real Life counterpart was named Amanda Caldwell, but her name was changed because the production could not reach the real-life counterpart and the legal team wanted to avoid potential lawsuits. The counterpart has stated she likes the show, and real-life Adam stated he regrets not using her real name.
- Better as Friends: What ended up happening when Adam tried to get back together with Dana.
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Beverly did not like Dana as the former was jealous of her for spending time with her Shmoopie that she could herself be spending; this fades away when the latter moves to Seattle. Dana herself has mixed feelings towards Beverly.
- Girl Next Door: Literally (they live in the same neighbourhood) and metaphorically (she's a Nice Girl).
- Long-Distance Relationship: Adam and her tried this, but it didn't work, so they ended their relationship.
- Put on a Bus: She moved to Seattle during season 3.
- The Bus Came Back: She came back during season 7 after her grandma died and her family had nothing else that tied them to Seattle.
- Serenade Your Lover: How Adam won her love first time. He tried to do this a second time, but it didn't work.
Adam's second girlfriend. At first a nerd just like Adam, she later got a big change during summer camp.
- Hippie Parents: Her parents, Vinny (played by Scott Adsit) and Lynn Geary.
- Odd Friendship: With her former bully, Carla, after they both went to the same summer camp and became punks.
- Punk: Became this after the radical summer camp change. This was the origin of their second big clash which, however, ended in them breaking up.
- Put on a Bus: Between seasons 6 and 7, which was justified in a latter season's episode as her going to college.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: Adam F. Goldberg mentioned that the Real Life!Jackie did have the same summertime radical change that Character!Jackie had between seasons 5 and 6 (apart from changing actresses, of course).
- Real Person Cameo: The real-life Jackie Geary played her mother, Lynn Geary.
- Trekkie: Was this before the radical summer camp change. This was the first big clash between Adam (who loves Star Wars) and Jackie, which they were able to settle.
- Abhorrent Admirer: He was one to Erica before he got into a relationship with Carla.
- Aborted Arc: His relationship with Carla during season 7 is not even mentioned, much less continued, by season 8 — at least, at first. Instead it's implied she went back with Johnny and Dave Kim has no girlfriend. Later, that's made explicit.
- Ascended Extra: In-universe. He started out as a classmate Adam only vaguely knew, and was only invited over because Adam needed an Asian kid to be Data for his Goonies adventure. Later, Dave Kim is a regular visitor to the Goldberg house.
- Asian and Nerdy: He wears glasses and plays Dungeons and Dragons.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: There's nothing wrong or annoying about him, but he's not a member of any of the Goldberg siblings' circles of friends, and they only hang out with him when out of options. This aspect has since been dropped, as Adam willingly hangs with Dave Kim on a regular basis.
- Full-Name Basis: Everyone calls him "Dave Kim" in full.
- Informed Attribute: Ms. Cinnomin evidently sees potential in him, as he has repeatedly been chosen for the lead in the school musical despite not having any clear singing or acting ability.
- Phrase Catcher: "I know, Dave Kim!"
- Affectionate Nickname: Adam often calls her "Muscles".
- D-Cup Distress: Happens in "O Captain! My Captain!" when Adam (reluctantly) reads a note to the class about her chest, making her become self conscious.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: She is stronger than Adam, as shown in Double Dare.
- One of the Boys: She hasnt any problem hanging around Adam and Dave Kim.
- The Not-Love Interest: While she and Adam do love each other, they're more than happy to keep it strictly platonic.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Adam.
- The Prankster: She often helps Adam out with his pranks.
- Real Person Cameo: The real-life Emmy Mirsky (credited by her married name, McCoy) has a recurring role as Emmy's mother, Serry Mirsky.
- Third Wheel: For Adam and either Dana, Jackie, or Brea.
- The Ace: Brea is described as "The most popular girl at William Penn Academy" according to the school's yearbook; she is smart and athletic, and a talented actress, despite her having minimal experience with acting.
- Broken Ace: However, she comes from a divorced family and is raised by her mother, has to wear her orthodontic headgear at night, and has to work an afterschool job, compared to Adam's privileged lifestyle.
- Hiding the Handicap: She revealed in "Airplane!" that she has to wear her orthodontic headgear at night, and has to keep that a secret to maintain her popularity.
- Real Person Cameo: The real-life Brea Bee played her mother, Vickie Bee (spelled "Vicki"). Bee earlier played an unrelated character, Mrs. Vanica, in the season 4 episode, "The Spencer's Gift".
- Almighty Janitor: Becomes one in Schooled, where he is now popular with the students (listening to them and their feelings), operated his Pirate Radio for a while and is now responsible for the school's radio club.
- Berserk Button: Do not harm his ponytail. "That's where my soul resides."
- The Bully: Often rags on Adam and friends For the Evulz, with his erstwhile girlfriend Carla.
- Demoted to Extra: While not a main character, he recurred very frequently until season 8, where he only appears in three episodes at the tail end of the year.
- Informed Attribute: In Schooled Lainey states he did "Rush Hour" (which actually lasted half an hour) on the school radio during the time of The Goldbergs. During the actual The Goldbergs we never actually hear the school radio, much less "Rush Hour".
- Jaded Washout: Becomes the custodian at William Penn in Schooled. Between his popularity at school and being custodian, he worked for a while at the local roller skate rink with Carla.
- Rock is Authentic, Pop is Shallow: Is a big fan of Rush, and disdains everything else as "mass produced crap".
- Relationship Revolving Door: Implied to have gotten back with Carla after school, during season 8, when both were working at the local roller skate rink — even though they didn't go together to the prom.
- Status Quo Is God: Briefly stopped being Adam's bully during season 6, when they all went on The Greatful Dead tour, but went back being so with season 7, Johnny saying there was a clean slate then.
- Third-Person Person: In his first appearances.
Starts out as Johnny Atkins's girlfriend and a bully just like Johnny. Later has a big change at the summer camp, becomes a punk and dumps him for Dave Kim.
- Aborted Arc: Her relationship with Dave Kim during season 7 is not even mentioned, much less continued, by season 8 — at least at first. Instead it's implied she went back with Johnny, while Dave Kim has no girlfriend. Later, that's made explicit.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Before Dave Kim.
- The Bully: Before her big change at the summer camp, she was this with her then-boyfriend Johnny.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Has a habit of needlessly explaining Johhny's put-downs.
- Early Installment Weirdness: At first she was called Carla Natali.
- Eating Lunch Alone: Not really, but she does not sit with the cool kids after splitting up with Johnny; rather, she changes to Dave Kim's and Adam's table.
- Five-Finger Discount: Likes it.
- Jaded Washout: After finishing high school she has a work at the local roller skate hink with Johnny. Unlike him, however, she gets a better job by the time of Schooled, as a pharmaceutical sales rep.
- Odd Couple: With Dave Kim after her big change.
- Odd Friendship: With Jackie after both girls' big change at summer camp.
- Punk: Became this after the radical summer camp change.
- Relationship Revolving Door:
- Implied to have gotten back with Johnny after school, during season 8, when both were working at the local roller skate rink — even though they didn't go together to the prom.
- However, it's made explicit she ended with Dave Kim, and that she misses him, since he was the first boyfriend to have treated her as a human being.
- Skipping School: Also likes this.
The JTP (The Jenkintown Posse)
Geoffrey "Geoff" (Mad Man) Schwartz
- Abhorrent Admirer: Originally one to Erica, but the two have since fallen in love and moved in together at college.
- Ascended Extra: He was just one of Barry's friends, made more distinct by having a crush on Erica. He has since become one of the leads on the show.
- Extreme Doormat: Is always eager to please, often at the expense of his own happiness. This is the reason Erica breaks up with him in season 8, so he can have time to be himself.
- The Un Favourite: Before Erica intervened in season 8, his older sister Jessica was always pampered and complemented despite being a moocher who is always changing careers on a whim, while Geoff was made to feel himself down and having to follow his sister's "example" despite being kind, always being able to make an effort, and being eager to please.
"Naked" Rob Smith
Andy (Ladies Man) Cogan
Matthew "Matt" (Matty Ice) Bradley
Erica's best friend and Barry's girlfriend. Later becomes a teacher at William Penn Academy in Schooled.
- Adaptation Name Change: According to the Real Life Beverly, Lainey's real-life counterpart's name was Tammy Lewis. The name "Lainey" supposedly comes from a babysitter Real!Adam had during childhood.
- Alliterative Name: Lainey Lewis.
- Ascended Extra: Lainey herself, beginning as one of Erica's friends before eventually becoming a breakout character with aspirations of her own. Later she gets her own spinoff.
- Characterization Marches On: In early episodes, she was a spoiled brat with rich parents and her Dad was a crooked lawyer. As she became a more developed character, this was retconned considerably. It is now established that she has had a somewhat difficult life, her mom abandoned her family when she was young, and her Dad is a tile salesman on about the same socioeconomic level as the Goldbergs.
- Heterosexual Life-Partner: To Erica.
- Missing Mom: Lainey likes hanging out at the house because Beverly treats her like one of her own kids.
- Parental Abandonment: Lainey's mother.
- Put on a Bus: She leaves the series midway through season six to participate in the Spinoff Schooled, set at the same high school, but in the 1990s.
- Once the series was cancelled, Lainey made a couple of return appearances in the episodes "The Fake-Up" and "Poker Night."
- What Does She See in Him?: Dating Barry. He's immature, not overly attractive, and kind of an ass. Somehow, they work. However as the series goes on Lainey becomes similarly immature and irrational as Barry.
- In Schooled she states she tried to pull a She's All That on Barry.
"Valley" Erica Coolidge
Erica Goldberg's roommate from her first time in college. Then they both drop out and form a band, "The Dropouts", with Lainey.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Of Barry.
- All There in the Manual: Her last name is Coolidge according to one of her food containers in the episode, "The Scrunchie Rule".
- "Friends" Rent Control: When living at the Goldberg house.
- Roommate Drama: At first, because they have very different personalities and have to share a common room in the college dorm. Later, they get to know each other better (after Erica G. throws a party in their room) and this fades away.
- One Steve Limit: Averted, since she has the same first name as Erica Goldberg. Hence why she was nicknamed "Valley Erica".
- Put on a Bus: During season 7. The Bus Came Back for a season 8 episode.
- Valley Girl: To the point Beverly nicknames her "Valley Erica".
Erica's new season 7 friend whom she meets on school campus with Barry. Her father owns a restaurant chain and her mother is a defense attorney.
- Only One Name: Lauren, which she shortens as Ren.
- Parental Neglect: Her parents are so the exact opposite of Beverly they forget to come to the dinner where they were supposed to meet Erica. She eventually ends up having dinner with Erica, Beverly (who Erica was trying that she not meet Ren for the episode) and Barry. Ren actually states Erica is lucky to have Beverly.
- Official Couple: With Barry for part of season 7 and 8 before she's Put on a Bus
Teachers and other school personnel
Coach Rick Mellor
William Penn Academy's physical education teacher. In Schooled he accumulates that with - of all things! - "training" the Academy's mathletics team.
- Accidental Misnaming: Keeps calling Adam "Goldfarb", except that one time he was actually good at PE. However he calls both his siblings "Goldberg".
- Big Brother Bully: Hes got one of these in his older brother Nick.
- Gym Class Hell: In Adam's eyes, Mr. Mellor's class is this, but he's played with a little more sympathy.
- Hidden Depths:
- Due to being perpetually single, he knows how to keep house very well, and is capable of effectively teaching Barry and Erica how to do so to get them.
- In Schooled it's demonstrated he's actually excellent at math. That's because in high school he could be kicked out of basketball team if he failed, so he cribbed once but got found out and was indeed kicked out for one semester; as such, he started studying math so hard he became excellent at it.
- Also in Schooled we find out his actual teaching method is discovering his students' weak spots and building on them so as to strengthen the students.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hes a total hardass, but he legitimately cares about his student and is a good guy underneath all his bluster.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After Adam tries to prevent a Gym Class Hell for him and his friends and then stabs them in the back by picking all the jocks, Mr. Mellor lets Dave Kim and the others challenge them to Dungeons & Dragons. Unfortunately he didn't realize it would take over four hours and regrets it.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: It takes convincing to make him switch to longer shorts in "Schooled."
- Worthy Opponent: He is the only school faculty member not terrified of Beverly, as he admires her winning spirit and seems to enjoy arguing with her.
Miss Susan Cinoman
Principal Earl Ball
Mr. Jonathan "John" Andre Glascott
The school counsellor who later becomes principal in Schooled.
Coach Nick Mellor
- Big Brother Bully: Has this relationship with Coach Rick. While they do care about each other and patch their relationship up, whenever they attempt to teach a class it almost always ends with them getting into a brawl.
Lainey's single dad.
- Characterization Marches On: In early episodes, he was a crooked lawyer and his daughter was a spoiled brat with rich parents. As his daughter became a more developed character, this was retconned considerably. It is now established that they have had a somewhat difficult life, his wife abandoned her family when she was young, and he is a tile salesman on about the same socioeconomic level as the Goldbergs.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Murray.
- Parental Abandonment: Bill's ex-wife.
Jenkintown's resident Con Man.
- Honest John's Dealership: He's a Con Man version of a Jack-of-All-Trades. One of his businesses is an actual dealership that sells Murray an Austrian Ferrari knock-off branded Bitter which breaks after only two daysnote - and in Real Life is still parked in the Goldberg house passage at Jenkintown. Other businesses he has operated include: a fake model agency and... a fake bank, the branch of which was in a stall, outside a real branch of a real bank, and which name was clearly a ripoff of said real bank. How can anyone fall for this man, especially when he has done con after con and always uses the same name?
- New Job as the Plot Demands: Whenever he appears, he has a widely different job from the last time. A common link between all of them is that they're cons.
- What an Idiot!: Why do the people of Jenkintown - including the Goldberg family - keep falling for this man when he's done con after con after con with them?
Beverly's rival who is so like her.
- Always Someone Better: Beverly's main purpose is to always beat Jane Bales. Jane Bales's main purpose is to always beat Beverly. Sometimes Beverly succeeds, sometimes Jane Bales does.
- Enemy Mine: Sometimes, Beverly and Jane Bales have to unite their efforts at yenta-ing. Despite their mutual enmity starting out to deny them helping each other, in the end they can always be fruitful.
- Full-Name Basis: Beverly always calls her Jane Bales.
- The Matchmaker: Succeeded at finding Bill his new girlfriend.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: She's Beverly's local rival at yenta-ing.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: She's always trying to outshine Beverly, especially when it comes to her friends, and vice-versa.