Any victims of the apotheosis have the trope Brainwashed and Crazy applied to them.
Played by Jon Matteson
A normal guy whose main defining characteristic is his dislike of musicals. When he finds himself in one, he hates it.
- Accidental Hero: Paul is just a normal guy who suddenly has the fate of the world resting on his shoulders when it is up to him to destroy the meteor.
- Adorkable: Seems to be right in Jon Matteson's wheelhouse, especially the way he initially awkwardly hits on Emma.
- Ambiguously Bi: Paul shows no signs of being attracted to men (or anyone other than Emma) in the show, but fans have seized on the soundtrack version of "What Do You Want, Paul?" having Paul stammer he wants "money, a partner, kids" rather than saying a wife and kids. May or may not be Epileptic Trees.
- Arch-Enemy: The Hive Mind ends up designating Paul as its archnemesis, whether he likes it or not.
- Back from the Dead: Can anyone infected by the blue shit actually die?
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: "Let It Out" ends up being a song about Paul trying to throw off the Hive Mind's influence in an argument with himself.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: Goes from being the one non-singing actor in the show, what with hating musicals and all, to leading the final Reprise Medley as "the star of the show".
- Beneath the Mask: The point of "Let It Out" is the Hive Mind trying to convince Paul that beneath his mask of a content, unambituous life, he really is deeply unhappy and needs the Hive Mind to take away his pain. Whether it's right or it's Gaslighting him is a matter of interpretation.
- Berserk Button: Paul is a very mild person, but he makes no secret of the fact that he dislikes musical theatre, and when pushed on this becomes very angry about it.
- Classical Antihero: Is very open about the fact that he's not particularly ambitious or noble to start out with, including telling the Greenpeace Girl he feels no responsibility to "save the planet". This changes once the alien invasion begins.
- Defiant to the End: Even with the Hive Mind having almost complete control of his body, Paul manages to pull the pin on the grenade and scream "I DON'T LIKE MUSICALS" before blowing up the meteor. Unfortunately, those aren't quite his last words...
- Drink-Based Characterization: He takes his coffee black. This seems to be less about Real Men Take It Black than that Paul is a generally boring person and doesn't want to make extra work for Emma.
- The Everyman: Paul is set up as one of these, although he gets more development by the end of the show — his only notable trait is that he doesn't like musicals, and serves as an Audience Surrogate for how a normal Real Life person would react to inexplicably waking up inside the world of a musical theatre production.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Paul goes to blow up the meteor, knowing in all likelihood it's a suicide mission. He succeeds, but the Hive Mind survives, which means so does he.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Bill. Bill mentions that Paul used to babysit his daughter Alice and take her to school, and the two still work together. They seem very close, and Paul is extremely hurt by Bill's death.
- Loners Are Freaks: Paul isn't a hardcore loner but he is pretty aggressively uninterested in most of the passions other people have, from the company softball league to saving the environment to, of course, musical theatre. This goes from being something others find mildly off-putting to something the Hive Mind declares anathema that makes it become Paul's Arch-Enemy.
- Meaningful Name: Paul's surname, Matthews, is a reference to the protagonist of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), who was named Matthew Bennell.
- Nice to the Waiter: Paul distinguishes himself from all the other customers at Beanie's by being considerate to the baristas and ignoring the obnoxious "tip song" policy... although, as a Hypocritical Humor joke, it turns out this is just because he's sweet on Emma ("I don't give a shit about them").
- Only Sane Man: As time goes on, he is (along with Emma) truly the only sane man, but is also this compared to his more eccentric coworkers, especially evident in the scene where Bill and Ted are arguing.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: A major plot point since Paul is so content with his boring life and job that the Hive Mind is unable to convert him.
- Stepford Smiler: During "Let It Out", he claims "I've never been happy" despite seeming perfectly content with his life up until the invasion. Possibly invoked by the Hive Mind who are trying to convert him, and lampshaded by Paul himself who sings "Is this me, or is this you?!?" beforehand.
- Team Dad: As part of his Only Sane Man gig, he becomes the leader of the gang and looks out for everyone else.
- Tenor Boy: It seems like Paul would be in this vocal range but it's hard to tell just from his speaking voice, since he after all does not sing because he hates musicals. The ending devastatingly confirms Jon Matteson indeed has a beautifully piercing leading man tenor.
- You Have to Believe Me!: Isn't very good at trying not to sound crazy when he initially tries to get Emma to "consider the implications".
Played by Lauren Lopez, understudy Nick LangA barista attempting to work her way through community college. Paul's crush.
- Bad "Bad Acting": Just watch Emma halfheartedly muddle her way through the choreography in "Cup of Roasted Coffee" (which Lauren Lopez said was harder than just doing it for real).
- Brainy Brunette: The only character to figure out that the meteor was the source of the blue shit.
- Brilliant, but Lazy:
- Musical version. Unlike Paul, Emma is a talented singer and dancer who even performed in a musical back in high school, but has no interest in theatre simply because she doesn't want to put in the effort. That bad attitude may be why she was the only employee of Beanie's to escape assimilation.
- Also applies to her scholarly intellect, in that she admits the reason she didn't go to college earlier was she didn't care, Prof. Hidgens considers her his best student, and she's the one who comes up with the idea that the Hive Mind has a Hive Queen in the form of the meteor.
- Burger Fool: Very much has this attitude toward her job, to the point of eventually admitting she habitually spit in the coffee.
- Cain and Abel: Had a relationship like this with her sister. When "the good sister" died suddenly and tragically, it was her wakeup call to try to get her act together.
- Call to Agriculture: In a twist on the more wholesome version of this, Emma plans to move out West to start a cannabis farm, thinking it's a surefire business to get in on the ground floor of once nationwide legalization hits.
- Coughing Up Blood: A hilarious Reality Ensues where she tries to give Paul a Last Kiss while dying from her injuries... only to kill the mood by spitting blood all over his face.
- Deadpan Snarker: Outdoes Lauren Lopez's past roles in this department, and that's saying something.
- Delinquent: Was this as a child, leading to her becoming a rootless drifter as an adult.
- Final Girl: Emma ends up being this.
- Forgotten First Meeting: It turns out that as a teenager Paul saw Emma perform the lead in Brigadoon... And in a twist on this trope, he hated it.Paul: You're the reason I don't like musicals!Emma: (flattered) Oh, I'm your origin story?
- Ironic Death: She declares that all she ever wanted was to die outside of Harchetfield. She gets her wish, in the sense that she makes it as far as the neighboring town of Clivesdale.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's very grumpy and foul-mouthed. Justified in that she starts of the show stuck working a shitty job, with a shitty boss and customers, in a town she absolutely hates. Her interactions with Paul show off her softer side.
- Ms. Fanservice: The required uniform at Beanie's has Lauren Lopez in short shorts for the whole show.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: She's repeatedly shouting "No!" while Prof. Hidgens strips out of his jacket, in sharp contrast to most of the audience (and Ted).
- Not What I Signed Up For: Part of the reason why she resents Nora forcing her to sing and dance so much. She signed up to serve coffee and shitty pastries, and nothing else.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When Paul gets grabbed by "Greg" after Hidgens' betrayal Ted takes the opportunity to steal his gun and run for it. Emma, despite being unarmed and a tiny woman half Greg's size, somehow saves Paul offstage anyway.
- Only Sane Man: By the end...
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Emma manages to physically fight off the zombies twice despite being a "cute little barista" with no combat training, first saving Paul from "Greg" offstage (despite Greg being twice her size and, theoretically, a football player), then somehow wrestling herself free of the assimilated Ted and grabbing his gun. (Although it is true the Hive Mind earlier explicitly said it was going to deny Paul a quick and easy death and may be toying with them.)
- Screaming Woman: Emma averts this for most of the show, reacting appropriately to the danger around her once she thinks about the implications but generally being more levelheaded than the people around her, including Paul. She succumbs fully to this at the sheer horror of the Downer Ending the Hive Mind has engineered for her. Her abject howl of despair as the assembled zombies happily reprise "Showstoppin' Number" is a peak moment in horror comedy. In what may be a parody of the trope or a hint at her impending assimilation, the end of the show is Emma "screaming" out a piercing high note to end the song "Inevitable".
- The Show Must Go On: For one legendary performance Nick Lang had to come in and play Emma at the last minute because Lauren got sick. There's no recordings of that performance, but there is one of him having to learn the choreography to "Cup of Roasted Coffee" the afternoon before the show. (Enforced Method Acting, since Emma is also supposed to have only learned the dance the night before.)
- Tsundere: A mild but notable example of this trope. Foul-mouthed, abrasive and opinionated to most people she meets, especially in comparison to Paul. Notably, when Paul talks to Ted about the "hot barista from Beanie's" it turns out Ted meant Zoey and is shocked anyone could have a crush on "the crabby one".
- Unkempt Beauty: Emma gets progressively more disheveled as time passes in this play (as a result of having to rush through a quick change at the beginning of Act 2) but it doesn't make her any less desirable to Paul.
- Walking the Earth: Spent most of her life doing this, getting as far as Guatemala, before coming back to try to be responsible.
- Witness Protection: As the sole survivor of Hatchetfield, PEIP gives Emma a new identity, "Kelly", and the deed to the farm out West she's always wanted. Seems awfully decent of them considering their past policy of killing all witnesses. Turns out it was, in fact, too good to be true.
Played by Joey RichterA self-described "sleazeball". Works with Paul, is screwing around with Charlotte behind her husband's back.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Despite the direness of his situation during "Showstopping Number" Ted can't help but get sucked into Hidgens' pitch for "Workin' Boys".
- Ambiguously Bi: Ted mostly seems to be a straight guy, and a particularly misogynistic and predatory one at that, but during Prof. Hidgens' "Showstopping Number" he's the one Eating the Eye Candy while Emma is resolutely Not Distracted by the Sexy.
- Asshole Victim: After an epiphany about being a better person he reveals himself to be a coward and flees at the sight of danger, leaving Paul to be dragged away. This scene precedes his death at the hands of General McNamara.
- Back from the Dead: Can anyone infected by the blue shit actually die?
- Butt-Monkey: Ted is subjected to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Charlotte and Sam during "Join Us and Die." After everything he's said and done it's hard not to find this satisfying.
- Death of Personality: When Ted is killed and converted by the assimilated PEIP soldiers they've refined the process so it's almost instantaneous. Awful as Ted is, it's deeply chilling to see the light in his eyes go out.
- Dirty Coward: He runs away when Paul is attacked without thinking. When he meets the military group he claims to be the only survivor in order to move out faster.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He proudly proclaims that while Sam is a "scumbag", he himself is merely a "sleazeball". He has a point — he may be cheating with Charlotte but never cheats on anyone, and never tries to deceive anyone about what kind of person he is.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Ted was already basically this, before the apocalypse revealed his worst traits.
- Hidden Depths: The pre-assimilated characters having this is a theme of this show. Supreme Jerkass Ted is somehow moved to tears by the story of "Workin' Boys".
- Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Later in the play he vows to be a better person and declares Paul to be his best friend. When he abandons Paul seconds later he claims that while he's a better person he's still not a good person.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- He rather insensitively tells Bill that in these times there are people who are alive and those who are dead, and Bill's daughter is good as dead and so will he if he risks going out to rescue her. He ends up being correct as Alice has already been assimilated by the time Bill reaches her, which leads to Bill's death.
- His speech to Charlotte about her 'refusing to be happy' and choosing Sam over him might be incredibly mean spirited and fueled by Charlotte not wanting to sleep with him at the time, but from what little we saw of her phone call at the beginning implies that she was miserable in her marriage with Sam.
- Mr. Fanservice: Has his shirt off in one of his first scenes.
- Serial Homewrecker: Ted sleeping with the married Charlotte, and implies this is a pattern for him. However, it's also shown that he has sincere romantic feelings for her, making it hard to tell whether he genuinely is this trope, or if he's just claiming to be so he can cover up his emotions, since she still wants to stay with her husband.
- Tempting Fate: He seems so happy and smug about doing the smart thing and betraying the others when he finally makes it to the extraction point that his fate is almost a foregone conclusion.
Played by Jaime Lyn BeattyOne of Paul's coworkers, who is unhappily married to Sam and cheating on him with Ted. Quiet most of the time.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Seems to be the reason she ended up with Sam in the first place, and then sought solace for her terrible relationship with Sam (a "scumbag") with Ted (a "sleazeball").
- Angrish: The resurrected Charlotte is so filled with violent rage her lyrics seem to be riddled with Malapropisms ("Sorry to interrupt/But we've got bones to pluck") and redundant phrases ("We're gonna kick your ass/And then we're gonna... FUCKING kick your ass!") Makes sense, since the song is about the Hive Mind losing its patience with trying to seduce people through music, instead Cutting the Knot by just killing them.
- Back from the Dead: Can anyone infected by the blue shit actually die?
- Beware the Quiet Ones: She reveals when praying for Sam's life that she's been bottling up a ton of anger toward him, which is why she feels so much guilt that he seems to have actually died. All that repression may explain why once she turns she sings a paean to violence and murder ("Join Us and Die").
- Body Horror: Charlotte reappears immediately after her death and resurrection, meaning she still has her entrails — now bright blue — dangling out of her ribcage.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even during her violent rampage during "Join Us and Die", she hesitates before attacking Bill, and then she and Sam start attacking Ted instead. Whether this is because she was moved by Emma's appeal to her that "He has a daughter!" or because of the original Charlotte and Sam's history with Ted is unknown.
- Evil Is Sexy: Charlotte undergoes one of the most dramatic transformations of any of the assimilated, coming back as an incredibly charismatic (and violent) rock star.
- Hidden Depths: She seems like such a classically innocent doormat of an abused wife that it's a surprise when we see how passionate her revenge affair with Ted seems to be.
- Incredibly Long Note: Assimilated Charlotte returns with a line that reminds us that under the pastel sweater and timid mannerisms, she's still Jaime Lyn Beatty.Charlotte: It is time... to DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEE!
- Nervous Wreck: Most likely caused by her destructive relationship with her husband, her guilt over cheating on him, or just her general nature, Charlotte's hands shake after conversations and she has cigarettes, a lighter, and a flask at work.
- Shrinking Violet: Charlotte is very much this, one reason she's a bad match for Sam. Her call sheet describes her as a caricature of a middle aged office lady who dresses exclusively in pastel sweaters with pictures of cats.
- Shout-Out: Charlotte's Creepy Cute line "All you gotta do is" in "Join Us and Die" is a Call-Back to Jaime Lyn Beatty as Neato Mosquito in Starship.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Literally does this with Ted.
- Sympathetic Adulterer: Compared to her husband Sam who thinks nothing of canceling their 'cuddle night' just to go out with Zoey, it's clear her affair with Ted is out of a desperate need for passion and love.
- Wet Blanket Wife: What her cop husband sees her as, in a textbook version of this trope.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Sam with self-proclaimed "sleazeball" Ted.
Played by Corey DorrisPaul's best friend, a divorced man who spends most of his time trying to reconnect with his teenage daughter Alice.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Alice clearly considers Bill this.
- Back from the Dead: One would think that being shot in the head would do it, and, failing that, being blown up by a meteor, but neither works.
- Black and Nerdy: He is played by the only black member of the cast, and he's in the show because he's Paul's best friend, but he very much averts the Token Black Friend trope (a black guy who's the protagonist's best friend to be stereotypically "cool" and make him cooler by association). He's significantly less cool than Paul or anyone else in the show — which, knowing Paul, is saying something.
- Chekhov's Gun: In the YouTube version of the show you can hear the audience audibly gasp when Paul wrestles the shotgun out of Bill's hands and lets it fall to the floor, so desperate to talk Bill out of his despair he's unmindful of Alice slowly reaching toward it.
- Disneyland Dad: He and his ex-wife seem to be locked in the traditional bidding war for their daughter's affection. Except that in a reversal of this trope, his wife, who as usual is the custodial parent, also has more money than him — he tries and spectacularly fails to one-up the trip to New York where they saw Hamilton with a touring production of Mamma Mia! and a trip to Red Lobster.
- Driven to Suicide: Almost happens after he finds out his daughter has been assimilated and it's partially his fault she didn't leave the town. Paul stops him though he is killed anyways.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Paul. Bill mentions that Paul used to babysit his daughter Alice and take her to school, and the two still work together. They seem very close, and Paul is extremely hurt by Bill's death.
- I Have a Family: Infected!Charlotte is about to kill Bill but then turns aside after Emma shouts "He has a daughter!" Unfortunately, that seems to be because the Hive Mind thought his daughter being the one to kill him would better fit the Rule of Drama.
- It's All My Fault: Bill is relentlessly haunted by his fears that he's failed to be a supportive enough parent to Alice, and that this failure may have indirectly led to her death. The assimilated Alice gleefully confirms each and every one of them.
- Non-Action Guy: Ted relentlessly mocks Bill for being this to try to dissuade him from going to rescue his daughter. It doesn't work.
- Papa Wolf: A more laid-back version, but certainly feels that his daughter can do better than Deb.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Bill's death at the top of Act II is our first clear sign this story isn't going to end happily.
- Straight Edge: Bill isn't The Teetotaler, but given the chance to raid Hidgens' bar he prefers a Shirley Temple to an alcoholic drink because he thinks they "might need a designated driver", only to get mocked badly enough by Ted he caves and gets drunk anyway. Unfortunately, he was right about needing to drive.
- He also has a kneejerk prejudice against stoners.
- The Woobie: Is very open about the fact that after his divorce he has nothing in his life he cares about anymore but Alice.
Played by Robert ManionEmma's eccentric Doomsday Survivalist biology professor, who predicted the apotheosis thirty years ago. His closest companion is Alexa, and his first love is musical theatre.
- The Alcoholic: Hidgens freely admits there isn't much to do while holed up in his bunker but drink.
- Ambiguously Gay: Has vaguely overdramatic mannerisms that gradually become increasingly Camp Gay until they burst into full flower with "Showstopping Number". Has apparently never loved any woman besides his Amazon Echo, but has constructed an elaborate fantasy musical world revolving around "tossing around the old pigskin" with "his boys".
- Back from the Dead: Can anyone infected by the blue shit actually die?
- Badass Normal: Musical zombie version. His "Showstopping Number" announcing his FaceHeel Turn happens before his assimilation, and contains the most impressive choreography in the show.
- Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: It seems unlikely his musical "Workin' Boys" is autobiographical, if only because he's clearly spent most of his life alone in his bunker, but once he gets into performing it Hidgens seems to forget there's any difference between himself and his character "Henry".
- Cargo Ship: Says he loves his Benevolent A.I. assistant Alexa as much as he could any human woman... even though "she" is clearly just an off-the-shelf Amazon Echo.
- Crazy Survivalist: Has been preparing for the apocalypse for decades and has a bunker.
- The "crazy" part leads to the FaceHeel Turn — he comes to realize the Hive Mind is the only possible way to prevent all the other apocalypses he's predicted.
- Expy: Prof. Hidgens' appearance and demeanor is a mash-up of Leonard Nimoy's role as Dr. Kibner in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) and Carl Sagan in Cosmos.
- FaceHeel Turn: He joins the aliens due to his love of musicals.
- Hidden Depths: Despite being a mad scientist and survivalist, he has a passion for theatre and even wrote a musical in his spare time.
- Large Ham: As only Robert Manion can.
- Mad Scientist: Yes, Hidgens did predict to the exact detail that this particular zombie apocalypse would happen, despite Paul's skepticism. The "mad" part gets worse after his FaceHeel Turn.
- Meaningful Name: Nick Lang says giving him the name "Henry Hidgens" was a purely accidental similarity to My Fair Lady, but Jeff Blim was among the people who made the connection to Robert Manion's Rex-Harrison-esque performance.
- Mercy Kill: Makes the bizarre decision to order Alexa to self destruct to spare her the horrors to come (even though she can't because "she" is just an ordinary home appliance).
- Mr. Exposition: Prof. Hidgens is the obligatory Mad Scientist with an unlikely level of familiarity with the alien phenomenon who shows up midway through a classic science fiction monster movie for the benefit of the main characters (and the audience).
- No Name Given: Presumably Emma knows Prof. Hidgens' first name since she took a class with him, but it's never spoken to the audience. It's left ambiguous in the show itself if the main character of Workin' Boys, Henry, is named after him or not, but as of the announcement of the standalone Workin' Boys short film it's been confirmed that Henry is his real name.
- The Quisling: Prof. Hidgens joins with the aliens due to rant against The Evils of Free Will and love of musical theatre.
- Smoking Is Cool: Hidgens is smoking a cigarette when he comes in with a shotgun to save everyone from the assimilated Charlotte and Sam.
- This Is Gonna Suck: For all his bluster about welcoming death and apotheosis, Prof. Hidgens is brought up short when he realizes how... viscerally painful the process is going to be.Hidgens: Yes! Make me one of you! (as Greg and Stu reach for his tummy) No! Not my tummy! (shrieks as they tear out the contents of his tummy)
- Walking Spoiler: Hidgens' betrayal of humanity is one of the biggest spoilers for Act 2, and, thanks to Robert Manion's performance in "Showstopping Number", it's all anyone wants to talk about regarding his character.
- Alien Blood: Anyone affected will have blue blood.
- Ambiguously Bi: All of the assimilated, regardless of their previous gender or sexuality, caress Paul seductively during their confrontation in "Let It Out".
- Back from the Dead: Can anyone infected by the blue shit actually die?
- The Bad Guy Wins: At the end they survive the destruction of the meteor and have moved to the mainland, infecting the world.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: The assimilated humans' blood and internal organs turn into a bright blue gelatinous substance, giving them a decentralized anatomy that can function even if they lose their hearts or brains.
- Hidgens discovers that the aliens apparently contain an organ many times more sensitive to sound than the human ear, allowing them to hear music from miles away and maintain the Hive Mind through ultrasonic communication.
- Apparently both the meteor itself and the people it transforms emit some kind of "infectious spore" that allows the infection to slowly passively spread. It goes faster if the assimilated get you to take the concentrated "blue shit" into your body, by getting you to drink contaminated coffee, by holding you down so they can bite you or "puke in your mouth", or, toward the end, by exposing you to some kind of concentrated radiation.
- Evil Evolves: The assimilated start out just encouraging people to join them in singing and dancing and fleeing from violence even though they're Immune to Bullets. As Hidgens observes, they get more aggressive as their numbers grow, turning into a Zombie Apocalypse that spreads by mauling and biting people ("Join Us and Die"). Once they assimilate the PEIP unit ("America Is Great Again"), they've reached the point where they can use complex military tactics and infect a person instantly with concentrated meteor radiation. They also go from seemingly taking hours to recover from fatal wounds to seconds.
- Flat Character: Even though they have all the memories of their hosts, the victims of the musical plague are all on the same side, have no conflicts with each other, and no real interest in anything but singing and dancing. They pretty much become Flanderized versions of their past selves, taking on roles based on their profession or role in the story (Sam becomes just a "cop", McNamara a "soldier", etc.)
- For the Evulz: Whether or not you see the Hive Mind eventually putting an end to The Evils of Free Will as a positive thing, it certainly seems to go out of its way to cause pain and suffering to the unassimilated rather than doing things efficiently. It outright admits to Paul that it has a sadistic desire to torture him until he "begs for apotheosis" because it's offended he's thwarted it so often. May relate to the fact that it's a Hive Mind based on musical theatre and therefore operates based on Rule of Drama.
- A God Am I: The Hive Mind's Insistent Terminology for assimilation is "apotheosis", indicating it sees itself as God.
- The Hive Mind deliberately impersonates God when Charlotte prays over Sam's body, to convince her to accept his recovery as a "miracle".
- Healing Factor: The assimilated repeatedly recover from what should be mortal wounds, whether acquired before or after they were infected. Bill, for instance, seems to have been infected as a corpse and to have risen from the dead after the PEIP raid. This process seems to speed up as time goes on — Sam takes hours to recover from his head injury, while Ted and Gen. McNamara both shrug off fatal gunshot wounds within seconds. (To be fair, though, Sam recovered from losing his entire brain.)
- Hive Mind: How they are able to preform choreographed musical numbers. It appears individual members of the Hive Mind can have their thoughts get out of sync with each other, and recalibrate themselves by literally matching pitch.
- Hive Queen: Emma theorizes that the Hive Mind must have a central intelligence, and that it must be housed in the meteorite that brought the infection. Paul decides to blow it up and destroy it. Unfortunately, either she was wrong or it didn't take.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The infected don't seem to actually eat human flesh (or anything at all), but they bite and tear at people's organs in imitation of zombie movies as a quick way to infect them (and seemingly to vent their frustrations).
- Not Using the "Z" Word: It's not clear whether the converted singing-and-dancing humans would be more appropriately called "zombies" or "pod people", but the characters avoid either in favor of simply saying "Them". Ted refers to them as zombies in a line however.
- Rule of Drama: The Hive Mind seems to be controlled by this, being as it is a creature of musical theatre. It goes out of its way to find zombies to play "Greg" and "Stu" so Prof. Hidgens can finish performing "Workin' Boys" before assimilating him, and the whole ending is the Hive Mind going to great lengths to give Emma a Hope Spot before assimilating her.
- Speak in Unison: The zombies certainly spend a lot of time singing in unison, but they also do this with the classic science fiction Creepy Monotone during "Cup of Roasted Coffee" and after killing Bill, seemingly just to intimidate Emma and Paul. Hilariously, they seem to find staying in sync much more difficult this way.
- Stalker with a Crush: The Hive Mind seems to develop this relationship with Paul and Emma.
- Zombie Gait: The assimilated are expert dancers and have no need to walk like this, and only seem to do it as part of The Reveal of their nature in order to taunt their victims.
Played by Jeff BlimPaul's boss, one of the first victims of the apotheosis.
- Ambiguously Bi: Is very happily married to his wife, but sings to Paul, "There's gotta be something that'll keep my hands off you!"
- Cannot Spit It Out: Almost tells his wife he wants to be choked while he jerks off but balks at the last minute.
- Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Paul does his best to pull this when Mr. Davidson reveals that he wants his wife to choke him while he jerks off.
- Happily Married: Even if he gives way Too Much Information about what he wants to do with his wife in the bedroom, the way he describes Carol is actually pretty sweet.
- Hidden Depths: Turns out to be extremely kinky, much to Paul's horror.
- "I Want" Song: "What Do You Want, Paul?" He also inverts it to attempt to get it to be an "I Want" Song for Paul, but Paul's not into it.
Played by Mariah Rose FaithMr. Davidson's assistant, who seems to enjoy softball.
- Adorkable: She's very excited when she asks Paul to join the company softball team.
- Informed Flaw: We aren't outright told that she's unattractive, but Paul clearly treats her this way, with polite but intense discomfort. This is obviously at odds with Mariah Rose Faith's real appearance and her other characters in this show. (The script calls for Paul's actor to pretend that Melissa has one extremely crooked tooth that he can't help but stare at when he looks at her.)
- Meganekko: Mainly to visually distinguish her from Mariah's other characters.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Comes very close to being this when she rings Mr. Davidson's wife just seconds after Mr. Davidson confesses that he wants his wife to choke him while he jerks off.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: She's not seen again after Mr. Davidson's song for the rest of the show. (Mariah Rose Faith was already playing Alice, Zoey, the Greenspace Canvasser, and the nurse at the end who turns out to be assimilated, so bringing her back for any other scenes would be basically impossible.)
Played by Jaime Lyn BeattyEmma's boss, who makes all her employees sing.
- Actor Allusion: Played by Jaime Lyn Beatty, who actually does work in a coffee shop and served as the production's expert on realistically portraying one.
- Benevolent Boss: To Zoey. Not to Emma. This may be because Emma makes it very clear that she doesn't like her job.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Nora is a pretty Bad Boss to Emma and does make many unreasonable demands and play favorites... but Emma is also pretty rude to the customers and bad at her job. (And that's before we find it she routinely spits in the coffee.)
- Small Name, Big Ego: Seems to harbor ambitions of turning Beanie's from a random crappy coffee shop into a local institution by turning the staff into entertainment for the customers. As Emma points out, this is a lot to ask of random low wage employees.
Played by Mariah Rose FaithEmma's manager, despite being ten years younger than her. According to Emma, she was part of an "awful" performance of Godspell that she takes great pride in.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: The only reason she's into a "scumbag" like Sam (that and the uniform).
- Asshole Victim: Before she's assimilated, we see her suck up to her boss to get out of work, be rude to Emma, and is dating the married Sam, who she admits she only dates because he's a police officer.
- Drama Queen: In both senses of the term. Seems to think her amateur theatre career is more important than actually doing her job.
- Dramatic Unmask: Obviously we can tell the helicopter pilot is Mariah Rose Faith, but Emma's shocked reaction when she pulls the goggles off her face lets us know that it actually is Zoey.
- Foreshadowing: Zoey snottily turns down Emma's offer of a ride home during the storm because she's seen Emma's "crappy car" and doesn't want to "crash and die". Zoey later unexpectedly shows up to give Emma a helicopter ride, in which they do crash and almost die. Her saying this may also be a cruel comment toward Emma that doubles as foreshadowing, as it's later revealed that Emma's sister died in a car crash.
- Harbinger of Impending Doom: The reveal that the helicopter pilot isn't just played by Mariah Rose Faith but actually is Zoey shows just how bad things have gotten and how far the Hive Mind has gone to screw with our heroes.
- Instant Expert: Gains the ability to pilot a helicopter due to the Hive Mind she has.
Played by Mariah Rose FaithA witty environment enthusiast.
- Catch Phrase: "Do you want to save the planet?"
- Deadpan Snarker: Makes up a fake Greenpeace campaign to save the turtles just to catch Paul in a lie about having already donated.
- Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Applies to all the zombies, but the first sign Paul gets that something is very wrong is how she seems to have completely forgiven him after the previous day's altercation.
- No Name Given: Even though she becomes one of the recurring zombies who haunts Paul all the way to the end of the show, we never hear her called anything other than "Greenpeace Girl".
Played by Mariah Rose FaithBill's daughter, who lives with her mother most of the time and is dating Deb.
- Adult Fear: Alice specifically invokes this to her father's face. "You left me out of your sight for one second and look what happens, nightmare time. It's worse than you could imagine, not sex and not drugs, just alien invading minds."
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Bill doesn't like Deb. Not because she's a girl; he simply thinks Alice can do better. Like Grace Chastity.
- Death of Personality: A chilling example — after Bill dies, the assimilated Alice seems to drop the pretense that she actually is Alice and becomes nothing but a Creepy Monotone mouthpiece for the Hive Mind.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: "Not Your Seed" sounds like a typical Emo Teen anthem about a kid growing up into somebody their parents don't understand anymore, even though it's actually about Alice dying and turning into a zombie.
- Evil Gloating: "Not Your Seed" is a weird version of this, being a song about Alice's anger and grief at her death, sung by Alice's body, but actually coming from the Hive Mind that killed Alice in the first place.
- Fun T-Shirt: The second time we see Alice, her pink sweater is unbuttoned, revealing the shirt underneath has the slogan "Beautiful Monster", revealing she's been assimilated.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Alice is this to her girlfriend Deb's Butch Lesbian.
- Minor Character, Major Song: Almost all of her stage time is taken up by "Not Your Seed".
- Murder Into Malevolence: The assimilated Alice presents herself as this, seeking only to hurt Bill and drive him to suicide to get back at him for his failure to save her from the Hive Mind. Of course, it soon transpires that this was just the Hive Mind being a Sadist For the Evulz.
- Patricide: She kills her father Bill.
- Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Bill seems terrified that this is happening to Alice thanks to Deb and her delinquent friends. It does happen in the sense that Deb and her friends were assimilated by the meteor and then killed Alice. The assimilated Alice seems happy to treat this as basically the same thing, for the sake of taunting Bill.
- Taking the Kids: Bill's whole character is defined by him still reeling from losing custody of Alice.
- Visit by Divorced Dad: From Alice's perspective the plot of the show is one of these episodes, gone ridiculously wrong.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Except for one brief scene, Alice is a completely Offscreen Character until we meet her in her assimilated form.
Played by Jaime Lyn BeattyAlice's girlfriend, who Bill dislikes.
- Butch Lesbian: Deb is this to her girlfriend Alice's Lipstick Lesbian.
- The Stoner: Alice reveals to her father's horror that he was right about Deb; she's a hardcore stoner.
- Phoneaholic Teenager: When struggling to give an actual reason he hates Deb Bill throws out the fact that she's "always on her phone".
- Straw Vegetarian: Bill seems to regard Deb being a vegetarian — and defining "vegetarian" as not eating seafood, even on Red Lobster's Crabfest — as yet another way she's deliberately antagonizing him.
- Toxic Friend Influence: Bill thinks Deb is this to Alice. Ironically, the one time we actually see Deb and Alice before their assimilation Deb is the one standing up to peer pressure, dragging Alice away from "the Smoke Club".
Played by Jeff BlimCharlotte's husband, who frequently cheats on her. One of the first victims of the apotheosis.
- Air Guitar: Indulges in some air guitar and air drumming when backing up his wife in "Join Us and Die".
- Asshole Victim: The way he treats Charlotte makes it hard to get too worked up over Ted bashing in his skull... which just makes the fact that Charlotte does get worked up over it a bigger Tear Jerker.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Sam does get a moment of sincere love and appreciation for his wife... After she's turned into a murderous singing undead rock star.
- Back from the Dead: Can anyone infected by the blue shit actually die?
- Bastard Boyfriend: So much. Is a massively Bastard Husband to Charlotte, as well as being a Bastard Boyfriend on the side to many other women, most recently Zoey (who's still in the phase where she finds this charming). "You Tied Up My Heart" is a — forced, insincere, alien-composed — classic apology song for this behavior.
- The Bad Guys Are Cops: He and two other cops are infected by the spores.
- Cliché Storm: "You Tied Up My Heart" is a muddled series of insincere romantic clichés clearly just intended to get Charlotte to untie Sam, which just makes it all the more heartbreaking that Charlotte responds sincerely to it.
- Creepy Cute: Sam adopts this affect after his assimilation, both when pleading for Charlotte to untie him ("Don't you twust me?") and when singing along with "Join Us and Die."
- Fighting from the Inside: In the otherwise totally Played for Laughs sequence "Show Me Your Hands", he has a heartbreaking moment where he almost seems to come back to normal when he looks in Charlotte's eyes... before he pulls a gun on her.
- Good-Looking Privates: Sam has no illusion about the fact that the main thing women see in him is the authority that comes from his uniform (and his gun).
- Not Himself: Charlotte first realizes something is wrong when she hears Sam in the shower and he "has the voice of an angel", to which she reacts with comical horror.
- Police Brutality: Makes it clear that if anyone disobeys his (conflicting) orders he'll shoot them. Seems to have a habit of roughing up suspects even while they're trying to obey his orders, just to show he can.
- Reckless Gun Usage: Was apparently already prone to using his sidearm to randomly intimidate people before assimilation Flanderized him into even more of a caricature of a bad cop.
- Villain Song: He gets three of these. The first is "Show Me Your Hands" where he first confronts the main characters and sings that if they don't obey him he'll shoot them. The second is You Tied Up My Heart, a song he uses to get Charlotte to sympathize with him and release him. The third is "Join Us (And Die)" which is the most traditional villin song where they reveal they've given up subterfuge and become openly violent.
- Who Even Needs a Brain?: Half his brain falls out after his head is mauled, yet he's still a competent singer.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Pretends to be dying so Charlotte releases him.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheated on Charlotte with at least Zoey, and implies in the song "You Tied up My Heart" that there were quite a few other women.
General John McNamara
Played by Jeff BlimA red-blooded American general who rescues Paul.
- Always a Bigger Fish: It seems that the Hive Mind zombies have Paul cornered — until they're hilariously routed in a Curb-Stomp Battle with an elite military unit trained to stop exactly this kind of threat. Unfortunately for McNamara's soldiers and the human race, the Hive Mind learns from this experience.
- Armies Are Evil: Played with. PEIP's mission involves murdering witnesses as a matter of course, but the General has come to reconsider this policy and is in Paul's opinion "a good man". McNamara and his soldiers become a completely Flanderized fascist army after assimilation.
- Artistic License Gun Safety: Played for Laughs. McNamara pulls out his gun and points it directly at Paul's face as though he's about to execute him, before flipping it around to hand it to him stock-first in the proper fashion.
- Berserk Button: A totally hilarious and random one — McNamara HATES when people need to pull out their phone to check the time.Gen. McNamara: UGH! (hurls Paul's iPhone into the distance) Wear a watch! Time is a precious thread in the fabric of the universe! It deserves its own tool of measurement!
- The Cavalry: PEIP is a textbook example, saving Paul from imminent torture at the hands of the assimilated Alice and her friends. Becomes a Cavalry Betrayal when they get assimilated.
- Cloudcuckoolander: A little bit of one, with his wildly inappropriately cozy emotional affect given the seriousness of the situation, his random asides about his New-Age Retro Hippie religion and his being unaware Paul might get jumpy when he pulls a gun and points it at his face. Led to some Wild Mass Guessing that he's already starting to get assimilated when he first appears. Note that this behavior disappears in Black Friday.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: His post-assimilation song, "America Is Great Again", directly compares the Hive Mind's urge to assimilate to fascist ideology, and compares fascist ideology to the ideology of Donald Trump.
- The Evils of Free Will: Comes to see the Hive Mind as equivalent to the idealized "American values" he signed up to defend, similar to the conformity demanded by right-wing social conservatives.
- Eagle Land: McNamara encapsulates both sides of this trope, with being a "red-blooded American" central to his identity. It drives both his noble, heroic actions (Eagle Land Type 1) at first, and his fascist authoritarianism (Type 2) post-assimilation).
- Early Installment Weirdness: McNamara acts a little differently in this show than the sequel Black Friday, where he has a much larger role. In this show he acts like a homey Midwestern dad when chatting with Paul and only puts on the stern soldier act at dramatic moments, but after becoming a Memetic Badass between shows, this took over and became the way he acts all the time.
- Flanderization: Gets hit with this worst of all the assimilated characters, going from a complex man wrestling with the moral implications of his duty to a mindlessly devoted soldier for the Hive Mind.
- Knight Templar: By nature of his position, which requires that he act outside the law to preserve the Masquerade at all costs. Over time he seems to have come to question this. Becomes much, much worse of one after his assimilation.
- Meaningful Name: Fans have proposed that he's named for the (in)famous Secretary of Defense during the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam War — in particular, McNamara's Misfits, a conscious attempt by the US military to invoke the Army of Thieves and Whores trope to boost recruiting numbers in Vietnam, would make one hell of an origin story for PEIP. Sadly, Word of God has Jossed the idea that this is intentional.
- Memetic Badass: Despite how relatively brief his role is, he makes enough of an impression that fandom ran away with him as the subject of Chuck-Norris-style jokes about how tough and how American he is.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: McNamara, though a loyal soldier, has had enough weird experiences in the PEIP unit that he's developed some kind of New Age spirituality he briefly tries to recruit Paul into. This explains his highly un-military long hair, and his decision to violate his orders and save Paul. This is a trait erased by his assimilation.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Jeff Blim's shoulder-length hair, scruffy facial hair, and military beret make him a dead ringer for Che Guevara, which is ironic considering how in this show he ends up representing the forces of right-wing American fascism.
- No Such Agency: The PEIP unit McNamara leads is both tasked with eliminating bizarre alien threats like the Hatchetfield Hive Mind and upholding the Masquerade that they don't exist — by murdering innocent civilians, if necessary.
- Overranked Soldier: Classic example — no one anywhere near Jeff Blim's age should be a general and no general should be anywhere near leading a field operation on foot. Possibly justified by the clearly unorthodox No Such Agency nature of PEIP giving all their members inflated authority. (Though note that Col. Schaeffer, who debriefs Emma at the end of the story, has a much more reasonable rank for her position.)
- Properly Paranoid:Paul: Wait! I'm not one of them, I'm human!McNamara: (slams his rifle butt into Paul's head)PEIP soldier: Oh yeah? Prove it asshole, we're the army.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: He was given orders to kill everyone in Hatchetfield. However he decides to let Paul live and orders a helicopter ride to get them out.
- Shipper on Deck: McNamara gives Paul his sidearm to try to rescue Emma because he'd like to see if their relationship becomes "something more".
- Sound Off: The first line of "America Is Great Again".I don't know what you've been told
- Spell My Name with an "S": His surname was never consistently spelled by the creators, switching between McNamara and MacNamara (it's McNamara in the credits). They settle on MacNamara in Black Friday.
- The Men in Black: PEIP is basically this, except we see them fully kitted out for combat rather than in the stereotypical business suits.
- Walking Spoiler: The very existence of McNamara and the PEIP unit is a spoiler for a hilarious Mood Whiplash reveal at the top of Act 2. And it's hard to talk about them without talking about them getting assimilated shortly after their introduction.
Played by Jaime Lyn BeattyA colonel who shows up in the ending to usher Emma into her new life.
- Ambiguous Situation: Although the aliens have obviously infiltrated and taken over PEIP, it's not clear if Col. Schaeffer herself is actually assimilated or is just being manipulated, since Jaime Lyn Beatty leaves and comes back as Nora for "Inevitable".
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The PEIP cleanup crew could've just left Emma for dead, given their mission of leaving no witnesses, but in gratitude for her role in stopping the apocalypse Schaeffer has decided to not only save Emma's life but give her the money and new identity for the fresh start she's always wanted. So it seems at first, anyway.
- Shipper on Deck: Schaeffer, like her former colleague McNamara, would like to see "Kelly" and "Ben's" relationship become something more.