Tropes relevant to the characters in the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
Reverend Frank Scott
The ship's reverend. He's been reassigned to a new country in Africa to spread the word of God due to his local pastor feeling he's too unconventional with his beliefs, much to Scott's delight as he likes having the freedom to preach his way. He becomes the leader of the small group that decides to try and escape the ship.
Detective Lieutenant Mike Rogo
A police officer from New York, on his honeymoon with his new wife Linda. While brash and grumpy, he's Reverend Scott's right-hand man through most of the journey despite their occasional disagreements on the best course of action.
- Doomed Contrarian: Averted; though he disagrees constantly with Reverend Scott's decisions, he's one of the few survivors of the the disaster.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?
- Heroic BSoD: Goes into a depression his wife's death, but Martin pulls him out of it. He has another short one later but this time he pulls himself out of it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- The Lancer: He's Rev. Scott's natural Foil, disagreeing with him often.
A middle-aged haberdasher, health & fitness enthusiast, and lifelong bachelor. He forms somewhat of a relationship with the ship's singer Nonnie, encouraging her to not give up, and generally acts as the group's moral compass.
- Character Development: Goes from a love-shy sad sack into a competent and resourceful survivor who gets the girl in the end.
- Nice Guy: A very decent guy.
- No One Gets Left Behind: To Nonnie, and they both survive.
- The Smart Guy: Given that it was his idea to try and make it to the hull in the first place.
The ship's singer. A good-natured, but somewhat weak and emotionally frail hippie chick who likely wouldn't have had the will to proceed on the journey without the encouragement of Mr. Martin.
- Despair Event Horizon: After her brother dies, but she manages to recover thanks to Martin.
One of the ship's many stewards. As the only crew member on the voyage to the hull, Reverend Scott refers to him frequently for help navigating through the ship, but he's not overly familiar with the bowels of the ship as he mostly works in the ballroom.
- The Load: Subverted, despite his leg injury he never actually slows the group down.
- Nice Guy: Friendly and courteous to everyone he meets.
- Out of Focus: Gets the least characterization of the ten, and we learn little about him besides his job. He's also the first to die.
- The Smart Guy: He's useful for his knowledge of the ship, though only the top half as he works mainly in the ballroom and kitchen.
- Verbal Tic: Frequently punctuates his sentences with the word "sir", though it makes sense as he's a crew member.
Mike's wife, on her honeymoon with him. She used to be a hooker on the streets of New York, but straightened her life out after meeting and falling in love with Mike, a police detective.
- Happily Married: She and Rogo have their ups and downs but clearly love each other.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Spends a lot of the film as a bitch to everyone, including her husband, but obviously cares for him and doesn't object when Rev. Scott tells them it's time to go. She also looks sad when she sees Manny holding his dead wife, who she had earlier insulted about her weight.
- Sacrificial Lion: She's the third person in the group to die.
An older woman traveling with her husband, Manny, to Israel to meet their grandson for the first time. She was a champion swimmer in her youth, but is now fairly overweight and worried about being a burden to the group.
- Fat and Skinny: With her husband.
- Formerly Fit: She used to be a champion swimmer, but she's put on quite a few pounds since then. That being said, unlike many examples of this trope, she actually retained her skills to a significant extent.
- Happily Married: To Manny.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Saves Rev. Scott before succumbing to a heart attack.
- Nice Girl: Kind and caring to everyone she meets, especially Martin and Robin.
- Sacrificial Lion: She's the second of the group to die.
A retired former business owner traveling with his wife, Belle, to Israel to meet their grandson for the first time. Whenever Belle doubts herself and her place in the group, Manny encourages her and reminds her that they're all in this together.
- Despair Event Horizon: Briefly after Belle's death, but Rev. Scott convinces him to keep going.
- Fat and Skinny: With his wife.
- Happily Married: To Belle.
A teenaged girl traveling to Europe with her younger brother, Robin. Despite his occasionally obnoxious behavior, she loves her little brother and always looks out for him (while still bickering with him most of the way), and she seems to have a crush on Reverend Scott.
A young boy traveling to Europe with his older sister, Susan. The adults tend to ignore him due to his youth, but he has an interest in the ship and had previously been shown around by a crew member, giving him arguably the most knowledge of the ship of the entire group.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Only towards his sister.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He can be a pain in the ass to his sister, but gets along with the most of the rest of the cast (sans Rogo) and even apologizes to Belle for misinterpreting a comment he made in regards to her weight (though she didn't take it personally).
- The Smart Guy: He might know more about the ship than anyone, including Acres, and fully takes over this role after the latter's death.
- Spared by the Adaptation: He died in the original novel.
- Tagalong Kid: He's the youngest member of the group.
The ship's chaplain. He and Reverend Scott are friends, although they have differing views on God and faith in general; he doesn't completely subscribe to Scott's belief that God helps those who help themselves.
- Killed Offscreen: We don't actually see his death, but considering he was there when the Ball Room flooded it's obvious he drowned.
- Mauve Shirt: Gets sufficient enough screentime for one to think he might be a main character, but he doesn't even join the group and dies when water floods the Ball Room.
- Sacrificial Lamb: His death clearly affects Rev. Scott.
The captain of the SS Poseidon. He's a responsible man who wants to safely commandeer the aging ship, but he's under pressure from Mr. Linarcos, the owner of the company that owns the Poseidon, to quickly deliver the ship to its destination.
- And Starring: Leslie Nielsen as The Captain.
The owner of the Poseidon's parent company. The ship is on its final voyage, and he's losing money the longer it takes the ship to get there, so he's prodding the Captain to get the Poseidon to its final destination, despite the danger.
- Asshole Victim: Considering the disaster could have been averted if not for his entitled arrogance, it's easy not to feel bad for him when he dies.
- Disc-One Final Boss: He's the main antagonist for a little over the first half-hour, before dying when the wave hits the ship.
- Karmic Death: Drowns when the wave first hits the ship.
- Oh, Crap!: You can tell by the look on his face when he first sees the wave that he knows he fucked up.
- Smug Snake: He has a slight smirk on his face as he's threatening to relieve Captain Harrison of command.