Characters for the Tremors franchise are each listed in the segment in which they initially appear.
One of two general handymen living in Perfection during the first Graboid Invasion. Falling in love with seismologist Rhonda LeBeck, he went on to marry her and move away. Made much better investments of his "rights" to all Graboid merchandising, perhaps because of her influence.
- Babies Ever After: He and Rhonda are revealed to have had a daughter.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Burt describes him in the sixth film as "the most brilliant underachiever I ever met." Amusingly, his daughter Valerie observes Rhonda often told her the same thing.
- Combat Pragmatist: Kind of necessary when facing carnivorous tunneling worm twice your size.
- Deadpan Snarker: "Oh sure, Earl; everybody knows about 'em, we just didn't tell you!"
- Disappeared Dad: His daughter Valerie hints at it in "A Cold Day in Hell" when she notes in response to Burt admitting he lost track of Val and Rhonda after the first film that Val's easy to lose track of . Later she describes him as more of a crazy uncle than a dad, and says he "barges in" to her life more than "drops in".
- Dork Knight: He's kind of childish and comes off as a bit of a dork, but he survives the first film and is instrumental in killing the last of the attacking Graboids.
- Guile Hero: He was the one who tricked the last Graboid (of the first film) by luring it to him, then throwing the dynamite behind it.
- Happily Married: To Rhonda, from what Earl says at the start of the second film.
- Hard Head
- The Hero: Pretty much is this for the first film. This role would be passed on to Earl for the second film, then Burt for the rest of the series.
- Hidden Depths: See Indy Ploy.
- Indy Ploy: Ultimately he uses what he knows about the Graboids' fear of sound (which he learned earlier by accident) that kills Stumpy and saves everyone.
- Manchild: Very smart and a good person at heart, but content to fritter away his talents as a handyman in the middle of nowhere, and judges women based on an insane mental checklist that seems to be based off Playboy centrefolds. The Graboid attacks make him grow up real fast.
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Prior to the first Graboid.
- Put on a Bus: Doesn't return for any of the other films.
- Refusal of the Second Call: In the second film, it's said the owners of the Mexican oil field where the second Graboid incursion is happening tried to get his help, but he turned them down, clearing the way for Earl to become the lead.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: Along with Earl, just a couple of average handymen.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Earl bicker and criticize each other quite a bit, but they're nearly inseparable, at least in the first movie.
- The Watson: Rhonda may be the brains, but it's Val who pieces together the Graboid hunting methods when the group is stuck on the rock, and later that their pattern of attacks has them heading straight for Perfection.
- Would You Do It For A Scooby Snack?: Nancy tries to get Val and Earl to hang around Perfection a little bit longer (pre-Graboid) by offering them beer on top of their usual fees. The sing-song way she offers to throw the beer in smacks of this trope. Averted in that Val and Earl don't go for it, though Val's comments in the directly following scene imply it was a real temptation for the both of them.
One of two general handymen living in Perfection during the first Graboid Invasion. Unlike his partner, Val, he didn't invest himself so wisely in the post-Graboid money-making schemes, and ended up nearly broke and desperately trying to start himself an ostrich farm to recoup his losses. An offer from a Mexican oil company to exterminate Graboids would lead to him finding love with Kate Reily and turning his fortunes around. Moved out of Perfection with her and is implied to have taken up on Grady's offer to set up a Graboid theme park, assuring him of a much steadier income.
- Book Dumb: It's implied when Earl chastises Grady for not knowing geology terminology, and then referring to their seismograph as a "Seismojigger".
- Could be an inversion, if he's read a lot about geology between the two films but hasn't actually heard its technical terms pronounced.
- Catchphrase: "Pardon my French" in the first movie.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: He's pretty much in hiding by the time Grady finds him in the second film.
- Cool Old Guy: More notable in the second film.
- Happily Married: To Kate, after the second film.
- Large Ham: He has occasional bouts of this."You're hung up, I tell ya!""That means we're stuck. That pisses me off!"
- My Greatest Second Chance: Earl starts out the second movie thinking he's blown any chance to make something of himself—having wasted what money he did get and living in obscurity. Grady convinces him the Graboid threat in Mexico is his big second chance.
- Nice Guy
- Only Sane Man: Earl views himself as the most sane person in whatever group he's in, understandable when he's often around people like Val, Burt, and Grady.
- Put on a Bus: Doesn't return after the second movie. Characters in the third film mention he opened a Graboid theme park with Grady.
- RockPaperScissors: Frequently plays this against both Val and Grady. Tricks Grady into thinking that Rock beats Paper to run the gambit with the Shriekers.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: Along with Val in the first film, just a couple of average handymen.
- Shipper on Deck: For Val and Rhonda.
- Supporting Protagonist: In the first film, with the main protagonist being Val.
A seismologist doing readings in Perfection at the time of the first Graboid Invasion. Shares mutual chemistry with Val McKee and the two wed after the Graboids are slain.
- Adorkable: The first time we meet her she's wearing suntan lotion on only her nose, and Technobabble like it's something everyone loves to talk about.
- Action Girl: Though mostly just the brains of the operation, when an pole-vaulting is called for...
- Babies Ever After: She and Val are revealed to have had a daughter.
- Brainy Brunette
- Hot Scientist: Not as hot as Val would have liked (at first), but the scene where she has to get rid of her jeans or become Grabbed food shows She's Got Legs.
- Nerds Are Sexy: Val seemed to think so, despite his initial disappointment that she wasn't a curvaceous blonde sexpot.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted. As she exasperatedly reminds the others, she doesn't have the qualifications to tell them what the Graboids are or why they do the things they do.
- The Smart Girl: While she really doesn't know much about the Graboids, she does come up with some clever ways of fooling them.
The resident survivalist of Perfection Valley, Burt is the only character to appear in every installation of the franchise.
- Action Dad: As of the fifth film. (Technically also in the first three and the series too, but he didn't know it at the time.)
- Alas, Poor Scrappy: A rare case of an In-Universe character having this reaction to another. His reaction in Tremors 3 and the TV series to finding government agents have been killed. In both cases, the government agents refused Burt's help and advice regarding the dangers that Graboids and Shriekers caused. In both cases, these government agents, who Burt notably does view as Scrappies, are killed. And in both cases, Burt comments that despite his antipathy with them, he doesn't feel that they deserved to die the way they did.
- Artistic License Gun Safety: Averted. Burt is always shown treating his weapons with the proper safety and respect necessary. In fact, in one interview, Michael Gross says that he's very proud of the fact that in-series, none of his character's firearms are ever pointed at or wielded against human beings.
- There's one minor instance of it being played straight in the first film - the flare gun on the Gummers' Wall of Weapons is already loaded when it's taken off.
- Badass Grandpa: He's in his late sixties by the time of Tremors 5: Bloodlines, but he's no less badass.
- Badass Mustache: The handlebar really helps to accentuate Burt's legendary badassery.
- Breakout Character: His popularity saw him go from a minor character to a major one. Taking on a prominent role in all subsequent movies, as well as the TV series.
- Comically Serious: Michael Gross stated in an interview that this was his approach to playing Burt, saying that the comedy in Burt was in how seriously he took himself, no matter how ridiculous he could be.
- Crazy-Prepared: Even before the Graboids, Shriekers, Ass Blasters, and Mixmaster mutants began showing up.Jodi: Uh, but do we have a lighter?
Jack: Burt does.
Burt: How do you know?
Jack: Well, 'cause you're... Burt.
Burt: (pulls a lighter out of his pocket) Damn right I am.
- Butt-Monkey: In the sequels, Burt undergoes some pretty big knock-downs, perhaps almost in counterpoint to his increasing profile in the series:
- In Tremors 2, his wife dumps him, he falls into a state of deep depression, and he is ambushed (and nearly killed) by a swarm of Shriekers.
- In Tremors 3, he blows up his own home — for what turns out to have been no reason — and is Swallowed Whole by a graboid.
- In Tremors 5, he is caught at gun point and left to die in a survival cage. To survive, he ends up having to drink his own urine... and then, moments later, a big male lion wanders onto the scene and decides to toy with Burt, culminating in it urinating on him before it leaves.
- In Tremors 6, he's on the verge of having all his assets seized by the IRS due to bankruptcy, and he's the only one left in Perfection; the entire town has cleared out, leaving just Burt and Travis left behind.
- Crazy Survivalist: A rare heroic version of the trope. Burt is at least mildly paranoid, firmly anti-government, and very big on preparing himself for a doomsday scenario through training, supplies and firepower. But he's also a hero who wants to help others survive, not simply looking out for number one.
- Don't Make Me Destroy You: Type IV to El Blanco in the first episode. Burt could easily kill El Blanco and claim self-defense, especially with their rep from the Dept. of the Interior demanding he do just that at a moment of crisis. But killing El Blanco would result in Perfection falling to real estate developers, which would make the valley undesirable to its current residents.Burt: El Blanco, don't make me do it!
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Tyler actually advises Burt to play up the trope when running his survivalist school, saying the students expect it anyway, and will eat it up.
- Everyone Has Standards: Probably falling close to the spirit of Even Nerds Have Standards — in the TV series, upon the government sending himself and his partner to a town dominated by UFO-worshippers, Burt finds himself in the rare position of being the skeptic and deriding someone else as a Conspiracy Theorist kook. Given that these people accuse him of being one of the proverbial Men in Black out to cover up the aliens when he tries to explain their signaling device has attracted a Graboid that is munching them down like popcorn, it's hard to disagree too much with his attitude.Burt: You people are nuts!
- Gun Nut: This guy is crazy about guns, to the point that his bunker has a veritable Wall of Weapons. He was also the inspiration for the Full Metal Nutball archetype from Feng Shui 2.
- Heroic BSoD: In-between the first two movies, his marriage ended following the collapse of the Soviet Union. He just couldn't function properly without a major threat out there, so Heather left him. When Earl called him up for help with the Graboids in Mexico, Burt is just lounging around his rec room depressed and watching TV.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Burt is curt, even blunt, bossy, and antisocial. But have no doubt that he does care for his fellow residents of Perfection Valley, and will risk life and limb to keep them alive and safe. Even that dickhead Melvin.
- More Dakka: Burt's response to Graboid, Shrieker, and Ass Blaster incursions.
- Never Live It Down: An In-Universe example. Anytime the others feel Burt is getting too bossy, they (especially Nancy) will remind him that he needlessly blew up his own home during the first encounter with Ass Blasters. In fairness, he couldn't have known at the time that the ABs didn't reproduce by eating like their prior Shrieker life-cycle.Burt: What kind of supreme being would condone such irony?
- Nice Hat: His signature Atlanta Hawks cap.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Lampshaded several times by other characters.Jack: He doesn't mess around.
Burt: Four pounds of C4 may be a bit... excessive.
- And also:
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Burt does have moments where he inadvertently made the situation worse, due largely to not having information that would have saved him from making those errors, such as trapping Shriekers in a building full of food stores, or blowing up his own home to prevent the Ass Blasters from getting to his own supply of MREs (learning only after the fact that excess food causes Ass Blasters to slip into a coma, not reproduce).
- Properly Paranoid: He does live in a valley with prehistoric monsters and chemically induced mutations.
- Reality Ensues: Blowing up his house in the third movie left him with major money troubles and being blacklisted by various insurers.
- Took a Level in Badass: He was always handy with a weapon, but the first movie presented him with a Cold War-era mindset; all his survival plans relied on simply storing up lots of weapons and supplies in an isolated place and waiting for something to happen. The emergence of the Graboids threw off these plans, with the later collapse of the Soviet Union having an effect on him as well. After facing the Shriekers, though, he became a more pro-active survivalist.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Nancy defines her friendship with Burt as "frequently butting heads, but deep down, a good friend". Burt agrees with this sentiment.
- Worf Had the Flu: Poisoned by Graboid Venom way back in the third film, but wouldn't discover this until the sixth, when it had him at death's door and almost out of action.
- Worthy Opponent: How Burt views El Blanco—calling him Rommel to his Patton. Cletus wonders if it's more like Moby Dick to his Ahab.
Burt's wife, played by Reba McEntire. She shows up in the first movie, and is never seen again. We're told that she left Burt because he couldn't adapt to life without the threat of the Cold War.
- Closer to Earth: She shared many of Burt's interests and views, but she was typically more realistic and a people person.
- I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In the sixth movie it's revealed she helped Travis' plan to reconnect with his father Burt by giving him an assault rifle that gets Burt's interest immediately.
- The One That Got Away: To Burt. He's a mess early on in the second movie without her, and the TV series contains occasional references to how he still longs for her (the passcode to his home is her name). In the fifth film he specifically admits he misses her on live camera when he's trapped in a cage and thinks he's about to die.
- Put on a Bus: She leaves Burt after the Cold War ends and is said to have gone to her sister's place.
- Team Mom: Obviously cares about the residents of Perfection in the first film, acts as a sort of balance for Burt's more extreme behaviors, and will offer up her own firearms to Val and Earl when they attempt to ride out for help.
The owner of Perfection's local store in the first film. He's killed by a Graboid after coining their moniker. A descendant of the Changs who founded the store when Perfection was founded as Rejection, a silver mining town in the 1800s, his niece inherits the store in the third film.
- Deadly Nosebleed: He's shown bleeding from the nose immediately after a Graboid bites his leg (its tentacles don't reach his upper body until after the nosebleed is seen).
- Eaten Alive: Graboid modus operandi, unfortunately.
Played by Robert Jayne throughout the franchise, he starts out as a ne'er-do-well kid in the first film, and graduates to a Jerkass land developer by the third film and throughout the TV series.
- Ambition Is Evil: In his first appearance, just an annoying kid. By the third film, he's a land developer, who Nancy points out in the TV series is trying to compensate for a lousy childhood by acquiring acreage.
- Batman Gambit: Tries one in the first episode, using a device to get El Blanco's appetite to become insatiable, hoping that the increased danger from the Graboid will result in Burt having to kill it. His plan falls through, because Burt spots and destroys the device.
- Corrupt Hick: Runs a series of housing developments, and is trying to turn Perfection Valley into "Melville".
- Crying Wolf: In the first film, he makes them think that he's being attacked by a Graboid, almost getting shot by Burt in the process.Burt: (holstering weapon) You came close. Too close. No more games.
- Later he scares Earl with a basketball. Then, he's actually attacked by the Graboid. His scream elicits a response by Val and Earl that they're going to beat his ass. Then they see him up a pole with a tear in his pants, looking genuinely scared.
- Jerkass: There's a reason Burt refers to him as "The turd".
- Karma Houdini: Melvin has put the residents of Perfection in jeopardy on numerous occasions, including a scheme to make El Blanco so dangerous that they would have no choice but to kill the Graboid in self-defense, with the serious possibility that one or more people could have been eaten. He has never paid any serious price for his actions, always relying on Plausible Deniability to cover his butt.
- Parental Abandonment: Cut dialogue would have revealed that part of his Jerkass behavior was due to his parents frequently leaving him behind while they went to Vegas on vacation. Nancy does state in series that he's compensating for a lousy childhood, which could mean that it's still considered canon.
- The Scrappy: From the first film to the end of the TV series. In universe.Earl: Hey, Melvin! You wanna make a buck? (as Graboid bait)
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: His view on life.
- Villainous Gentrification: He would like nothing more than turn Perfection into a mini-mall-ridden suburb. The fact that it would require to break Federal endangered species protection laws (and/or letting a lot of people die in order for said breaking to happen) is nothing to him.
Nancy SterngoodAn old-time hippie who moved out to perfection to rear her daughter Mindy alone, she is one of Perfection's primary business entrepreneurs after the first Graboid Invasion, specializing in Graboid merchandise.
- Granola Girl: Vegetarian, makes ceramic knicknacks in her kiln, and comments occasionally about some of her experiences in the Sixties.
- Heroic BSoD: On the verge of one when she learns that the Ass Blaster she sold to Sigmund and Ray is responsible for the deaths of at least two people. Burt helps bring her out of it.
- Soap Box Sadie: Especially when defending the work of one scientist to try to train Shriekers for search and rescue ops.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: She defines her friendship with Burt as "frequently butting heads, but deep down, a good friend.]] Burt agrees with this sentiment.
Mindy SterngoodDaughter of Nancy Sterngood and one of the few kids living in Perfection.
- Children Are Innocent: In the first movie.
MiguelA rancher who appears in the first and third films. He survives the Graboids, but is killed by an Ass-blaster. After his death, his ranch goes to his niece, Rosalita.
- Action Survivor: Lives through the events of the first movie unscathed. Not so lucky in the third film.
- MacGyvering: Miguel fashions a fishing rod out of a twig, some dental floss, and a piece of bent metal to retrieve Burt's radio from his vehicle without stepping off the rock and into El Blanco's waiting jaws.
- My Greatest Failure: Burt views Miguel's death this way, believing if he'd taken a shot sooner, the Ass Blaster wouldn't have killed him.
- Sacrificial Lion: He is killed off to show dangerous the Ass-Blasters are.
Nestor CunninghamA quiet Redneck type who lived in Perfection at the time of the first Graboid Invasion, which he didn't survive. Apparently a good friend of Burt's.
- Chekhov's Gun: His moonshine became a vital resource in the first encounter with Ass-Blasters in the third film.
- Too Dumb to Live: Tried to hide from a Graboid that had just toppled his trailer by sitting on an old tire. While he was understandably too panicked to think of anything better, it worked about as well as you'd expect.
Edgar DeemsAn elderly fellow and possibly the first person to encounter the Graboids.
- The Alcoholic: Earl comments that he must have been pretty darn drunk when they first spot him on top of an electrical tower.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Climbed up onto an electrical tower to escape the Graboids. It worked, but they waited below for days, preventing him from coming down. He eventually died of thirst.
- Dead to Begin With: The first time we see Edgar, Val and Earl first assume that he's drunk and afraid or unable to climb down the tower on his own. When Val climbs up to help him, he discovers that the man is dead.
- Off with His Head!: For reasons unknown, the Graboids devour all but his head.
- Old Friends: Literally. A deleted scene shows that he and Edgar are good friends.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Sadly, he gets Eaten Alive too soon.
Dr. Jim & MeganA physician and his wife who'd planned to build a home in Perfection. A nighttime Graboid attack put a sad end to that idea, as well as to the couple and their station wagon.
- Buried Alive: Megan hides in the station wagon after her husband is yanked to his death, but the sounds of the engine, radio and horn attract the Graboid and it pulls the vehicle completely under, with Megan inside.
- No-Sell: When Jim is grabbed from underground, Megan tries to keep him from sinking with a two-by-four from the pile of building supplies, but it snaps in his hands as he's pulled under.
Giant monster worms that burrow under the ground. Graboids hatch from eggs, tunnel through the soil, and consume anything that makes noise or vibrations, though they will spit out anything that they cannot digest.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Graboids hunt by sensing vibration, but Shriekers and Ass-blasters rely on thermal sensors instead. They're mostly cartilaginous, so they have no bones. They use three snake-like tongues that combine Nested Mouths with Combat Tentacles to grab prey and pull it into their maws.
- Taken Up to Eleven with the African variety seen in the fifth film. They've grown internal skeletons, they secret formic acid from their mandibles so they can burrow through rocky soil, and their "grabbers" have become symbiotic organisms, allowing them to detach from the Graboid and hunt independently.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction: As revealed over the course of the films. They start as an egg roughly the size of a football, from which hatch smaller Graboids nicknamed "Dirt Dragons" when discovered; these are pack hunters until they grow larger, then become lone predators. Eventually, a Graboid dies to release about three or four Shriekers, terrestrial pack-hunters who roam and multiply asexually by eating food. If they survive long enough, Shriekers mature into flying Ass-blasters, which disperse to asexually lay eggs and start the cycle over.
- Tremors 5: Bloodlines reveals that this only applies to the North American version. In Africa, they have developed a strange, quasi-eusocial reproductive society, with one or more Graboid "queens" leading packs of Ass-blasters, though it seems the Ass-blasters are still responsible for carrying the eggs to new breeding grounds. Also, they seem to have skipped the Shrieker stage.
- Extreme Omnivore: Averted. Graboids will spit out anything that they cannot digest, or anything that past experience has taught them was dangerous.
- Immune to Bullets: Not exactly, but you need Crazy Survivalist levels of ammunition to do the job. Also, the fact they are typically buried deep below the ground means they have natural shielding against bullets.
- It Can Think: Contrary to their appearance, they are scary intelligent, first shown with how they're willing to wait out prey for as long as possible, to later creating traps and even pretending to be distracted by noises to try and get the drop on prey.
- Official materials reveal they're classified as cephalopods, justifying their intelligence as cephalopods are considered one of the smartest animals other than humans and can perform similar problem solving skills to the Graboids.
- Metamorphosis: Every Graboid becomes several Shriekers, which then later become Ass-blasters.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They're called Dirt Dragons in Tremors 4: The Legend Begins.
- Sand Worm: While not technically worms, the most iconic form does resemble one and they in fact played a big role in reimagining the predatory roles of such creatures.
Grady HooverA fanboy of Val and Earl for their exploits in discovering and then killing the Graboids, he somehow knows an important member of a Mexican oil company. When Graboids begin stalking the oilfields the company draws from, he suggests that they approach Val and Earl to kill them. Whilst Val turns them down flat, he is able to convince Earl to take the job, becoming his temporary assistant. He has plans of using his share of the wealth to start a Graboid themepark, "Monster World", and is implied to do so with Earl as his partner after the film is over.
- Ascended Fanboy: Of Val, Earl and Graboids. He's just thrilled to get to actually hunt Graboids alongside Earl and Burt themselves.
- Fun Personified: Loves the idea of a Graboid themepark and thinks others will like it too.
- Hero-Worshipper: Big fan of Val and Earl's Graboid fighting exploits.
- Keet: Tended to get a little overly excited by just about anything Graboid related. Which he actually retains throughout the entire film.
- The Load: He tries really hard, but he's not got Val and Earl's ability to think on their feet, or Burt's Combat Pragmatist tendencies, so ends up being this most of the time.
- Perpetual Smiler: Mostly in the presence of Earl, or a Graboid.
- Put on a Bus: Said in the third movie to have opened a theme park with Earl.
- Too Dumb to Live: Narrowly averted.
A paleontologist in the employ of the Mexican oil company that ends up hiring Earl, Grady and Burt to deal with their Graboid infestation. She and Earl hook up after the infestation is dealt with.
- Hot Scientist: Believably hot for a woman in her early 40's.
- I Was Quite the Looker: Not that there's anything wrong with how she looks when she meets Earl, but she was October '74.
- Lovable Nerd: Gets totally exited when she learns just how old the Graboids species must be.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Originally took the oil companies' offer because she was intrigued by the Graboids.
The second stage of the Graboid life cycle. More fragile than the Graboids that spawn them, but also far more prolific in reproducing, thanks to their asexual means of multiplying.
- Explosive Breeder: Shriekers are the part of the life cycle that actually reproduce in anything approaching conventional terms. They gorge themselves on food and vomit up new Shriekers whenever they manage to eat enough, meaning a single Shrieker can spawn dozens, maybe hundreds, if it can get enough food.
- Extreme Omnivore: They'll eat anything that radiates heat, from people to car engines to radio towers.
- It Can Think: Zig-Zagged in that although they can learn from their mistakes (after plenty of casualties) and figure out ways to trap their prey, they still appear much smarter than they look because their insane persistence to attack anything that they perceive as food means that they target things like generators, vehicles and communications equipment (because they give off heat), which makes survival increasingly harder. Later, they prove capable of forming a living wall to get to Earl, Grady and Kate on the cooling tower, implying they have some problem-solving ability.
- Grady: You mean they've been acting so smart because they're so stupid?
- Instant Kill: Unlike graboids, shriekers are easy to kill with one gunshot.
- Metamorphosis: Become ass-blasters after a few days.
Jack SawyerOwner and operating of a faked "Graboid Safari", finding himself in over his head when actual Graboids resurface without anyone's knowledge. Goes on to sell his business to Tyler Reed and move out of the valley between the third film and the TV series.
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Inverted. Jack's putting on a fake monster show to draw in tourists, not scare them off.
Jodi ChangA relative of Walter Chang who inherits his store and starts running it for herself.
Ass-BlastersThe third and final stage of the Graboid life cycle. Shriekers molt and become Ass Blasters, who lay eggs that will become more Graboids.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: They fly using chemical explosions they produce from their ass.
- Combat Tentacles/Nested Mouths: Like all members of the line, they sport jawed, prehensile tongues that they use to grab food.
- Fartillery: They produce controlled explosive bursts of flame from their ass, hence the name. They use this to fly, but they can also set someone on fire if they're close to them when they ignite.
- Made of Explodium: Since the chemicals in their bodies are designed to explosively combust when exposed to oxygen, they tend to explode and/or burst into flames when shot.
- Spell My Name with an "S": It's been spelled various as "Ass-blaster", "Ass Blaster" and "Assblaster", for a start.
Hiram GummerA dandy British gentleman who owns a silver mine in Nevada, around which is formed the mining town Rejection. Forced to confront the Graboids when they are accidentally unearthed, he eventually assists in saving the town, which becomes Perfection. He is the ancestor of Burt Gummer.
- Does Not Like Guns: At first, due to being an overly civilized dandy. He's certainly an awful shot. It's implied they start to grow on him after he kills a Graboid with a Punt Gun and Christine Lord gives him a Gatling Gun as a present for saving the town.
- Identical Grandfather: Michael Gross plays Burt's ancestor.
- Took a Level in Badass: Slowly progresses. During the feud with the Graboids, he ultimately wields a firearm and leads the townspeople into a fight for survival against the monsters.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He treats the people of Rejection like garbage at first, but becomes more compassionate as he gets to know them.
Christine LordThe local schoolmarm, determined to save her town of Rejection. She and Hiram Gummer are implied to become a couple, making her a maternal ancestor of Burt Gummer.
- Action Girl: Carries a pistol of her own and knows how to use it.
Black Hand KellyA mercenary gunslinger that Hirum Gummer hires to try and track down & kill the "Dirt Dragons" that have been killing the workers in the silver mine. Unfortunately for him, by the time they find them, the Dirt Dragons have grown up into full-sized Graboids, and his weaponry isn't designed for it. He gets killed because of his jangling spurs.
- Bait-and-Switch: One of his first scenes involves him asking Fu Yien to toss him an apple, with most of the cast expecting him to shoot it. He just catches and eats it instead, only to shoot down an ornament in the store and then hit it again on the way down.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Even while being Eaten Alive by a Graboid, he's unloading his pistol into the beast's mouth.
- Foreshadowing: He refers to setting off to find the "Dirt Dragons" as "jangling some spurs", which prompts a "No. Just... No" Reaction from Hiram and Juan. He later gets killed because his spurs allowed a full-grown Graboid to find him easily.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: He's known for these in-universe, and displays them, along with a lightning-quick draw, in his introductory scene.
- Only in It for the Money: And he manages to wheedle most of Rejection's collective wealth out of them, as well.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: His job is to kill people, and when first hired, he assumes it's either Juan or Tecopa, or "the injun or the Mexican", as he puts it.
- Psycho for Hire: He enjoys being a professional gunman a little too much.
- The Worf Effect: In-universe. His death causes Hiram and the rest of the town to face a Despair Event Horizon... if he didn't stand a chance against the Graboids, how could they?
Old FredA crusty old wagon-driver who is found killed by the "Dirt Dragons".
Juan PedillaA Mexican miner, the first surviving witness to the "Dirt Dragons" and one of the few miners who refuses to leave despite the killing.
TecopaAn elderly Native American who works as a handyman around Rejection.
- Indy Ploy: Tricks a Graboid into killing itself by thrusting a long-saw down a hole he had been digging for a flagpole and banging on the saw, causing it to slice itself open.
Pyong Lien ChangThe complaining matriarch of the Chang family, who runs the general store of Rejection.
Lu Wan ChangThe polite and even-tempered owner of the Rejection general store.
- Henpecked Husband: For most of the film, Pyon Lien seems to stand over Lu Wan, but he is capable of putting his foot down when it matters.
Fu Yien Chang
- The Chang's only son, who makes swift friends with Hiram Gummer.
The baby graboids.
A former race car driver who buys Jack's tour business at the start of the series.
- Drives Like Crazy: Justified. He's trying to outdrive monsters, and he is a former NASCAR driver.
- In Harm's Way: Tyler frequently states that while living in Perfection is dangerous, he rather likes the fact that it keeps his adrenaline going.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She occasionally refers to having one from her showgirl days, such as showing a nasty scar on her stomach she got from fighting off a guy with a knife. Had the show gotten a second season, the writers would've revealed she wasn't actually Miguel's niece and was staying in the valley to hide out from some dangerous people.
- Every Scar Has a Story: Has a long scar on her abdomen that she informs us is from when she failed to dodge a knife. Unfortunately, season 2, which would have fleshed out the story more, never came.
- Groin Attack: Suggests this as a preferred method of dealing with a threat. Demonstrates on one of Burt's unsuspecting students.
- Ms. Fanservice: Rosalita is frequently seen without a bra, especially in one notable scene where she dove into a water trough in a white shirt to avoid being spotted by a Shrieker.
- Hidden Depths: Reveals that he can play guitar in one episode.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat
- Only Sane Man: Frequently insists he's this.
- Ascended Fanboy: Much to the irritation of the other residents of Perfection.
A former scientist who used to work in a secret government lab in Perfection Valley, part of the team that made Mixmaster, and the creator of Project 4-12. He is played beautifully by Christopher Lloyd.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Worked for the corrupt Proudfoot Corporation just before the government turned on them. In the all the craziness, he took 4-12 before the facility was destroyed. He went to live in the desert because government agents knew what he did and were looking for him."You see, Burt, all your life, you thought somebody was out to get you. Me? I knew it."
Dr. Casey Matthews
El Blanco is the name of the last remaining Graboid in Perfection. Strong, intelligent and apparently incapable of reproduction. El Blanco is the key to preventing the valley of Perfection from being grabbed by developers.
- Heroic Albino: Has repeatedly saved the inhabitants of Perfection.
- Lesser of Two Evils: Prevents the valley from ending up in the hands of developers, but is still a highly dangerous animal.
- Swallow the Key: Accidentally swallows a key in one episode.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Notably there's no mention of him in "A Cold Day in Hell", which opens in Perfection.
- Worthy Opponent: How Burt views El Blanco. El Blanco's views of Burt haven't been ascertained.
A Mixmaster mutation developed as a weapon for the Vietnam War by Cletus Poffenberger. Cletus rescued 4-12 from destruction when the lab was closed down. Described as a combination of a Rhino, aggressive spider, and wolverine.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Averted. El Blanco may be bigger, but Project 4-12 left everyone's favorite Graboid with a foul taste in his mouth, as he spit out the mutant intact and none the worse for the wear.
- Immune to Bullets: Tyler takes several shots at it, none of which even slow it down.
- Kill It with Fire: Burt, Harlowe, and Tyler devise a makeshift flamethrower to take out 4-12.
- Tragic Monster: Cletus genuinely loved 4-12 as a companion and was able to curb its aggression with a plant, but without supplies of this plant, it lost control and had to be put down, afterward becoming the only monster in the series to receive a proper burial.
- Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: El Blanoc spits him out because, according to Cletus, his skin secretes a substance that's like skunk innards, panther urine, and a few other unsavory things.
A deadly Mixmaster fusion of plant and reptile that dissolves its victims in acid.
- Hollywood Acid: Can dissolve a person down to their skeleton in a matter of seconds; said in-show to be a much stronger version of the digestive juices of the Pitcher plant.
- Planimal: Trope Namer.
A Mixmaster mutation, though we never learn its exact composition, Invisibat lives in an old barn, and by the end of the final episode, seems to have developed a curiosity about Larry. Fast and strong enough to knock a full grown man to the ground, and leave them with a sizeable knot on their head, but doesn't seem to be overly dangerous from what we'd seen.
Travis B. Welker
A strange Florida native who tracks Burt Gummer down in the desert, proclaiming his status as a fan and taking over as the camera-man for Burt's wilderness survival webshow. Burt is initially reluctant to accept his presence, but grows to tolerate him. Eventually, he admits that he's Burt's illegitimate child from a one-night stand Burt had at a gun show in Florida some 40 years ago.
- Artistic License Gun Safety: As per the norm in this franchise, averted. The obvious example of this is when he presents Burt with a semi-automatic rifle. As he holds the gun up, his finger is clearly not on the trigger.
- Ascended Fanboy: In universe example. He tells Burt he's a huge fan. There's more to it than that, of course.
- Badass Family: It turns out that, while he may not have Burt's... quirks... he more than inherited Burt's toughness, courage and ability to handle himself in a fight.
- Did Not Get the Girl: He develops an attraction to Dr. Nandi Montabu soon after meeting her, but she decides she prefers Baruti instead. Subverted in "A Cold Day in Hell" where Dr. Rita Sims eventually warms up to his charms after seeing how much he cares for his father.
- Heroic Bastard: He's revealed to be Brurt's illegitimate son.
- Took a Level in Badass: When Burt's incapacitated in the sixth film, it's Travis who takes charge, devising and perfectly executing the plan that captures a graboid for anti-venom to use against the disease that's killing Burt.
Dr. Nandi Montabu
A South African veterinarian who works in the reserve, Single Mother to her daughter Amahle. Proves surprisingly dangerous when the Graboids start attacking.
- Badass Bookworm: Let's face it, would you expect a vet to carry and implicitly know how to use a machine gun? Or be capable of killing an Ass-blaster with a bow and arrow?
- Mama Bear: She slaughters an Ass-blaster and two Graboids to protect her daughter.
Dr. Nandi's adorable daughter.
- Improbable Infant Survival: She's put in danger repeatedly, but survives the film.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: She's got a Graboid egg in her backpack, which is one of the reasons that the Graboids and Ass-blasters attack the camp.
Dr. Michael Swan
An archaeologist who is operating a two-person dig with his lover/assistant Lucia, eventually digging up the fossilized skeleton of an African Graboid.
- Death by Sex: He has clearly implied off-screen sex with Lucia, and then the two of them are attacked by a Graboid and killed.
- Irony: In his last scene, he's talking about how much he wants to stay in the bush with Lucia, and doesn't want to go home. Guess what? He gets his wish...
- Black Gal on White Guy Drama: Averted. His and Lucia's relationship is treated matter of factly and as completely natural. Making it all the more a shame what happens to them.
One of Van Wyck's agents, he operates as a bush guide for tourists.
Erich Van Wyck
An agent with the South African Wildlife Federation who hires Burt and Travis to tackle the Graboid problem in the Cradlestone Reserve. Strangely, he asks that they try and catch at least one alive. The reason why becomes very clear, very soon.
- Death by Irony: He gets Eaten Alive by the African Graboid.
- Evil Poacher: You guessed it, this is what he really is.
- Money, Dear Boy: Why he wants a live Graboid or Ass-blaster.
- Too Dumb to Live: Seriously, who in their right mind would think that trying to catch a Graboid alive to try and sell it would be a good idea?
- Walking Spoiler: Seriously, we can't write anything about him without giving away a significant plot point. Even the list of tropes above is spoilerrific!
One of Van Wyck's agents, he operates as a bush guide for tourists.
- Evil Poacher: Just like his boss. In fact, he was supposed to be out trying to catch a cheetah cub when he discovered the Graboid nest.
- Too Dumb to Live: He stands around shouting about how he can't die, because he's African, whilst Burt has just shot an Ass-blaster out of the air. It promptly lands on him, crushing/burning him to death.
One of the South African workers on the reserve, he has a crush on Dr. Montabu.
One of the reserve's South African workers.
An African woman who is working at Dr. Swan's archaelogical dig as his assistant and lover.
- Death by Sex: As with Dr. Swan, she gets killed after having made love.
- Irony: In her last scene, she talks about wanting to be together with her lover forever.
- Black Gal on White Guy Drama: Averted. Her and Dr. Swan's relationship is treated matter of factly and as completely natural. Making it all the more a shame what happens to them.
The stronger and faster relative to the American Graboids.
- Monster Is a Mommy: Defends their nest with the ass-blasters.
- Signature Move: Their habit of jumping entirely abouve ground then dropping on their prey.
- Up to Eleven: Faster and stronger then all previously seen graboids. Zigzagged in the sixth film, as they're shown to repeatedly fall for tricks the originals would have adapted t, implying they may be stronger and faster but aren't smarter.
The stronger and faster relative to the American Ass-Blaster.
- Monster Is a Mommy: Defends their nest with the graboids.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The African variant has a circular, leech-like mouth filled with shredding fangs.
The snake-like tongues of the african graboids. They can separate from the graboid's mouth.
Dr. Rita Sims
Valerie is the daughter of Valentine McKee and Rhonda LeBeck, and working as an intern at the research station when the newest batch of Graboids attack.
- Action Girl: Very much so.
- Badass Bookworm: Inherited her mother's smarts and her father's Combat Pragmatist tendencies.
- Legacy Character: The second Val McKee in the films.