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Characters in the horror movie Us. Spoilers will be unmarked. Read at your own risk.

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     The Tethered 

The Tethered

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tethered.jpg
Mysterious and violent doppelgangers who live in underground tunnels, emerging only to kill.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Downplayed, but it's implied that when Red performed her pas de deux as a child or young teenager, the Tethered realized that she was special and chose her as their leader.
  • Ambiguously Human: It's never revealed exactly what the Tethered are, where they came from (other than a vague Hand Wave about a government conspiracy), or how they've kept going all this time on their own. They're flesh and blood, and they can die like any other human, but their pain tolerance is insanely high, they show virtually no emotional responses other than occasional aggression, and lash out violently at the slightest provocation.
  • Ax-Crazy: Regardless of what they are, it’s very clear that they enjoy the prospect of murdering their "real" counterparts.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Red claims this about them. She says the Tethered went insane being underground for so long and whatever form of free will they possessed was only enough for them to realize they hated their existence, but it's unknown if they were always vengeful or if she made them this way.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: It's extremely frightening to everyone that none of the Tethered, bar Red, can talk.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: They seem to possess abilities beyond normal humans, such as Red being able to press someone’s head into a glass table hard enough to cause cracks, or Umbrae being able to outpace and ambush Zora despite giving her a generous head start, or climb on top of a car trying to ram her. Absolutely nothing about them is explicitly supernatural apart from their Psychic Link.
  • Conspicuous Gloves: The movie poster features one of the Tethered wearing a single glove that is fingerless and also lacks knuckles. In the movie, each of the Tethered also wears a single one of these gloves on their right hand.
  • Create Your Own Villain: If Red's theory is indeed true, these things were made by the US government and end up taking over America.
  • Eldritch Abomination: It's strongly hinted that the Tethered aren't of this world. For every individual human being born in the continental United States, there seems to be a Tethered that spontaneously manifests in their exact likeness. Furthermore, they don't respond to pain at all and exhibit a cold, alien mentality free of remorse, they show horrifying levels of coordination when killing people as if they were a single organism, and their true origins and the identities of their creators remain unknown. On top of that, they may actually succeed in slaying the whole population of America at the end, and would be free to accomplish their mysterious goals unchallenged.
  • Evil Counterpart: To whoever they're menacing.
  • The Family That Slays Together: The group that threatens the Wilsons are a family, as are the group that menace the Tylers. They often make attacks together.
  • Feel No Pain: Their pain tolerance is either absolute or extremely high; Umbrae has no reaction to being impaled on a tree branch and being broken in half, Tex is able to shrug off a fire poker to the forehead, and Pluto is burned alive, but remains mostly unresponsive throughout.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Besides their suspicious likeness to their intended victims, they act and move at times unnaturally enough that lets you know in no uncertain terms that there’s something seriously wrong here.
  • Kill and Replace: The ultimate goal of the Tethered.
  • Kill on Sight: Though the Wilsons' Tethered don't do this to them due to their deeper connection and Red's personal revenge mission, the sudden deaths of the Tylers imply that this is what the Tethered are supposed or intending to do.
  • Meaningful Name: They all have names that correspond to how they are connected to their originals.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Their given names tend to be either mythic/Biblical (Abraham, Io, Nix, Pluto) or unconventional yet threatening (Dahlia, Red, Tex, Umbrae), with most evoking imagery of darkness. Dahlia and Tex are both references to true crime (the Black Dahlia is reminiscent of the scars that Dahlia has on her face, and Tex Watson was one of the people who killed Sharon Tate and her friends under the command of Charles Manson).
  • No Name Given: Red has named the members of the family, but you won't know what the other major Tethered antagonists are called (or even if they go by those names) unless you watch the credits.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: One of the most disturbing things about them is how little we actually know about them. All we know is that they were government experiments. We don't know exactly what for, we don't know how they were made, we don't even know exactly what they are. The best we know is that they were used to possibly control their original counterparts, but that is about it. And if that's the case, why would the government even want to do that in the first place?
  • Psychic Link: All Tethered shares a mental link with their aboveground counterparts, and are forced to spend their lives mindlessly acting out a shadow pantomime of whatever their originals are doing. It's never explained how this works, but Red believes that the Tethered somehow lack the "soul" the originals have, and are thus the ones trapped by the bond.
  • Shear Menace: They wield golden scissors as their signature weapons.
  • The Sociopath: These things as a whole are low-functioning examples. They have the impulse to kill their surface world counterparts, often laughing psychotically throughout. They also attempt to take over their counterparts' lives as a means of constantly keeping themselves stimulated and escaping the torture of their eternal pantomime.
  • The Soulless: According to Red, they have no soul, explaining their behavior. Subverted, in they actually have souls, the problem is that they aren't the only owners of their souls; they share them with the originals.
  • The Speechless: None of them manage more than animalistic howls, except for Red. Downplayed, in that these howls are clearly being used to communicate, implying it may be a primitive language.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Red spent over twenty years militarizing potentially millions of initially listless Tethered into a murderous fighting force.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Killing their counterparts is the only way for them to claim their soul and end the miserable Psychic Link, allowing them to live normal lives above ground. Red makes it clear their insanity is due to never having seen the sun and being constantly yanked around by the originals' actions.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: It's implied that they were abandoned by their mysterious creators for this reason, though why is not made clear. Red believes the creators were the government.
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The Wilson Family

Originals

     Adelaide 

Adelaide Wilson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/adelaide.jpg
"They will not stop until they kill us. Or we kill them."
Portrayed by: Lupita Nyong'o, Madison Curry (as a child), Ashley McKoy (as a teenager)
The main protagonist and matriarch of the family.
  • Ambiguously Evil: She seems very happy and excited to finally kill the real Adelaide in their final duel, going as far as to laugh after doing the deed. Alhough, as noted below, she doesn't show many other negative qualities, although it's possible that all the negative qualities she had suppressed (along with her memories) return to her at the end, hence her own son's fear of her.
  • Anti-Villain: Despite what she did as a child, swapping places with the real Adelaide, one can imagine why she'd want out of the hell of a life she had underground. And as an adult, she clearly loves her family and would do anything to protect them. She even shows sadness about the deaths of the Tethered children as well.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: From a certain perspective; she kills Red, and gets to resume the life she stole with nobody the wiser. Of course, this is downplayed, as she doesn't want to do much other than get back to her life with the family she's raised and clearly loves, and she doesn't want to hurt any other normal humans.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: When she confronts "Red"/the real Adelaide at the end of the film, she initially fails miserably to land a single blow as "Red" dances away and inflicts a slow but steady Death by a Thousand Cuts with her scissors. It is only when she pulls a Wounded Gazelle Gambit and convinces "Red" to take the initiative and act, rather than react, that she is able to land a hit of her own. Fortunately, it's enough.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: She is the real "Red" who stole the original Adelaide's life when they were kids, and over time grew up to believe she was the original who was attacked by her Evil Counterpart.
  • Boomerang Bigot: She speaks contemptuously of the Tethered and views killing them as necessary for her family's safety, but is actually a Tethered herself.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: She had an encounter with her doppelganger when she was a young girl.
  • Enfant Terrible: She flashed Slasher Smile after Slasher Smile immediately after making the switch with Red at the utter glee she felt at having stolen the original Adelaide's life.
  • Evil Vegetarian: She doesn’t eat fast food with the rest of her family, instead eating fruit. Given that the Tethered are only shown eating scraps of raw meat, this might be an indicator of how far she's gone to embrace the world aboveground and leave the tunnels behind.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Depending on the viewer's perspective after The Reveal, but it should be noted that the Apocalypse How that occurs during and especially at the end of the film wouldn't have happened if she hadn't succeeded at stealing the real Adelaide's life, as it was the real Adelaide's memories of life above being shared with the Tethered which prompted their revolution.
  • Handy Cuffs: She has to handcuff herself to the table at Red's demand, which she manages to slip (although not without a great deal of athleticism/difficulty), and kills many Tethered with cuffs hanging from her wrists.
  • Handy Feet: She escapes using them while her hands are handcuffed to the table by managing to grab a fire poker with her feet.
  • Happily Married: To Gabe, one of the things that Red finds most galling about her doppelganger's life.
  • Karma Houdini: She kidnapped and replaced the original Adelaide, is indirectly responsible for her victim's actions as Red, and survives the events of the film with the entirety of her family.
  • Kill and Replace: She opted to imprison the original Adelaide underground at first, but over thirty years later, fulfills this trope entirely with no one save (perhaps) Jason being none the wiser.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Justified. She knows how dangerous the Tethered are, and she is determined to protect her children from them.
  • Love Martyr: She feels some level of attachment towards Umbrae and Pluto, as she is a Tethered herself, and is rather saddened when they both violently perish.
  • Mama Bear: She will do whatever it takes to protect her children from their Tethered counterparts.
  • Morally Superior Copy: Deeply Deconstructed. She was a Creepy Child initially, but learned enough empathy later in life to become a loving mother and wife, while her original became a Dark Messiah (playing on themes of Nature Versus Nurture). How much this is sincere, though, is left open to interpretation, especially since she seems most terrified of Red taking her life back.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Crosses over with Boomerang Bigot, where she advocates to her family that they either have to run from or utterly exterminate the Tethered if they hope to survive against them. Notably, she says this before she ever gets her hands dirty killing one herself. This might be justified in that she knows the Tethered won't stop.
  • Sanity Slippage: As her family is endangered by her defining childhood crime and the fear of being outed as a Tethered continues to build, Adelaide becomes increasingly unhinged as the film progresses, and starts to mentally regress to the Ax-Crazy state of the feral Tethered during her final duel with her original counterpart.
  • Slasher Smile: She gives one after killing Red, and had a few in her childhood after replacing the original Adelaide.
  • The Sociopath: She's a high-functioning example as far as Tethered go, at least as a child. She was manipulative enough to pull off an impersonation of her counterpart, constantly reveled in the luxuries and life she stole, and felt no remorse for forcing someone else to live her life underground. She does show some signs of growing out of it as an adult, as shown by her protectiveness of her children and her sympathy towards Pluto and Umbrae, but whether this is because she cared for them as individuals or saw them as possessions/associates is anyone's guess.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: She's revealed to be Adelaide's Tethered, who pulled a Grand Theft Me when they were kids.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Adelaide was traumatized at a young age by a previous run-in with her counterpart. However, with the reveal that she was the doppelgänger all along, it's hard to say whether she repressed the memory of what she did or if she knew what was happening the whole time.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: By forcefully switching places with Red (the original Adelaide), she escaped the underground facility and lived happily up above at the cost of her original counterpart's sanity, which led to Red orchestrating a massive Kill and Replace scheme with the Tethered as revenge.
  • Villain Protagonist: Up to the viewer's perspective after The Reveal.
  • Walking Spoiler: Given the truth behind her traumatizing experience, this comes without question.
  • White Shirt of Death: Adelaide wears a white shirt and hoodie when the Tethered invade, which gets progressively blood-soaked as the film goes on, foreshadowing that she is a Tethered.

     Gabe 

Gabe Wilson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gabe_6.jpg
"If you wanna get crazy, we can get crazy!"
Portrayed by: Winston Duke
The patriarch of the family and Adelaide's husband.
  • Actor Allusion: Gabe gets the boat engine to work to shred his Evil Twin to bits by headbutting the engine, which was something that another character Duke previously played did during ritualistic combat in Black Panther (2018). Also, during Red's Hannibal Lecture Motive Rant, Red compares Gabe to to a handsome prince, one of which Duke's Black Panther character fought in said ritualistic combat for the title of King.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Dad: As evidenced by him purchasing a boat in the trailer. He also randomly "dabs" for no reason and makes terrible dad jokes near the start of the movie.
  • Badass Normal: The only member of the main family without any Tethered heritage, but he still heroically saves Zora and Jason by killing Tex and several other Tethered even with a broken leg.
  • Batter Up!: He takes a baseball bat as his weapon at one point.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He is willing to get dangerous to protect his family. He later kills his counterpart by shredding him with a boat engine.
  • Black and Nerdy: He's pretty much viewed this way by his daughter, and doesn't really do much to prove he's anything but. If his sweatshirt is any indication, he attended the prestigious Howard University. It doesn't stop him from kicking ass when he has to, though.
  • Bumbling Dad: Downplayed, but the way he is overjoyed from buying a boat with an embarrassing name counts, getting a You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me! reaction from his wife and children.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He zigzags more or less nonstop throughout the film, going between terrible ideas (not listening to Adelaide, setting Home Alone traps), to being able to single-handedly take on and kill the Tethered, especially when he kills Abraham and Tex.
  • Genre Blind: After Red delivers her Motive Rant Hannibal Lecture, Gabe still perceives the Tethered to be burglars set out to rob them and begins to bargain for his family's lives by offering them his money, car, and boat, much to Red's confusion.
  • Gentle Giant: He is played by the imposing-looking Winston Duke, but he mostly is a chill dude.
  • Greed: He's very materialistic, and appears to be at least upper-middle-class, seeing as he owns two houses and a yacht (though the yacht is rather poor quality and has a terrible engine, and the vacation home seems to come through Adelaide's family), which shows us he's willing to throw away money on frivolous luxuries. Also, after the Tethered Tylers take over the real Tylers' mansion, Gabe dreams of owning the Tylers' home and making it his third home (or a replacement for his second one).
  • Happily Married: To Adelaide. Even when Adelaide takes over control, he never seems to mind very much.
  • Henpecked Husband: He becomes one for Adelaide in a life and death situation, especially when she shuts him down and says Gabe doesn't make the decisions anymore in their situation, although it's completely justified due to him lacking the full knowledge Adelaide has about what's really going on and thus making poor decisions.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • He tries to intimidate the family outside with a baseball bat. It doesn't work.
    • He later is cornered by Tex inside Josh's yacht. He comes out on top.
  • Made of Iron: He takes a ridiculous amount of abuse over the course of the film, but nevertheless kills his own physically powerful Tethered, and even with an injured leg, still overpowers and kills Tex in direct conflict.
  • My Car Hates Me: Or rather, My Yacht Hates Me. Gabe bought a very cheap yacht that has a crappy engine, forcing him to whack it just to get it operational.
  • Papa Wolf: He might be a chill guy, but mess with his family and he'll mess you up completely, as his Tethered counterpart and Tex find out the hard way.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: He acts as the film's primary source of humor for his mostly laid-back and easygoing personality.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: He may actually be a Black man, but he's a decidedly upper-middle-class Black man who drives a luxury SUV, owns a lake house and a boat, and acts like a corny suburban dad. His kids cringe when he starts playing "I Got 5 on It".
  • Throwing Off the Disability: A meta example. The Tethered badly break his leg when they break in. While he is shown limping several times, this never stops him from being able to swim, crawl all over the boat, or kill Abraham and Tex.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He seems to be just your average father, but he personally kills his counterpart as well as Tex in spite of his injuries.
  • Worf Had the Flu: The physically strongest family member quickly suffers a crippling leg injury that lasts throughout the entire movie. He still manages to kill two Tethered.

     Zora 

Zora Wilson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zora_0.jpg
"It's about drugs."
Portrayed by: Shahadi Wright Joseph
The daughter of the Wilson family.
  • Blood Knight: She swiftly adapts to the circumstances and becomes this, especially when hunting down the Tylers' doppelgängers.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Downplayed, as she grows a lot more mature throughout the film, but even when she and her father are running from the Tethered, she still has time to be irritated with his dad jokes.
  • Car Fu: She attempts this on Umbrae, though she doesn’t die until Zora brakes and she’s flung towards a tree.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Her being a track athlete is mentioned early on.
    • It's less obvious, but also driving. She and her parents argue about how she's not allowed to drive, while Becca and Lindsey are. Eventually, she winds up driving the Tylers' car after her father is injured and her mother is handcuffed.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Zora proves herself to be a great fighter when she needs to, but when Umbrae is distracted by the random guy who is just angry she's standing on his car, she turns and runs. You can hardly blame her for this.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: She believes that the government is putting fluoride in the water for mind control purposes, foreshadowing the movie's actual Government Conspiracy.
  • Golf Clubbing: She arms herself with a golf club when entering the Tylers' house, and manages to take down Io and Nix with it. It remains her weapon for the rest of the film.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Downplayed. She's half-baseline-human, half-human-clone-with-some-preternatural-physical-abilities.
  • Lightning Bruiser: It's downplayed, but she is extremely vicious when she needs to be and also very fast, as a result of being half-Tethered.
  • Little Miss Badass: She manages to take down the Tethered twins and her own Tethered. If she succeeded on her first kill, her boast about having the highest body count would’ve held by the end.
  • Social Darwinist: She outright allows her Tethered Umbrae to kill off an innocent bystander (the guy in his underwear barking at Umbrae to get off his car) by not telling the bystander about Umbrae being armed with scissors just so she can get a headstart running for her life while Umbrae gets to work gutting that poor man.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Zora's reaction when she learns that her dad bought a boat.

     Jason 

Jason Wilson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jason_33.jpg
"There's a family in our driveway."
Portrayed by: Evan Alex
The son of the Wilson family.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: As the Tyler twins say, he's weird. Zora admits that he has trouble focusing. He's fixated on his sparking magic trick, and is almost never seen without his wolfman mask. This has led to some Epileptic Trees over whether or not his Tethered heritage caused some odd mental effects, or whether he's simply a neurodivergent child.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's never made clear if his obsession with getting his sparking magic trick to work is a result of his connection to the pyromaniac Pluto, or if Pluto's pyromania is linked to Jason's obsession with the magic trick, or if it's entirely a coincidence.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: He's the youngest member of the Wilson family. Adelaide often worries about him wandering off because of this.
  • Badass Adorable: He's a clever kid, who ultimately manages to defeat his Tethered by making use of their connection through a Mirror Routine.
  • Character Tic: He lowers his mask whenever he is nervous or Takes a Level in Badass.
  • Cool Mask: He wears a Wolfman mask consistently, although it's usually tipped up back on his head.
  • The Cutie: Throughout the movie, and while he may end up corrupted at the end, it's ambiguous whether he actually has.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He puts people in their place while keeping a straight face.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Downplayed, like his sister.
  • Mirror Routine: He does one with his counterpart, Pluto, in his family's closet. Later, at the car fire, this comes back when he uses their link to walk Pluto backwards into the fire without resistance.
  • Non Violent Initial Confrontation: He and Pluto don't fight each other at first, although their interactions aren't exactly bright and fear-free.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Jason doesn't get his parents' reference to Micro Machines, although this is hardly surprising for anyone born in the 21st century.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: It's implied at the end through a Disapproving Look that Jason suspects his mother of being Red and not the real Adelaide.
  • Stage Magician: Jason seems to be an aspiring one. He wears a lighter ring for magic tricks, and his pajamas look like a tuxedo. In the end, he keeps one of the rabbits from the facility as a pet.
  • Title Drop: He gets one in reference to the Tethered.
    Jason: It's us.
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Tethered

     Red 

Red

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/red_81.jpg
"It's our time up there."
Portrayed by: Lupita Nyong'o, Madison Curry (as a child), Ashley Mckoy (as a teenager)
Adelaide's counterpart and the leader of the Tethered as a whole.
  • A God Am I: When she gives her Motive Rant where she reveals herself as the leader of the Tethered.
  • Abusive Parents: She calls Umbrae a monster and implicitly sets her son Pluto up to lure the family in a trap, and is apathetic towards his forced self-immolation.
  • Big Bad: She is the one in charge of the Tethered version of the Wilsons, and is eventually revealed near the end of the movie to have influenced and convinced the rest of Tethered society to Kill and Replace their real world counterparts.
  • Dance Battler: She uses ballet moves in her final clash with her counterpart.
  • Dark Messiah: To the Tethered, being the one who taught them that there was a happier life aboveground, and that true free will required the deaths of their counterparts.
  • Decoy Protagonist: She's the Adelaide the viewer first meets in the opening minutes of the film.
  • Defiant to the End: After Adelaide skewers her with the fire iron, she calmly starts to whistle the same tune that she did 33 years ago the night she was replaced, to enrage her Tethered with the knowledge that she is just a copy.
  • Evil Laugh: She has a deeply unsettling, raspy variation of one.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: She's the only Tethered capable of speech, but can only manage a choked rasp. As it turns out, she isn't a Tethered at all, but rather the real Adelaide who was strangled by her doppelganger in the prologue, which permanently damaged her vocal chords.
  • Fantastic Racism: She views the Tethered as superior to their counterparts, and part of her Evil Plan is leading a campaign to kill all of the counterparts off.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: She went from a ordinary little girl to the Tethered's Dark Messiah, who leads a revolution that involves killing all of their original counterparts.
  • Hypocrite: Despite her viewing the Tethered as superior, Red shows disgust towards her family, referring to her children as monsters and seeing them as expendable.
  • Mirror Character: Considering she's the real Adelaide, and due to the trauma and psychological hell she went through living among the Tethered, it's made clear she became as vicious and unstable as the Tethered themselves.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: With the possible exception of her parents, Red does not care for other people, whether original or Tethered. She leads the Tethered in the extermination of the nearby non-Tethered, and is more than willing to throw her followers into danger.
  • Moses Archetype: She rose up from underground due to being able to dance, which tipped the Tethered off that she was something different from them, and she implies that she thinks God, or at least some form of high power, chose her. She is the leader of the Tethered, who live lives of pain and misery while their aboveground counterparts live in genuine fulfillment and happiness and are able to make their own choices. She taught them how to organize themselves, build costumes and weapons, and form a human chain like Hands Across America. She is also literally the only Tethered who can speak, because she was taught in her past life as Adelaide, meaning that she literally comes bearing the message.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: She's adept at this in her ending fight with the real Red.
  • Parental Favoritism: She seems to be fond of Pluto, and is far more accepting of his pyromania than Umbrae's sadism. That said, she's still willing to sacrifice him for a shot at revenge against her Tethered.
  • Poisonous Captive: Interesting example to the Tethered. While the real Red (Adelaide) kidnaps her in the beginning and chains her up in the bunker, she succeeds in turning the Tethered's minds against the aboveground people and starting the revolution that seems to wipe them all out.
  • Psychic Link: She seemingly uses this to great effect in her battle with Adelaide, dodging all of her attacks easily.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: She was switched at the age of eight, leaving her in a state of arrested development without proper human interaction. While she physically grew up, her mindset did not.
  • Revenge Before Reason: She forgoes timely and immediate retribution in favour of a more drawn-out scheme which ultimately costs her the coveted vengeance entirely.
  • Satanic Archetype: Her red suit calls to mind classical depictions of the Devil. She was once born above ground, but after circumstances, became the Dark Messiah of the Tethered who strives to overthrow humanity. She did so by convincing the Tethered to kill their counterparts.
  • Scary Black Woman: She is a terrifyingly murderous Black woman who speaks with a creepy and raspy Contralto of Danger.
  • The Sociopath: While she claims to be working in the interest of the Tethered, she views her family as expendable tools and shows no remorse when they are killed as a result of her plans. She is also manipulative, as she was the one who convinced the Tethered to forcibly kill their counterparts to take over the world.
  • Tragic Villain: She is the real Adelaide, who had to spend years trapped in the Tethered tunnels, her Psychic Link keeping her all too aware that her doppelgänger was living the happy life that was once hers while she descended into madness as she settled into the Tethered world. Ultimately her goal was to take back the life that was stolen from her.
  • Traumatic C-Section: And for good reason. Adelaide never talks about her C-section to have Jason, but Red says that, because Adelaide had a C-section to remove him from her, Red had to perform her own C-section with her bare hands. She refers to this as an especially brutal moment in her own captivity, which makes sense.
  • The Unblinking: Red never blinks, which is decidedly unnerving.
  • Unreliable Narrator: She claims that the Tethered are The Soulless, yet they do indeed have souls that are shared with their originals. Depending on whether you think her explanation is correct or not, there's a possibility she could also be wrong about the Tethered being the result of a government experiment. Since none of the Tethered seem to be able to talk, it's not as though she could have asked; the audience really can't tell how much of what she says is just educated guesses.
  • Walking Spoiler: Her true allegiances are hard to explain without spoiling.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: She has the chance to murder the Wilsons, especially her other self, when they first meet. This doesn't happen because she wants to make Adelaide suffer as revenge for stealing her life.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Red is the de facto leader of the Tethered, who is in truth the real Adelaide Wilson. Having been kidnapped and switched out by her Tethered at the age of eight, Red is subjected to replicating her Tethered's actions, including eating raw, bloody rabbit meat; marrying Gabe's Tethered against her consent; and performing a crude C-section on herself when pregnant with her children. Desiring vengeance on her Tethered, Red orchestrates the Untethering, convincing the Tethered to invade the surface to Kill and Replace their counterparts. When mortally wounded by her Tethered, Red whistles "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider" to reassert herself as the original by reminding her Tethered that she was just a clone.

     Abraham 

Abraham

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/abraham_us.PNG

Portrayed by: Winston Duke
Gabe's Tethered.
  • Actor Allusion: As The Speechless, Abraham has a habit of hollering like an animal, similar to a past character played by Duke who liked to make gorilla noises.
  • Beard of Evil: Gabe's Tethered counterpart has a much larger beard than Gabe himself.
  • Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: He is the first Tethered to be killed by his counterpart.
  • The Brute: He's a towering man like Gabe, with none of the latter's amiability.
  • Dumb Muscle: He's both The Brute and The Speechless and not quite bright.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: His longer beard.
  • Marital Rape License: An even more horrifying example than usual. When Adelaide met Gabe, Red and Abraham were forced together as well, forcing them into a sexual relationship simply because their counterparts were in one, and leading to their children being a Child by Rape.
  • Meaningful Name: In the Hebrew Bible, Abraham was the father of the chosen people. In the film, he's the father of Red's family.
    • If Gabe's name is short for "Gabriel", then they both have biblical names.
  • Perpetual Frowner: He never cracks so much as a smile, in contrast to Gabe's constant cheerfulness. His expression briefly clears up (although does not become happy) when he steals Gabe's glasses; his glare is at least partially a squint from not being able to see.
  • Scary Black Man: While Gabe merely tries to act the part, Abraham is this for real.
  • Tears of Remorse: Though it doesn't actually stop him from trying to kill Gabe (though it probably stops him from doing too good of a job), he cries after capturing Gabe.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: He tries to drown Gabe in an overly-elaborate manner instead of just stabbing him to death when he's unconscious.

     Umbrae 

Umbrae

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/us_umbrae.jpg
Portrayed by: Shahadi Wright Joseph
Zora's Tethered.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Adelaide can't bring herself to finish her off, instead opting to wait with her as she dies of her wounds.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: She just smiles when her mother calls her a "little monster."
  • Child by Rape: Heavily implied. Red claims that she didn't have a choice in sleeping with Abraham, due to their Psychic Links with Adelaide and Gabe respectively.
  • Dark Is Evil: She was apparently born malicious, and her name outright means "darkness" in English.
  • Die Laughing: She still snickers even after being impaled on a tree branch, and continues to do so (while taking empty swipes at Adelaide) until she expires.
  • Enfant Terrible: Her mother describes her as a monster.
  • Fragile Speedster: Very downplayed, but she has the quickest death of all the Tethered, and dies second of them, while being the fastest.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Her mother is a "real" person, while her father is a Tethered. This means that she and Pluto are the same as Zora and Jason, and puts the fact that she is a "monster" in a whole new light.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: She slowly dies from this (and being broken in half) after Zora throws her from the car.
  • Laughing Mad: Red says she was born laughing, and when she is hurled from a fast-moving car into a tree, she dies laughing as well.
  • Meaningful Name: Umbrae means shadow or darkness, contrasting Zora, which means dawn.
  • Scary Black Woman: Or Girl, due being described as a monster.
  • Slasher Smile: She is constantly grinning maliciously.
  • The Sociopath: She constantly has a sadistic smirk on her face whenever she's about to do something violent, which is always.
  • The Un-Favourite: Depending on your perspective, either justified or played straight. Red describes her as monstrous from the beginning, but it's possible that the extreme physical trauma of her birth caused Red to prefer Pluto (although Umbrae was born naturally, for a given value of the word, while she was forced to perform a C-section on herself for Pluto).

     Pluto 

Pluto

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/us_pluto_banner.jpg
Portrayed by: Evan Alex
Jason's Tethered.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Adelaide delivers a brief Big "NO!" when Pluto is made to walk backwards into the fire by the real Jason.
  • Ambiguously Evil: He doesn't do as much as the rest of the family. In fact, he seems merely to want to play with his counterpart. He also seems to be the member of Red's family that she cares about the most.
  • Child by Rape: Much like how Umbrae was conceived, it's likely that Pluto was conceived due to Red and Abraham being forced to have sex with each other due to their connection to Adelaide and Gabe, who ended up with Jason.
  • The Dragon: He's the closest to Red, and the only Tethered she has affection for, helped by the fact that his death provides a crucial distraction for Red to kidnap Jason and sets up her final confrontation with Adelaide.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Well, he's a little boy, and this is very downplayed as he can't speak, but it appears to be the case, as he likes to cuddle up to Red when he can.
  • Facial Horror: His face is covered by nasty burn scars.
  • Future Primitive: He's the youngest Tethered, and also growls and tends to walk on all fours, like a dog.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: His mom is a real person, while his father was a Tethered. This carries some scary implications because it means that he and Umbrae are the same as Zora and Jason — the only difference is in how they were raised.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: He wears a full mask to cover his disfigured face.
  • Meaningful Name: He growls and walks on all fours like a dog, and he shares his name with a famous Disney dog.
    • Both he and Jason have names from classical myth. Pluto's name, in particular, comes from the Roman God of Death, who ruled over the underworld.
  • Mirror Routine: He engages in one with Jason whenever they encounter each other. Jason uses this to trick Pluto into burning himself before the climax.
  • Pyromaniac: He loves fire, and it has left a mark on him.
  • Scary Black Man: Or Boy, as he behaves like an aggressive animal with a horribly-burned face concealed under a full mask.
  • Self-Immolation: Jason uses Pluto’s Mirror Routine against him and tricks him into walking backwards into the car he set on fire.
  • Wild Child: His behavior is the most animalistic of the Tethered. He walks on all fours, communicates in growls and snarls, and cuddles up against Red like a dog.
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Tyler Family

Originals

     Josh Tyler 

Josh Tyler

Portrayed By: Tim Heidecker
  • Awful Wedded Life: With Kitty.
  • Henpecked Husband: He views himself as this, but Kitty is only trying to get him to do stuff that might save their lives, like checking the backup generator.
  • Lazy Husband: Josh won't check for intruders as requested by his scared wife. He has the audacity to claim to be busy while doing nothing but lying back in his easy chair and having a drink.
  • Manchild: He's very immature and jokes around a lot. This especially becomes Played for Drama when he laughs at Kitty's insistence that there's someone inside the house.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: He shares this role with Gabe.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Kitty makes it clear to him what she thinks, he just doesn't listen, and as a result, his whole family is killed.
  • Rich Idiot With No Day Job: He is an upper-middle-class slacker who would rather relax on his easy chair, take a sip of his drink, and listen to music than look out for intruders at his house that his wife noticed.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: He is a secondary Plucky Comic Relief character who is swiftly killed by his double Tex.

     Kitty Tyler 

Kitty Tyler

Portrayed by: Elisabeth Moss
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Their marriage appears to be deeply strained at best, but after being mortally wounded by her Tethered, she immediately starts to crawl towards an already-dead Josh.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Even by the standards of the familicide she is the last survivor of, she survives being attacked by the Tethered the first time, attempts to call the police, and is then attacked and killed by her husband's Tethered.
  • Lady Drunk: She spends the day on the beach drinking wine, then goes home when it's "Vodka o'clock."
  • Pink Means Feminine: She is always dressed in light pink clothes, befitting her status as a Non Action Girl and Trophy Wife.
  • Plastic Bitch: Kitty's Establishing Character Moment shows off that she has had (subtle) plastic surgery since Adelaide saw her last. Although she is the matriarch of a well-off Nuclear Family, she spends the rest of her screentime miserable at her husband and sniping both at and about him and her twin daughters.
  • Properly Paranoid: When the lights go out and the emergency generator kicks in, she immediately is wary of possible intruders. Sadly, Josh doesn't believe her, and their Tethered turn out to be already inside their home.
  • Rich Bitch: Downplayed, as she's plenty nice to the Wilsons, but she's pretty cutting about Josh on the whole.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: She and Adelaide are friends, and Adelaide is the Tomboy to her Girly Girl.
  • Undignified Death: She tries to call the police as she bleeds to death — only for her smart house device to mishear her and think she said to play "Fuck The Police", which then blasts through the speakers as she dies.

     Becca and Lindsey Tyler 

Becca and Lindsey Tyler

Portrayed by: Cali and Noelle Sheldon
  • Always Identical Twins: Crossing over with Rule of Symbolism, they are very reminiscent of the Tethered due to this trope.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of their lines are deadpan.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Both wear fairly feminine clothing, but they spend most of their time on the beach doing cartwheels.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Aside from Becca seeming more abrasive than her twin, the only obvious distinction between them is that Becca favors wearing light blue while Lindsey prefers black shirts with the names of rock bands.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: They are somewhat aloof and Becca repeatedly dismisses Jason for being weird, but Jason and Zora don't give them trouble and they get along with them just fine.
  • Speak in Unison: They do this perfectly but unintentionally. This is most displayed after Jason is going to the bathroom.
    Both twins: Why don't you pee in the ocean? Jinx. Double jinx. Triple jinx. Blackout. Shut up. You shut up.
  • Twin Telepathy: A realistic example, but they talk in synchronisation at some points.

Tethered

     Tex 

Tex

Portrayed By: Tim Heidecker
Josh's Tethered.
  • Actor Allusion: He bears a great resemblance in appearance and mannerisms to Heidecker's iconic role as himself in Tim & Eric.
  • Badass Longcoat: He fashions one from Josh's bathrobe, wearing it over his jumpsuit.
  • Clothing Switch: He's able to briefly disguise himself as Josh when the Wilsons come to the house by putting on his robe.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: He does the old handreach-into-hair-slick joke to a dying Kitty.
  • Killed Offscreen: The audience doesn’t see Tex getting killed by Gabe on the boat, but Dahlia does.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Throughout his screentime, but especially in his torment of Gabe and Kitty, he expresses a childlike glee.
  • Sadist: He gleefully taunts his victims when he's attacking Gabe and Kitty.
  • Smug Snake: His particular way of showing how he relishes killing the above-ground Tethered.
  • Villainous Friendship: He seems to be friends with Abraham, mirroring the friendship of Gabe and Josh. They communicate with each other across the lake, and Tex seems genuinely upset when Abraham doesn't answer.

     Dahlia 

Dahlia

Portrayed by: Elisabeth Moss
Kitty's Tethered.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Her obvious devastation at Tex's death.
  • Cute and Psycho: Invoked when she puts Kitty's makeup on after having mercilessly killed her and her whole family. She slices her face with scissors in an attempt to mimic Kitty's cosmetic surgery, weeps when she sees her bleeding face, then laughs maniacally.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She's distraught when she sees Gabe killing Tex.
  • Facial Horror: She cuts her own face with scissors in a twisted attempt to mimic Kitty's cosmetic surgery.
  • Laughing Mad: She responds to Tex's death by screaming hysterically, then continues to laugh as she pins Zora to the bed, about to kill her to avenge Tex.
  • Psychopathic Woman Child: Implied. Despite Adelaide's clear terror as her prisoner, she puts on makeup and admires herself. She also mocks Adelaide while about to kill Zora.
  • Sadist: The only one of the Tylers' Tethered who drags out her attacks and taunts the Wilsons before she tries to kill them, displaying joy at their suffering, especially after Tex is killed.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Not to the extent of Red towards Adelaide, but she pauses to torture Adelaide with the knowledge that she's about to kill Zora while she has Zora overpowered and pinned to a bed — giving Jason enough time to sneak up behind her and kill her.

     Io and Nix 

Io and Nix

Portrayed by: Cali and Noelle Sheldon
Becca and Lindsey's Tethered.
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: While Becca and Lindsey cartwheel a lot, Io and Nix are seen doing this by spinning around insanely.
  • Child by Rape: Implicitly, since neither Tex nor Dahlia could have possibly had any say in their conception (though they seem at least somewhat happier in their relationship than Red and Abraham).
  • Creepy Twins: It comes with the territory.
  • Not Quite Dead: Zora seemingly kills them, but Nix recovers and tries to attack Adelaide.
  • There Is No Kill like Overkill: Zora seemingly kills them both, but Nix returns to try and kill Adelaide, forcing Adelaide to kill her.
  • Would Hurt a Child: They have absolutely no compunctions about killing their teenage counterparts (and are teenage themselves, of course).
  • Your Head A-Splode: Zora kills Io by pummeling her until this is implied to happen.
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