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Characters from the movie:
Beth (Janeane Garofalo)The camp director who experiences a blossoming romance with an astrophysicist.
- Babies Ever After: Reveals at the end of the film that she's pregnant with Henry's child.
- Chewing the Scenery: "WHERE'S THE FUCKING PHONE?!" and "WE'RE LOSING TIIIME!"
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Archibald Doohickey.
- Only Sane Employee: Somewhat, given that she has moments of insanity as well. Then again, she at least tries to make sure the counselors do their jobs (and keep the kids alive).
Gene Jenkinson/Jonas Jurgenson (Christopher Meloni)The camp cook and a Vietnam veteran.
- Badass Beard: In the series, he goes from clean-shaven to sporting one of these within the space of a minute.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He's this mixed with being a Shell-Shocked Veteran.
- Jerkass: Gene isn't exactly a pleasant guy to be around with. Just ask Gary. He does mellow out eventually. His alter-ego, Jonas, however, started out as a pretty nice fellow.... until his memories came back.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Parodied, as his trauma manifests itself in the form of bizarre fetishes.
- Would Hurt a Child: He has threatened to kill Victor and turn him into a soup over a prank call... and planned on following through that threat. He didn't get to, but still.
Henry Neumann (David Hyde Pierce)An astrophysicist who rents a cabin near Camp Firewood.
- Badass Bookworm: In the series he gets into an impressive, kung-fu movie inspired fist fight with his academic rival.
- The Professor: In the movie, he somehow figures out that a satellite is headed straight for the auditorium and cobble together a contraption to track and redirect it. His use of rocks and bizarre contraptions to explain scientific concepts also fits.
Nancy (Nina Hellman)The camp nurse.
- Too Much Information: Tends to give this out, usually by bringing up her vagina unnecessarily.
Gail von Kleinenstein, née Gail Dana Starfield (Molly Shannon)The camp arts and crafts teacher.
- Fourth Date Marriage: Between the movie and the series, she gets engaged no fewer than 4 times (once to a young boy) and married twice. Her first marriage to her ex-husband Jeff occurs before their first date and only lasts a few hours.
- Teacher/Student Romance: With Aaron, who looks about ten. It's intentionally squicky.
Ron von Kleinenstein (Judah Friedlander)Gail's ex-husband and an employee of the United States government.
- Badass Bureaucrat: He has the power to order assassinations.
Gerald "Coop" Cooperberg (Michael Showalter)An everyman teenage counselor with a crush on Katie.
- Adorkable: Has no idea what girls are attracted to, but we love him for it.
- Betty and Veronica: The almost obnoxiously sweet boy next door Betty to the Veronicas of Andy in the movie and Yaron in the series. He never really stood a chance against either.
- Big Brother Mentor: Acts as one to Kevin in the series.
- Extreme Doormat: Lets Katie and Donna walk all over him. On the few occasions where he finally puts his foot down, he's quick to forgive the second they say something vaguely apologetic.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Spends almost all of First Day of Camp meekly letting Donna string him along, despite it being abundantly clear that she couldn't care less about him.
- The Everyman: He's a generically nice, awkward teenager.
- Flanderization: While he was always a parody of the archetypal Nice Guy, First Day of Camp turns him into a completely wimpy pushover.
- Love Makes You Dumb: He has an alarming tendency to let his expectations for a relationship to override what his crush actually wants from him: in the film, he ignores Katie's feelings towards Andy and fully expects Katie to dump him; in the series, he's oblivious the fact that Donna's attempting to change him means she's probably not interested in him.
- Nice Guy: Lindsay even calls him this by name in First Day of Camp.
- Nice Guys Finish Last: He's doomed to always be rejected by girls in favor of guys who are more interesting and less clingy than he is. Katie even punctuates her rejection of him with a "But you're really nice." to drive the point home.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: He's almost exclusively called Coop.
- Out of Focus: Goes from the closest thing to a main protagonist in the movie to more of a side character in the series. He still has his own plotline, but it gets much less screentime than his original one did.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Katie ultimately chooses Andy over him, just because Andy's hotter.
- Serial Romeo: He's incredibly quick to latch onto whatever girl he's currently pining for as his one true love. He somehow went an entire summer without noticing Katie before declaring her to be this on the last day of camp.
Katie Finnerty (Marguerite Moreau)A pretty, popular teenage counselor caught in a Love Triangle.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Had this with Andy before they started dating.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Comes off as perfectly nice throughout the first movie before callously rejecting Coop due to Andy being hotter.
- Girl Next Door: An intentionally generic one.
- Jerkass: Tells Coop she loves him, then dumps him again the next morning for her cheating ex, purely because Andy is hotter than Coop.
- Jerk Ass Has A Point: The way she broke up with Coop was pretty harsh, but she points out that she's 16 and more interested in sex than a serious relationship.
- She Is All Grown Up: Used to have braces and a flat chest, but lost both in between the previous summer and the start of camp.
- Uptown Girl: With Andy, according to First Day of Camp.
Andy Fleckner (Paul Rudd)A rebellious teenage counselor and Katie's boyfriend.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Katie, before they start dating.
- Betty and Veronica: The too cool for school rebel Veronica to Coop's Betty in the movie. While Katie begins it in a relationship with him, he's so indifferent and faithful to her that she still has to pursue him regardless.
- Brainless Beauty: Despite both his looks and charisma, he's frequently shown to be an idiot.
- Chick Magnet: Very popular with girls. Part of his attraction to Katie is her apparent immunity to his charms.
- Hidden Depths: He's still a Jerkass in the series, but he's also revealed to be a pretty good guitarist/songwriter, and his interactions with Katie suggest the relationship degraded over time and that he was actually capable of being good to her for a while.
- Informed Attractiveness: Sure, Paul Rudd isn't exactly hard on the eyes, but the way Katie describes him at the end of the movie, you'd think he's a living Greek god among disfigured mutants, not just a reasonably attractive guy in a cast full of reasonably attractive guys.
- Informed Loner: Despite allegedly being a badass rebel, he generally just comes off as a stupid and lazy counselor and doesn't do much in the way of rebelling at all.
- Jerkass: Constantly cheats on Katie and insults her and every other character he talks to.
- Sympathetic P.O.V.: A complete asshole in the movie, the series continues to portray him as an asshole but shows some of his better qualities as he is now a protagonist rather than Coop's romantic rival.
- Uptown Girl: First Day of Camp establishes that Katie is rich and he's poor.
Lindsay (Elizabeth Banks)A counselor who cheats with Andy. Actually a 24-year-old journalist for Rock and Roll World Magazine on an undercover assignment.
- Ascended Extra: Practically a non-character who just exists as eye candy in the movie, the series reveals her to have one of the most complicated backstories of the campers.
- Bi the Way: Pursues Andy, then happily makes out with Abby during the talent show.
- Characterization Marches On / Hidden Depths: In the movie, she's just a lust object for the boys and Abby. In the prequel series, it turns out she's as weird and full of personality as the rest of the characters, and even has her own subplot.
- Meta Guy: Filters the events of First Day of Camp through the lens of stereotypical teen fiction. Unfortunately, she's not very good at it.
- Ms. Fanservice: A parody of this archetype in the movie. She's considerably less of one in the series, though she still has her moments.
- Older Than They Look: Parodied. She can pass off as a highschooler despite actually being 24 years old. In reality, Elizabeth Banks is in her forties.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Styling her hair slightly differently is apparently enough to make her look 8 years younger.
- Really Gets Around: Makes out with Andy, Abby and Eric over the course of the series.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: She tries to exploit her knowledge of teen fiction tropes when constructing the story for her article, but often fumbles the actual execution.
- In her Meta Guy moment in First Day of Camp when she lists off every character's role in the story, she gets some right (such as Coop being "the Nice Guy"), but gets others wildly wrong (such as McKinley, not Ben or Susie, being "the theatre kid"), and sometimes just makes no sense or starts Leaning on the Fourth Wall (the talking can of vegetables is "the jock", Weird Al Yankovic's character is "Weird Al Yankovic").
Victor Pulak (Ken Marino)The Camp Firewood adventure counselor with a reputation as a ladies' man despite secretly being a virgin.
- Big Man on Campus: Seemingly the niche he fills in the camp, and even gets called this multiple times.
- Casanova Wannabe: Talks a big game but is unpopular with women.
- Determinator: He'll do whatever it takes to get laid. Even if it means dying.
- Funny Afro: Has a very conspicuous afro wig for whatever reason.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Sexually Active Today?: Claims to have slept with almost every girl at the camp, and brings up his fake sexual conquests constantly to try to hide the fact that he's a virgin.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Neil.
- Quest for Sex: His entire storyline. It fails, until 1991. And god in heaven is it weird.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly man to Neil.
- Those Two Guys: Almost always with Neil.
- Urban Legend Love Life: Neil believes him to be a ladies man when in reality he hasn't ever had sex.
Neil (Joe Lo Truglio)A counselor who accompanies Victor on his various subplots.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Victor.
- Nice Guy: Generally comes off as a sweet guy, especially when alongside the more callous Victor.
- Satellite Character: Defined as Victor's nerdy friend in the movie. Averted in the series where he gets his own subplot with his own Satellite Character girlfriend.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive guy to Victor's manly man. While Victor is something of a Casanova Wannabe, Neil is in a committed relationship and loses his virginity on the first day of camp.
- Sidekick: Lindsay calls him this by name in First Day of Camp. He spends most of his screentime talking to or looking for Victor.
- Those Two Guys: Rarely seen away from Victor.
J.J. (Zak Orth)One of the boys' counselors.
- All Men Are Perverts: One of his most prominent traits. He spies on Lindsay changing into her swimsuit in the movie and agrees to help her investigate the haunted cabin if she lets him touch her boob in the series.
- Fat Best Friend: His only role seems to be the fat best friend to whoever is closest to him. At various points he acts as this to Andy, Lindsay, Gary and Coop.
- Jerkass: His other most defining trait is making crude, mocking jokes at other people, or laughing at someone else making them. Despite this, however, he's completely accepting of Ben and McKinley's relationship.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Exclusively called J.J.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Subverted. It looks like he and Gary are going to become this to McKinley and Ben, but it turns out they're actually fine with them being gay and even got them a wedding present.
- Satellite Character: Though who he's currently revolving around changes. He never does anything on his own and exists to be the communal Fat Best Friend.
Gary (A.D. Miles)The kitchen assistant and J.J. and McKinley's friend.
- Beleaguered Assistant: To Gene, whose primary modes of communication are screaming, physical violence, threats, and bizarre sexual comments.
- Only Sane Man: To the rest of the kitchen staff, which isn't saying much, as the rest of the kitchen staff consists of Gene and a talking can of vegetables.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Subverted. He and J.J. are built up as being this to McKinley and Ben, only to be totally accepting and get them a wedding present instead.
McKinley Dozen (Michael Ian Black)One of the boys' counselors.
- Camp Gay: Series-only, and downplayed. In First Day of Camp, he performs in the staff musical, is gifted at sewing, and occasionally sasses other characters, but is still generally pretty similar to the straight counselors.
- Closet Key: For Ben in First Day of Camp.
- Flanderization: Him being gay is a pretty sudden twist in the movie, as he lacks any stereotypically 'gay' traits. In the series, however, he is made substantially more effete and given more traditionally camp interests.
- Fourth Date Marriage: He and Ben started dating on the first day of camp, and got married eight weeks later on the last day. Though compared to the rate at which other characters' relationships progress, eight weeks is actually a reasonably long time to wait (plus, it's hardly like the marriage was legally binding).
- Hidden Depths: The series shows him to be talented at sewing, something that is never even alluded to in the movie.
- Odd Friendship: With Arty, the camper who runs the radio station.
- Official Couple: With Ben.
- Only Sane Man: He's pretty normal by the series' standards, which is best illustrated in his confused dealings with Arty.
- Straight Gay: In the film, he never acts even slightly campy.
Ben (Bradley Cooper)The producer of the Camp Firewood theatre program.
- Amicable Exes: With Susie. They break up after Susie has sex with Claude Dumet and Ben realizes he's in love with McKinley, but they stay friends and coworkers. She even plays the flute at his wedding.
- Camp Gay: Downplayed. While he does do theatre and dress nicely, he's not very flamboyant.
- Disappeared Dad: His father killed himself.
- Fourth Date Marriage: He and McKinley get married after dating for eight weeks.
- Insistent Terminology: Whenever Susie refers to herself as a producer in the theatre program, Ben clears his throat until she corrects herself (he is the producer, she is the director/choreographer).
- Large Ham: Enjoys showing off his title of theatre counselor by constantly doing character voices.
- Living a Double Life: Parodied and subverted. He DJs the staff party on the first day of camp as "DJ Ski Mask"... and introduces himself as "DJ Ski Mask, also known as Ben the theatre counselor". The ski mask is really only there to cut down on the number of scenes Bradley Cooper had to shoot.
- Nice Guy: He's very nice to both the campers and the other counselors, and is one of the only people who didn't boo the Godspell performance.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Susie's Red. He's quieter and calmer than her, and significantly nicer to the campers.
Susie (Amy Poehler)The director/choreographer of the Camp Firewood theatre program.
- Amicable Exes: She tells Ben it's fine that he's in love with McKinley and they stay friends after their breakup.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Comes off as very volatile and mean for most of the movie, but is shown to be incredibly supportive of Ben and McKinley's romance and holds no ill will to the former for breaking up with her.
- Last Het Romance: Was this for Ben. They dated for a fairly long time, but broke up when he realized he was gay.
- Mentor Ship: With Claude Dumet in First Day of Camp. Given that she's 16 and he's easily 50, it's portrayed as extremely creepy and inappropriate.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Ben's Blue.
- Serious Business: Theatre is everything for her. While everyone takes the camp plays way more seriously than they have any reason to in-universe, she is definitely the worst offender.
- Stern Teacher: To the drama kids. Overlaps with Sadist Teacher when she feels they haven't done well enough.Before we start, I'd just like to say that the campers you're about to see suck dick.
Abby Bernstein (Marisa Ryan)An extremely promiscuous counselor (in the film) and camper (in the series).
- Anything That Moves: Her preferences don't seem limited by age or gender. This becomes even squickier when we learn that she's likely even younger than the (allegedly) 16 year old other counselors.
- Ascended Extra: Somewhat in the series. While she remains a side character without a plot, she is given much more character than she ever had in the movie.
- Does Not Like Men: Used to hate boys until she got her period.
- Really Gets Around: She makes out with 4 different people in the span of one day.
- She's All Grown Up: Literally. As soon as she has her first period she magically grows into looking like a middle aged woman. No one comments on it.
- Younger Than They Look: The series reveals her to only be around 13 years old. Puberty just hit her like a bus.
Guitar Dude (Peter Sallett)A guitar-playing counselor.
Aaron (Gideon Jacobs)A student in Gail's arts and crafts class.
- Adorably Precocious Child: Has the wisdom and maturity to council Gail through her divorce despite being about ten years old.
- Teacher/Student Romance: He and Gail get engaged at the end of the movie. No one bats an eye at them.
Arty "The Beekeeper" Solomon (Samm Levine (voice), Liam Norton (body in film), George Dalton (body in series))The foremost and only member of the Camp Firewood radio station.
- Captain's Log: His announcement of camp activities often flag specific plot points.
- Hates Baths
- Odd Friendship: With McKinley.
- The Pig Pen: Does not take a single shower until the last day of camp, when he is literally carried away by the counselors and forced under a faucet.
- Shock Jock: Fancies himself one of these, often sarcastically apologizing for jokes he feels are offensive. (They never are.)
- Vocal Dissonance: Has the voice of a grown man despite being an eleven year old.
The Indoor Kids A group of campers Prof. Neuman takes under his wing to teach about science.
(Gabriel Millman as Caped Boy, Kevin Thomas Conroy as Mork Guy, Christopher Cusumano as Medieval Kid, Cassidy Ladden as Mallrat Girl, Madeline Blue as Cure Girl)
- Only Known by Their Nickname: With the exception of Caped Boy and Medieval Kid, who are called Keith and Melvin respectively in the film.
Steve (Kevin Sussman)A dorky and socially awkward camper with a predilection for talking like a robot.
- Ambiguous Disorder: The kid has no friends despite having spent 5 summers at the camp, spends his time playing with dirt and chickens, and likes to act like a robot, an alien, or an alien robot.
- Mind over Matter: He's telekinetic, and uses this power to create a huge gust of wind during the talent show.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: It's only revealed in a single throwaway line, but the outgoing, popular J.J. is actually his brother.
Characters from First Day of Camp:
Mitch/The Talking Can of Vegetables (H. Jon Benjamin)The camp director before Beth, and the grandson of Camp Firewood's founder.
- Ascended Extra: In the original movie, the can was a major Big-Lipped Alligator Moment with only two lines and no context. The series reveals him to be the original camp director and Big Good of the camp.
- Big Good: Portrayed as the beacon of wisdom the camp staff turn to for guidance.
- Inhuman Human: Drowns in toxic waste, then comes back to life as the talking can of vegetables from the movie.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Fine with Beth sleeping with other men as he can no longer satisfy her in his can body.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Sold the nearby woods to Xenstar as a toxic waste dumping ground in order to keep the camp afloat and deeply regrets his decision.
- Nice Guy: Following his transformation into a can he practically becomes a saint, giving positive encouragement to both Beth and Gene.
- Not Quite Dead: Revived as a can after drowning in toxic waste for... some unexplained reason.
- Talking Appliance Sidekick: He's this for Gene in the movie, after becoming a talking vegetable can.
- The Un-Twist: Anyone who has seen the movie would be able to guess who he ends up becoming just from his voice. If that isn't enough, most of his scenes have him carrying around a can of vegetables for no apparent reason.
Greg Toffler (Jason Schwartzman)The boys' head counselor at Camp Firewood.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Beth.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Parodied with Beth. He dramatically gasps instructions to her while she cradles him in her arms... as he dies from a massive gunshot wound directly through his brain. He gets better.
- Doomed by Canon: His (apparent) death explains why he doesn't appear in the movie.
- Killed Off for Real: Takes a bullet through the forehead courtesy of the Falcon. Again, he gets better.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Beth's red, being the more calm and rational of the two.
- Too Dumb to Live: When you see him (repeatedly) ingest toxic waste, you know he's not going to be Put on a Bus.
Jim Stansel (Michael Cera)A small-time lawyer who Beth and Greg hire to help them sue Xenstar and the federal government.
- Crusading Lawyer: Tries to be this against Xenstar and succeeds until the Falcon kills him.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Johnny Pisspot, on account of him mostly handling public urination cases before taking on Xenstar.
The Falcon (Jon Hamm)President Reagan's private assassin.
- Good All Along: Claims that he was on the camp's side the whole time because he and Gene served in Vietnam togther. Beth immediately points out that this makes no sense, as he repeatedly tried to kill her and successfully killed several of her friends.
- Professional Killer: Works as an assassin for the U.S. government.
Claude Dumet (John Slattery)A musical theatre actor who assists Susie and Ben in their production of Electro-City.
- Dirty Old Man: He constantly hits on Susie, who calls him this by name, though not until after they sleep together.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He played a few minor roles in the touring version of one musical, but that doesn't stop him from acting like a big name star.
Rhonda (Michaela Watkins)Claude Dumet's assistant and the Electro-City choreographer.
- Motor Mouth: Rattles off stage directions at top speed without actually demonstrating any of the moves.
Eric (Chris Pine)A rock star and former camper who lives in an unused cabin, trying to complete his masterpiece.
- Faking the Dead: Parodied. A week after his supposed death, he's seen hitchhiking his way to New York City. Except that we saw him get shot through the chest, fall off a building, and be violently run over by a truck all within thirty seconds, none of which he had any way of planning or preparing for.
- The Power of Rock: Unites Camp Firewood and Camp Tigerclaw with his music.
Donna Berman (Lake Bell)One of the girls' counselors and Coop's girlfriend.
- Granola Girl: A variant who's very into Jewish spirituality and artsy urban fashion.
- Jerkass: She constantly manipulates and lies to Coop with no regard for his feelings about their relationship.
Yaron (David Wain)The new soccer counselor from Israel.
- Bi the Way: He and Donna steadily try to manipulate Coop into having a three way with them over the course of the season.
- Funny Foreigner: His accent and occasional misunderstanding of English play into a few jokes.
Debbie (Allie Stamler)A counselor who hangs out with J.J. and Lindsay.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Possibly averted—while she doesn't appear in the movie, there are a lot of offscreen Debbies at Camp Firewood, so she's probably intended to be one of them.
Blake McCarthy (Josh Charles)Katie's rich, snobby boyfriend from Camp Tigerclaw.
- Jerkass: He's not technically a worse boyfriend to Katie than Andy is, but he does watch her from across the lake with binoculars, give her ultimatums, insult her and her friends from Camp Firewood, and throw a hissy fit when she breaks up with him.
- Rich Bitch: He's very rich and very mean.
- White Anglo-Saxon Protestant: Fits the stereotype to a T.
Courtney (Kristen Wiig)A girl from Camp Tigerclaw with an interest in Blake.
- Country Matters: Double subverted.(to Blake) Where's your little fox? The town to your country? Or maybe you're the town to her count... ry. Her country. Because of cunt.
- Improbable Weapon User: Stabs Victor with a sterling silver oyster fork.
- Rich Bitch: Like all the other Tigerclaw people, she's rich and very rude and dismissive of Camp Firewood.
Shari (Beth Dover)Neil's high school sweetheart.
Kevin Appleblatt (David Bloom)A new camper in Coop's bunk who struggles to make friends while being bullied.
Characters from Ten Years Later:
Former Junior Staff
Claire (Sarah Burns)A counselor that was unseen until the reunion. She's married to Mark.
- Remember the New Guy?: Both Claire and Mark have their appearances noticeably shoehorned into flashbacks.
Mark (Mark Feuerstein)Another counselor that was unseen until the reunion. He's married to Claire.
- Remember the New Guy?: Both Claire and Mark have their appearances noticeably shoehorned into flashbacks.
Renata Murphy née Delvecchio(Alyssa Milano)An enigmatic nanny that Ben and McKinley hire.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: It becomes increasingly obvious that she wants to kill Ben and take their child for her own. Subverted when it's all revealed to be an act...shortly after she was killed for real.
Garth MacArthur (Jai Courtney)Susie's actor boyfriend from Britain.
Laura (Melanie Lynskey)Coop's editor.
Ginny (Maya Erskine)Coop's fiancee.
- Romantic False Lead: Her only purpose is to provide Katie with some competition.