Spoiler Warning: Only major spoilers and those related to the most recent season (4) will be hidden
A cynical and incredibly reckless music PR executive. Despite not being into relationships or monogamy, she decides to give things a shot with Jimmy when they become closer together.
- The Alleged Car: Her old Honda. We don't get a really good look at the whole thing in daylight until "Fix Me, Dummy", but it is impressively destroyed. Judging by what was visible in the flashback in "Constant Horror and Bone-Deep Dissatisfaction", it was an alleged car even before she crashed it.
- Anti-Hero: At best. Gretchen is unsympathetic toward others' problems, snarky, dysfunctional to the extreme, and downright vicious on occasion.
- Artistic License Animal Care: In "Fists and Feet and Stuff", she equates herself and Jimmy to two pit bulls who would kill other dogs but are "couch buds" with each other because fighting would result in mutually assured destruction. In reality, if you have two dog-aggressive pits (or any breed), they absolutely will try to kill each other.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Gretchen and Jimmy are endlessly snarky, constantly deny and mock the concept of having feelings, and both react to Paul's definition of love (putting someone else's needs above your own) with "ew", but it just makes their sweet moments all the more heartwarming.
- Big Eater: Like Jimmy, she takes full advantage of Edgar's masterful cooking. How she maintains her figure is a mystery.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Subverted. In "PTSD", she sleeps with an ex (a barista nicknamed "Venti"), but her offhand comment about his size is really more to mess with Jimmy than to imply that "Venti" is actually good at sex.
- Birds of a Feather: She and Jimmy have a lot of significant personality differences, but their shared snark and mutual distaste for relationships is the only reason theirs works.
- Bi the Way: She instigates a threesome bringing in her "work wife" Dana when Jimmy is upset in "Equally Dead Inside". She mentions that she's always been terrible at interacting with girls, lamenting that she can't believe she finally made another female friend outside of Lindsay and immediately tried to bang her. Gretchen also flirts with and tries to kiss Nina, and in season 4 has sex with her boyfriend Boone's ex-wife while blackout drunk.
- Blatant Lies: A storm of them in "Finish Your Milk".
- She tells Jimmy that she's flying home to "parental purgatory", when in fact her parents are coming to LA to visit her. When Jimmy learns that she's still in LA and finds her at the museum, Gretchen recruits a couple of total strangers to play her parents.
- She tells her parents that she runs PR for Josh Grobin (definitely not anyone named Shitstain), that Jimmy is from the fancy part of London (he's from the bad part of Manchester), that they met at an animal-related charity fundraiser, and that Jimmy is a very popular and highly-regarded novelist with a movie in the works.
- Break His Heart to Save Him: In "Other Things You Could Be Doing", Gretchen tells Jimmy that she's permanently broken, he shouldn't be okay with that, and he deserves to go be happy with someone else. It's not a lie that she doesn't feel anything (depression does that), but her tearful "You stayed" when she wakes up to find him in the pillow fort with her at the end makes it clear she didn't really want him to leave forever.
- Calling Your Orgasms: Played for Laughs in "Try Real Hard", the season 3 premiere.Jimmy: Why do you always announce it?
Jimmy: You always announce it.
Gretchen: I do?
- She wants everyone to be aware that she has the floor.
- Character Development: She starts to become more open with her emotions through the third season when Jimmy stays with her despite her depression. She's even started taking medication, and is beginning to address her problems in therapy despite extreme resistance and anger at first.
- Comically Missing the Point: This exchange during her first therapy session walks the line between comical and sad.Therapist: Talk therapy combined with medication is the best long-term plan for managing depression.
Gretchen: You mean beating depression.
Jimmy: Winning depression.
Gretchen: I like that!
Therapist: That's not a thing.
- Consummate Liar:Gretchen: I'm a giant liar, always have been. I told the Spice Girls I was dying of brain cancer to get free concert tickets.
- Cry into Chest: At the end of "Other Things You Could Be Doing", when she wakes up to find Jimmy in the pillow fort with her.
- Deadpan Snarker: Snark isn't quite as pervasive in her dialogue as it is in Jimmy's, but shes similarly proficient with it.
- Despair Event Horizon: She appears to hit it in "Other Things You Could Be Doing", convinced that she "ran out of time" to overturn her depression and is permanently broken.Gretchen: I'm scraped out. I'm that car we put on Mars, flipped upside down so the sun can't reach my solar panels. I've always been able to flip myself back over, but I ran out of time. This is how I am now.
- Disproportionate Retribution: She informs Lindsay in the pilot that if she gets her real estate license, Gretchen will stab her in the tits (albeit likely in a comedic manner). In the season 1 finale, she threatens to punch Lindsay in the clit if she ever tries to kiss Jimmy again.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Perhaps most evident in "There Is Not Currently a Problem". She is in the middle of a bad depressive episode and unable to get out of the house, so she tries to deal with it by drinking literally all of the alcohol. And then giving everyone in said house a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Except Vernon because he's not even worth one.
- Drunk Driver: Got a DUI shortly before the events of the pilot because she sideswiped an off-duty cop while drunk and texting.
- Emotionless Girl: In "A Rapidly Mutating Virus", Gretchen apathetically lets Sam, Honey Nutz, Shitstain, and Lindsey get beaten up by three female gangsters before walking up to one of the attackers, leveling a gun at her head, and saying, "Run." Her expression never shifts from deadpan. She admits to Lindsay later that all she felt was bored.
- Establishing Character Moment: Stealing the blender from Becca and Vernon's wedding, and then throwing it into the bushes when she discovers it is not a food processor.
- Fiery Redhead: Her intense personality goes quite well with her dark red hair.
- Foreshadowing: She tells Jimmy that she's probably broken in "What Normal People Do", and the state of her apartment is pretty common for people who suffer from depression. The Reveal doesn't come until season 2, but in retrospect, there had been signs for a while.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: In "PTSD", Gretchen says that she and Jimmy are not a couple, looking deeply offended that Becca would suggest such a thing. Even after they agree to be exclusive, they avoid the boyfriend/girlfriend label for a while.
- Heroic BSoD: She has clinical depression, and from "All About That Paper" through "Other Things You Could Be Doing", she's in a very rough place mentally.
- His Own Worst Enemy: She can be badly self-destructive.
- Hidden Depths: A few of her less-obvious talents are revealed in "Try Real Hard" when Jimmy realizes he doesn't actually know that much about her and starts asking questions. She competed in the US Teen Nationals for showjumping (yes, Jimmy, in "horsery"), did ink work for a professional counterfeiter for ten months, is "generally spiritual" (not religious), and speaks fluent Spanish.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Lindsay (Gretchen is definitely not straight, but Lindsay seems to be).
- Hypocrite: She doesn't want to tell Jimmy his dad died because she's disgusted by the thought of Jimmy crying or her having to offer emotional support. This after her extended Heroic BSoD in season 2. Another line in "Equally Dead Inside" from season 1:Gretchen: For a second I thought he was going to cry, and I was like that's it, I'm never going to be able to have sex with him again.
- The Immodest Orgasm: In "Try Real Hard". Her "you were so quiet" comment suggests that she's not always alone in this.
- Insane Troll Logic: In "Fix Me, Dummy", when she's mad at her new therapist.Gretchen: You said there were things I could be doing, insinuating that I could have fixed myself at any time. That is invalidating my story. It is tired, it is patriarchal, and it is rape-culturey! You are basically a rape apologist.
- Insistent Terminology: She's generally spiritual, not religious. Also, she is throwing a party in "Born Dead", not organizing a get-together.
- I Shall Taunt You: She notices that Lindsay and Edgar's ditzy Trivial Pursuit answers are annoying Jimmy (who is sitting on the other side of the room with his laptop), and she deliberately turns it Up to Eleven during her turn.Lindsay: (reading from card) Who was the first man in space?
Gretchen: Hmmm... I know Louis Armstrong... Buzz Lightyear... for some reason Kurt Loder is coming to mind...
Jimmy: (standing up) Yuri Gagarin! It was Yuri. Gagarin. Louis Armstrong was a jazz trumpeter, Buzz Lightyear is a cartoon, and Kurt Loder was a VJ for MTV, about whom the only connection to space travel is the fact that the network's logo was a man in a space suit!
(Jimmy sits back down, game continues)
Edgar: Charles Dickens wrote this novel about the plight of street urchins.
Gretchen: (staring directly at Jimmy) Annie.
Jimmy: Wow! (slams laptop shut, stomps out of room)
- Like a Son to Me: She makes jokes of this nature about Sam, calling his group her "dumb rapper babies".Gretchen: Look, I love my client like the black son I aborted in high school.
- Line-of-Sight Name: In "Finish Your Milk", she makes up an excuse this way to prevent Jimmy from meeting her parents, in a clear Shout-Out to The Usual Suspects.
- Love Makes You Stupid: "The heart is a dumb-dumb."
- Motor Mouth: In "Crevasses", when a department store employee asks what she needs to buy.Gretchen: Everything. I just moved in with my boyfriend and I don't have any stuff. Except for a food processor and like nineteen thongs. Because of course at first I was like "I am not wearing that", but the patriarchy has convinced us that visible panty lines are unacceptable so I've just grown used to the feeling of a fabric rope against my actual asshole all day. Oh yeah and even if I did have all of this stuff there's nowhere to put it, because I'm not convinced this guy actually wanted me to move in with him, because I'm an irresponsible monster who burned down her apartment with her vibrator.
- Nightmare Fetishist: The only one of the main four to actually enjoy the extreme haunted house in "Spooky Sunday Funday".
- No Medication for Me: Deconstructed. She has clinical depression but has never gotten any kind of treatment for it ("Shit no, I don't want to lose my edge"), despite the fact that she becomes entirely nonfunctional when it flares up. Refreshingly, antidepressants are treated as neither evil nor a magic cure-all. In an interesting spin on this trope, Gretchen is far more resistant to therapy than to actual pills.
- Noodle Incident: "...and that's how I got crabs from my guidance counselor."
- The One Who Made It Out: The Season 4 episode, "Not a Great Bet", plays with this.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In "Equally Dead Inside", when she imitates Jimmy's accentGretchen: I listened to you blathering on about "ooh, me da".
Jimmy: That's Irish, dumb-dumb.
- Potty Failure: A combination of a nasty green health-food smoothie and uncharacteristic jogging results in her having to hose off her legs in a stranger's garden. Still less humiliating than accepting a marriage proposal that didn't happen and wasn't going to.Gretchen: I shit myself earlier, and that is only the second most embarrassing thing that has happened to me today!
- Putting the Band Back Together: Subverted in "Born Dead". She invites four of her friends to a party, expecting to have crazy irresponsible fun like they used to. One has a baby, one is pregnant (Gretchen makes exceedingly unwelcome jokes about "getting rid of it" before being informed that this is an intentional pregnancy), and one is a born-again Christian and member of Alcoholics Anonymous. The fourth has nosedived in the other direction and is a total trainwreck who steals Jimmy's stereo when she leaves.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: She unloads a gloriously vicious one on Jimmy in the pilot (funny and true and mean, his favorite kind of speech). And then in "There Is Not Currently A Problem", she does it to nearly the entire cast.
- Running Gag:
- Stealing booze from every place she visits.
- Writing absurdly long texts.
- Sarcastic Confession: Played with at the end of "PTSD" when she and Jimmy snark that they should just be exclusive if they're both so bothered by each other sleeping with other people. Gretchen has to clarify that they actually are both saying they want this and are not just being sarcastic anymore. Jimmy admits he lost track, but they are officially exclusive from that point onward.
- Sanity Slippage: In the Season 4 premiere, she's gone manic, holing herself up in Lindsay's apartment for the full three months since Jimmy left her on that hill back in "No Longer Just Us". Her self-destructiveness has gotten to the point that she happily bought crack from a neighbor.
- Self-Deprecation: A significant element of her sense of humor.
- Serious Business:
Gretchen: This could end tomorrow, who knows. But until then, if there is any chance of breakfast and you do not wake me up? I will never touch your dick again with any part of my body.
- In "What Normal People Do":
Gretchen: I am going to go to the bathroom, and when I get back you are going to take me to a real bar and give me cheap whisky until I forget about that time I became unable to have sex with my boyfriend because he took me to a bar that only serves water.
- She and Jimmy have a screaming meltdown when they come upstairs in the morning in "Crevasses", because Edgar has left the house without setting up the usual Sunday Bloody Mary bar.
- Also in "Side Bitch" when Jimmy accidentally takes her to a water bar, the concept of which offends her on a very personal level
- Skewed Priorities:Gretchen: What am I gonna do, just bend down and wash my legs? Who has the time?
Jimmy: Yesterday, you spent two hours drawing a maze.
Gretchen: Yeah. And how do you think I had time to draw that sick-ass maze?
- Sleep Cute: Occasionally with Jimmy. In "Try Real Hard", the sleep cute gets ruined when his phone falls out of his hand and lands on her face.
- Smoking Hot Sex: She and Jimmy occasionally share a post-coital cigarette on the steps outside.
- Stepford Snarker: She has clinical depression and a razor sharp wit. She even initially refused getting treatment because she didn't want to "lose her edge".
- This Is Gonna Suck: In "Fists and Feet and Stuff", after Jimmy's speech in her apartment about how important she is to him.Gretchen: Shit. We're gonna do this.
Gretchen: Even though we both know how this ends. Whether in a week or twenty years, there is horrible pain and sadness coming and we're inviting it.
- Trash of the Titans: Her apartment is a massive disaster, which probably has something to do with her depression. Jimmy is horrified the first time he sees it. After she moves in with him, she seems to be able to keep her space under control, but she still needs help. And she still adamantly ignores the mail because bills are scary and she might find a check from her grandmother which would make her feel guilty for never calling her and then Gretchen wouldn't be able to get out of bed for a month.
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: She's so scared of disappointing her parents that she presents a largely fabricated alternate life and personality when in their presence. When Jimmy calls them out and says they don't know Gretchen at all, she's both furious and terrified.
- You Are What You Hate: She fears that only people who secretly are sweater people fear becoming sweater people, "like how homophobes actually want all the dicks in their mouths."
"I'm an adult. Do you know what that means? It means that I'm beset upon at all times by a tsunami of complex thoughts and struggles, unceasingly aware of my own mortality, and able to contemplate the futility of everything, and yet still rage against the dying of the light."
A selfish and insensitive British writer living in Los Angeles. Jimmy excuses his insensitive behavior as merely "telling it like it is", but it's clear he has a nicer side buried deep underneath.
- Adorkable: It pops up when he's really enthusiastic about something. Specifically, his Halloween costume in "Spooky Sunday Funday", and his cheesy ragtime performance at the speakeasy in "The Last Sunday Funday".
- Anti-Hero: Again, at best.
- Artistic License Animal Care: See Gretchen's entry above. Pit bulls don't work like that.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Periodic moments between him and Gretchen prove that, for all their snark, their feelings for each other are very real and strong. Specifically, when he builds a pillow fort around miserable depressed Gretchen and stays instead of leaving her.
- Big Eater: One of the reasons he lets Edgar live in his house for free.
- Blatant Lies: His first response to "do you have a foot thing" is to deny it.
- Brutal Honesty: On every subject except his own emotions. And his foot fetish.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: He's completely forgotten telling Becca "You and I have not made love for the last time" by the time she shows up at his house, sick of her husband and ready to confirm the prediction.Jimmy: That was quite the heckle.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Jimmy calls out Gretchen's parents in season 1 and then his own father in season 2.
- Calling Your Orgasms: He starts to in "Try Real Hard", but Gretchen claps her hand over his mouth and informs him that she has the floor.
- Catchphrase: "These are pretty expensive," on the subject of his cigarettes when anyone asks for one.
- Character Development: After learning Gretchen's secret and confronting his disaster of a family (particularly his emotionally-distant father), he's made an effort to be less of a Control Freak and appreciate the people in his life who are important to him. He also realizes his writing doesn't need to be fueled by misery when Gretchen expresses her appreciation of the "erotic tales" he wrote in his teens. It goes further in Season 4 where he learns to stand his ground rather than run away from his problems and becomes less self-absorbed.
- Character Filibuster: At every opportunity.
- Chewing the Scenery: He has a massive screaming flip-out in "A Right Proper Story" when he finds out that his family is coming to LA.Jimmy: Fake [being okay] and help me!
Gretchen: Don't wanna.
Jimmy: You think I wanna? NOBODY WANNA!
- Child Hater: He dislikes kids immensely and only hangs out with Killian for video games and makes his disdain clear all the while.
- Comically Missing the Point:
Gretchen: I just got my period 2 days early.
- In "Insouciance":
Jimmy: So, see you in five days or so.
Jimmy: What, do yours last longer?
Gretchen: They're my parents! I get to lie to them until I'm old and they're dead, and you don't get a vote! I would never tell your dad to read your book!
- Again in "Finish Your Milk":
Jimmy: That's because he wouldn't let you in the door, because you're a redhead, and he's hated the Irish ever since the IRA blew up his favorite chip shop.
- Control Freak: Gretchen calls him out on it in "What Normal People Do", and again in "Crevasses" after she's moved in and he's having trouble making space in "his house" for her.
- Conversational Troping:
- A Date with Rosie Palms: On several occasions. Despite his best efforts, however, he can't while Gretchen's watching.Jimmy: You're not going to ruin this for me.
Jimmy: This is gonna happen.
Gretchen: Glad to hear it.
Gretchen: Ha, I win!
- Deadpan Snarker: Of the highest order.
- Don't Explain the Joke: He asks if the menu is electronic when their server in "Insouciance" offers to tell diners how it works. When only one person laughs, Jimmy explains that he was making a joke by taking "how it works" to its logical conclusion of explaining the literal function of a menu.
- Eek, a Mouse!!: He's not exactly scared of the mouse that he learns is living in the garage in "There Is Not Currently a Problem", but he's definitely horrified. Especially when he discovers that it was not alone. In "Spooky Sunday Funday", he Screams Like a Little Girl when one of the extreme haunted house characters drops a mouse into the cage around his head.
- Embarrassing Nickname: His sister Fiona pushed him and he fell in shit when he was a kid, resulting in the "Shitty Jimmy" moniker that she and Di still use when they're all in their thirties.
- Also "mouse boy", because he had a friend sleep over once and said friend woke up to a mouse chewing on his nipple. Even Jimmy's father called him mouse boy, even though it was Ronnie's house that had mice in it.
- Establishing Character Moment: The first time he's on screen, he's taking pictures of his dick on every single disposable camera at Becca's wedding.
- Everyone Can See It: He very obviously starts having real feelings for Gretchen early, and other characters catch on, but he vehemently denies it (especially to himself).
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: His response to the idea of Gretchen and Dana "hugging" certainly indicates that he is of this opinion.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Edgar, though Jimmy rarely admits that he is doing any more than tolerating Edgar in his house.Jimmy: I will kill you if you tell him I said so, but Edgar is one of the few truly decent people on this planet. You're lucky to be his friend.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: It's heavily implied that, for all his haughtiness, he's far more insecure than people think.
- Insult Backfire: Becca's insults against him backfire on a regular basis.
Becca: It must be so hard being the only one who sees people as what they actually are.
- In the pilot:
Jimmy: It is, it's incredibly hard.
- In "Keys Open Doors", Becca tells him that he and Gretchen are "poison people" and their relationship is going to end horribly. Jimmy responds with laughter and, "I know, right?"
- In Vino Veritas: "Level 2 drunk" Jimmy is angry and possibly even more brutally honest than regular Jimmy. He also first tells Gretchen he loves her while blackout drunk, but denies that it counts for most of "Try Real Hard" because he's terrified of the verbal contract he associates with the statement.
- It's All About Me: He's incredibly self-centered, if not full-on narcissistic. In the pilot, he assumes that Becca only invited him to her wedding to passive-aggressively rub his nose in her happiness (at least he'd have the decency to rub her nose in it directly!), when it was actually Vernon who invited him. In fact, Jimmy seems to assume that many events have been engineered specifically to aggravate him.
- Season 4 has started to deconstruct this - Jimmy is repeatedly shown to not consider how his actions affect (if not downright hurt) other people, and abandoning his friends and disappearing for three months has greatly strained his relationships with them and it's clear it'll take way more than just a simple apology to make things right.
- Jerkass: His reputation, which he does very little to defuse. The few people who bother to get close do figure out that he has a better side, though.
- Lethal Chef: More useless than actually lethal. At the end of "Finish Your Milk", Edgar comes home to find Jimmy at the stove and is shocked to see him cooking. Jimmy then admits that he has no idea how to cook and has just been stirring ketchup in a pan.
- Little "No": A series of them when he gets an email regarding a plane from Heathrow to LA with his family on it. Followed by a Big "NO!" and some scenery-chewing when he realizes that Gretchen has mailed all of the "threat" letters that she was only supposed to mail on specific dates if he didnt follow his writing deadlines.
- Manchild: He's less obviously and incessantly childish than Vernon and at least speaks like an adult, but Nina and Gretchen spend some time commiserating about how immature he can be. Highlights include:
- Talking about treehouses for a full hour (Gretchen claims Nina got off easy).
- Hiding in the bushes instead of telling Nina he doesn't want to go to the cabin with her, culminating in him responding with a "new phone who dis?" text when she tries to ask him.
- Purchasing and then immediately breaking an $80 toy helicopter.
- Spilling a bowl of cereal while Edgar wasn't home and then hiding under his bed for two hours until Gretchen finally cleaned up the mess.
- Mean Brit: Condescendingly critical, ego through the roof, and snarky as hell.
- Metaphorgotten: In "Sunday Funday", after spending all day trying to get Gretchen to choose between various "diametrically-opposed" things. Gretchen figures it out and tells him at the end that if he doesn't want her to go to Tribeca with Ty, he can just say that.Gretchen: So let me get this straight. On one side, it's eggs, Peter Gabriel, and you. And on the other side is pancakes, Phil Collins, and Ty?
Jimmy: I've been drinking all day, I don't even know anymore.
Jimmy: It's actual madness. Willingly living with a wild animal, only one with thumbs that can steal your money and hurt you emotionally.
- It happens again in "Try Real Hard", when he insists that he and Gretchen barely know each other.
- Missing Mom: His mother doesn't show up with the rest of his family in "A Right Proper Story", and this is the first he hears of his parents' divorce and the fact that she moved to Spain with someone named Tony.
- Mistaken for Gay:
- Killian assumes he's gay because he complains about an influx of white procreators, to which Jimmy replies, "I'm not gay, I'm English."
- He avoids sports and moved to America to be a writer, two of many excuses his family takes to make gay jokes at his expense. It doesn't help that Gretchen flees right before they arrive, and the first cohabitant of Jimmy's house they encounter is Edgar.
- Mood Whiplash: In-Universe in the third episode of Season 3. He calls his father and leaves a message that starts off mean but ends with an emotional "I sold a book, Daddy." When Gretchen walks in, he claims he just gave his dad a vicious heckling. And then Gretchen tells him Ronnie has died. Jimmy doesn't believe it for a second, and then his face just goes blank.
- Neat Freak: Leading to horror and nausea when he encounters Gretchen's apartment in "What Normal People Do".
- Oh, Crap!: At least twice.
Vernon: I was gonna invite you into the man cave!
- In "Fists and Feet and Stuff":
Jimmy: I barely know you!
Vernon: Well now you're gonna know my... fists and feet and stuff!
Jimmy: Oh shit.
(Vernon headlocks Jimmy, who needs to be rescued by Edgar)
- Again in "There Is Not Currently a Problem", when he laughs at the vicious speeches Gretchen has just unleashed on Edgar, Lindsay, and Dorothy (Vernon wasn't even worth a speech). And then she turns her vitriol on Jimmy. "Oh shit" indeed.
- Not So Above It All: He thinks he's a morally upright intellectual in a sea of ignorance and immaturity. The reality is infinitely less impressive.
- One Head Taller: Chris Geere is 6'1" to Aya Cash's 5'2". At the end of "Try Real Hard", he has to lean down just to put his arm around her shoulders.
- Only Sane Man: He thinks he is, perhaps especially in "Sunday Funday" but his claims to such a status are fairly dubious.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: His hat and stick-on Super Mario mustache.
- Pet the Dog: He gets a lot of these moments to remind us that he's not a totally bad guy.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: He's never seen The Lion King. Gretchen amuses herself trying to make him say song lyrics.Jimmy: Hakuna matata.
Gretchen: Did you just quote The Lion King to me?
Jimmy: The lion what? No, it's a, it's a Swahili phrase.
Gretchen: No, I know tha—Are you sure you're not quoting something?
Jimmy: Just Khalid, the kebab shop owner in my old neighborhood. I mean, the phrase doesn't translate easily to English, but it means... that there is not currently a problem.
Gretchen: So would you say... it's a problem-free philosophy?
Jimmy: That's a tad simplistic, but—
Gretchen: Okay. So, it's like, no worries for the rest of your days?
Jimmy: Oh, Gretchen, Gretchen. The East Africans live very much in the moment, so it's not a guarantee of smooth sailing forever; that's just childish. But you know what? If you'd like to be really positive about it, sure. Hakuna matata for the rest of your days.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When Becca confronts him in "Fists and Feet and Stuff", after she tried to sleep with him at the end of the previous episode.Becca: Thank you for resisting your animal instinct towards me.
Jimmy: My animal instinct was to run into traffic.
Becca: Come on, Jimmy, everyone knows I could have just flicked off one shoe, and —
Jimmy: Your feet are awful, Bec. Shallow nail beds, pathetic arches... I only occasionally forced myself to finish on the abominable things so you wouldn't realize how disgusting they really are.
- Running Gag:
- Lame pre-written "heckles".
- Along with Gretchen, stealing booze from places they crash at.
- Not knowing who Paul is.
- Forgetting that Killian exists.
- His cigarettes are expensive and he will inform you of the fact if you ask for one.
- Sarcastic Confession: See Gretchen's entry above.
- Screaming at Squick: Upon seeing Nina's feet. It immediately kills the moment.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: In "Spooky Sunday Funday", when a character at the extreme haunted house experience drops a mouse into the cage around his head.
- Sentimental Drunk: Levels 3 and 4 of "Jimmy Drunk". Level 3 is happy, Level 4 is dramatically sad.
- Serious Business: The Sunday Bloody Mary bar.Jimmy: (to Edgar) You have one job on Sunday, one!
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Occasionally.
- Sleep Cute: If it's especially cute, it's probably either unintentional drifting or only Gretchen is sleeping (he has sleep apnea and wears a mask, which makes snuggles kind of complicated)
- Smoking Hot Sex: He and Gretchen occasionally have a post-coital smoke on the steps outside.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Even after he and Gretchen become exclusive, they try to avoid the label and react with disgust when Edgar uses it.Jimmy: We are eating!
- Small Name, Big Ego: He's established to be a talented writer, but his book has not been commercially successful. Regardless, he is a novelist and therefore considers himself above magazine work. He also boasts an ego the size of Jupiter despite being nowhere near as smart, mature or refined as he would like to imagine.
- So Unfunny, It's Funny: His heckles.
- Surrounded by Idiots: He's convinced he is.
- Toxic Friend Influence: He tells Killian that he owes him $20 for food, and then when Killian says he doesn't have any money (because he's twelve), Jimmy tells him to "go steal it from your mum's purse, like a normal boy."
- Tsundere: Massively. He doesn't care about these people what are you talking about?
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: We learn in "A Right Proper Story" that Jimmy desperately sought his father's approval during childhood, but their differences made it impossible to communicate.Jimmy: Maybe that's because whenever I tried to talk to you, you'd just turn on a football match.
Ronald Overly: Well I didn't know what to do with you. I'd put a ball down in front of you, and you'd sit on the ball and read a book.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: When Gretchen suggests the positively ludicrous idea of walking anywhere, he tries to imitate someone from New York. There's something vaguely resembling some kind of American accent, but... no.
- Writer's Block: He suffers from it for all of season 1 and a fair bit of season 2.
- Your Cheating Heart:
- Played with in "PTSD". Neither he nor Gretchen wants to admit they want an exclusive relationship, so they goad each other into sleeping with other people.
- From "Spooky Sunday Funday" through "Other Things You Could Be Doing", Nina appeals to him because Gretchen's depression is making her incapable of offering him any kind of support. He turns Nina down when she starts actively flirting with him, but almost sleeps with her at the end of "A Rapidly Mutating Virus" after Gretchen tells him to go away. He and Nina stop at the beginning of "Other Things You Could Be Doing", and despite Gretchen telling him he should give up on her because shes broken, he stays.
Jimmy's housemate, an Iraq War veteran struggling with PTSD.
- Aborted Arc: His heroin addiction is never mentioned from Season 2 onward.
- Anti-Hero: In the sense of dysfunction rather than unpleasantness in the case of the two leads.
- Brutal Honesty: To Jimmy in the pilot, putting him in a headlock to force him to listen and admit that Gretchen stayed over and that means something. Again in "Constant Horror and Bone Deep Dissatisfaction", when he says that Jimmy has actually been kind of fun to be around with Gretchen, but if he's going to go back to 100% dick just so he can write another stupid book that Edgar won't read, Edgar's done with him. Not reading the book is the only part that gets a reaction from Jimmy.
- Butt-Monkey: PTSD, brief heroin addiction, homelessness, constant verbal abuse from Jimmy, inability to talk about his traumatic experience in Iraq because no one will listen, being strung along by Lindsay, meds interfering in intimacy once he actually does get a girlfriend, etc.
- Character Development: He becomes more confident when he discovers his knack for improv comedy, and his relationship with Dorothy prompts him to realize how one-sided his friendship with Jimmy really is. It continues in Season 4 as he learns to become less emotionally dependent on others and become more of his own man.
- The Dog Bites Back: In "Constant Horror and Bone-Deep Dissatisfaction", he snaps at Jimmy for his general disregard for everyone except himself, specifically bringing Edgar to Becca's wedding as a prop and leaving him there. Jimmy actually cowers for a second.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In season 1, it was mentioned frequently that Edgar was addicted to heroin and was prone to angry outbursts. By the start of season 2, he become much more sensitive and quiet and all past references to heroin were dropped.
- Heritage Disconnect: Is Mexican but doesn't speak any Spanish.
- I Have This Friend...: He uses this to ineptly disguise his request for advice about his attraction to Lindsay. Jimmy sees through it immediately and flatly refuses to advise beyond saying, "there is no 'you and Lindsay'".
- Irony: He spends the entirety of "PTSD" debating whether or not to tell Gretchen that Jimmy slept with Megan Thomas, and decides not to because he doesn't want them to fight. Gretchen has known the whole time, considering Jimmy immediately sent her nude photos of said movie star, which she had sort of challenged him to get.
- Literal-Minded: When Lindsay tells him to go wingman for her, he assumes she means "retrieve more chicken wings".
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: In Season 3, his PTSD meds have libido-interfering side effects, leading to fear of rejection and low self-esteem in his relationship with Dorothy.
- Mistaken for Gay: In "Crevasses", while trying to wingman for Lindsay.
- Nice Guy: Edgar is a sweetheart who is nice to almost everyone almost all the time.
- No Medication for Me: Deconstructed. He dumps out his PTSD meds at the end of "Try Real Hard" because of the side effects, despite Dorothy's assurance that his health is more important and she doesn't mind if they're not able to have a typical sex life. The negative effects kick in fast in "Fix Me, Dummy", and he seems to be on the verge of a massive breakdown in "Bad News: Dude's Dead".
- Noodle Incident: "I didn't know it was a school."
- Properly Paranoid: In "Sunday Funday", when he figures out that the hipsters have stolen his activity list.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: To Jimmy in "Constant Horror and Bone-Deep Dissatisfaction". He also gives another one to Jimmy in "Odysseus" for abandoning everyone and cutting off all communications in addition to leaving Gretchen heartbroken.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: Inverted in "Constant Horror and Bone-Deep Dissatisfaction", discussing going to Becca's wedding.Edgar: Are you sure it's even a good idea that you go?
Jimmy: What's the worst I could do?
Edgar: Okay, fine.
Jimmy: No seriously, what is the worst I could do?
- Running Gag: A couple of very dark ones based in his military experiences
- "I didn't know it was a school."
- Starting to tell war stories and then being shut down because they're too upsetting for the civvies.Jimmy: His stories are super depressing!
Gretchen: I'll listen to your stories.
Edgar: One time, I found four dogs fighting over a dead baby —
Gretchen: Nope! (covers ears) Sorry, buddy.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: He suffers from PTSD after serving in Iraq. Thankfully, it is acknowledged as valid but does not make up the entirety of his character.
- Shipper on Deck: He very actively ships Jimmy and Gretchen.
- The Stoner: A milder example, when he finds that smoking marijuana actually effectively helps his PTSD symptoms. He even gets to write sketches for stoner comedian Doug Benson by Season 3.
- Supreme Chef: One of the reasons Jimmy keeps him around, and an excuse for Jimmy to ask him to come back in "Fists and Feet and Stuff".
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In "Fists and Feet and Stuff", he introduces Jimmy to his new roommate 'Nigel'. Jimmy skeptically remarks that Edgar just happened to find another English roommate. He is neither English nor Edgar's new roommate; it's the same NCIS: LA actor from "What Normal People Do", just doing a favor for Edgar in apology for impersonating a wounded veteran.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: In a flashback, he punches a guy wearing an "America is Scary" t-shirt and demands, "How scary is America now, bitch?"
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 4, thanks to the toxic influence of his coworker and new best buddy Max. He gets back to normal by the end though.
"I am not a sidekick. I'm Beyoncé, not Kelly Rowland."
Gretchen's loose best friend and enabler of her sex-drugs-and-rock-n-roll lifestyle and a newlywed who can't quite shed her selfish nature at the expense of her husband.
- Anti-Hero: As is standard for a character in a protagonist role on this show.
- Armor-Piercing Question: She realizes she's unhappy in her marriage when Shitstain and Honey Nutz are baffled by her having her jaw wired shut to lose weight. "Why did this fool buy the car if he don't even appreciate the features?"
- Babies Make Everything Better: Subverted to the point of deconstruction. She decides to have a baby in an attempt to save her marriage, but her public announcement that she wants to do so is met by Paul revealing his emotional affair and telling her he wants a divorce. In season 2, she finds out she actually is pregnant but isn't going to keep it or tell Paul until Becca "accidentally" tells him and he dumps his new girlfriend to get back together with Lindsay. And then in "Try Real Hard", Lindsay gets so frustrated with Paul and his fussing that she stabs him. Eventually, she gets an abortion in "Talking To Me, Talking To Me" and leaves Paul for good.
- Big Eater: To the point that she gets her jaw wired shut in "What Normal People Do" in an attempt to lose weight and be skinny like the wives at Paul's firm.
- Brick Joke: In season 1, she says, "If I'm on a motorcycle, I'm driving the motorcycle, not riding in that little side motorcycle thingy for poor people and dogs." Guess what she ends up riding in in the finale of season 2?
- Character Development: By the end of season 2, she's started to become more independent and assertive, and also realizes how harmful her immature and petty behavior has been to herself and everyone around her.
- In Season 4, she has gotten a job as a stylist and actually takes it seriously (minus stealing her coworkers' food from the office fridge). She even lampshades it to Edgar that they're now the serious ones. As the season goes on, she learns to take more responsibility for her own shortcomings and dedicates herself to becoming more helpful and less selfish.
- Consummate Liar: Though not quite to Gretchen's extent.
- Disproportionate Retribution: She apparently spray-painted the word "pedophile" on her neighbor's garage door because they left their Christmas lights up too long for her liking.
- The Ditz: She once forgot her fiancé's name. She also thinks that both Delaware and Europe are countries, and that A should be the first letter on the keyboard and it can't possibly be Q because "Qs are like the elbows of letters". There's also this exchange in "PTSD".Lindsay: You have to sleep with someone else too or you'll resent him forever. That's feminism, Gretch. That's what Susan B. Anthony died for.
Gretchen: Do you even know who Susan B. Anthony is?
Lindsay: She made an airplane disappear.
Gretchen: Nope, what? That's Amelia Earhart, and she didn't make an airplane —
Lindsay: Whatever, history, you happened already. Let it go.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: She sleeps with a young aspiring screenwriter who has just moved to LA from Ohio. He is extremely drunk and says "I don't know" in a very uncomfortable tone when she asks if he likes it. There is a brief scene at the end of the episode showing that he has a boyfriend, but appears to be leaving him and going back home because of the trauma. It's never mentioned again except to serve as the kickoff to Lindsay's constant cheating from this point onward.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: She and Becca will take care of each other in times of need, but not without a load of passive-aggressive remarks about how one is superior to the other.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Her response to figuring out she's pregnant at the end of "Other Things You Could Be Doing" is to mutter "farts".
- Hypocrite: Gretchen calls her out on it in the pilot, saying Lindsay does not get to judge her for sleeping with Jimmy because Lindsay blew four guys at their 5-year high school reunion.
- Ignored Epiphany: Throughout the series, but especially in "A Bunch of Hornballs", it's clear that anytime something bad happens to her that is largely her fault (due to her ignorance and naivete), Lindsay might almost have a breakthrough and then immediately come up with someone new to blame her flaws and problems on instead of doing any actual self-reflection.
- Incredibly Lame Fun: Her opinion of Paul's nerdy hobbies, which include competitive bird-watching, recumbent bicycling, gravestone rubbing, and home brewing.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: Technically that first one, in "Fists and Feet and Stuff".Gretchen: I can't have you sitting on my shoulder like a stacked cartoon devil like, "Take dicks, do this coke, help me destroy my marriage."
Lindsay: That's really hurtful. You think I'm a devil?
- Literal-Minded: In "A Rapidly Mutating Virus", she says that she's sorry Gretchen can't feel anything (depression), and then smacks her in the forehead with a spoon just to make sure.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When Gretchen sees her trying to kiss Jimmy in "Fists and Feet and Stuff".
- Never My Fault: She blames Paul for making her stab him and doesn't really apologize for it either.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure:Edgar: In your relationship with Gretchen, are you the Mary Tyler Moore or the Rhoda?
Lindsay: Who are those people? They sound ugly.
Edgar: Okay, uh, "Flipping Out" on-on Bravo... are you the Jeff Lewis or the... the Jenni We-Don't-Know-Her-Last-Name?
Lindsay: Oh, my God! I am totally the Jenni We-Don't-Know-Her-Last-Name. Actually, I do... it's Pulos. I'm a big fan.
- Really Gets Around: Before getting married, and after realizing she's unhappy in her marriage. Becca calls it "cockaholism".
- Shipper on Deck: She gets on the Jimmy/Gretchen ship more in season 2, encouraging Gretchen that she can tell Jimmy about her depression because he cares about her and won't judge her for it. Even in season 1, there's the moment in "Sunday Funday" when she tells Jimmy about the fact that Ty invited Gretchen to Tribeca.Lindsay: For some whacked out reason, you make her happy.
- Stepford Smiler: Type A
- Your Cheating Heart: In her own words, there's wife!Lindsay who supports her husband, and adulteress!Lindsay who just wants to sit on everyone's faces. Reality Ensues big time in Season 3, where her "cockaholism" finally takes its toll on her and Paul's marriage, and Paul aims to leave her with as little as possible in their divorce.
Lindsay's husband, a nice if dorky guy who works for a bank as "Executive Vice President of Wealth Management", but he seems to have no duties to take up his time, spending it on odd hobbies.
- Adorkable: His relationship with Amy in season 2 is pretty cute, and apparently his goofy personality was one of the things that attracted Lindsay to him.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Towards the end of "You Knew It Was a Snake", when Lindsay asks if he'll get rid of their prenup as they divorce, Paul simply replies that she "better lawyer up".
- Birds of a Feather: With Amy.
- Cuckold: In Season 3, he lets Lindsay sleep with other men to make her happy, but is clearly disgusted with it.
- Evil Makeover: In Season 4, he gets one of these, with a slicked back hair-do, new glasses, and more slick wardrobe. He ditches part of it at the end of the season after realizing he's fallen into a pretty toxic crowd though.
- Extreme Doormat: He's pretty meek and domineered by Lindsay at first. He grows more of a spine as time goes on, though not without some trouble on the way.
- Ill Boy: In the second and third episodes of season 3, after Lindsay stabs him.
- Incredibly Lame Fun: Lindsay's opinion of his hobbies, which include recumbent bicycling, flying model airplanes, competitive birdwatching, stargazing, and home-brewing.
- Loving a Shadow: Word of God is that Paul sees Lindsay as that "hot fun girl" he could never get with in high school and his attraction to her is rather shallow as a result. This, combined with his desire for a family of his own, blinded him to the numerous signs warning him that he and Lindsay were just not right for each other.
- Nerd Glasses: Has a pair of these.
- Parental Neglect: Not exactly full-on negligence, but in "The Seventh Layer" he says that his parents weren't able to care for him fully due to having him at an older age than normal. His nephew was his Parental Substitute.
- Pyrrhic Victory: At the end of season 3, he financially disembowels Lindsay in their divorce, leaving her with the bare minimum she needs to survive. And in turn, he burns the one bit of family he had, leaving him alone.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: After divorcing Lindsay, he becomes a lot more spiteful and mistrusting of women. Then again, it's hard to blame him. However, after a Jerkass Realization, he straightens back up.
Lindsay's older sister and Jimmy's ex-girlfriend, Becca is image-obsessed to the point of neglecting her own happiness.
- The Alcoholic: Combined with Alcoholic Parent, she becomes one in Season 4, drowning her misery away in copious amounts of booze.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: With Lindsay. Word of God says that she makes certain decisions based on how much it'll tick her sister off. However, Becca still will come through for Lindsay when she needs the help, but not without some Passive-Aggressive Kombat first.
- Hypocrite: She yells at Lindsay for cheating on Paul, and then tries to sleep with Jimmy shortly afterward. In fact, as much as Becca claims to be mature and above it all, she's really just as (if not more) petty and self-absorbed as the others.
- It's All About Me: To call her self-absorbed would almost be too kind.
- Jerkass: In a show full of these, Becca especially stands out. She callously turned down Jimmy's proposal, makes her actual husband incredibly miserable (although he isn't exactly completely innocent himself), engages in petty fights with her sister, and to say nothing of the incredibly insulting way she told Paul off in "No Longer Just Us".
- No Accounting for Taste: It's all but stated she only really married Vernon just to get married and show her mother she "had it all figured out".
- Non-Answer: During yoga class in "Equally Dead Inside":Becca: Jimmy tried to kiss me.
Becca: But I turned him down, because I love my husband.
Lindsay: Did you want to?
Becca: I took a vow! Marriage means being in it 24/7!
- No Pregger Sex: She refuses to have sex with Vernon after a certain stage of her pregnancy because she thinks the baby might come out weird.
- Stepford Smiler: Type A.
- Tempting Fate: Insisting that Jimmy finish his insult at her wedding in the Pilot Episode.
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Much of her behavior is given more light in Season 4 when we meet her and Lindsay's mother. Due to Faye's negligence of them both, Lindsay and Becca constantly competed with each other to get her attention and Becca just wanted to show her mother she had her life sorted out.
Becca's immature husband, an orthopedic surgeon who "performs hip replacements for old ladies".
- Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: His standard way of speaking.
- Bumbling Dad: After Tallulah is born.
- Comically Missing the Point: Constantly.
- In the Pilot, while Jimmy is being thrown out of his and Becca's wedding:Jimmy: Enjoy your sham of a marriage!
Vernon: I will!
- In "There is Not Currently a Problem", he excitedly asks Gretchen (who is in the throes of a big meltdown) to give him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and gets disappointed when she says he's not worth one.
- In "The Seventh Layer", he complains about how nothing exciting happens to him while Paul bemoans about the state of his marriage to Lindsay and how she's been indulging in cuckolding him.
- In the Pilot, while Jimmy is being thrown out of his and Becca's wedding:
- Fratbro: Frequently acts like one despite being about 40 years old.
- Henpecked Husband: Becca has him pretty whipped, especially after he blows through their savings on the "financial dominatrix".
- Hidden Depths: For all that he frequently behaves like a typical mindless bro-dude, Vernon is a doctor and reasonably skilled in his profession - although not so good with the Hippocratic Oath.Vernon: Yeah, people forget I know shit.
- In Vino Veritas: While exceedingly drunk, Vernon announces to everyone attending the baby-gender-reveal party that he gave control of his finances to a woman he doesn't know, and there's nothing sexual about it even though he jacks off to it sometimes.
- Manchild: He displays constant immaturity, spewing juvenile humor and insisting on making "trash juice" punch for parties. Becca even calls him a "talking penis in a clown wig".
- No Accounting for Taste: One really has to wonder why and how he married Becca.
Jimmy and Edgar's pre-teen neighbor who hangs out at Jimmy's house.
- Demoted to Extra: Makes fewer appearances over the course of the series, and only appears once in Season 4.
- Parental Abandonment: As of "Bad News: Dude's Dead", he's twelve (maybe thirteen) and living alone in his house.
- Social Services Does Not Exist: His living situation in Season 3.
- Tagalong Kid
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Spending any time whatsoever with Jimmy is unchildlike in the first place, and in "Born Dead", he's bartending at Gretchen's party.
Gretchen's main client. Sam leads a rap trio alongside his friends Honeynutz and Shitstain and projects a "street" image, but his tastes run to Craft Movement furniture and fittings.
- Bi the Way: Expresses attraction to women but also sleeps with a gay gossip writer.
- Drama Queen: He builds a panic fort in his house after Honey Nutz and Shitstain record a track without him and drop it online. He's apparently built similar panic forts before, and Gretchen has to bribe him with food before he will venture outside again.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Always seems tetchy and hot-headed.
- Hidden Depths: All over the place. Most recently, he was revealed to have extensive knowledge of ragtime music and its history.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: GQ Magazine called his style "courageously headachey".
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He's apparently based on Tyler, the Creator.
- Piss-Take Rap: The song he's working on in the flashback in "Constant Horror and Bone-Deep Dissatisfaction" is awful.
- Putting the Band Back Together: He, Shitstain, and Honey Nutz do a secret reunion show in "Try Real Hard", after resolving their fake-feud-turned-real-feud.
- Sophisticated as Hell: He swears and is vulgar nonstop, but he's deceptively intelligent and insightful. He's also read Jimmy's book ("You clearly used to jack off to Hemingway in high school, but your prose was good."), bought an architecturally-significant house and got on the board of directors for the neighborhood restoration committee, owns an electric car, and scoffs at the idea of being Gretchen's "side bitch" because she eats floor candy and hasn't seen a foreign film in a decade.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Constantly.
A movie director who was Gretchen's lover before she met Jimmy, and who occasionally attempts to re-insert himself in her life, to Jimmy's dismay.
Edgar's girlfriend, whom he meets while working with an improv comedy troupe as part of his therapy for PTSD.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Is blonde and very kind and sweet.
- Green-Eyed Monster: In "You Knew It Was a Snake", she reveals she's jealous at how Edgar's gotten much farther and become more successful than her in a faster span of time while she's been struggling for years trying to get decent work as an actress and has nothing to show for it.
- Put on a Bus: At the end of Season 3, she breaks up with Edgar to move back to Jacksonville due to her unsuccessful acting career.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She accepts going out with Edgar on a date because he treated her with kindness and respect.
A friend of Ty's who befriends Gretchen. A divorcee, Gretchen begins hooking up with him to get back at Jimmy.
- Betty and Veronica: Played with. He's much more mature and stable than Jimmy, but he's not without his own issues.
- Good Parents: For all his own faults, he loves his daughter Olivia dearly and wants what's best for her.
- Hunk: The show finds all sorts of ways to get him shirtless.
- Romantic False Lead: What he ultimately turns out to be.
Lindsay and Becca's mother and former softcore porn actress.
- Freudian Excuse: For both Becca and Lindsay. Her constant negligence of them both led to their myriad of issues.
- Parental Neglect: Paid virtually no attention to her daughters, leaving them to raise themselves for the most part.
- Really Gets Around: She was a softcore porn actress and had a number of different lovers.