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The Finicky One

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You know the character, the wound up, by-the-book character who has no flexibility or sense of humor. Tends to be a Straight Man or a Butt-Monkey at times.

See also: Neat Freak, Nervous Wreck.

Compare: The Perfectionist, Obstructive Bureaucrat, Super OCD.


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  • A long-running series of commercials for 9 Lives brand cat food featured Morris, an extremely finicky cat who would only eat 9 Lives.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Chiri Kitsu from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei must have everything done properly, even if it it's just for cutting a cake in equal slices.
  • Memetchi from Tamagotchi slips into this a lot, especially in The Power of Gossip.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • In the Peggy Sue Naruto fic For Love, Hinata realises that her bodyguard Hyuuga Ko is actually excessively uptight and stuffy, strongly disapproving of her friendship with Naruto and insistent that even people she's close to address her as "Hinata-sama", despite her openly telling them not to (something she never really noticed her first time around).

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 
  • Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory has a thing for making people sign written agreements, is something of a germaphobe and is very picky about where he sits.
  • In Alien Nation the TV series, George is offended by the fact that he's called Obsessive-Compulsive. "Another word for that is anal retentiveness. I don't have an anus!"
  • Mac Taylor has been accused of this on CSI: NY, though it isn't as pronounced now as the first two or three seasons. He's loosened slightly.
  • Rupert Giles in the early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and then Wesley when he came in as the Suspiciously Similar Substitute in season 3. Both left it behind by the later seasons of Buffy and Angel. One of the Buffy characters actually lampshaded it, but I forget if it was directed at Giles or was a variant of the old 'stick up your butt' joke.
  • Phil Hartman had a character on Saturday Night Live that never got a project done because he was so fussy about neatness that he completely forgot what he was doing to stop and tidy up his workstation.
  • Monk: The lovable neurotic Adrian Monk, who has turned his obsessive penchant for detail into a helpmate rather than a liability.
  • Monica from Friends. Obsessed with cleanliness, controlling over even the most simple of past times and known to fits of neurotics when the slightest thing is out of place. Her brother Ross has shades of this too.
  • Annie from Community.
  • Wes Mitchell from Common Law, as stated by Travis Marks: "You're anal retentive".
  • Death in Paradise has Detective Inspector Richard Poole, who is considered stuffy and uptight even by his fellow Englishmen.


  • Joanne from RENT admits to making to-do lists in her sleep.
  • Felix Unger from The Odd Couple (and the 70s series) is the anal retentive poster child due to his obsessiveness with neatness.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Douchey McNitpick from The Nostalgia Critic, who lives up to his name by picking apart even the smaller mistakes that the Critic makes. This is enough for him to be one with the Plot Hole in the Critic's place.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Twilight Sparkle has been know to start riots and rips in time due to her anal retentiveness.
    • Rarity due to her perfectionism, Neat Freak moments, and Super OCD tendencies qualifies just as well.
  • Archibald Asparagus from VeggieTales is often portrayed this way. One time, he cancelled "Silly Songs With Larry", due to Larry's silly song "Song Of The Cebu" not making any sense, and another time, he took over the show from Bob and Larry in an attempt to add culture and class to the show.
  • Rabbit in the Disney versions of Winnie-the-Pooh.
  • Squidward in SpongeBob SquarePants. Funnily enough, his German voice also does Zazu.
  • Mr Herriman in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
  • Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory.
  • Rebecca Cunningham of TaleSpin occasionally acts as this Depending on the Writer, usually when butting heads with Baloo.
  • Marge takes this to extremes Depending on the Writer in The Simpsons. Naturally this contrasts hard with her slovenly family. Lisa also has this in regards to education, otherwise though she actually often joins Homer and Bart in their laziness.
  • Kyle Brovloski of South Park has shades of this at times, though his foil, and more or less the entire world he lives in is so immoral he doesn't really need that high standards to get wound up over it.
  • Brian increasingly becomes this in Family Guy, albeit to an often hypocritical level (it is frequently lampshaded for all his uptight rants, he is as much of a self serving sleaze as the rest of the family).
  • Simon gradually evolved into this in Alvin and the Chipmunks.
  • Edd from Ed, Edd n Eddy. In the early days he was more relaxed and willing to go along with the boys' plans, but over time he became more stressed and acted as the group's Only Sane Man.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM): Princess Sally Acorn, to foil the reckless, fun-loving Sonic. Though she is played more primarily as The Straight Man than other examples, her neuroses are a large source of comedy for her character. She starts off this way in the comic adaptation as well, though by later comics she is more laid back.
  • Thomas & Friends's two passenger coaches, Annie and Clarabel are this. They nitpick Thomas' behavior constantly and fuss over the speed he travels (he has a lot of fun with this one in "Not So Slow Coaches"). Gordon found them unbearable to work with after a mishap left them his substitute Express coaches.


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