ELF got his name from what he is: an Extraterrestrial Life Form. Accidentally beamed to Earth as a result of his fooling around at the wrong time, he's shown little improvement in attitude or ability since arriving. His gleeful attempts to master human technology and demonstrate his "superior alien intellect" rarely work as well as he initially hopes.
Nicky's brother, Lex, is Nicky's polar opposite. Whereas Nicky is a free spirit imbued with a "let's try anything once" attitude, Lex is 100 percent Type A. Serious and focused, he doesn't hesitate to lecture Nicky as to the way things should be done. Doesn't have much effect on Nicky, though.
Lex and Nicky owe their existence to Ken and Connie, their parents. Connie's a health nut and tries, mostly unsuccessfully, to rein in Nicky's urge for his junk food of choice Binkycakes. Often exasperated, she tries hard to keep the house on an even keel in the face of continual Nicky onslaughts.
A professor during the day, Ken takes a laid-back approach to parenting, reasoning that whatever doesn't kill the boys will make them stronger. He's happiest when out riding on his bike or fiddling with it in the garage. On weekends he can be seen wielding his tongs of power as the burn-meister of his outdoor grill.
The newest addition to the Nickel clan is Bo, the dog they adopted after passing over every purebred in a local dog show. Though he is still a pup, Bo's feet and ears suggest that he'll eventually be a bigger addition than was first apparent.
Sammy, a recurring character, is a squirrel who wages a continual battle with Ken. Ken wants to feed the birds and Sammy wants to eat the bird food. The battle is one-sided, with Ken very much on the losing side.
Not Just Nicky provides examples of:
- Art Evolution: It started in black and white but then added spot colors to accentuate a story point.