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Hyacinth Bucket ("Bouquet")
The main protagonist, if you want to call her that. Hyacinth Bucket (or "Bouquet" as she prefers) is a pompous middle-class woman living in The Midlands with her husband Richard. Determined to be a Grande Dame, Hyacinth's snobbish ways comes off as a Jerkass. Her numerous attempts to climb the ladder of classes often fail due to her own incompetence, the unexpected appearance of her lower class family members, or other reasons.
- British Stuffiness
- Catch Phrase: When on the phone, she says "The Bouquet residence, the lady of the house speaking."
- Doting Parent: Implied to have been for Sheridan.
- Grande Dame: Her goal.
- Hollywood Tone Deaf
- Incoming Ham: Head for the hills!
- Informed Attractiveness: The Major, an admiral, and the Spanish Mr. Ferrini find Hyacinth irresistible.
- Insistent Terminology: Towards her last name.
- Irony as She Is Cast: Patricia Routledge is a musical veteran and can sing. Hyacinth cannot.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": "It's 'Bouquet'".
- Jerkass: On the rare occasion she can become a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Large Ham
- Mama Bear
- Nosy Neighbor
- Only Sane Man: Considers herself this among her family. Everyone sees her as the nutcase.
- Running Gag: Her frights from Onslow's dog, causing her to fall into a nearby hedge.
- Her phone calls cause her to say her catch phrase.
- She is often called by customers for the local Chinese takeaway, since they share similar numbers.
- Selective Obliviousness
- A Simple Plan: Hyacinth's plots to raise her social status.
- Stepford Smiler
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
- Villain Protagonist
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
Hyacinth's long-suffering Henpecked Husband. Working as a local government official, Richard is forced into early retirement and becomes a Reluctant Retiree. He is Hyacinth's Bumbling Sidekick, chauffering her around and is often pushed about by her, although they still love each other.
- Archnemesis Dad: Seems this way with Sheridan, dreading every time his son makes a phone call, usually asking for money. This changes when Richard realises his son may be Ambiguously Gay.
- Awful Wedded Life
- Badass Grandpa: The fact he puts up with Hyacinth on a daily basis earns him this trope.
- Bumbling Sidekick
- Butt Monkey
- Deadpan Snarker
- Henpecked Husband
- Heroic BSOD: Upon learning he is to become retired, he spends much of the episode in a daze.
- Just Eat Gilligan
- No Accounting for Taste
- Only Sane Man
- Reluctant Retiree: Upon learning he is to be let go, Richard breaks down in tears. It is, however, not so much the thought of losing the job as it is the thought of spending more time with his wife...
- Women Are Wiser: Inverted.
Hyacinth's brother-in-law and the husband of her sister Daisy. Onslow is a Lazy Bum who spends most of his time watching TV and drinking beer, with little interest in his wife's brooding antics and Hyacinth's snobbish attitude. However, he is actually Brilliant but Lazy, very philosophical and intelligent. He lives in a council house with Daisy, her sister Rose, their father Daddy and the family dog.
- The Alleged Car: Onslow's beatup 1978 Ford Cortina that usually blasts out a burst of fumes whenever it starts up or stops. Hyacinth is usually against riding in the car unless it is necessary.
- Brilliant but Lazy
- Catch Phrase: "Oh, nice!"
- Deadpan Snarker
- Fat Bastard: At times, usually towards Hyacinth or Daddy.
- Informed Attractiveness: Daisy finds Onslow's body fascinating. He can't understand why.
- Lazy Bum: Spends much of his time sleeping or watching TV, in a vest and cap.
- Percussive Maintenance: Onslow turns on the TV by bashing the top of it.
- What Does She See in Him?: Hyacinth's attitude towards Onslow and Daisy, often pointing out Onslow's lazy behaviour. However, she is willing to accept and/or ask Onslow for help depending on the situation.
- In the 1993 Christmas Episode, Hyacinth is accidentally kissed by Onslow when she dresses in a Santa Claus outfit, Elizabeth having dressed in it beforehand. Hyacinth is so shocked, she drops her usual attitude and invites all her family and friends back to her house for dinner, realising the meaning of Christmas is family and good will to all men.
Hyacinth's sister and Onslow's wife. She is similarily lazy to her husband, but more concerned about her father than he is. She often reads romantic novels, longing for the distant Onslow to show her some passion in their lives, often prompting her to make romantic passes at him.
- Cool Old Lady
- Informed Attractiveness: Towards Onslow.
- Lazy Bum
- Love Makes You Crazy: Daisy becomes more erratic and bizarre about her desire for passion from Onslow.
- Only Sane Woman: Compared to her other sisters, Daisy is perhaps the most sane.
Hyacinth's youngest sister. Still maintaining her looks, Rose is usually with a new man on an episodic basis. She has a stalker-like crush on Emmet and the Vicar.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Acts like one at times.
- Femme Fatale
- Informed Attractiveness: Rose finds Emmet and the Vicar to be "dishy".
- Large Ham
- The Other Darrin: Rose was played by Shirley Stelfox in Season 1, and then Mary Millar for the rest of the series.
- Really Gets Around: She has at least been engaged numerous times, and seen with countless men.
- Running Gag: Her attempts to flirt with the Vicar often clash with Hyacinth's social events.
- She's Got Legs
Elizabeth "Liz" Warden
Hyacinth's next door neighbour and best friend. While she genuinely likes Hyacinth, she becomes a nervous wreck whenever invited over for coffee, spilling it all over the floor and usually destroying Hyacinth's prized china tea set. Her husband is working in Saudi Arabia.
- Butt Monkey: Often becomes this if Richard is unavailable.
- Drop in Character: Usually against her will.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Her husband who is only mentioned in the show, but is never named.
- Just Drink Elizabeth: Often forced to attend Hyacinth's coffee invites regardless.
- Nosy Neighbor: Hyacinth acts like this on Elizabeth occasionally.
- Running Gag: Elizabeth's hilarious mishaps with the coffee, often caused by sudden sounds which cause her to jump. Hyacinth tries to combat her clumsiness by giving her a beaker, but it still does not work. Elizabeth uses a straw on one occasion to drink, but Hyacinth bins it.
Elizabeth's brother who moves in with her after he had a shaky divorce. A talented musician, Emmet unfortunately attracts Hyacinth interest in theatre and she badly sings whenever she sees him. Emmet often hides indoors until he can flee to work.
- Berserk Button: Often occurs when Hyacinth drives him over the edge.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Dreadful Musician: Sees Hyacinth as this.
- Lonely Piano Piece: Will play these when depressed by Hyacinth.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: Make that an ominous piano. Emmet will play the Funeral March melody to emphasise a doom and gloom moment.
- Running Scared: From Hyacinth. And with good reason.
- Scary Musician, Harmless Music
The father of Hyacinth, Daisy, Rose and Violet. A World War II veteran, now a senile, Dirty Old Man who lives with Onslow, Daisy and Rose. He is in a world of his own, often sneaking out of the house to chase down women, join the foreign legion or go on some sort of madcap adventure before being retrieved by his family.
- Badass Grandpa: Some of the stuff he does at his age is pretty awesome.
- Particularly when he makes off with Onslow's car and drives it into the countryside.
- Cool Old Guy
- Dad the Veteran: Often seen wearing his old military uniform, blowing his trumpet and taking orders from his long-dead commander Colonel Dawlish. He once prevented his family from entering their house, seeing them as Nazis, until Hyacinth put him straight.
- Dirty Old Man
- Everyone Calls Him Daddy
- Lovable Sex Maniac
The Vicar and His Wife
Introduced in episode two, the Vicar (or Michael) becomes another one of Rose's romantic interests, and is terrified of Hyacinth whenever she appears. He often refers to her as "The Bucket Woman". His wife is more able to deal with Hyacinth, but has a habit of mistaking the Vicar for having a fling with Rose.
- Catch Phrase: "The Bucket Woman!"
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep"
- Informed Attractiveness: In Rose's eyes.
- Innocent Bystander
- Not What It Looks Like: The Vicar has a tendency to get tangled up with Rose just as his wife enters the room.
- The Vicar
Hyacinth and Richard's son. He never appears in the show aside from a couple of cameos where his face is unseen, and always calls his mother. He often asks for money, much to Richard's anger. He attends college, with a roommate called Tarquin. It is implied he may be Ambiguously Gay.
- Ambiguously Gay: Hyacinth never wonders why her son dropped all of his lessons in college aside from designing clothes.
- Richard sincerely asks Hyacinth: "Do you ever wonder why Sheridan doesn't show any interest in girls?" As usual, Hyacinth is off in her own world and pays him no attention.
- The Faceless
- The Ghost
- He Who Must Not Be Seen
- Spoiled Brat: Implied to have been and still is with the amount of money Hyacinth sends to him with every phone call.
Violet and Bruce
Hyacinth's third sister, who was mostly unseen except for a few appearances in the last season. Much respected by Hyacinth for having married a wealthy turf-accountant Bruce, her life isn't as idyllic as Hyacinth likes to make out due to her husband's penchant for women's clothes. Violet and Bruce both face divorce in the final season
- Awful Wedded Life: Despite Hyacinth's attempts to insist otherwise. Bruce crossdresses, wears Violet's dresses and has a passion for horses.
- The Ghost: Violet until Season 5, Bruce cameoing and did not get a proper talking role until the very last episode.
- Phrase Catcher: She's the one with the Mercedes, sauna and room for a pony.
- Toilet Seat Divorce: The two nearly split up twice but they don't in the end.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Bruce is shown and mentioned crossdressing on numerous occasions.