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I don't really need the perfect shoes. It's just fun to pretend that I do.
- Ambiguously Bi (It was hinted from as early as Campaign Trail that she was possibly bisexual, but she didn't approach the issue until the start of the Grand Finale. See below under If It's You It's Okay.)
- The Charmer/The Social Expert: The Queen Bee and trendsetter of Belleville High, and not without good reason.
- Defrosting Ice Queen/Sugar and Ice Personality
- Foe Yay (in-universe, to Aggie until they become friends, Ho Yay afterward)
- Freudian Trio: The Ego
- Guile Hero: Especially evident when dealing an implied preemptive strike against her rival upperclassman, Meg. She tries a similiar strategy when dealing with Cyndi, a considerably more dangerous foe.
- I Can Change My Beloved: The main thrust of Penny's romantic relationships with Rich, Duane, and Aggie, until the latter puts her foot down. They Get Better.
- If It's You It's Okay (Word of God says Aggie is Penny's one exception to her preference for men.)
- The Kirk
- Lovable Alpha Bitch (Aggie and friends see her as a straight-up Alpha Bitch for much of the comic's run but they're mostly wrong)
- Obfuscating Stupidity (occasionally, in the earlier arcs)
- The Prima Donna
Sometimes doing the right thing hurts. But that's when you have to.
- The Aloner: Aggie nearly ends up as this in a dream.
- Ambiguously Gay: (not only does Karen assume she's gay for a full year, and Lisa briefly consider Sara's theory of attraction between her and Penny, but as of "There Are No Rules" Aggie herself now seriously thinks she may be gay. As of the Distant Finale she is shown wearing a male outfit and is said to be dating girls exclusively.
- Bifauxnen: In the Distant Finale.
- Cool People Rebel Against Authority/ Former Teen Rebel: Aggie actively cultivates a rebellious attitude in memory of her former hippie mother. As she matures, she learns there are other ways to speak truth to power than through protesting and modern art. She ultimately becomes a lawyer.
- Granola Girl
- Hypocrite (Preaches acceptance and understanding, but she's done things like attempting to slut-shame Lisa for being bisexual ("Any lips of any gender'll do?").
- Ineffectual Loner: For a while, Aggie has a hard time making and keeping true friends, for fear that they will replace her...
- Missing Mom (Aggie has difficulty letting go of her memory)
- In the End You Are on Your Own: Defied. After a horrible nightmare, Aggie learns that this trope is, in the words of her mother, "bullshit."
- Single-Target Sexuality (in the early arcs, she's uninterested in either gender until she meets Marshall)
- The Snark Knight (in the earlier arcs)
- Soapbox Sadie (especially in the earlier arcs)
- True Art Is Angsty: In-universe, Aggie's rigid adherence to this attitude helps her to produce florid poetry and abysmal videos, and blinds her to the fact that she's quite good at drawing.
Karen Duvall, Penny's and Aggie's rival and Marshall's girlfriend
Pretty people get to do what they want!
- Big Bad (during "The Popsicle War")
- Beautiful All Along (subverted)
- Last Second Chance (pointed out by her shoulder conscience early in "The Popsicle War"; however, she chooses to ignore it)
- I Just Want to Be Beautiful/Power Fantasy/ Be Careful What You Wish For
- Manipulative Bastard
- Pygmalion Plot
- Rape Is Love (more specifically, Involuntary Hand Job Is Love)
- Social Darwinist
- Static Character
Sara Velte, Penny's best and oldest friend
My identity is not for them to define. And it's not for you.
- Coming Out Story
- Butch Lesbian/Lipstick Lesbian: (her post-coming-out look combines aspects of both)
- Freudian Trio: The Superego
- Honest Advisor/Number Two: To Penny
- Jade-Colored Glasses
- Shipper on Deck --> The Dulcinea Effect/Knight in Shining Armor
- The Spock --> The McCoy
- Tsundere Type A
- Took a Level In Badass (non-violent example)
- Transparent Closet (to Lisa, Penny and Cyndi)
Michelle Brown, Penny's other closest friend
Ignorance is bliss. Well, usually.
(Regarding herself and Penny in a Mirror): Thinner than her. You'll always be thinner than her, now. It's all right. It's all right.
- The Ditz
- Flat Character (subverted in "Hunger"; her therapist describes her as "not Silent Bob" and "not deep," but by the end of the brief arc she emerges as an even deeper and richer character)
- Freudian Trio: The Id
- I Just Want to Be Loved
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: With regard to Rich and Penny
- Love Hurts
- The McCoy
- Naive Everygirl/The Pollyanna
- Stepford Smiler: Is very good at hiding her insecurities, and her eating disorder, behind a peppy demeanor and a cheerful grin.
- Yes-Man: To Penny.
Lisa Winklemeyer, Aggie's best friend
I'm just...open. Whatev, you know? Screw labels.
- Bald Woman: In the finale.
- Bi the Way (more or less)
- Blithe Spirit/Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: In-universe, Lisa is bound and determined to act as a good example of these tropes for everyone she meets.
- Cloudcuckoolander/Cool People Rebel Against Authority
- Deadpan Snarker
- Genki Girl
- The Herald/Sidekick Ex Machina: It's a near-guarantee that, if a sympathetic character has a dilemma in need of addressing, Lisa will be there to help them confront and/or fix it.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Jokingly tells Michelle that she ships the two of them together. Plays this trope straight with her kindred spirit, Stan.
- Strange Girl: Much like her friend Aggie, Lisa deliberately cultivates a countercultural image.
- Totally Radical (given to bizarre, self-created slang, e.g. "Ms. Megabagadouche")
Duane Teague, Aggie's friend and Penny's platonic boyfriend
If you're gonna dream a hopeless dream...go all out.
Daphne Brooks, friend to Aggie, Lisa and Fred; Sara's girlfriend
I'm not always a great person, but my friends make me better.
Fred Rudolph, friend to Aggie, Lisa and Daphne
This feeling's always been with me, that things will be all right. I like it too much to fight it.
- Large Ham
- Pet Homosexual
- Perpetual Smiler (most of the time)
- Straight Gay / Camp Gay (the latter generally when rehearsing, performing or just tipsy)
Marshall Gryvanski, Karen's boyfriend and Aggie's first crush
I like weights. If a weight is about to crush your heart, you can feel the pressure. You know it's coming. With people, you're never sure.
- Abusive Parents (his hedonistic mother verbally berates him in public for being an obstacle to her)
- Bishonen (subverted and deconstructed)
- Chick Magnet (The only girl never attracted to him, even momentarily, is Penny. Even Sara finds him attractive prior to her discovering she's gay)
- Disappeared Dad (he has no idea who his dad even is)
- Let's Wait a While
Rich Diggle, Penny's first love
I think what's important is for a man to stop takin' the world's crap and start pushin' back.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys / All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Although Penny isn't a cheerleader.
- Badass Biker
- Make Up or Break Up
Stan Larson, Rich's wingman and Penny's rival/FriendlyEnemy
No, wait! I don't have a complex psychology! I'm just in it for fun, chicks, praise and bling!
- The Chessmaster: Particularly in the Campaign Trail arc.
- Fatal Flaw: Ambition
- Handsome Lech
- I Didn't Mean to Turn You On (to Michelle, in that he thought she'd wanted a hook-up, not romance; later, in a different sense, to Penny)
- Manipulative Bastard (reforms during "The Popsicle War")
- Subordinate Excuse (to Rich, whom he has something of a crush on despite being a ladies' man)
- Was It Really Worth It? (the end of "Mister Smiles")
Jack Kirk, Stan's best friend and Rich's other wingman
I think I can be a good man for her. I think so. Get close to her level, at least.
- Doctor Jekyll and Mister Jack Daniels
- Heroic Self-Deprecation
- Insecure Love Interest (vis-à-vis Katy-Ann)
- Silent Bob
Katy-Ann Williams, Penny's friend and Jack's girlfriend
We put so much passion into these day-to-day dramas, and the decisions that tell us who we are... those go almost unnoticed.
- Genki Girl
- Saintly Church (a one-person embodiment and the diametric opposite of Charlotte's intolerant, near-psychotic fundamentalist nature, although sometimes her religiosity can be a source of angst as well as friction with others)
- Wise Beyond Their Years (a teenage example of the trope, she's easily the most mature character apart from Aggie's father Nick)
Brandi Jones, Penny's friend and Stan's girlfriend
I understand boys. Boys show what they feel. Boys' friends are their friends. Girls are the ones to watch out for.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Ethical Slut
- Friends with Benefits / Relationship Upgrade
- Ms. Fanservice (as drawn by Jason Waltrip)
Cyndi Kristoffer, Karen's onetime collaborator, and the comic's main villain after "The Popsicle War"
I do like to play.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
- Depraved Bisexual
- Faux Yay (subverted when she crushes on Sara-as-Lady Macbeth)
- For the Evulz
- Manipulative Bastard (to a sociopathic degree)
- The Mole (in Penny's clique throughout the first half of "The Popsicle War")
- Ms. Fanservice (particularly as drawn by Jason Waltrip)
- Obfuscating Stupidity
Samantha Evans, collaborator, at one time or another, with Karen and Cyndi
Maybe offence just comes naturally to a spoiled rich girl.
Meg Macomb, Penny's onetime rival, Cyndi's friend, collaborator with Karen
I've outgrown this. I've outgrown you.
- Alpha Bitch (in her backstory)
- Jerkass Has a Point: Played with. She seems to be one of the few characters to be fully aware that all the melodrama of highschool aren't the most important years of her life... immediately after this assertion, she nervously asks whether the contents of a police interrogation will be "going on her permanent record."
- Pride Before a Fall (in her backstory)
- Opt Out / Know When to Fold'Em (during "The Popsicle War")
Helen Tomalin, downbeat friend, at one time or another, of Penny, Charlotte, Aggie, and Karen
If I'm being used...at least I have a use.
- Abusive Parents/The Unfavorite: (her parents favor her older sister; in her childhood her father tells her he doesn't love her "right now" when she fails to complete an age-inappropriate task)
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing/False Friend: Helen is a sympathetic example of these tropes, and tends to surround herself with examples of same, some less sympathetic than others.
- Attention Whore: Downplayed eventually, in a very literal fashion. Helen desperately wants acceptance, approval, and attention, no matter the source; she believes that letting herself be used is the only way to achieve these ends. This culminates in a Heroic BSOD/Villainous Breakdown when she realizes she slept with resident skeezoids Bob and Elmer while under the influence of alcohol.
- Broken Bird See above.
- Driven by Envy/The Resenter: Helen drifted apart from Penny's group of friends in middle school, and resents them for excluding her from their clique. She is implied to have been envious of Penny's social status in childhood, as well.
- Extreme Doormat (She wants people to use her and is at a loss whenever no one needs to.)
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain (in "The Popsicle War," to some extent)
- The Mole (in Aggie's clique throughout the first half of "The Popsicle War")
- Never My Fault: Helen's need to be used often motivates her to put her morals aside.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Of every clique she's been in:
(Helen's inner monologue:) "Please keep believing I'm going to heaven, Charlotte."
- Rape as Drama: Taking advantage of young women too drunk to give informed consent seems to be a favorite pastime of Bob and Elmer.
- The Runaway (to Something Positive's Boston)
- Sour Supporter/Unlucky Childhood Friend: Formerly, of the Pennies.
- Sudden Principled Stand: Helen, of all people, chews out Charlotte when the latter tries to frame Katy-Ann for a bomb threat.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: Answer: Bob and Elmer. Both at once.
Charlotte Simms, onetime friend of Aggie and Helen, later friends with Duane
Sin is everywhere. This world is filth.
- Abusive Parents (her mother, and implied with regard to her late father)
- Berserk Button (do not criticize, or attempt to entrap, Duane in front of her)
- Broken Bird
- The Fundamentalist (big time, but after befriending Duane she becomes gentler and more open-minded... or so it seems, until she kidnaps and tortures Cyndi in what she believes is God's punishment for Cyndi's Manipulative Bastard actions)
- Interrupted Suicide
- Rape as Drama (makes false accusation against Sara; the real thing is also heavily implied in her backstory)
Nick and Melody D'Amour, Aggie's parents
- Happily Married (before Melody's accidental death in the backstory)
- Hippie Parents / New Age Retro Hippies (a subtle and sympathetic instance)
- Posthumous Character (Melody, seen only in Flashbacks and Aggie's dream)
- So Proud of You (Nick and Melody have both, in effect, said so to Aggie)
Rob Levac, Penny's father
- Deadpan Snarker
- Jaded Washout (in the earlier strips)
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold (when flirting with Lynda as a teenager)
- Mistaken for Cheating (by Penny; subverted in that she's happy for him, thinking his "affair" will bring back the active, upbeat dad she used to have)
Lynda Levac, Penny's mother
- Nerds Are Sexy (as a teenager and in the present)
- Soapbox Sadie (as a teenager)
- Tsundere (Type A, to Rob as a teenager)
Charisma Gryvanski, Marshall's mother and Nick's girlfriend
- Really Gets Around (before her more serious relationship with Nick)
- Resentful Guardian (reciprocated, less abusively, on Marshall's part)