List of The Middle characters

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The Middle is an American sitcom about a working-class family living in Indiana and facing the day-to-day struggles of home life, work, and raising children. The Middle premiered September 30, 2009, on the ABC network and is airing its ninth season as of 2017. It features Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton and Scrubs star Neil Flynn.[1]

Below is a list of characters central to the series.

Main characters[edit]

  • Patricia Heaton as Frances "Frankie" Heck (née Spence), wife of Mike and mother of Axl, Sue, and Brick. Frankie is the central character in the show, as her voice is heard narrating at various points in every episode. She is a devoted wife and mother and sees family as the most important thing in her life. Her motto, "You do for family", guides her daily routine, despite the frustrations she encounters with her husband and three kids, as well as her older ailing relatives who often depend on her. Frankie attended college but did not finish. When the family goes on a trip, she always forgets "the blue bag" which has the food in it. She worked as a salesperson at Ehlert Motors, a job she took after losing her position as a dentist's receptionist when the office closed, only to lose her job at Ehlert Motors early in season 4. She completes dental assisting school, and gets a new job at a dentist's office near the end of season 4. Heaton wore a wig for seasons 1–4; from season 5 on, her real hair has been featured.
  • Neil Flynn as Michael "Mike" Heck Jr., Frankie's husband, known for his straightforward manner and lack of emotion. Mike works at the local limestone quarry as the manager. He reached his 25-year work anniversary at the quarry in the season 9 episode "The Crying Game", wherein he was promoted to Regional Manager. Despite his no-nonsense approach to work and family, Mike is a devoted and understanding husband and father who always seems to come through for Frankie and the kids. It has been said on several occasions that Mike's favorite film is Reservoir Dogs and that he only asked Frankie out on a second date because she lied and said she also liked the film. Mike's reclusive, emotionally distant father, "Big Mike" (John Cullum), and Mike's well-meaning but unreliable brother Rusty (Norm Macdonald) both live in Orson. It is revealed in season 8's "Clear and Present Danger" that Mike's mother died of lung cancer at age 42, and his father made him do his homework and go to school the next day instead of allowing Mike time to mourn. Mike loves all sports but is particularly passionate about seeing the Indianapolis Colts play in the Super Bowl. He and Rusty start a business in season 7, designing disposable diapers with sports team logos on them and naming their creations "Li'l Rivals".
  • Charlie McDermott as Axl Redford Heck, the oldest son of Frankie and Mike and who cannot be bothered to wear more than boxer shorts most of the time at home. As the elder brother, he is sarcastic, lazy, narcissistic, and selfish to his siblings. However, he has shown flashes of kindness to his family occasionally and is good at heart, which he shows when he deliberately loses a basketball game in an attempt to win back his ex-girlfriend, Morgan. He is frustrating to Frankie, who wishes he would be more open with her, as he was apparently a very loving "momma's boy" when he was a child, something Frankie seems to want to re-capture. Axl is much more popular and socially outgoing than his siblings, but is not as scholarly as they are. He plays the electric guitar, and it is presumed that he was named after Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose. It is revealed in season 3 that Axl is two years older than Sue as he starts his junior year at high school while Sue starts her freshman year. Mike has said that Axl is his favorite child. He has gone to prom twice with Weird Ashley (Katlin Mastandrea), an outcast at his school, both times accidentally inviting her. Axl gets another girlfriend in season 4 named Cassidy, who tutors him after Sue runs over his foot and breaks it while learning to drive. Axl and Cassidy later break up in "Hallelujah Hoedown". As a running back on his high school football team, he was recruited by a Division II state college in Indiana. After being a star player in high school, Axl was a bench warmer in college, causing him to take his pursuit of a business degree a bit more seriously. Early in season 8, Axl dates and later secretly marries his sweetheart April, mainly as a way to defy his parents, who do not like her. The marriage is quickly annulled after both sets of parents find out. At the end of season 8, he begins dating Sue's roommate Lexie and graduates from college with a bachelor's degree in business. Between seasons 8 and 9, he travelled in Europe with Kenny to promote Kenny's upcoming apps. After briefly working as a school bus driver and at Spudsy's early in season 9, Axl gets his first professional job as a sales rep for a plumbing fixture company in the episode "The 200th".
  • Eden Sher as Sue Sue Heck, socially awkward middle daughter of Frankie and Mike whose genuine nature, bubbly personality, and persistent sunny optimism tend to make her an object of ridicule, especially by her older brother. Despite her best efforts, she is usually unrecognized by teachers and other students, and snubbed by her peers. Her best friends are Carly and Brad. She looks up to reverend Tim-Tom. When she does not know something she goes to kickingitteenstyle.com. When she is lying she will say "and so on and so forth and what have you". Many of her plot lines involve her being overlooked, or trying to organize parties or events and receiving no help. In season 1, she is not pictured in the yearbook despite having her picture taken three times, and she finds her favorite teacher has no memory of her at all. (She is eventually placed in the yearbook, but in the section reserved for students who died, with the caption reading: "In Loving Memory of Sue Heck, Gone Too Soon.") She wears braces on her teeth, which were briefly removed in season 3, but it was determined that they over-corrected her condition. She had them removed at the beginning of season 6, needing only a retainer. She is also left-handed, apparently the only southpaw in her immediate family. She is two years behind Axl in school, graduating high school in the season 6 finale. She is known for trying out for almost everything but never actually getting picked, because she is always terrible. In season 2, she joins the no-cut cross country team by heroically going around the track five times on crutches because she was hit by a deer the day before. She becomes a "wrestlerette" in season 3 (which turns out to be a group of fellow misfits) and dates a wrestler named Matt for a short time. In season 4, she dates Axl's friend Darrin. She is engaged to Darrin for three days in season 6, before deciding she does not want to get married yet and ending their relationship. This marks a rare moment where Sue is not a pushover, explaining her situation to Darrin in an intelligent, articulate, and socially mature manner. The season 3 episode "Leap Year" reveals she was a leap day baby, but then she had her 16th birthday the following season (season 4, episode 17, "Wheels of Pain"). She gets accepted to the same college Axl is attending. He did not want her to go, but Mike and Frankie tell him it is not his decision, and Sue does later accept the offer to attend the college. In season 9, she is a junior in college and is majoring in hotel management. She turns 21 later that season, and Frankie comes to college and they get drunk together.
  • Atticus Shaffer as Brick Heck, youngest of Mike and Frankie's children. He loves to read and has a case of palilalia, which is demonstrated by his repeating words from previous sentences to himself in a whisper. He has trouble lying because he will usually follow it up by whispering, "I'm lying". In season 8, he says he does not whisper when he is lying anymore, but now he farts. In season 1 episode 5, it is revealed that he possesses an eidetic memory. He is smarter than most teenagers, having read Of Mice and Men, a book his elder brother is struggling with at the same time. He also loves the Planet Nowhere book series, which is native to the show, and the real-life Percy Jackson & the Olympians. He has referred to Diary of a Wimpy Kid as "the book that changed my life". He is exceptionally intelligent but easily distracted, leading him to procrastinate on doing his homework assignments and projects (it is loosely implied that he may perhaps have Asperger's syndrome). Brick is a known gephyrophobiac and is fascinated with fonts. Due to his awkwardness, he struggles to make friends. In season 3 he is put in a social skills class with kids like him, one thinks he is a cat, one only eats red food and etcher. In season 2, he befriends an equally awkward boy named Arlo, whom even Brick struggles to deal with. He is five years behind Sue in school, starting the eighth grade in the seventh season. In season 2 episode 7, it is revealed that he was accidentally switched at birth with another baby due to Mike watching a football game and taking home a child that the nurse brought up next to Brick, and he spent a month with that child's family while the other baby was with the Hecks. In season 8, Brick meets the other child, Blake Ferguson, along with the literature-loving Ferguson parents, and discovers that it was likely exposure to them as an infant that led to his appreciation for reading and classical music. While Sue gets overlooked by classmates and teachers, Brick is constantly overlooked by his own family. Frankie and Mike have forgotten his birthday multiple times. In season 8, Brick makes it into the National Honor Society, a first for a Heck family member, but his parents did not know until Nancy Donahue told them. He has a girlfriend named Cindy. In season 9, Brick is a Sophomore at Orson High School. He asks Cindy to the prom, and Frankie invites the former students from the social skills class for a pre-prom party. They became normal, but Brick still has the same quirks.

Recurring characters[edit]

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Brock Ciarlelli Brad Bottig Recurring
Jen Ray Nancy Donahue Recurring
Beau Wirick Sean Donahue Recurring
Laura Ann Kesling Dotty Donahue Guest Recurring Recurring Guest Recurring
Brooke Shields Rita Glossner Guest Guest Guest
Malcolm Foster Smith Dave Recurring
John Gammon Darrin McGrew Recurring
Blaine Saunders Carly Recurring Guest Guest
Jeanette Miller Edie Freehold Recurring
Brian Doyle-Murray Mr. Elhert Recurring Guest Recurring Guest Guest
Troy Metcalf Jim Recurring Guest Recurring
Peter Breitmayer Pete Miller Recurring Guest Guest
Frances Bay Ginny Freehold Recurring
Andrew J. Fishman Zach Recurring Guest Recurirng Guest Guest
Krista Braun Mrs. Tompkins Recurring Guest
Alexa Vega Morgan Recurring
Paul Hipp Reverend Tim-Tom Guest Recurring Guest Recurring Guest Guest Recurring
Marsha Mason Pat Spence Guest Recurirng Guest Recurring
John Cullum Michael Heck Sr. Guest Recurring Guest Guest
Pat Finn Bill Norwood Recurring Recurring Guest Recurring
Julie Brown Paula Norwood Recurring Guest Recurring
Greg Cipes Chuck Guest Guest Guest
Nick Shafer Arlo Recurring Guest
Katlin Mastandrea Ashley Wyman Guest Recurring Guest Recurring
Norm Macdonald Rusty Heck Guest Recurring Guest
Sean O'Bryan Ron Donahue Guest Recurring Guest Recurring
Jerry Van Dyke Tag Spence Guest Recurirng
Kayla Madison Shelly Donahue Guest Recurring
Grace Bannon Ruth Recurring Guest Recurring
Jessica Marie Garcia Becky Recurring Guest
Brittany Ross Courtney Recurring Guest Guest
Natalie Lander Debbie Recurring Guest Guest
Christopher Darga Mr. Farrar Recurring Guest
Moises Arias Matt Recurring Guest
Jack McBrayer Dr. Ted Goodwin Recurring Recurring Guest
Galadriel Stineman Cassidy Finch Recurring Guest
Dave Foley Dr. Fulton Recurring Guest Guest
French Stewart Principal Cameron Recurring Guest Guest
Tommy Bechtold Kenny Recurring Guest
Alphonso McAuley Hutch Recurring Guest
Brooke Dillman Tink Babbit Guest Recurring Guest
Casey Burke Cindy Recurring
Gia Mantegna Devin Levin Recurring Guest
David Hull Logan Guest Recurring
Jovan Armand Troy Recurring
Daniela Bobadilla Lexie Brooks[2] Recurring
Will Green Jeremy Recurring
Keaton Savage Tyler Guest Recurring
Greer Grammer April Recurring
Lisa Rinna Tammy Brooks Guest

Extended family[edit]

  • Edie and Ginny Freehold (Jeanette Miller and Frances Bay, introduced in season 1) are Frankie's elderly aunts who are heavy smokers and drinkers. Aunt Edie used to work in Mike's quarry as the bookkeeper, often showing signs of memory loss. One such occasion is when they went to a funeral for Edie and Ginny's brother, and Aunt Edie thought it was her birthday. Aunt Ginny uses a wheelchair and rarely talks. They have a sickly Basset Hound named Doris. On many occasions, Frankie is forced to care for Doris unexpectedly; on one such occasion, Doris gave birth to puppies. In the season 3 episode "The Map", which premiered in early 2012, Aunt Ginny dies. (The actress who portrayed her, Frances Bay, had died in real life.) Brick's elderly friend, Grandma Dot, then moves in with Edie to take care of her. In the early 2015 episode, "Hecks on a Train", Aunt Edie has just died (actress Jeanette Miller had retired from acting) and the Hecks are left to care for Doris.
  • Michael "Big Mike" Heck Sr. (John Cullum, introduced in season 1) is Mike's reclusive, man-of-few-words father, who is a widower. He appears to be an unloving, uncaring parent, but this is primarily because he simply does not want to be a "bother" for either of his sons. He is also depicted as a hoarder. In season 6, Big Mike and Axl fixed the Hecks' kitchen sink, which was a rare bonding experience for the two of them. In season 8 it is revealed that he sent Mike Jr. to school the day after his mother died, not allowing him time to grieve.
  • Orville "Rusty" Heck (Norm Macdonald, introduced in season 2) is Mike's unreliable, silly brother. He often makes up excuses why he cannot be anywhere or do anything Mike asks him to do. He once took Brick out of school to bowl and to teach him how to drive, even though he was not old enough or ready. It is revealed in the season 3 finale that his real first name is Orville. In the season 3 finale the Hecks get an invitation to his wedding but it says the wedding is happening at their house. Rusty marries a woman called Marlene, but in season 5 when Marlene invites herself to Thanksgiving at the Hecks' house, Rusty tells them that they got a divorce because she slept with his best friend. Rusty appears later in season 5 and is homeless (again). He ends up moving in with the Hecks, and accompanies Mike and Brick to Brick's spelling bee in Chicago, where Rusty makes a deal with Brick to lose, allowing Rusty to win some money on a bet he made. In season 7, Rusty comes up with a business idea that Mike shockingly thinks might work, and the two start a side business together.
  • Pat Spence (Marsha Mason, introduced in season 1) is Frankie's mother. Pat appeared at least once in all of the first seven seasons. Her first appearance was in season 1 episode 22 ("Mother's Day"). Her latest appearance was in the season 9 episode "The Setup".
  • Tag Spence (Jerry Van Dyke, introduced in season 2) is Frankie's father. Tag is a schmoozer and always talks to Mike endlessly, which Mike finds very uncomfortable and annoying. In season 4 Tag calls Mike to meet up at a Stuckey's restaurant, to have man-to-man chats every Sunday. After a couple of meetings, Mike decides he just cannot possibly stand to do it any longer, so he suggests that Tag should try chatting with people on Facebook. Tag's latest appearance was in season 6, episode 21 ("Two of a Kind"). The episode reveals a longstanding feud between Tag and his brother Dutch (played by Jerry Van Dyke's real-life brother Dick Van Dyke), which is mostly fueled by Tag's jealousy, and Mike and Frankie end up trying to resolve it.

Co-workers[edit]

  • Bob Weaver (Chris Kattan, introduced in season 1) is Frankie's co-worker and friend at Ehlert Motors. He is depicted as a lonely, insecure man who lives with his mother and does not seem to have any friends. Thus, he tends to insert himself into the Hecks' family life whenever he can. Bob was credited as a main character in the first two seasons, but the role was significantly reduced after Frankie was fired from Ehlert Motors. He was a recurring character in season 3, and has since made two other appearances (the most recent in season 5, when Frankie rushes out to her dental office job but accidentally goes to Ehlert Motors). Bob and Mike once moonlighted together delivering Little Betty snack cakes to stores.
  • Don Ehlert (Brian Doyle-Murray, introduced in season 1) is the racist and misogynistic owner of the car dealership where Frankie used to work, and where Bob presumably still works. Frankie and Bob constantly worry that he is going to fire them. Ehlert's wife left him when he chose work over her, and Frankie was first sympathetic but later turned angry. He often drinks at work. Elhert, like Mike, likes sports. As with Bob, appearances by the Mr. Ehlert character were significantly reduced after Frankie was fired from Ehlert Motors.
  • Pete Miller (Peter Breitmayer, introduced in season 1) is Ehlert Motors' best salesman and star employee, and he is not afraid to tell everyone about it. Pete often brags about his success at Frankie's and Bob's expense, putting them down about how little they contribute to the business while developing a "teacher's pet" relationship with Mr. Ehlert.
  • Dave (Malcolm Foster Smith, introduced in season 1) is an employee at the quarry Mike manages. He has appeared in at least two episodes every season.
  • Jim (Troy Metcalf, introduced in season 1) is an employee at the quarry Mike manages. He has appeared in at least one episode every season.
  • Chuck (Greg Cipes, introduced in season 2) is a younger employee at the quarry Mike manages. He once babysat for Brick, giving him questionable advice on a school project. He often speaks in the third person, referring to himself as "The Chuck".
  • Dr. Ted Goodwin (Jack McBrayer, introduced in season 4) is the dentist who hires Frankie as a hygienist in season 4. He has few friends, and Frankie is forced to spend time with him after work in "The Jump" (season 5).[3] Ted's dental office is bought out by the conglomerate Smile Sensations in season 7. Frankie does not like the changes, but continues to work there.
  • Edwin (Jimmy Bellinger, introduced in season 5) is the young manager at Spudsy's, a baked potato fast food restaurant in a mall food court where Sue has worked steadily since season 5.

Neighbors[edit]

  • Sean Donahue (Beau Wirick, introduced in season 1) is one of Axl's best friends, teammate on the high school football team, and neighbor Nancy Donahue's only son. He is helpful, polite, and friendly, as well as a straight-A student, which makes him outwardly the opposite of Axl; that said, he always supports everything Axl does. In season 2, Sue develops a crush on Sean, but eventually ends the one-way relationship. In season 5, Sean came back from college to take Sue to prom upon learning that she had no date, but by the time he arrived, Sue had made plans to go with Darrin. Similarly, he often makes the several hour drive home from Notre Dame (at the request of his mother) to help the Hecks whenever there is a crisis, only to find the crisis resolved by the time he gets there. It was revealed in the season 7 episode "Hecks at a Movie" that his and Axl's respective first kisses were inadvertently with one another in a dark closet, something they have vowed to never speak of again. Also in season 7, Sean has taken on a "hippie" persona and has become a vegetarian (much to Nancy's embarrassment). By season 8, Sean has reverted by to a more clean-cut look. The events of season 8 reveal that Sean and Sue have a mutual affection, but neither person is yet aware of the other's feelings. Sean begins medical school in season 9. In the season 9 episode "The Christmas Miracle", Sue and Sean are talking and realize they both have feelings for each other and kiss.
  • Nancy Donahue (Jen Ray, introduced in season 1) is the Hecks' neighbor and president of the booster club. The Donahues (Nancy, her husband Ron, their son Sean, and their two daughters) are portrayed as the idyllic family Frankie yearns to be like. From season 5, episode 4 ("The 100th"), Nancy and Frankie's friendship has waned a little, mainly because Nancy overheard Mike and Frankie talking about her. In season 7, episode 18 ("A Very Donahue Vacation") Nancy's daughter, Shelly hears Frankie talking about Nancy and tells her. However, Nancy forgives Frankie and they remain good friends.
  • Ron Donahue (Sean O'Bryan, introduced in season 2) is Nancy's husband and Sean's, Dotty, and Shelly's father, who appears to be very involved in his kids' lives.
  • Rita Glossner (Brooke Shields, introduced in season 1) is the Hecks' uncouth and troubled neighbor. She is the single parent of four rambunctious boys, as she had kicked the boys' father out of the house some years ago. The Glossners appear to be the only family on the block that is worse off financially than the Hecks. Rita often shows her disdain for the Hecks' higher status, even calling Frankie a "one-percenter" in the season 7 episode, "Halloween VI: Tick Tock Death". Only three Glossner boys are introduced at first, but the season 8 episode "Trip and Fall" reveals that Rita has a fourth son, Rodney, her oldest child who has just made her a grandmother. In the season 9 episode "Hecks vs. Glossners: The Final Battle", Rita's children are sent to juvenile detention. After her children are gone, it brings out the nicer side of Rita.
  • Derrick Glossner (David Chandler), Wade Glossner (Parker Bolek), and "Diaper" Glossner (Gibson Bobby Sjobeck) (all introduced in season 1) make up the dreaded Glossner boys, Rita's children. They are neighborhood bullies who used to terrorize Sue and Brick. In the first season, Sue and Carly attempt to fight the two older Glossner boys via a dance routine set to "Kung Fu Fighting". In the fifth season, Derrick reveals he has a crush on Sue and unexpectedly kisses her multiple times. Despite describing her as a "rich girl" with "one dad and two different kinds of chips" (and thus out of his league), he vows to better himself and come back for her someday. In the season 9 episode "Hecks vs. Glossners: The Final Battle", Derrick proclaims he has kept his promise by getting a part-time job at a tattoo parlor that pays him $50 a week. Sue tells him she is in love with someone else (Sean Donahue), prompting Derrick to call her a "cheater".
  • Paula Norwood (Julie Brown, introduced in season 2) is another of the Hecks' neighbors. She serves as somewhat of a counterpoint to the idyllic Nancy Donahue in that her life and family (including husband Bill) is depicted as being similar to Frankie's, having a lot of the same issues.
  • Bill Norwood (Pat Finn, introduced in season 2) is the Hecks' neighbor and Paula's husband who frequently embarrasses her. Bill tends to try too hard to convince Mike he's his friend, to the point of buying Mike expensive sunglasses for Christmas, even though the two had never agreed to exchange gifts. Bill reveals in the season 9 episode "The 200th" that he and Paula are separated. In the season 9 episode "Hecks vs. Glossners: The Final Battle", Bill meets a female police officer and the two agree to go on a date.
  • Dierdre Peterson (Emily Rutherfurd, introduced in season 7) is the Hecks' new next-door neighbor. She has three rambunctious, noisy children, plus a new baby.

Friends and classmates[edit]

  • Darrin McGrew (John Gammon, introduced in season 1) is Axl's other best friend (along with Sean Donahue) and teammate. Darrin is the most passive and simple of Axl's friends, often landing himself, Sean, and Axl in problematic situations. In season 3, he takes Sue to the prom because of her "sunny disposition" and explained to Axl that he (Darrin) just wanted to go with someone and dance. In season 4, Darrin takes Sue to a Valentine's Day dance after her date cancels; and when tidying up in the hall after the dance they share a kiss. Later Darrin confides that he wants to continue dating Sue, which angers Axl. However, near the end of season 4, Sue breaks up with him after he accidentally punched her in the face while she was trying to break up a fight between him and Axl. After high school, Darrin enrolls in a heating and air conditioning repair school. In season 5, Sue feels like the breakup was a mistake and realizes that they only broke up because Axl was being so weird about it. With Axl having gone off to college, Sue gains a renewed interest in Darrin until she sees that he has a new girlfriend (Angel). Darrin later decides that his current girlfriend is too high-maintenance and he brings flowers to Sue, only to see her being kissed by Derrick Glossner. Despite a series of misunderstandings, the two ultimately reconnect at Sue's prom in season 5, and become a couple again. He proposes to Sue in the 6th season, and under pressure, she accepts. (In this episode, you see Darrin's mom for the first time and Darrin's last name is revealed to be McGrew, after Axl jokes that Sue's married name would be Sue Sue McGrew.) After realizing she does not want to be married yet, Sue breaks off the engagement with him three days later. Darrin has not appeared since that episode.
  • Carly (Blaine Saunders, introduced in season 1) is Sue's best female friend. She began in season 1 as a geeky character, wearing glasses and braces. Her braces were removed mid-season 1, and she became more popular as a result. Sue seems to be jealous, if only subconsciously, and wears makeup which her family finds garish. From season 2 onwards, Carly has reverted to a more geeky look. After making multiple appearances in seasons 1–4, Carly only made one appearance in season 5 (episode 14, "The Award") and one appearance in season 6 (episode 11, "A Quarry Story"). In a season 9 episode ("New Year's Revelations"), Carly attends the Hecks' New Year's Eve party, where it is revealed that she has a baby (and it is implied that she is a single mother).
  • Zack (Andrew J. Fishman, introduced in season 1) is Brick's friend from the socially challenged class. He has a tendency to behave like a cat, meowing and wearing oven mitts. After season 4, Zack does not appear until making a cameo in the season 9 episode "Great Heckspectations".
  • Arlo (Nick Shafer, introduced in season 2) is a friend Brick meets during the second season. He has an obsession with keeping everything on a schedule and takes frequent and lengthy bathroom breaks in the episode "Mother's Day II" when he is accompanying the Hecks to Brown County. He does not show up in the third or fourth season, although in "Year of the Hecks", he is mentioned. He makes a cameo appearance in the season 9 episode "Great Heckspectations".
  • Ashley "Weird Ashley" Wyman (Katlin Mastandrea, introduced in season 2) is Axl's weird classmate who has twice been his accidental date to prom. She is also on Sue's wrestlerette team. She has a keen interest in wizards, although she has never heard of Harry Potter. At their third prom together, Ashley is not Axl's date but dances with him when he's announced as prom king, as Axl and his date Cassidy had broken up only a few moments before the announcement. Axl is known to have a hatred towards her as he still regrets sending a text message about going to a prom with her. In season 5, Ashley invites Sue to hang with her at prom, as they are both there without dates, while Frankie's voice-over chides: "It wouldn't be prom if a Heck wasn't accompanied by Weird Ashley." In season 6, Ashley appears in Axl's dorm building out of nowhere, announcing she has transferred to East Indiana State because of their hotel management program. She tells Devin Levin that Axl was her boyfriend, which Axl of course vehemently denies. During an encounter with Axl in season 8 ("Exes and Ohhhs"), Ashley gets angry with him because he never officially said that he had no romantic interest in her, leading her to believe there was always a chance.
  • Ruth (Grace Bannon, introduced in season 3) is a member of Sue's wrestlerette team, depicted as an extreme religious conservative, often referencing "the rapture". Unlike the other wrestlerettes, Ruth wears an ankle-length skirt.
  • Becky (Jessica Marie Garcia, introduced in season 3) is a rough-and-tumble member of Sue's wrestlerette team.
  • Charles "Hutch" Hutchinson (Alphonso McAuley, introduced in season 5) is Axl's football teammate, best friend, and eventual roommate at college. Like Axl, Hutch does not get much playing time on the East Indiana State football team. In the season 9 episode "Eyes Wide Open", Axl visits Hutch at his new place in Chicago and finds that Hutch has turned into a responsible adult.
  • Kenny (Tommy Bechtold), introduced in season 5) is Axl's college roommate who does nothing but play World of Warcraft. He is mostly shown from behind as he sits at his computer. His face was shown briefly at the end of the season 5 episode "The Kiss". In an episode of season 6 ("The Table") Axl and Hutch move out of the dorm and into a rental house, but realize they cannot afford it on their own. They look up Kenny and invite him to be their roommate, too, as he apparently is reliable in paying bills and rent. Kenny speaks on-screen for the first time (and his face is shown again) in the season 7 episode "Halloween VI: Tick Tock Death". The season 8 episode "Pitch Imperfect" reveals that Kenny has developed some apps in between playing games, and has a fairly substantial net worth. Off camera between seasons 8 and 9, Axl accompanies Kenny on a trip through Europe to sell Kenny's apps. In season 9, Kenny marries a girl he met on a train in Amsterdam.
  • Cindy Hornberger (Casey Burke, introduced in season 6) is a classmate of Brick's who becomes his pseudo-girlfriend in season 6. Though she stands taller than Brick, she seems as quirky as he is. She always wears a safari hat, her facial expression shows no emotion, and, since she finds Brick's missing shoe in her first appearance, it is heavily implied that the character is named for Cinderella. Cindy is very brief and direct in her communication. She has stated in multiple episodes that her favorite food is shrimp. Cindy's flaky parents are introduced in the season 7 episode "Crushed", when they ask the Hecks for a significant loan to save their house from foreclosure. The Hecks are not able to help, forcing Cindy's family to move in with her grandparents. This seemingly ends her relationship with Brick, until it is shown that her grandparents live only a block away. It's implied in the season 7 episode "Halloween VII" that Brick and Cindy eventually marry and start a family. In season 8's "The Final Final", Brick is elated to learn that Cindy's doctor told her she has likely stopped growing. Cindy and Brick briefly break up early in season 9, but are back together as of the episode "The 200th". Cindy is finally shown without her hat in season 9's "Great Heckspectations", stating her mother forbade her from wearing a hat to the prom.
  • Troy (Jovan Armand, introduced in season 7) is Brick's large classmate who initially protects him from school bullies, then later becomes his friend.
  • Lexie Brooks (Daniela Bobadilla, introduced in season 7) is Sue's college classmate who, like Sue, fails to get accepted by any sororities at the school. She later becomes Sue's dorm mate and friend. She loves horses, and her family is rich. In the season 8 episode "Hoosier Maid", Lexie realizes she likes Axl, after denying his implications for several weeks. Because Axl is with April, she does not act on her feelings. However, after one date with Sean Donahue, Lexie tells Sue she thinks she wants more of a "bad boy". She ultimately reveals to Sue that she really really likes Axl in the season 8 episode "Swing and a Miss". Axl returns her feelings by kissing her in "The Par-Tay". They date in secret in "The Confirmation" and then by the end of the episode, their relationship is public knowledge. In "The Final Final", they're shown to be happily together.

Axl's love interests[edit]

  • Morgan (Alexa Vega, introduced in season 1) is Axl's first girlfriend on the series, whom Frankie takes an instant liking to due to her straight-A grades and talent in multiple areas. However, after she breaks Axl's heart more than once, Frankie eventually explodes with anger and throws a beanbag at Morgan during a birthday party.
  • Courtney and Debbie (Brittany Ross and Natalie Lander, introduced in season 3) are airheaded, think-alike cheerleaders in Axl and Sue's high school who date Axl as one. Because the two are inseparable, Axl struggles to figure out which one is his real girlfriend and which one is just hanging out with the other. He makes a calculated guess that Courtney is his girlfriend and kisses her, which causes both girls to slap him and break up with him. They perpetually overlook Sue, often thinking she is a new exchange student, and later calling her a freshman during her senior year. In season 7, it is revealed that Courtney and Debbie are assistant cheerleading coaches at Orson High, and that they no longer like each other.
  • Cassidy Finch (Galadriel Stineman, introduced in season 4) is Axl's girlfriend in his senior year of high school. She met Axl when he was trying to boost his grades and needed a tutor. They did not get along very well in their first session, but then Axl kissed her and soon found out she had a boyfriend. She later broke up with her old boyfriend to be with Axl. Late in season 4, Cassidy's ex-boyfriend returns, putting tension between Axl and Cassidy for a while before they come back together. They break up in the episode "Hallelujah Hoedown", after Cassidy reveals she is going away in three weeks for an internship program and that they will be in different colleges come September. They begin speaking again in "The Award" (season 5), after Cassidy leaves an embarrassing message on Axl's voicemail. After a brief reconnection during spring break, Cassidy breaks up with Axl again, saying it is not fair to either of them to pursue a relationship while being 800 miles apart.
  • Devin Levin (Gia Mantegna, introduced in season 6) is a relative of Frankie's hairdresser who was only an acquaintance of Axl's in the past. In season 6, he notices how she has blossomed and that they share many interests, and they begin dating. The two briefly break up when Devin notices that Axl still has her listed as "Uggo from Idaho" in his cell phone contacts, but they get back together later on. Early in season 7, they break up again, each agreeing they should see other people during their college years.
  • April (Greer Grammer, introduced in season 8) is Axl's love interest, whom he meets offscreen between seasons 7 and 8. April is beautiful and sweet, but not very smart. Frankie immediately tells Axl he can do better, causing a rift between mother and son. Mike initially likes April, but later has a conversation with Axl in which he calls her "dumb as a box of hammers". Defiant, Axl marries April in a civil service. After both sets of parents find out, the marriage is annulled. Axl briefly continues to date his ex-wife, but later breaks up with April in order to pursue Lexie.
  • Lexie Brooks[4] (Daniela Bobadilla, introduced in season 7) is Sue's college classmate who, like Sue, fails to get accepted by any sororities at the school. She later becomes Sue's dorm mate and best friend. She loves horses, and her family is rich. In the season 8 episode "Hoosier Maid", Lexie realizes she likes Axl, after denying his implications for several weeks. Because Axl is with April, she does not act on her feelings. However, after one date with Sean Donahue, Lexie tells Sue she thinks she wants more of a "bad boy". She ultimately reveals to Sue that she really really likes Axl in the season 8 episode "Swing and a Miss". Axl returns her feelings by kissing her in "The Par-Tay". They date in secret in "The Confirmation" and then by the end of the episode, their relationship is public knowledge. In "The Final Final", they're shown to be happily together. They said their first "I Love You's" in "MommaPalooza". In this same episode, Lexie is annoyed that Axl will not let her spend frivolously on their dates, only to later learn that her parents cut her off to teach her responsibility. In season 9's "Great Heckspectations", Lexie is shown to be working as a waitress at a steak restaurant, apparently her first-ever job.

Sue's love interests[edit]

  • Brad Bottig (Brock Ciarlelli, introduced in season 1) is Sue's flamboyant, theater-loving, tap dancing and slightly camp ex-boyfriend, who is on the high school wrestling team. They date during Thanksgiving (season 1), but soon break up. Mike and Frankie assume the breakup was the result of Sue learning that Brad is gay, but Sue claims it is because she found out Brad has a smoking habit. Brad and Sue remain good friends despite their breakup as boyfriend-girlfriend, and she remains seemingly unaware of his obvious, if stereotypical, homosexual behavior. From season 5 onwards, Brad seems to be Sue's closest friend. In season 7, Brad prepares to tell Sue a secret (in which he is about to come out as gay), to which she responds that she knows, and she shows him love and support. In season 8, Brad transfers to East Indiana State, saying he felt dwarfed as a student at NYU.
  • Matt (Moisés Arias, introduced in season 3) is a boy on the wrestling team at Orson High who likes Sue; he becomes Sue's first real boyfriend but eventually ends the relationship after moving away and falling for another girl. In season 4, Matt asks Sue to the school Valentine's Day dance because he broke up with his girlfriend Sherrie. He later calls Sue at the last minute to say that he and Sherrie got back together, and he is no longer taking her to the dance. This paves the way for Darrin to swoop in and save the day for Sue.
  • Darrin McGrew
  • Logan (David Hull, introduced in season 6) is a guy from another high school who works as a shirtless model in the Abercrombie & Fitch store at the same mall where Sue works. He asks Sue to her prom after seeing her depressed over breaking up with Darrin, and he later reveals that he likes her. The two later try to connect during a chance encounter at East Indiana State, but Sue had taken Brick along that day, and he gets lost. Finally, Logan and Sue meet at a movie theater, where Logan says he is majoring in Religious Studies and plans to be a priest, disappointing Sue.
  • Jeremy (Will Green, introduced in season 7) is a hardcore environmentalist and anti-capitalist whom Sue first meets when he is chained to a tree on campus. The two briefly date, but Sue breaks up with Jeremy early in season 8.
  • Tyler (Keaton Savage, introduced in season 7) is the boy who drives the safe ride cart on the East Indiana State campus. He becomes Sue's brief love interest in season 8, until she spends most of their first date talking about Sean Donahue.
  • Sean Donahue (Beau Wirick, introduced in season 1-) In season 2, Sue develops a crush on Sean, but eventually ends the one-way relationship. In season 5, Sean came back from college to take Sue to prom upon learning that she had no date, but by the time he arrived, Sue had made plans to go with Darrin. Similarly, he often makes the several hour drive home from Notre Dame (at the request of his mother) to help the Hecks whenever there is a crisis, only to find the crisis resolved by the time he gets there. It was revealed in the season 7 episode "Hecks at a Movie" that his and Axl's respective first kisses were inadvertently with one another in a dark closet, something they have vowed to never speak of again. Also in season 7, Sean has taken on a "hippie" persona and has become a vegetarian (much to Nancy's embarrassment). By season 8, Sean has reverted by to a more clean-cut look. The events of season 8 reveal that Sean and Sue have a mutual affection, but neither person is yet aware of the other's feelings. In the season 9 episode "The Christmas Miracle", Sue and Sean are talking when the eventually realize they both have very strong feelings for each other and they passionately kiss. However, obstacles continue to arise that keep the two from being together, and they never officially form a couple. Sean announces he will be living in Ghana all summer for work, much disappointing Sue who had growing feelings for him. In season seven, Sean tries to give Sue an infamous snowglobe, that keeps floating throughout Sue and the Heck family's life, and neither one can ever hold onto it.
  • Aidan (Jackson White, introduced in season 9) delivers food to Lexie and Sue's apartment on the evening when Sean Donahue is supposed to set up Sue with a blind date. In reality, Sean was going to surprise Sue by being her mystery date, but Sue assumes that Aidan is actually whom Sean sent. They go on an accidental date that evening, and Aidan later surprises Sue at the Hecks' New Year's Eve party, where he kisses her at midnight (thwarting Sean's plans to kiss Sue). Aidan is very clumsy and keeps accidentally injuring Sue, causing her to try to break up with him, but Brad begs her not to end the relationship until he has a chance to ask out Aidan's bandmate Luke. By the time Brad and Luke hit it off, Sue realizes how similar she and Aidan are and decides they should stay together, only to break up with him in "Toasted".

School staff[edit]

  • Mrs. Tompkins (Krista Braun, introduced in season 1) is Brick's social skills mentor and guidance counselor.
  • Mr. Farrar (Christopher Darga, introduced in season 3) is a teacher at Orson High.
  • Dr. Fulton (Dave Foley, introduced in season 4) is the school therapist. He is an odd character who helps Brick bond with his peers and try to fit in more at school. An insecure man himself, Dr. Fulton is obsessed with his ex-wife Shelly, whom he mentions nearly every time Brick talks to him for "help". In season 8, he tells Brick he is dating a 68-year-old woman named Barbara, whom he prefers to call "Shelly". In season 9's "Thank You for Not Kissing", he tells Mike and Frankie that Shelly took him back after years of him stalking her.
  • Principal Cameron (French Stewart, introduced in season 4) is the principal at Orson High.
  • Coach Tink Babbitt (Brooke Dillman, introduced in season 5) is a physical education teacher, volleyball coach and detention monitor at Orson High. In the season 8 episode "Swing and a Miss", Mike hires Tink as a part-time assistant at the quarry, solely for the purpose of making her eligible to play on the quarry's softball team.

Miscellaneous characters[edit]

  • Reverend Timothy "Tim-Tom" Thomas (Paul Hipp, introduced in season 1), is a youth minister at the Hecks' church whom Sue deeply admires. He surprised Sue by remembering her name after only having met her once, and always seems to appear just when Sue needs help the most. He is known for frequently playing his acoustic guitar and making almost anything into a song. He plays guitar with Axl on one occasion when encouraging him to do the right thing. In season 5, Reverend Tim-Tom gets a girlfriend (Reverend Tammy, played by Casey Wilson). Sue takes a disliking to Tammy and is not sure how to tell Reverend Tim-Tom, but Sue changes her mind about Tammy after the two talk.
  • Reverend Hayver (Dierk Torsek, introduced in season 1) is the pastor at the Hecks' church.

Notable guest stars[edit]

References[edit]