List of User Friendly characters

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User Friendly characters are the characters that feature on the webcomic User Friendly.

Main characters[edit]

A.J.[edit]

First Appearance: November 17, 1997

A.J. Garrett is the creative guy for the company, maintaining and designing their websites. As a web designer, he's uncomfortably crammed in that tiny crevice between the techies and the marketing people. This means he's not disliked by anyone, but they all look at him funny from time to time. A.J. is shy and sensitive. He loves most computer games, nifty art, and has a big brother relationship with the Dust Puppy. A.J. is terrified of Grues and attempts to avoid them.

A.J. was downsized on September 5, 1998, following iCan't Internet's purchase of Columbia Internet on August 24, 1998, but was re-engaged on October 17, 1998 after the company had been rebought. He lost his job again on October 16, 2002, following working on a personal project, and was employed by AOL. Having suffered an Ethicectomy, he became a clone of Stef - fortunately following an Ethics donation from Colin Powell he was re-employed.

He and Miranda have previously dated, but split up over a misunderstanding. They remained attracted to each other and started dating again on September 16, 2005.

The Chief[edit]

First Appearance: November 19, 1997

The Chief is Columbia Internet's CEO. He is the fearless leader for the techies and salespeople, as well as the only calm, clear-thinking head in the company. He wouldn't be if he knew what was really going on. The Chief is also a closet guitar player, having spent years mastering the art of perfect tone, only to have computers come along and render all of his effort meaningless.

Illiad based the character on a former boss:

The Chief bears a superficial resemblance to the Pointy-Haired Boss of Dilbert fame — he once was referred as the “Pointy Headed Boss”, and asked whether it was a mistake[1]. However, Illiad says that The Chief was not inspired by the Dilbert character. [2]

Dust Puppy[edit]

First Appearance: December 3, 1997

The Dust Puppy was born in a server from a combination of dust, lint and quantum events. He looks like a ball of dust and lint, with eyes, feet and an occasional big toothy smile. He was briefly absent from the strip from January 6 to January 10, 1998 after accidentally being blown with compressed air while sleeping inside a dusty server.

Although the Dust Puppy is very innocent and everything but worldly, he plays a superb game of Quake, doing his first deathmatch only four days after his initial appearance in the strip, on December 7, 1997, and even beating Zock, the Quake god, on February 13, 1998; he also created an artificial intelligence named Erwin on January 25 1998, with whom he has been known to do occasional song performances (the first one being on February 8, 1998).

Generally, all the other characters in the strip like the Dust Puppy; notable exceptions to this are Stef and the Dust Puppy's evil nemesis, the Crud Puppy, who first appeared in the strip on February 24, 1998.

The Dust Puppy has (in the strip for January 17, 1998) described himself as:

"I walk around looking short, and sleep in the servers, and give advice to people who need it and sometimes I even play Quake."

Erwin[edit]

First Appearance: January 25, 1998

Erwin is a highly advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) that resides somewhere on the network. He was created overnight during experimentation in Artificial intelligence by the Dust Puppy, who was feeling kind of bored. Erwin is written in COBOL because Dust Puppy "lost a bet". Erwin passes the Turing Test with flying colours, and has a dry sense of humour. He is an expert on any subject that is covered on the World Wide Web, such as Elvis sightings and alien conspiracies.

He was named Erwin on January 28, 1998, in light of the alternative, "web designer".

Originally, Erwin occupied the classic 'monitor and keyboard' type computer with an x86 computer architecture, but was later given such residences as an iMac, a Palm III, a Coleco Adam on Mir, a Furby, a nuclear weapon guidance system, an SGI O2, a Hewlett-Packard Calculator (with reverse Polish notation), a Lego Mindstorms construction, a Tamagotchi, a Segway, a Mech-Warrior Timber Wolf exo-skeleton, an internet equipped toilet as a punishment for insulting Hastur, and an IBM PC 5150 brought in to work by Sid. He also had a very detailed dream about being a Death Star.

Greg[edit]

First Appearance: November 17, 1997

Greg Flemming is in charge of Technical Support at the company. In other words, he's the guy that customers turd all over when something goes wrong. He blows off steam by playing visceral games and doing Bad Things to the salespeople. He's not a bad sort, but his grip on his sanity hovers somewhere between weak and non-existent, and he once worked for Microsoft Quality Assurance.

Mike[edit]

First Appearance: November 20, 1997

Mike Floyd works as a System Administrator, and is responsible for the smooth running of the network at the office. He's bright but prone to fits of anxiety. His worst nightmare is being locked in a room with a sweaty Windows 95 programmer, and no hacking weapons in sight. He loves hot curries, preferably ones with the same properties as Alien acid-for-blood.

Miranda[edit]

First Appearance: October 10, 1998

Miranda Cornielle is a trained systems technologist, an experienced UNIX sysadmin, and very, very female. Her technical abilities unnerve the other techs, but her obvious physical charms compel them to stare at her, except for Pitr, who is convinced she is evil. The only character flaw she displayed is her jealousy when Pearl is too close to A.J.

Previously frustrated by A.J.'s inability to express himself and his love for her the two of them finally have gotten to date since 16 September 2005

Pitr[edit]

First Appearance: November 20, 1997

Pitr Dubovich is the admin of the Columbia Internet server, and a self proclaimed Linux guru. He suddenly began to speak with a fake Slavic accent on 17 June 1998, as part of his program to "Become an Evil Genius". He has almost succeeded in taking over the planet several times. His sworn enemy is Sid, who seems to outdo him at every turn. Pitr's achievements include: Making the world's (second) strongest coffee, Merging Coca Cola and Pepsi into Pitr-Cola and Making Columbia Internet Millions with a nuclear weapon purchased from Russia.

Sid[edit]

First Appearance: September 27, 2000

Although a relative newcomer to Columbia Internet, Sid Dabster is the oldest of the geeks, and very knowledgeable. His advanced age gives him the upper hand against Pitr, whom he has outdone on several occasions; including in a coffee brewing competition and in a (rather biased) game of Jeopardy. Unlike Pitr, he has no evil ambitions per se, but he is a friend of Hastur and Cthulhu.

Illiad originally intended Sid's character to appear as an incidental character in a single storyline, but audience reception encouraged him to bring Sid back as a regular character.

Sid has a daughter named Pearl, who is a recurring character.

Smiling Man[edit]

First Appearance: November 22, 1997

The Smiling Man is the company Comptroller. He is in charge of accounts, finances and expenditures. He smiles all day, for no reason. This in itself is enough to encourage the other staff to keep pointy objects out of his reach. It has been said that he smiles for the same reason that a cat "smiles" before killing something. His favourite wallpaper is a large, complex, and utterly meaningless spreadsheet.

Stef[edit]

First Appearance: November 17, 1997

Stef Murky works as the Corporate Sales Manager. He runs most of the marketing efforts within the firm and sells things before they exist. He can't understand the way techies think and treats them rather condescendingly, so he doesn't get very far with them. He lusts for Miranda, but she quite wisely refuses to have anything to do with him. He sucks at Quake. Although he admires the power of Microsoft's marketing muscle, he has a real problem with Microsoft salesmen, probably because they make much more money than he does. He has a strange relationship with women and is universally hated by the geeks. Stef is definitely gormless as demonstrated on January 14, 2005.

Regular Characters[edit]

Artur[edit]

First Appearance: April 5, 1999

An "Owstrian" (sic) bodybuilder whose brain was replaced with an AI by an evil MS engineer. The AI was created in Partition 23 and reprogrammed by Erwin.

BSD Daemon[edit]

First Appearance: March 22, 1999

The BSD Daemon (technically the FreeBSD Daemon) is the little Demon/Daemon guy who advertises the BSD operating system, he reckons that one of the reasons you should change is that he is cuter than Tux.

Clippy[edit]

First Appearance: July 15, 2000
See also Office Assistant.

Clippy is an oversized paperclip who just wants to help. He takes a dim view of items not in his world (e.g. Dust Puppy), and seeks to replace them with things that are.

Cobb[edit]

First Appearance: November 21, 1997

Cobb works in the Sales Department, and is known throughout the company to be lousy at Quake. However, we have never seen him play, for the one time Stef challenged him, Cobb cheated and had Dust Puppy play for him.

Mr. Cola[edit]

First Appearance: July 20, 1998

Caffeine hallucination, he usually appears as a giant walking cola can, but takes different forms for different people. He is very keen for people to remain addicted to caffeine (and, in one strip, THC), and will sometimes invite people to suck directly out of his nose to ensure their fealty. Mr Cola takes the form of the drug most enjoyed by the particular person looking at him. For Greg, he appears as a large can of cola; for Miranda, as (presumably) a cup of espresso [3]; and, for Sid, as a "big, juicy, thirty-kilogram doobie" [4].

Crud Puppy[edit]

First Appearance: February 24, 1998

Crud Puppy is Dust Puppy's nemesis, he "has the gnarled hands of a Microsoft programmer".

Life and Times of the Crud Puppy

After Stef spilled coffee on his keyboard, the Crud Puppy appeared to consume it. Then challenging the Dust Puppy (they have obviously met before) to a Quake Deathmatch, he falls in his coffee and is drunk by Pitr.

Later Pitr is discovered to have a pair of hands (CP's) in his chest. During surgery to remove them, CP escapes, swipes a scapel and a goalie mask, regenerates his crud-body by consuming a Microsoft salesman, and hunts down Dust Puppy (who upon hearing the news attempts to flee to French Guiana).

After an inconclusive fight CP detours into "Skybucks" Coffee and is kicked into a coffee grinder by DP - and is promptly drunk by Pitr again.

Still later CP is summoned by Bill Gates to assist in the Microsoft anti-trust trial; he latches onto Pitr's kidneys, regenerates again when the clumsy surgeon spills his coffee into Pitr, swipes yet another scapel and escapes.

DP then explains to Greg (who apparently was away during the first two Crud Puppy appearances) that, in previous lives 2000 years ago, he and CP became adversaries when "Lord Crud" was commander of the Imperial Death Orb, which was destroyed by DP and Tux by uploading Windows 95.

CP, meanwhile, has stolen the body (sans head) of the previous Microsoft attorney and (as "Sid Crud") wins the case; he then resigns in favour of a position at AOL ("it's the new evil")...

Cthulhu[edit]

First Appearance: March 29, 2001

Cthulhu, the fabled tentacle-headed god, who likes to eat human heads. He is friends with Hastur and gets on well with Sid (based on the H.P. Lovecraft Mythos characters).

Hillary[edit]

First Appearance: November 23, 1997

Hillary works for customer services.

Matt the Sea Urchin[edit]

First appearance: May 17, 1999

Matt tagged along after the team went out for a meal. He has 'weapons-grade spines' (to Pitr's dismay) and does strange things with his butt muscles.

Pearl[edit]

First Appearance: August 30, 2001

Pearl Dabster is Sid's daughter. She was originally introduced as a romantic rival to Miranda for A.J.'s affections. She and Pitr have dated (to her father's disgust). She holds an MBA and a Nuclear Engineering Degree.

Tanya[edit]

First Appearance: November 21, 1997

Tanya works for customer services.

Tux[edit]

First Appearance: November 29, 1998

Tux is the Linux penguin, a mentor, guide, and mascot. He is sometimes referred to as a "sea bird".

Occasional Characters[edit]

Guest Characters[edit]

External links[edit]

Copyright[edit]

All images are from UserFriendly.org Copyright © 2005 J.D. "Illiad" Frazer.

Some text is taken from or based on text from UserFriendly.org.