The Harper House: The 10 Funniest Characters | ScreenRant – Screen Rant

The Harper House is an animated sitcom that follows a riches-to-rags family of oddballs in River Creek, AR, but which character is the funniest?
One of the most impressive things about The Harper House is the fact that for an animated family sitcom, it incorporates myriad senses of humor. The fish out of water premise of the series, about the Harper family moving from the rich part of town to the poor side of town, already lends itself to some laughs, but it shines when fans connect to different characters depending on the type of jokes they tell or silly ways they interpret situations.
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Whether fans like slapstick comedy, irreverent asides, pithy sarcasm, or supreme awkwardness, there’s a character that delivers the appropriate laughs. The funniest characters on the series, whether they’re the ones with the most screen time, or are in only one episode, have a specific type of comicality they embody that endears them to viewers.
That’s right, the 44th President of the United States makes a special appearance in an episode entirely devoted to the town of River Creek eating a piece of him to stave off the coming apocalypse. Ollie Harper receives the news from a fortune teller that unless she can orchestrate this epic event, River Creek –and the planet– will be no more, so she chases him down on the green to get him to agree. Being Barack Obama, he jumps at the chance to save the world.
The episode showcases Obama’s unflappable personality being lampooned when faced with impending death, as well as his cheery ingenuity at finding a way to satiate the citizens of River Creek while still keeping all of his appendages. He even spoofs his own content production company with a fun social media live session with Ollie.
Johnny Frakes, Prince of the Southside, son of Mayor Kelley Frakes and to quote Todd, an idol to be worshipped because he’s “rich, powerful, and shameless”, JF will do anything to get a sale (which is where most of his humor comes from). He’s responsible for selling the old Harper house on the Southside, but can’t seem to find a buyer, which makes for an amusing through-line for the show.
The funniest continuous storyline involving JF focuses on his unrequited love for Debbie Harper, who turned him down in high school. By sabotaging his sale of her old house, he thinks they’ll have a reason to keep in contact. He’s the sort of sleazy archetype who would be great as a reoccurring character on Family Guy, but like the rest of the cast, he’s quirky where it counts.
It would be easy to dismiss Brenna as a vapid bimbo, but there’s much more to Debbie’s socialite sister than her appearance. She has a sly sense of humor that emerges in barbarous jabs at her sister’s expense, and she can be downright cutthroat when she wants to be (as evidenced when the two attend an Awning Expo on behalf of their father’s business).
Sibling rivalry can be a sensitive subject, but Brenna manages to infuse it with wit. She loves to tease Debbie, but the only way she can get her goat so well is because she truly knows her, and she only truly knows her because she loves her.
Debbie’s best friend will have a margarita-filled lunch and then go straight to her job as a veterinarian, and is often seen holding a martini while watching one of Debbie’s crazy schemes take off (if she’s not instigating one herself). Debbie’s husband might not be so fond of Tonya or her influence on Debbie, but Tonya doesn’t much care what Fred –or anyone else– thinks.
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Tonya isn’t just a sassy BF, she’s educated, expressive, and saves Fred’s butt more times than he would like to admit. Even for her own habits, she levels Debbie’s recklessness out, and fans will love seeing what the dynamic duo gets up to. Having a no-nonsense straight-woman in the mix isn’t just hilarious, it makes everything else around her even more so.
“If heat rises, why is Canada so cold?” is the sort of random comment made by Joshathan, the “free-range” kid whose parents raise him “documentary-style” (which is to say they document and observe him, but rarely interfere). This means Joshathan has poor social skills and scholastic abilities, but it also means he has some of the best inane comedic value.
Aside from being weirdly funny, Joshathan brings a lot of slapstick humor to the table, including plummeting off a cliff during the Leaf-a-Thon and getting his head kicked in. The climax of the jokes surrounding Joshathan primarily arises from him being completely unperturbed about all the physical abuse he receives.
The class clown happens to be quite witty in this case, and Jim Joe Dang provides some of the best zingers in the series. Thanks to his rivalry with Todd, there’s no end to the sobriquets he gives his thin, pale, dark-haired nemesis (“Dracula”, “young Snape”), which make for hysterical exchanges that seem far beyond what 5th graders are capable of.
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Jim Joe can be elitist (he only eats “brand name pizza rolls”), but part of the humor surrounding him comes from not only watching him dish out verbal carnage, but taking it as well. 
A young 11-year-old genius who wishes he could just live back on the rich side of town, Todd sees the world through shades and often spends the series moping around being miserable while his family tries to make the best of a bad situation. He’s at his most humorous sparring with other characters around him, especially Jim Joe, his sister Ollie, and Mayor Frakes.
Todd is nothing if not perpetually sarcastic, and even at his most angst-ridden, his petulance is amusing without being irritating. Since the rest of his family has such a whimsical, left-field sense of humor, his sardonic quips and asides actually act as a breath of (icy) air.
As much as she can be downright oracular for an 11-year-old, Ollie is still a goofy oddball that gets into truly unique mischief — like keeping a pet tick so long she not only gets incredibly sick from it draining her blood, it explodes in the car, almost causing her family to get into an accident.
Just waiting to hear the next strange thing out of Ollie’s mouth is enough to keep fans plowing through the series. Fans of offbeat, irreverent humor will enjoy the way she infuses every plotline with her own particular Ollie-isms.
From gassing his children with mothballs and trying to store opossums in the hallway closet, to feverishly trying to hunt down a pair of sweatpants for his wife that involves impersonating first a mailman, then a psychiatrist, nothing ever goes right for Fred Harper. But his over-the-top antics are perfect for viewers who find humor in them.
It’s not just the fact that uptight Fred is the kind of guy who tries recreational drugs for the first time at a family-friendly Fourth of July festival that makes him so amusing — it’s the second-hand embarrassment related to such mishaps. Fred’s awkward moments usually lead to a great deal of growth, turning him into one of TV’s strongest dads, the kind fans root for even as they laugh at him.
Cruising down the street blasting tunes in her stolen country club golf cart? Check. Exploding tick-stopping drones? Check. Creating elaborate Home Alone-level traps to thwart burglars at her dad’s house? Just all in a day’s work for Debbie, the overzealous engineer who, since losing her job, seems to exist as a part of a nonstop tableau of chaos.
What makes Debbie so hilarious is watching the zest with which she throws herself into crazy schemes. Every episode of the series seems to be based on her next plan to get rich quick and improve her family’s circumstances, and they all involve a winning combination of slapstick and ironic humor.
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Kayleena has been raised on Star Wars and Indiana Jones from the crib. A film buff, she has a Western collection of 250+ titles and counting that she’s particularly proud of. When she isn’t writing for ScreenRant, CBR, or The Gamer, she’s working on her fiction novel, lifting weights, going to synthwave concerts, or cosplaying. With degrees in anthropology and archaeology, she plans to continue pretending to be Lara Croft as long as she can.


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