The following is a list of characters from the American TV series What I Like About You.
The Tyler Sisters
Holly Ann Tyler
The character of Holly Tyler was played by Amanda Bynes. Holly is an unpredictable, somewhat in-your-face teenage girl who is high-spirited, and spunky. She unwittingly and unintentionally caused chaos but became a little more mature as the series progressed. In the first season Holly says that she does whatever pops into her head, and she was like a monkey. When her father accepts a job in Japan, Holly adamantly wants to stay in the United States, so her father agrees to let her live with her older sister Val. She manages to turn Val's neat and orderly life upside down and inside out from the moment she first moves in her sister's apartment. Holly tries to prove herself a perfect roommate and Valerie is always there for her to help her or teach her a lesson. Holly dated Henry Gibson for nearly a year but her feelings for Vince complicated matters and the two broke up. Although, after the break up, Holly begins to question whether she made the right decision to break up with Henry so soon.
The Holly/Vince/Henry love triangle came to an end when both boys kissed Holly before she went on her summer internship to Paris. She had to pick one of the two, but they decided to leave things in the open and see what would happen when she came back. After she came back from Paris, Holly had a new boyfriend, Ben, whom she met while he performed in a pub in Britain and brought home with her. The two were together for six months, and he was the first guy that Holly directly said "I love you" to. Things took a turn when she told Ben "I love you, Vince" by accident. They break up, and once again, Holly realizes that she loves Vince. Looking for answers, Holly visits Henry at Princeton. Henry tells Holly that when relationships get tough, she starts looking for other guys. In both Henry's and Ben's case, it was Vince. She finally realizes her love for Vince and follows him to Florida. After a few mishaps with Ricki, the two finally hook up. Once again, things get complicated when Vince begins working for his ex-girlfriend, Robyn. Vince doesn’t believe Holly when she says Robyn is after him. Through a series of events such as Vince nearly getting fired, getting robbed, and playing monopoly, Holly and Vince realize that the best thing to do is to have no contact with one another. Vince figures out that Robyn was, in fact, after him but he gets a job offer in Chicago and decides to take it. They were never supposed to see each other again, but in the finale, Vince comes back and tells Holly he loves her, and the two get back together.
Valerie Kelly "Val" Tyler-Meladeo
The character of Valerie Tyler (commonly referred to as Val) was portrayed by Jennie Garth. Val is simply put a Powder keg. She lives in a dream world where everything runs exactly as planned. Val is a taskmaster who plans everything to the last detail. Initially, she worked for a public relations firm called Harper & Diggs. Her first boyfriend during the series was Jeff, whom she dated for a year until he revealed that he didn't want to get married. After their breakup, Val developed feelings for her boss Vic. Nothing happened between the two, but she did end up having mixed feelings about her new boss Peter. Before a relationship could develop between the two, Peter left for Italy and disappeared with no explanation. Around that time, she quit Harper & Diggs to start her own public relations firm with co-worker/friend Lauren.
Val later reunited with Rick played by Edward Kerr, her old high school boyfriend who was engaged to Julie, who had nothing in common with Rick. The day of Rick & Julie's wedding, Rick bailed from the ceremony, realizing he had feelings for Val. The two became engaged only to cancel the wedding after discovering Rick had commitment fears.
Val bought a bakery after finding out her PR business fell apart thanks to Lauren. Meanwhile, Val started developing feelings for her old high school fling, named Todd, the plumber (played by Luke Perry, who was one of Jennie Garth's co-stars on Beverly Hills, 90210). She was finally starting to get over Rick when on Valentine's Day she was reading the wedding announcements and found Rick and Julie's wedding vows. This depressed her so she went out and partied. After a drunken night, she dreamed she had married the plumber, but all in reality, Val found out she was married to Vic. She pushed him away because she was scared of getting hurt, but on Thanksgiving, the two kiss and fall in love. They eventually married for real after finding out their first wedding wasn't valid. The day of the wedding Holly, Tina, Lauren, and Val were all trapped in a spa by an escaped convict. In the end, Holly and Val escaped on horseback to the wedding.
Other Main Characters
Gary Johann Thorpe
The character of Gary Thorpe was portrayed by Wesley Jonathan. Gary is Holly's best friend during the series and eventually became best friends with Vince. In the first couple of seasons, Gary was somewhat of a plain-clothes nerd, even having unusual conspiracy theories such as the pyramids being spaceships and that Stonehenge was one rock with lots of mirrors. It was also hinted that he had a slight crush on Val by going to Val's home when he knew Holly wasn't there. As the series progressed, Gary went from a slightly geeky to a cooler self. He moved in with Vince sometime during the second season. His first job was in a copying store where he got Holly a job. It was revealed in the second season that Gary's middle name was "Johann".
Gary's first serious girlfriend was Jill, the assistant to a millionaire businessman. The two dated for a year, only for Jill to leave for Paris. We later learn she lied about Paris just to break up with him. During the course of the series, Gary had mixed feelings about Tina, both hating and being attracted to her at times throughout. This back and forth culminated in a kiss, shocking them both. The two became a couple in the series finale. Besides Val and Holly, Gary is the only character to appear in all the seasons.
Vince Kevin Malone
The character of Vince was portrayed by Nick Zano during seasons two through four. The character's last name was never actually given on-screen. Vince is the older friend-turned-love interest-turned-boyfriend of Holly. Vince was a bike messenger who became friends with Holly between the end of the first and the beginning of the second season. One time, when Vince and Holly went out for coffee as he was attempting to fix a barbecue with Holly assisting him, Vince attempted to get a splinter out of Holly's finger and to make her feel comfortable while taking it out, he tells a fake story about a scar that was left on his knee when he got shot while delivering a package claiming the bullet from the gun fired went in through his neck and came out his knee (the scar actually happened when he was cooking a grilled cheese sandwich naked). While telling the story, he managed to take out the splinter without incident. That night, Holly and Vince fell asleep on the loft terrace which caused Holly to develop feelings for Vince she didn't want because she was dating Henry at the time.
Vince eventually found out and sparks began flying between the two. When Holly announced that Henry had moved on with another girl after their breakup, Holly gave Vince the all-clear to go into a relationship, only to find out Vince slept with one of his female friends. He began trying to win Holly's heart after his mistake and joined Holly when she left for a summer internship in Paris. When Vince found out that Holly had started dating musician Ben, he became jealous of him and repeatedly uttered that Holly should break up with Ben. When Holly and Ben broke up, Vince got another chance to get together with Holly until she found out that he and Holly's other friend Tina slept together the night before Val's wedding to Rick. Holly and Vince attempted to reestablish some sort of relationship. After Holly attempts to win back Vince by stowing away in his car to Florida, he took along his ex Rick. After she confessed her feelings to him, Vince and Holly became a couple. Their relationship lasted for most of the fourth season until his boss and company president's daughter, Robyn at his new job as a real estate agent began a plot to steal Vince away from Holly. Not believing Holly's story, they broke up but when Vince found out that Holly's suspicions were true, he attempted to win Holly back but changed his mind and decided to take a job in Chicago, only to change his mind again and surprise Holly at Val's wedding becoming a couple once more.
Lauren Emma Jones
The character of Lauren Jones was portrayed by Leslie Grossman during seasons 2-4, recurring from season 1. The character's last name was never actually given on-screen. Lauren is Val's very best friend and co-worker who led quite an unusual life. She joined the New York office of Harper & Diggs after moving from Chicago. She started off as a rival of Valerie's for a promotion, attempting to schmooze Vic any way she could. Because if of always being in competition with her as well, she was very bossy, impatient and came off as highly self-centered. When Val convinced Holly to come up with a plot to keep Lauren from getting the promotion, she finds out that Lauren had once gotten arrested for robbing a laundromat after being convinced by her boyfriend. Later, we learned that Lauren was a size 16 in the fourth grade and was teased by classmates for being "big-boned and jelly-like." Lauren has had so-so luck with relationships. She was engaged to a doctor, but their engagement was broken off when he caught Lauren rolling in a pile of cash belonging to Holly.
It is shown a few times in the series that Lauren truly cares for Holly as Val does, and thinks of her like a sister. An example of this is when Holly was about to leave for Paris and Lauren said "I love you." Holly then said, "I love you too," and Lauren said, "More than Val?" Lauren has also been shown to give Holly really good advice about relationships, but also sometimes bad advice.
Lauren cares for Val a lot, and their friendship is almost like a sisterhood. Val and Lauren have worked together through the entire series. First at Harper & Diggs, then at Val and Lauren's own PR business, and then at the bakery. An example of how much Lauren cares for Val is when Val and Vic are about to sign the annulment papers. Lauren can see that Val is actually starting to fall in love with Vic, so she "accidentally" spills wine all over the papers, postponing the annulment. As a result of this, Val and Vic shared a dance, and eventually were married. In return, Val cares a lot for Lauren. Val looks out for Lauren, and always tries to help her. Lauren and Val are the best of friends.
Lauren later had a relationship with Val's ex-fiancé Rick (who was married to his ex Julie) which started off as an online affair. Nevertheless, they were shocked when they found out they were corresponding with each other romantically online. While Lauren was making love to Rick, he had a heart attack which Lauren confessed her affair to Val. She eventually became romantically involved with Marcus, a friend of Vic's, and also firefighter.
Tina Jennifer Haven
The character of Tina Haven was portrayed by Allison Munn. Tina, much like Lauren, has a bit of trouble with relationships. Tina has a reputation for sleeping with guys but stresses she's "not a slut." She and Holly met when Val was trying to attract Tina's mother Judith, a child psychologist and author, as a client for her PR firm. Val figured it would be a good idea for Holly and Tina to meet. During their meeting, Tina was caught by Judith with a pregnancy test (the test turned out negative). Holly stuck up for Tina claiming the test was hers. The two became best friends with a few bumps along the way. An example of what these "bumps" are usually like is in one episode, she uses her breasts to get her boss to become attracted to her (Wearing clothes that show large amounts of cleavage, etc.), so that she would get a promotion at her new job that Holly found for her, leading to major tension between them.
Tina had a crush on her boss at a veterinarian's office where she was an assistant. She then found out that her boss and his separated wife got back together but that didn't stop her from still being very attracted to him. The night before Val's wedding to Rick, a heartbroken Tina (after getting involved in a whip cream fight with him) kissed and later slept with Vince. They attempted to keep the incident a secret, but Tina blurted it out to Holly, temporarily damaging their friendship. They eventually made up and became friends again. Tina managed to find a boyfriend in Officer Rubin, a police officer for the New York Police Department.
During the course of the series, Tina had mixed feelings about Gary, hating him sometimes and being attracted to him other times. This back and forth culminated in a kiss, shocking them both. The two got together in the series finale.
Tina displayed a talent for singing, as shown in a few episodes such as the season finale, Split Ends, Jazz Night, and Finally.
Vic Kyle Meladeo
The character of Vic Meladeo was portrayed by Dan Cortese during season 4, recurring from season 1. Vic started as the boss at Harper & Diggs, the public relations firm where Val worked. But is later known to be a fireman. After Val broke up with Jeff, she developed some unwanted feelings for Vic, which led to the two almost kissing, news Holly accidentally spread around the office. Then, when Val talks to Vic about the kiss, they end up kissing for real, but a relationship never happens.
Three years after leaving Harper & Diggs, Val reunited with Vic in Atlantic City, where after a night of heavy drinking, they got married in a wedding chapel. Val finds out that Vic became a firefighter. Val at first was not keen on the idea of being married to Vic, but her feelings for him softened as the fourth season progressed. They finally kissed on Thanksgiving Day, the day that Val and Rick's wedding fell apart.
After finding out while watching the news that their marriage was invalid because the minister/Elvis impersonator that married them wasn't an ordained minister, Val and Vic decided to get married for real. Initially, they were going to get married at City Hall but eventually decided on a real wedding in a church. After a search for a criminal delays Val and Holly leaving a spa and getting to the church on time, they managed to make it to the church and got married then and there.
Jeff David Campbell
The character of Jeff, Val's first boyfriend during the series was portrayed by Simon Rex during season 1. The character's last name was never actually given on-screen. Jeff was the manager of his father's restaurant early on in the series eventually becoming the manager of the restaurant B-91, where Holly, Gary and Henry hung out at near the end of the first season. Jeff and Val were in a relationship for about a year until Jeff revealed his feelings about marriage to Val after a date on Valentine's Day, which Val (thanks to Holly) mistakenly thought that Jeff was going to propose to her. The two broke up but that wasn't the last time they would get together.
One night, after Val explained to Holly why it is important to wait until she's emotionally ready to have sex and that "sex is not a game", Val and Jeff slept together, which Holly saw as being hypocritical. It was afterwards that Val decided it would be best that they not see each other anymore until they could "do it without doing it."
Henry Cole Gibson
The character of Henry Gibson was portrayed by Michael McMillian during season 2, recurring in season 1. Henry was Holly's first boyfriend and first love. Holly and Val met Henry in a men's bathroom at B-91 during a girls' night out where Val, playing wingman for Holly to attract a guy, is kissed by Holly's intended target. Distraught, Holly tries to escape Val in the men's bathroom only for Val to follow her in there. There, Henry almost uses the bathroom in front of them as Holly and Val are talking. Val attempts to mend Holly's broken heart by having her meet Henry. Holly went on a fake date with Henry so Gary wouldn't be alone and dumped by his girlfriend on Valentine's Day with Gary and his girlfriend Jill. During the date, Henry impressed Holly with his hypothetical proposal of marriage to her (he said he would propose to Holly at a garbage dump, so when she felt sad, he could remind her of the event to cheer her up). The two became a couple.
Henry became jealous of Holly's friend Vince, which Holly explained that he shouldn't be jealous of which caused her to blurt out (and eventually take back) "I love you." Henry broke up with Holly when he found out that she had feelings for Vince. He eventually moved on with a girl named Kate. They broke up when Kate questioned Henry about his feelings for Holly after they overhear Holly and Valerie fighting over Holly's feelings for both Henry and Vince. Henry kissed Holly twice before her summer trip to Paris. He waited the summer for Holly, hoping he could win her back only to find out she moved on from both Henry and Vince with Ben, a musician from United Kingdom. Henry eventually left for Princeton University and dated a girl coincidentally named Holly.
Ben Maxwell Sheffield
The character of Ben Sheffield was portrayed by David de Lautour during season 3. Ben was Holly's British boyfriend for most of the third season. The two met in England when he was performing his music in a pub where Holly traveled during her summer in Paris where she was supposed to be a tour guide. Sparks flew and soon after, Ben joined Holly on a flight to New York. Despite their passionate relationship, they never had sex.
When Henry and Vince saw Holly kissing Ben at the airport, they were nevertheless shocked. Ben and Holly broke up after only six months together after Holly accidentally says "I love you too, Vince" instead of "I love you too, Ben." After the breakup, he wrote a song about their breakup called "Holly Tyler Sucks" which Holly wasn't fond of. The two remained friends despite their breakup. Ben disappeared after the third season.
- Ben's middle and last names are a parody of the British main character Maxwell Sheffield of the hit tv series The Nanny
- It is revealed in "The Longest Night of the Year" that Ben sleeps in his boxers.
Peter Collin Gold
The character of Peter was portrayed by Stephen Dunham during the first half of season 2. Peter took over as Val's boss at Harper & Diggs, and Val had some mixed feelings about him. After being pushed by Holly, Val went on a date with Peter, only to find out that he had an affair with his friend's wife which sealed Val's decision to not embark on a relationship with Peter. As the first half of season two progressed, Val started falling for Peter a bit. He disappeared with the only explanation being he was going on a business trip to Europe, and was mentioned one last time during Val and Rick's first meeting at the Liberty Diner.
Arranged by the number of episodes in which they appeared:
- Edward Kerr as Rick Kerr (seasons 2-4) - Val's boyfriend/fiance until he reveals that he's commitment phobic the day of their wedding.
- Anicka Haywood as Jill Erikson (seasons 1-2) - Gary's girlfriend until she lies about going to Paris to break up with him.
- Sara Erikson as Robyn Marquette (season 4) - The woman that Vince works for in the fourth season. Holly breaks up with Vince because she finds out that Robyn is after Vince and Vince doesn't believe her. He eventually figures out that Holly is right and they get together in the series finale.
- Danneel Harris as Kate (season 2)
- Luke Perry as Todd (season 3) - A plumber who went to Val's high school and had a one-night stand with her. They have a very brief relationship in the third season. After Val gets drunk, she has a dream that she married Todd, until she wakes up to find out she actually married Vic.
- Scott N. Stevens as Dave (season 3)
- Ken Marino as Brad (season 3)
- Minka Kelly as Ricki (seasons 3-4) - An old flame of Vince's, whom he briefly dated after their reunion, much to the consternation of Holly, who was still in love with him.
- Tamyra Gray as Danielle Johnson/Dulay - A dance major at NYU who is friends with Tina and starts dating Gary. After performing Tina Turner's "Proud Mary", Holly decides to become a talent manager with Danielle as her first client. However, she is signed by a major label instead.
- Barry Bostwick as Jack Tyler (season 4; in "Pilot" Mr. Tyler was played by Peter Scolari) - Holly and Val's father who moves to Japan, leaving Holly in the care of Val. In the fourth season, he comes back and tells the girls that he's gay. He tells Val that she and Vic are in love and that she should go after him. There is on ongoing joke that every time he sees Vince, he calls him either Henry or Ben.
- Scott Weinger as Rubin (season 4) - Very briefly Tina's boyfriend until she gets together with Gary.
- Mark Weiler as Marcus (season 4) - Vic's fire station buddy, who gets involved with Lauren.
- Jason Priestley as Charlie (season 4) - A stalker who goes out with Val when Val is trying to convince Vic that their marriage means nothing. Charlie proposes on the first day they meet and Val eventually gets rid of Charlie when she tells him that she and Vic are married.