He is a guru who sits in the weight room of E.T.A. and lives off the perspiration of others by licking the sweat off their skin. None of the students know why he’s there. He often offers advice to the students who seek it. James Incandenza and Lyle stay overnight in the weight room, James getting drunk and talking while Lyle listens. Sometimes Mario Incandenza joins them.


Eric Clipperton, of the Eric Clipperton Legend

He is a sixteen year old tennis competitor who threatens to blow his brains out if he ever loses a tennis match. The people who have been forced to face Clipperton (and lose to because they do not want to feel responsible for his suicide) in tennis matches are called the Clipperton Brigade. One of the members of the Brigade is Ross Reat, and though Ross is a much more skilled tennis player, he loses to Clipperton and is destroyed mentally by the match. Clipperton rarely talks to any of other tennis players, though he did talk to Mario Incandenza while Mario films the tournaments. Though Clipperton never actually wins a legitimate game of tennis, he wins lots of U.S.T.A. trophies; then, once O.N.A.N. begins and Subsidized Time starts (during the Year of the Whopper) and the U.S.T.A. becomes O.N.A.N.T.A., a Mexican guy becomes the manager of the ranking system and doesn’t know not to treat Clipperton as a real tennis player, so Clipperton is logged as #1 in the Boys’ 18 and Under division. Clipperton comes to E.T.A. seeking counsel from James Incandenza, though Mario has to convince James to let him through the gates. Once Clipperton is inside, he has a meeting with James, Lateral Alice Moore, Dolores Husk, Lyle, and Mario where Clipperton eventually shoots himself with all of them present. E.T.A. now keeps the room where he killed himself locked and uses it solely as a place of ‘punishment’ per se for the students, calling it the Clipperton Suite.


Fresno Kid

Another Legend-type kid who wins the Pacific Coast Hardcourt Boys 18’s. After he wins, he drinks a glass of sodium cyanide-laced Nestlê’s Quik (gathering the sodium cyanide from his father who uses it for ink) and dies.


Blind Orientation Kid

Hal Incandenza is assigned to orient a blind kid from Philo, Illinois while the Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment new kids at E.T.A. are getting orientated, despite the blind kid having eyes of various developmental stages all over his head. He can only use one hand on the tennis court because the other hand holds a rolling IV-stand with a circular head holder to support his head.


Coach R. Bill Phiely

“Coach R. Bill ‘Touchy Phiely'”. He is found with a thirteen year old sexual companion, which makes it so all North American tennis academies have to have “diddle” checks to ensure that none of their students are being inappropriately fondled by adults.


Little E.T.A. Student

This is someone who, during the Year of the Whisper-Quiet Maytag Dishwasher, called the Pukers (the drills designed to be worse than regular conditioning) child abuse and forced two DSS ladies to watch over the premises at E.T.A.


Dennis van der Meer

He conceives the Side-to-Sides drill in BS ‘60s, the finale to the E.T.A. morning routine. He is a Dutch immigrant low-level pro who later becomes a major pro coach and tennis-education-theory guru.



A tennis player who burns out of tennis at the age of sixteen.



A tennis player who burns out of tennis at the age of twenty.


Arias, Krickstein, Esconja, Treffert

All of the above are too injured to play tennis in their later years of life.



A tennis player who suffers a well-known tragedy (presumably death) early on in tennis career.


Pat Cash

An Australian tennis player who is the fourth tennis player in the world at the age of eighteen, and then vanishes in his twenties.


Stan Smith

He is a tennis player featured on a cartridge-viewer that a few of the students are watching.


The Dean of the University of Arizona

The Dean of the University of Arizona. He is one of the authority figures present during Hal Incandenza‘s interviews in the opening of the novel.


Boston University Tennis Coach

He is friends with Charles Tavis.


Boston University’s Head Football Coach

“The Boss Terrier”. He is an Oklahoman who wears grey crewnecks and has a whistle on a string around his neck. He enlists Orin Incandenza as Boston University’s punter.


Special Teams Assistant

He is the assistant to the Boston University football team. He is a dreamy, Gauloise-smoking man.


Venus Williams

She is a real-life famous tennis player who is mentioned frequently throughout the novel.