The Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Porter, KCB: A pompous naval commander with absolutely no seagoing experience, Sir Joseph is the first lord of the admiralty. He explains exactly how he came to his position in his song “When I Was a Lad.”

Captain Corcoran: The captain of the H.M.S. Pinafore, Corcoran is proud of the fact that he “hardly ever” gets seasick. He is also delighted at the prospect of getting his daughter Josephine married to Sir Joseph.

Tom Tucker: Midshipmate

Ralph Rakestraw: An able seaman who is secretly in love with Josephine, Ralph is thought to be a poorly schooled, common sailor; but he has the vocabulary of an Oxford Don.

Dick Deadeye: As ugly as his name implies, Dick Deadeye is a fellow crew member who tries to sabotage Ralph’s happiness.

Bill Bobstay: Boatswain’s mate

Bob Becket: Carpenter’s mate

Josephine: Captain Corcoran’s daughter, Josephine is being sought in marriage by Sir Joseph but secretly loves Ralph.

Hebe: Sir Joseph’s first cousin

Mrs. Cripps: Also known as Little Buttercup, Mrs. Cripps is a Portsmouth bumboat woman who has designs on Captain Corcoran.