Tender Branson 
The protagonist. By the end of the novel, he is the last surviving member of the Creedish Church/cult. At the beginning of the story, he works as a servant for a rich couple. He has been trained by the Creedish to be a menial laborer (i.e. a missionary of the Church), but he is bored with his existence and disillusioned with his faith. As the novel progresses, he becomes a religious celebrity and is credited for ideas and predictions that aren't really his. By the end of the story, he is wrongly believed to be a mass murderer. His story is recounted as an autobiography spoken into the black box of a plane he has hijacked and which is due to crash in just a few hours. Palahniuk has stated that he survives at the end of the novel by recording the last few minutes before the plane goes down and placing the recording beside the black box, all the while parachuting to safety, thus faking his own death.
Fertility Hollis 
A friend of Tender's. She meets him at her dead brother Trevor's crypt. At first, Fertility says she is repulsed by him, but as the novel progresses the two grow close. "Fertility" is not her real name but a pseudonym she uses for her job, which is acting as a surrogate mother for couples who cannot conceive. Her job is fraudulent in that she is actually sterile and has never managed to carry a child for a client. Fertility has the psychic ability to predict the future; she knows when, where, how, and to whom everything is going to happen, which takes all the fun out of life for her. She strikes up a friendship with Tender and helps him throughout the novel because she believes he is the only person who can surprise her. It is Fertility who leads Tender to hijack the plane. She also tells him that there is a way for him to "survive", but her meaning is ambiguous.
The Caseworker 
Tender's caseworker from the Suicide Retention Program. Her name is not given because Tender does not want to get her into trouble. She is assigned to him after the Creedish mass suicide, and generally leads a disappointing, unfulfilled life. Over the years, the caseworker diagnoses Tender with innumerable mental disorders from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (abbreviated "DSM"). One day, she helps Tender clean the house of his employers. She becomes obsessed with cleaning to the point that she virtually takes over Tender's job, even though she isn't very good at it. The caseworker eventually dies by inhaling chlorine gas created from an ammonia and bleach mixture made by Tender's brother Adam, who intended the gas for Tender.
The Agent 
Tender's publicity agent. His name is also not given. The agent is the brains behind Tender's popularity. He comes up with the ideas that Tender is credited for, such as his autobiography, the "Book of Very Common Prayer", and the Tender Branson Sensitive Materials Sanitary Landfill. He is also responsible for Tender's physical transformation, claiming that no one wants to listen to a fat messiah. He also believes that the key to Tender's success is to get as much publicity as possible. The agent dies from inhaling the same poisonous gas that killed Tender's caseworker, also attributable to Adam.
Adam Branson 
Adam is Tender's older twin brother. Because he was the firstborn, Adam got to stay in the Church community in Nebraska and marry, while Tender was among those sent to earn a living for the Church in the outside world. Adam is the person who leaked the community's illegal activities to the police ten years prior to the start of the novel, which was the event that instigated the community's mass suicide. Since then, Adam has been traveling the country, killing surviving members of the Church and masking the murders as suicides in order to motivate further suicides. His motivations are unclear. His goal seems to be to completely eradicate the Creedish beliefs and challenge the Church at its core. He also may see his actions as merciful to the victims of the cult brainwashing. In the course of the novel, he also kills the caseworker and the agent, making Tender the prime suspect in both murders. Adam and Fertility help Tender escape from the police as they come to arrest him, and as the brothers travel north in hiding, they return to the Creedish Church Compound, which is now the Sensitive Materials Sanitary Landfill. As they argue over their memories of the Creedish way of life, Tender crashes the car, which sends a dashboard figurine (of Tender) into Adam's eye. Adam forces Tender to beat him with a rock, thereby killing him.

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