Pop Culture dictionary

comfort character

[ kuhm-fert kar-ik-ter ]

What is a comfort character?

A comfort character is a fictional character who is said to bring a person comfort, such as while consuming the media that features the character or when thinking about them during times of stress. A comfort character is often a character that a person strongly relates to or feels like they would have a special bond with.

Comfort characters are often those with supportive, helpful traits, such as wise mentors, caregivers, and brave heroes. However, characters identified as comfort characters vary widely.

Sometimes, the term is jokingly applied to unexpected characters or things other than characters.

Example: SpongeBob is my comfort character. Thinking about him makes me smile when I feel sad.

Related words

fanfiction, main character, goblin mode, steamfunk

Where does comfort character come from?

woman enjoying book

The concept of a comfort character seems to have emerged online around 2020. The concept and term were popularized in 2020 and 2021 in part by a meme in which social media users provided examples of characters they considered their personal comfort characters.

Examples of comfort character

yeah, wanda maximoff is my comfort character, what about it?
@LaurieHernandez, February 10, 2021
The “comfort character” has become so popular that entire Twitter accounts have been created for posts about wholesome fanfiction of people meeting their favourites.
Frankie Lantican, VICE, October 2020

Who uses comfort character?

The term comfort character is most often used online, especially on social media, by fans discussing their own comfort characters. Sometimes, the term is applied jokingly.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of comfort character like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of comfort character that will help our users expand their word mastery.