With its powerful statements on parenthood, race, and wealth vs. poverty, the Hulu drama Little Fires Everywhere made a big splash. With only eight episodes in season 1, fans watched the town of Shaker Heights, Ohio become divided over a baby named May Ling and which person she belongs with: her biological mother Bebe, or Linda, who found her at a fire station. To make things even more complicated, Mia and Pearl Warren come to town, which has a ripple effect on the rich Richardson family, led by the seemingly perfect Elena.
While some characters are easier to like than others, and not everyone deserves any kindness or understanding, the cast of characters in Little Fires Everywhere has made a big impression on viewers. These characters have the most memorable character arcs and help the show explore major ideas.
10 Bill Richardson
Elena’s husband Bill isn’t the most fascinating person, and he’s all about tradition, family, and keeping up appearances. But the show would feel very different without him as his presence helps explain Elena’s behavior over the years.
Fans learn that Elena didn’t want four kids, and in a flashback, she was exhausted, overwhelmed, and scared, unable to keep up with her domestic life. Bill has never sympathized with Elena’s plight and fans see that they have a by-the-books marriage that might look great to everyone else but doesn’t seem to have that much real love and affection.
9 Linda McCullough
Fans can see that Bebe should take care of her daughter May Ling, and the fact that Linda believes she’s her real mother creates an incredibly dramatic season. Linda is another important Little Fires Everywhere character, but she’s not likable at all.
While fans sympathize that she has been unable to have children, stealing someone else’s baby is never justified, and she should understand how painful and horrible this is for Bebe. Like many other characters, Linda’s storyline examines class, race, and motherhood, so she’s a key part of the show.
8 Lexie Richardson
Lexie is another great character in this popular TV drama, although fans recognize that she can be mean and problematic.
On the one hand, Lexie thinks of herself as a kind and compassionate person, and she just wants to do well in school and go off to college. On the other hand, she doesn’t check her privilege or take any criticism, and she pretends that an experience that happened to Pearl happened to her, which is awful. Fans are critical of this character, so she’s not as compelling as some others, but her time on the show is still powerful.
7 Moody Richardson
Elena behaves badly all throughout Little Fires Everywhere, and it’s fair to say that Moody and Izzy are her most intelligent and interesting kids, even if she doesn’t appreciate them the way that she should. Moody is a wonderful friend to Pearl and it’s sweet and moving to see him befriend her as soon as she moves to town with her mom.
Viewers can connect with Moody as he’s one of the kindest people in Shaker Heights, and he can tell that Pearl is an intelligent and fascinating person whom he wants to get to know. It’s also relatable that Moody falls for Pearl while she has eyes for his brother Trip.
6 Brian Harlins
Lexie’s boyfriend Brian is another significant character in Little Fires Everywhere. When Lexie complains about a drive-through employee and says that they aren’t college-educated, Brian is rightly upset about her words.
Brian and Lexie don’t seem to have the perfect, cookie-cutter future that Lexie has envisioned, and while Brian might not be as integral to the plot as some other characters, he still has a big impact on the story.
5 Izzy Richardson
Izzy is a fan-favorite character thanks to her rebellious nature. She’s immediately introduced as the Richardson child who doesn’t follow rules and doesn’t like her family’s perfect, wealthy lifestyle.
Fans connect with Izzy as she realizes that her mom didn’t want a fourth child, and she feels totally abandoned and ignored by her parents. She also hates that her mom supports Linda, which proves Izzy to be a compassionate, smart person who knows right from wrong.
4 Elena Richardson
While Elena can be a sympathetic character, she’s suspicious of Mia and proves to viewers that she is racist on several occasions.
It’s upsetting to watch Elena make statements that are so clearly hurtful and offensive, but since the point of this show is to discuss serious topics, she is a powerful character who can’t be ignored. Fans are also confused by Elena’s refusal to understand that Izzy is having a hard time and doesn’t feel like she’s a real, proper part of the family.
Of all the characters on Little Fires Everywhere, Bebe is in the saddest situation. She has left her baby, May Ling, at a fire station and is struggling to make enough money.
Bebe’s actions are the biggest regret of her life, and she feels deep pain every day about what she has done. When Linda takes the baby as her own, this sets up an intense, dramatic battle in town, as everyone has an opinion about who May Ling’s “real” mother is. The fact that Mia supports Bebe, her co-worker, adds even more fuel to this fiery situation.
2 Mia Warren
Mia and Pearl’s imperfect mother-daughter relationship is central to Little Fires Everywhere, making her Mia of the most important characters. Fans are invested in her story right away, as it’s clear that she carries around a lot of pain and secrets from her past.
Mia takes Bebe’s side immediately, as she can relate to being the subject of people’s judgment and harsh words. She has fascinating tension with Elena because of this controversial situation. From learning about Mia’s past in New York City to the dark secret that she has covered up, Mia is one big reason why this Hulu drama got so much praise.
1 Pearl Warren
As the smart, poetic, and creative new girl in town, Pearl makes quite an impression on the Richardson family, and fans love watching her bond with some of the kids.
Pearl is sweet, innocent, and charming, and she becomes angry as she can’t understand why her mom makes them move around so much. Pearl’s storyline becomes dark and powerful when she becomes so invested in Shaker Heights that she wants to stay forever, which Mia isn’t on board with. Watching mother and daughter together is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time and fans can’t forget how cool and intelligent Pearl is.