It is nearly impossible to pick a favorite character from Abbott Elementary’s eclectic and colorful cast. The sitcom takes place in Philadelphia elementary school and follows a colorful group of teachers doing their darn best to help their students succeed amidst low budgets and a school district that could care less. These teachers are uncannily specific and zany — yet they all feel like they could be plucked from our own school day memories.
If you had to pick a favorite, though, it would probably reflect your favorite teacher in school — and that would say a lot about how you approached your own school days. Behold, a very accurate and scientifically-tested personality assessment that will reveal secrets of your past and perhaps hints of your future … based on which Abbott Elementary teacher you like the most.
Played by series creator Quinta Brunson, Janine is a young go-getter with big hopes and dreams for her journey as a teacher. If Janine is your favorite, you were 100% a teacher’s pet. It’s not that you were particularly good at school, but you maintained a rapport with your favorite teachers. You were the kid who showed up to class early and remembered things about your teachers’ personal lives. You ate lunch with them and spent recess pestering them. You did all the extra-credit assignments and raised your hand, even when you didn’t really know the answer. You strove to get good grades, but less because you liked to learn and more because you wanted the positive feedback from the adults in your life. Because of this, you also had a hard time relating to your peers and didn’t have a lot of friends. But that’s okay, because you got to eat lunch in the teacher’s room! That’s cool, right? Please say that’s cool.
Melissa, played by Lisa Ann Walter, is a no-nonsense second grade teacher from South Philly, who can get anything she wants by calling someone she knows who owes her a favor.
Your favorite teacher absolutely made fun of you. But you were totally OK with that, because you kinda felt it coming. Maybe it was because you were the only one who cared about school, or maybe you were particularly earnest and a do-gooder, or maybe you had an emo phase and wore bad clip-on hair extensions. The teasing was never mean, because you were in on the joke, and secretly you also just felt really touched that someone noticed you, actually. As someone who spent a lot of school days getting overlooked by your peers, you felt special when a teacher noticed you — even when it was in a lightly teasing way. You had a hard time connecting to others, but when you did finally find your squad, you really shone.
Or, if this does not apply to you at all, you should see Jacob’s entry instead.
Barbara (Sheryl Lee Ralph) is a legend at Abbott Elementary: a respected teacher with years of wisdom under her belt. So if she’s your favorite, you maybe sat in front of the class and kept color-coded folders. But your role in a group project was to make sure no one messed up. People who couldn’t follow simple directions annoyed you. You believed that the classroom rules were there for a reason and that the people who didn’t follow them were just plain rude. You got good grades and read all the assigned reading on time. You had great respect for your teachers, but at the same time, a lot of the other students respected you — when you weren’t telling the teacher that they were sharing homework answers. The thought of using SparkNotes absolutely disgusts you. In contrast to the Janine people out there, you did not actually volunteer or raise your hand first; you didn’t have to prove you were the smartest in the room, because you knew it.
Played by Janelle James, the principal of Abbott Elementary would rather focus on her social media accounts than run the school. As such if Ava is your favorite, you probably weren’t good at the whole school thing, but you really shone when it came to extracurriculars. You weren’t quite a class clown, but you did get in trouble a lot for talking and asking questions that weren’t all that related to the material going on. You liked to push the limits of what you could get away with in class. This was either a hit or miss with your teachers — but boy, when it was a hit, it was a hit and they treated you like the special star that you are. You may’ve been on first-name basis with some teachers, while others kept writing you up no matter what you did. Hey, taste isn’t for everyone! You dreamed of bigger things than grades and schoolwork. If you found an extracurricular activity you clicked with, then you threw yourself into it, but if not, you bounced around and just had fun meeting new people. You may have been involved in student government and probably ran against someone who took it waaaaayy too seriously, but because you were here for a good time, you dominated the polls.
Gregory (Tyler James Williams) is the newest teacher at Abbott Elementary, called in to be a substitute, and he really only is using this job as a launch-point to become a principal one day. You showed up to school because you had to, not because you wanted to. That is not to say you did badly in school; you did just fine, thank you very much. But you didn’t put any effort into doing anything else at school, besides school. Sure, you joined the activities you needed in order to make your resume look good for colleges, but you didn’t spend an extra moment doing anything you didn’t have to. Yet, despite the fact you actively went out of your way to not do anything extra, your classmates loved you and your teachers thought you were the bee’s knees. You’re not sure how this happened, but you may have been asked to give a speech at graduation or been elected to homecoming court. Everyone liked you and you’re not entirely sure how or why.
Sweet, sweet Jacob (Chris Perfetti) is another young teacher who was hired with Janine, and the butt of many a joke with his very earnest and sometimes (often?) cringe personality.
You absolutely made fun of your favorite teacher. You were cocky and picked one teacher who was an easy target. Early on, you decided that in order to show dominance among your classmates, you needed to be the loudest and most obnoxious kid in the room — and yes, that meant making fun of teachers. But none of this was done out of any malice; nah, your favorite teachers riffed you right back and you enjoyed some nice back-and-forth banter. They even wrote your letters of recommendation for you. With little effort, you maintained decent grades and skyrocketed to popularity. You weren’t really anyone’s best friend, but everyone liked you and knew your name.
Or, if this does not apply to you at all, you should see Melissa’s entry instead.
The eccentric school custodian (William Stanford Davis) knows his way around an electrical circuit, but would rather be fishing with his buddies. As a student, you were better with your hands than with your mind and didn’t like it when they stopped having classes where you got to build something. You and tests didn’t jive very well, but you were actually very smart and perceptive, burdened with the wisdom of life at a young age. You didn’t subscribe to the traditional way of doing things, which brushed up against your teachers back in school, but nowadays … you are free from conformity and do what you want, when you want, and how you want. Still, you’d rather be fishing.
Abbott Elementary returns on March 22, at 9 p.m. EDT on ABC.