Walter Shandy Father of Tristram. A man who loves hypotheses, theories, and erudition, and hates interruptions. He is an easily disappointed man.
Mrs. Shandy (Elizabeth) Mother of Tristram. A singularly down-to-earth woman whose outstanding traits are her lack of imagination and her inability to ask an interesting question.
Captain Toby Shandy (retired) Uncle of Tristram and brother of Walter. His main interest in life is fortifications and military history, and his character is one of gentleness and amiability.
Corporal Trim (James Butler) Loyal servant and former companion-at-arms of Toby Shandy. An eloquent orator who shares his master's enthusiasm for past battles.
Susannah The Shandy maidservant. A young woman who bustles about, she is the unwitting tool of various small disasters that strike the Shandy household.
Obadiah The manservant. Another bustler, distinguished by frequent maladroitness and poor sense of timing.
The Scullion A fat, simple kitchen servant.
Bobby Shandy The older son of the Shandy family. Although he never appears in the book, his death is discussed in Book 4, Chapter 31.
Tristram Shandy No. 1 The "hero," who is born in Book 3, Chapter 23. Victim of small misfortunes that seem great ones to his father. We see him rarely; all there is to him is the series of accidents, the question of whether his parents should put him into trousers, and the mention of a trip he took to France with his father and his Uncle Toby.
Tristram Shandy No. 2 The author of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. Laurence Sterne's chief character, he tells the story of the people listed above, he makes judgments about the events of their lives, and he gives us the step-by-step details of the problems and difficulties involved in writing this sort of book.
Parson Yorick The village parson. Friend and level-headed adviser of the Shandy family, his iconoclastic wit makes many enemies.
Widow Wadman A woman who has cold feet in bed. Disappointed in her first husband, she hopes to find a better one in Captain Toby Shandy.
Bridget Her maidservant. Sometime paramour of Corporal Trim.
Eugenius A man of the world. Friend of Parson Yorick, he tries unsuccessfully to teach him caution and prudence.
Dr. Slop The man-midwife. A very short, very fat obstetrician who attaches great importance to obstetrical instruments.
The Midwife An old woman who assists at the delivery of Tristram.
The Curate (named "Tristram") An officious person who baptizes Tristram.
Aunt Dinah The Shandy family scandal.
Lieutenant Le Fever An unfortunate soldier, sustained in his last moments of life by Mr. Toby Shandy.
Billy Le Fever Son of the above and recipient of the generous bounty of Mr. Toby Shandy.
Kysarcius, Phutatorius, Didius, and Gastripheres Learned men and acquaintances of Parson Yorick.
Jenny A casually mentioned young lady friend of the author Tristram Shandy.