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Hannelore "Hanners" Ellicott-Chatham is Marten and Faye's obsessive-compulsive[1] neighbor. She lives in apartment 33[2] (or 226)[3] (or 36)[4] (or 42)[5] above them with her robot companion Winslow.

Prior to Marigold she was Jeph Jacques's favorite character.[6] Through strip 1860, she has appeared in over 20% of all of the strips, despite not making her first appearance until strip 515.[7]



Hanners is the 22-year-old[8] only child[9] of two billionaire parents and lived on a space station for much of her childhood with her father.[10] She and Dr. Case have each revealed that her childhood[11] on the station was not very positive.[12]

Her mother is a ruthless business woman who did not show much affection to her only child. She has said she doesn't even know when Hannelore was conceived, much to her daughter's chagrin. Her father, with whom she is still in regular contact,[13] is an eccentric inventor who seems to have a rather far and away concept of science in general, despite making a fortune in his ventures. She felt neglected by her father[14] but has stayed in touch with him. Contact with her mother is less frequent and more stressful,[15] and Hannelore has matter-of-factly described her mother as "evil".[9]

Her parents are divorced and estranged.[10]

After a confrontation with her mother, she has recently left Northampton for parts unknown on a voyage of self-discovery.


Hannelore did not have a religious upbringing.[16] She has never been religious.[17]


Hannelore is self-employed with a business in which she counts things for people,[18][19], taking advantage of her OCD. She recently accepted a part-time job at Coffee of Doom[20] on a suggestion from her therapist rather than for the money.[19] She has found less joy in her counting job since taking up the drums[21] but has continued it at a reduced level.[22] She is the patron of the "Ellicott-Chatham Home for Widowed Drumsticks".[23]


Hannelore is college-educated.[24] Her major is unknown: she seems well acquainted with logic[25] and science but that could have been a result of her upbringing rather than her education.

There is contradictory information on this: on Formspring she said that she didn't attend college,[26] but in the strip she says she did,[27] and in Q&A Jeph Jacques said she didn't.[28]. Later on he said that she was joking about college.[29]

Social circleEdit

Hannelore has a robot companion, Winslow, who keeps her company.

Marten was the first human character she met but she's established friendships with everyone in the CoD circle. Of her coworkers, her favorite is Faye, who feels to her like a big sister and is only scary "SOMEtimes".[30] Overall, her best friend is Marten.[31]

Hanners has no roommate and in fact believes she couldn't cope with one due to her OCD.[32]


Hannelore suffers from OCD and other issues including another anxiety disorder, but faces her anxiety problems with incredible courage[33] and shows concern and compassion[34] for others. She retreats from the sass competitions of the other characters,[35] but is capable of intimidating flashes of extreme assertiveness,[36][37] all of which happen when a friend is in trouble. Of the main characters, Hannelore is, together with Marten, probably the most empathic. She is really, genuinely interested in other people, is capable of surprising insight, and really good in helping them to handle their own anxieties. Her interactions in the QC universe often seem symbiotic, in that, when she helps out one of her friends, this in turn helps her to battle her own anxieties.[38][39]

On more than one occasion she has entertained thoughts of extreme violence, including preemptively constructing her reactions to any number of violent encounters (even if they are perpetrated by her close friends)[40] and imagining killing them when she believed they are witnesses to her committing a felony.[41] Her readiness for violence extends so far she even has an app on her phone for planning bombardment from orbit.[42] Her quirks can be disquieting to the point of coming off as creepy.[27] She has even acknowledged being "creepy".[43]

Her OCD-fueled ability of counting has also aided her in becoming a very talented drummer, as she believes that "Drumming is counting using your whole body!"[44] She would like to count all the gold bars in Fort Knox.[45] In the past she said that the weirdest thing she'd been hired to count was a tossup between sand grains and back hairs,[18] but recently she has said that the weirdest was teeth.[46] She is also subject to having her mind racing over thoughts not related to counting.[47]

Hannelore has many quirks to her personality. She tends to search the internet for random things and at one point claimed that she had found every existing picture of cute animals, although she has a great dislike for certain animals[48][49][42] and has compiled numerous lists supporting her distrust.[50]

She loves kitties[51][52] and owns a National Geographic Big Book of Kitties volume[53] that she uses to cheer herself up when she is down. She also asks Pintsize to download pictures of sexy firemen for her[54] and when she encounters some firefighters in reality returns the pictures because "they are really sweaty".[55] She eventually swaps them for pictures of cute veterinarians holding kitties. She likes vanilla ice cream because it tastes clean.[56] Marigold got her interested in yaoi anime and manga, specifically "Magical Love Gentlemen."

Despite her challenges, Hanners does try to keep up with the gang's banter, even in situations where she is out of her comfort zone. She enjoys drinking with the rest of the gang.

Hannelore is childlike in some ways, for example her naivete and a love of making loud noises.[57][58] Her literal-mindedness[59] may be another example.

When in fear she tends to flail,[60][61] something her friends are aware of. They try to avoid putting her in situations where she would, or warn bystanders of her impending action.

It has been hinted that she has a crush on Indiana Jones,[62] but he is not her ideal man.[63]

For a long time, Hannelore was extremely intolerant of hugging ("Hugging Hannelore Heralds Heavy Hyperventilation"),[64] but recently, she has, spontaneously, hugged twice. When she was all excited over landing her part-time job at Coffee of Doom, she spontaneously hugged Marten (much to both Marten's and her own surprise),[20] and at the conclusion of the pretend-date with Sven, she (consciously) hugged Sven when he offered a handshake (much to Sven's surprise).[65] Most recently she gave her father a hug for his birthday[66] (something she hasn't willingly done since she was a baby),[67] indicating a slow but steady character development on her part. She has also demonstrated the ability to temporarily suppress her anxieties when helping her friends, though she openly states that she will eventually freak out when it's more convenient.[38]

Hannelore is happy with her life on Earth.[68] Her happiness level, as measured on the Fournier-Goldman scale, is over 10% of the lethal level.[69] Marten calculated it to be over the lethal level, but Hannelore's father found an order of magnitude error in Marten's calculations.

The space station AI, who may well know her better than any human does, described her as having "a sparkling intellect, a kind heart, and a boundless capacity for joy".[70]

Phobias Edit

She is afraid of clowns.[71] She has a mortal fear of Tapirs.[72][73] Her phobias also include the font Myriad Pro.[74]


Hanners has recently started knitting.[75] Her other crafts hobby is making stuffed dolls.[76]

She has learned to bake, which she does enthusiastically.[77]

She doesn't play most video games, considering them too stressful,[78] but she is intrigued by watching someone play World of Warcraft[79] and enjoys Katamari Damacy.[80]

Hannelore plays Scrabble.[81]

She is the drummer for Deathmøle.

She can understand Morse code and speak it fluently and without pause. She does this in Strip 1912, where she follows up Marten's joke telegram to Dora with the sequence (... .. -. -.-. . .-. . .-.. -.-- --..-- / -- .- .-. - . -.).

Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n RollEdit


Hannelore is in practice celibate because her mental health problems preclude physical intimacy. Even the idea of kissing grosses her out.[82] Hanners has very little knowledge about sex in general, not even about porn cliches,[83] and no experience besides being kissed once as a teen.[81][84] She does not understand many of the gang's sexual jokes and either blocks them out in order to avoid finding out about them, or ventures questions but is coherent enough not to take much notice of Pintsize's answers. However she does surprise the others on occasion, for example when Dora and Faye find her asking Marten what a vagina feels like.[85]

Her theoretical orientation is heterosexual, or possibly hetero-romantic asexual.[86] She enjoys sexy pictures of men,[54][87] and has fantasized about Indiana Jones.[62] She has also directly stated that she is not interested in women.[86] Her ideal man is apparently Mr. Clean, though she has no desire to have sex with him.[63]


Hannelore's most common source of mind-altering substances is her heavy-duty psychiatric medications, which can cause embarrassing side effects[88] or even outright personality changes.[43]

Hannelore avoids illegal drugs,[43][89] but used to smoke Nat Sherman cigarettes.[90] She continues to drink caffeine and alcohol, with a particular fondness for dry martinis[91] and Tom Collins.[92]

Music preferencesEdit

At first Hannelore only listened to Bach,[93] but has diversified her tastes since hanging out with the others, for example singing Atlas from Battles.[94] She has listened to enough country music to recognize Sven's work.[95] Listening to metal, as opposed to playing it, she usually finds stressful.[96]

She sometimes plays "Ride of the Valkyries" during a particulary epic cleaning session.[97] Her ringtone is "What a Fool Believes" by The Doobie Brothers.[98]

She has a strong dislike of free-jazz.[93] She has developed a dislike for Richard Strauss's "Thus Spake Zarathustra" from her time spent in space.[99] She does not want to be in a Metallica cover band, suggesting some dislike of the band.[100]

Hannelore appears to have a fondness for percussion instruments. In addition to being the drummer for Deathmøle, she owns a gong,[58] as well as a T-shirt for the Avedis Zildjian Company, which makes cymbals.[101]

Memorable quotesEdit

  • "I've been busy counting the hairs on my head. I got up to 10,456 and decided to come down here for a break. Or maybe I just hallucinated coming down here for a break. Either way, here I am! Maybe!"[102]
  • "But I'm CRAAZY, remember? I might turn his scalp into a lampshade for all you know."[1]
  • "I am a Scrabble cyborg"[103]
  • "I'm suspicious of any food that makes its own packaging. There could be spiders inside!"[104]
  • "I'm okay, don't come in! I'm just bleaching my clothes and scrubbing off a layer or two of skin, I'll be fine!"[105]
  • "A girl has to have SOME glaring contradictions in her life."[106]
  • "The sight of the sun rising over the curve of the earth is majestic and all, but you get REALLY sick of having to listen to 'Thus Spake Zarathustra' every time."[99]
  • "I prefer my beverages free of the excretions from the nipple of a large, stinky mammal."[107]
  • "Oh God why am I not worrying about anything there must be something wrong with my brain or I'm overdosing on my medicine or I've got early-onset dementia or the bird flu or something oh God I shouldn't be this calm I gotta go home and ... huh ... gnuh ..."[108]
  • "A boy kissed me once in the eighth grade. The doctors said I was lucky the boiling water didn't leave any permanent scars."[84]
  • "You smell that? Do you smell that? Fabric cleaner, son. I love the smell of fabric cleaner in the morning"[97]
  • "Hugging Hannelore Heralds Heavy Hyperventilating! It's a simple mnemonic! Use it!"[64]
  • "You have the bedside manner of an autistic vulture"[109]
  • "I don't CARE if 'that's what you bought the shark tank for', It's morally wrong!"[101]
  • "Oh, the cleaning services in this state stopped returning my calls a long time ago."[110]
  • "You can never be too prepared when it comes to cleaning."[111]
  • "There could be a crazy person living RIGHT IN MY BUILDING!"[112]
  • "Man, it's a good thing human females don't have venomous ovipositors, huh?"[113]
  • "I'm glad it's not a horror movie. I'd be the first to die, or turn out to be the killer at the end"[114]
  • "As pathogens go, friendship is pretty OK"[115]
  • "I have never been so mortified"[116]
  • "When you're five years old and scared of dying, knowing that the best you can hope for is a burst of dopamine and some pleasant hallucinations before oblivion isn't very comforting"[16]
  • "The most I can hope for is an epitaph that says 'She finally snapped, just like we always knew she would.'"[117]
  • "... I'm on to you..."[118]
  • "That's when I started to scream and they asked me to leave."[119]
  • "My name is Hannelore Ellicott-Chatham. I end messes." [120]
  • "It's dangerous to go out alone with strangers! Especially strangers who hug!"[121]
  • "How ... How does it work?"[122]
  • "...watching paint dry is pretty cool if you think about all the chemical and physical phenomena involved"[123]
  • "I promise I won't become so fixated on you I eventually murder you and make a suit out of your skin!"[124]
  • "Baking is wonderful! It's like science for hungry people!"[77]
  • "My favorite part was when you took on those four guys at once! And then that giant dog!"[125]
  • "I... I think I need a cigarette."[128]
  • "One thing I've learned is that normalcy is relative"[129]
  • "Marigold...HE...IS...FLIRTING...WITH...YOU!" [130]
  • "Someday, everything is going to go right for you, and it will be so wonderful you won't even know what to do."[131]
  • "I don't like remembering my childhood. It's full of dark and scary things."[132]
  • "It's big and loud and dirty and scary, but ... it's full of wonderful people and amazing things."[133]
  • "...must... read ALL the posts..."[134]
  • "I think I need a bear too."[135]
  • "Knowledge is power."[136]


Guide to strips featuring HanneloreEdit

Strip 313 mentions "the lady who lives in 226 vacuums at odd hours"...

Strip 515 and following introduce a highly confident Hannelore whose confidence, we later find out, was due to some medication she was on temporarily.[43]

At the time, she was confident, and somewhat scary.[1]

Hannelore is less confident, but still plays at being scary, in strip 663.

Hannelore shows that she can overcome fears and try new things in the arc starting at strip 861.

The arc beginning at strip 910 introduces Hannelore's mother and offers hints about how Hannelore got the way she is.

In strip 980, we learn that Hannelore accepts her mental health problems for what they are.

Strip 981 is the first of a few glimpses of Hannelore taking charge of a situation and raising her voice.

Although he does not appear, Hannelore's father drives the events starting at strip 1010, where he ships Hannelore a robot he hopes she will use as a trainer boyfriend. This leads to a funny incident with Pintsize and Winslow.

Strip 1109 is a good illustration of Hannelore's naivete about sex and her tendency to over-intellectualize things.

Hannelore acquires a new tool in her battle against anxiety in strip 1203.

Starting with strip 1219 we see that although asexual in practice she has some sexual curiosity and drives.

Happy Hannelore!

Her friendship with Marigold begins in strip 1420. By the strips beginning with 1633 it has progressed to the point that Hannelore can override her own reactions to help Marigold through a crisis.

Strip 1707 and following show Hannelore applying for a job at Coffee of Doom, and her reaction to getting hired.

Strip 1762 and following has her going on a pretend-date with Sven, in order to find out more on how dates work. While the date has its awkward moments, the two of them end up having a good time together.

Detailed historyEdit

Hanners was first mentioned by the estate agent that showed Marten and Faye around a prospective apartment. When asked if there was anything wrong with it (as Faye believed there had to be) she only stated that the woman who lived in the above apartment "Likes to vacuum at odd hours".[3]

She was first introduced when she met Marten in the ladies's room of a bar he frequented with Steve and Jimbo.[137] At this stage her character was presented as more outgoing and vocal, enjoying smoking and having 5 piercings in each ear, although she did suffer from OCD it was not as severe as it would later be portrayed. Marten went home with her for a game of Scrabble when he realized she lived in the same apartment building as him. While in her apartment, she let it slip that she'd been following him for awhile without his knowledge. Despite the creepy beginning, Marten realized Hannelore was (mostly) harmless, and he and Faye became friends with her. She continued to show up in numerous following strips and because of this became a notable character.

In one arc[138] her mother comes to visit and it is clear that they do not get along very well as Hanners is quite different when compared to her maternal parent. She is an exceptionally ruthless businesswoman as Hanners has made numerous references to her many exploits such as "Don't worry! My mother misplaced a decimal point and the Argentinian economy collapsed!" Her mother is well aware of their differences and, alongside wondering when she was actually conceived, stated that Hanners was brought up mostly by nannies, until her father took her to live in space where she had little to no contact with her only daughter. Despite this the two spend time with one another and after some initial difficulty began to bond. During a night out with friends everyone gets quite drunk and her mother bets Marten $2000 that Hanners would not go and touch a toilet seat with her bare hands. When Hanners swears her mother to the deal she complies with the bet, winning the money from her mother whilst conquering her fear.

Following these events Hannelore began to develop rapidly. She becomes more quirky and susceptible to her OCD and develops many different parts of her personality. She mentions that the changes were due to her being on very powerful medication to help her deal with her problem and that she had stopped taking them, proving that this Hanners is truer in nature. When asked why she had smoked and had 5 piercings in each ear she explained that smoking was something she had taken up to prove to herself that she can overcome her problems and has her own small goals to achieve, but has now quit.[43] Her piercings resulted when she went to a parlor, stating that a good establishment can be as clean as an operating theatre, so had no fear when getting them done. She does see a therapist, Dr. Corrine and even tells Faye about her so that she may also attend to deal with her own problems.

When talking to Marten one day she accompanies him to the music store where she falls in love with the art of drumming.[139] She buys a drum set and joins Deathmøle, becoming a talented drummer (Hannelore is able to do a double-kick with one leg[140]). She tells Marten that drumming helps her put her OCD to use by using her compulsion to count things and physically reflecting it. She and Marten become close friends after this encounter by talking about the band as he introduces her to more music.

One night she is hanging out with Sven and Faye on her 22d birthday, falls asleep and does not witness them kissing before making their way to the bedroom. She does however wake up early and sees them in bed together,[141], fretting because she does not know the etiquette for the situation. Unsure whether she should tell anyone she hides in her apartment before finding out that everyone had found out, saying she thinks Faye was unfair for telling everyone while she was scared to mention anything. After Dora shouts at Faye, Faye reacts by getting drunk, something her therapist told her to cut down on to promote her development. When Hanners encounters her she angrily berates her for giving in so easily[37] and that although the fight was bad it shouldn't stop her from getting better, and Faye resolves to stop her actions.

Her arrival on Earth may have been at age 11: that's when she started therapy, and she reported that useful therapists were not available in orbit.[10]


"I still get people asking why Hannelore was so different in these early comics. She was on some really hardcore medication at the time. I TOTALLY WAS NOT JUST FIGURING HER OUT AS I WENT ALONG" —Jeph Jacques


  • The Ellicott-Chatham family is named after Chatham and Ellicott City, places in Maryland not far from where Jeph Jacques grew up.[142]
  • Forum member bogusman82 points out that her full name is an anagram for "Can her mental health cool it?".
  • Hannelore's idea lightbulb is energy-saving.[143]


"I don't care if people overanalyze things. I mean, I think it's stupid, and they're wrong 99% of the time, but that's kind of what forums are FOR." —Jeph Jacques

Apartment numberEdit

Hannelore's apartment number is shown in two separate comics as being both 33 and 36, though the landlord states that her apartment is 226. Given that Hannelore lives upstairs from Marten, who himself lives above the first floor, it's logical that Hannelore at least lives on the third floor. Since apartment numbers typically include the floor number as their first digit, both 33 and 36 would make more sense than 226. However, not all apartment buildings follow that numbering scheme. Excluding a simple mistake on the part of the artist, one possible in-universe explanation of Hannelore's apartment number changing could be her occasional paranoia, particularly of assassins, robots, and evil henchmen, as a result of being the daughter of wealthy and influential people. She may routinely switch the number on her apartment around in order to try and fool any potential threats. Such activity is well within the bounds of what we know of Hannelore's character.


If researchers in the QC universe found out about the relationship between Serotonin and bone density before they learned about the mental health role of serotonin, then both her absence of bone problems despite growing up on a space station and her mental health problems could be explained if she took serotonin-reducing drugs as a child. This idea was torpedoed on Formspring where she said the station spins to create a constant 1g.

Hannelore's mother's uncertainty about how she got pregnant with Hannelore raises the possibility that Hannelore was some sort of genetic engineering experiment by her father. Her mental health problems might be a side effect of the genetic modification if so, instead of being hereditary. Genetic modification of her nervous system might also explain her superhumanly fast reactions.[144][145] At least one person took it for granted that she would have had augmentations.[146]

She has wondered whether she has a clone somewhere, saying it's the sort of thing her father might have done.[147]

"We are all figments of Hannelore's imagination.." —Jeph Jacques[148]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 520
  2. 1224
  3. 3.0 3.1 313
  4. 1085
  5. Number 2683: Blessed Silence
  7. Count of character appearances
  8. 1069
  9. 9.0 9.1 1152
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 665
  11. 2117
  12. 2134
  14. 1904
  15. 910
  16. 16.0 16.1 1295
  18. 18.0 18.1 523
  19. 19.0 19.1
  20. 20.0 20.1 1709
  21. 977
  23. 1053
  24. Number 596: Social Graces
  25. 1879
  27. 27.0 27.1 596
  32. 1586
  33. 1075
  34. 1681
  35. 630
  36. 981
  37. 37.0 37.1 1108
  38. 38.0 38.1 1635
  39. 1659
  40. 1172
  41. 1576
  42. 42.0 42.1 2468
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 43.4 1046
  44. 864
  47. 1276
  48. 2374
  49. 2375
  50. 1367
  51. 1077
  52. 1585
  53. 1348
  54. 54.0 54.1 1219
  55. 1226
  57. 863
  58. 58.0 58.1 1056
  59. 2363
  60. 612
  61. 918
  62. 62.0 62.1 723
  63. 63.0 63.1 1141
  64. 64.0 64.1 907
  65. 1769
  66. 2146
  67. 2147
  68. 2128
  69. 2129
  70. 2158
  72. 1293
  73. Number 1374: High Noon
  74. 1855
  75. 1267
  76. 546
  77. 77.0 77.1 1679
  79. 1492
  81. 81.0 81.1 521
  82. 1885
  83. 2356
  84. 84.0 84.1 896
  85. 1395
  86. 86.0 86.1 1493
  87. 1420
  88. 800
  89. 1279
  91. 921
  92. 1148
  93. 93.0 93.1 637
  94. 1206
  95. 1073
  96. 2454
  97. 97.0 97.1 897
  98. 2104
  99. 99.0 99.1 707
  100. 1987
  101. 101.0 101.1 994
  102. 517
  103. 528
  104. 631
  105. 632
  106. 669
  107. 711
  108. 801
  109. 928
  110. 1009
  111. 556
  112. 1063
  113. 1101
  114. 1104
  115. 1145
  116. 1188
  117. 1340
  118. 1374
  119. 1376
  120. Number 1416: Come With Me If You Want To Live
  121. 1422
  122. 1477
  123. 1489
  124. 1638
  125. 1702
  126. 1766
  127. 1846
  128. 2050
  130. 2140
  131. 2150
  132. 2159
  133. 2160
  134. 2316
  135. 2886
  136. Number 2780: She Likes OS X I Guess
  137. 515
  138. 912
  139. 861
  140. 1988
  141. 1080
  143. Number 2588: Deny, Deny, Deny
  144. 1633
  145. 2054
  146. 1902
  147. 1662
  148. 2280