Eric Bittle

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Name: Eric "Bitty" Bittle
Occupation: College student, NCAA Hockey Player, Baker, Vlogger
Relationships: Jack Zimmerman - engaged
Fandom: Check Please
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Eric Bittle is the main character in the webcomic Check Please! He is a gay, former figure skater turned hockey player who plays for the Samwell Men's Hockey Team as number 15.


Eric "Bitty" Bittle was introduced in the first Check Please! comic on August 8th, 2013. He is the main character of the comic, which is told in a vlog narration style by Bitty. His vlog has about 400 followers at the beginning of the story and serves as the framing device for the comic.

Check Please! follows Bitty through his four years of college at Samwell University, starting with his first day of freshman year and ending just after his graduation. The main focus of the storyline is his time on the college's hockey team and various relationships he forms with his fellow teammates, the most important of which is the romantic relationship he forms over the course of 2 years with Jack Zimmerman.


Bitty's Past

While creator Ngozi Ukazu has made some of Bitty's past canon in the comic, a theme often seen in fandom is expanding upon the hardships of his past experiences. In the comic, we know that Bitty has at least one stand out moment of bullying from his peers, when members of the football team lock him in the utility closet overnight, but often in fanon Bitty has further instances of bullying.

Of course these are not universal fan headcanons, just a popular one.

Fanon Characterization

Many people like to explore how Eric Bittle might have issues with his mental health. Some have a headcanon that Bitty could have ADHD, seemingly supported by his fixation on social media and what could be seen as executive dysfunction regarding school work. Some headcanon that he has anxiety stemming from his past bullying or from being closeted for so long.

It is a popular fan characterization that Bitty is very naive/shy in his relationship with Jack because he has never dated before. And there are a number of instances where fans headcanon that Bitty's coming out was much more fraught and divisive than it was in canon.


Fan Response

Fan response is generally positive towards Eric Bittle, the main character in the comic. Eric Bittle is the second most tagged character in Check Please! works on AO3, only behind Jack Zimmerman, and their relationship is the number one relationship tag for the comic.

One reason Eric is well received among fans is that he's a very modern protagonist, he's a vlogger, he tweets everything, and he loves Beyonce. From the very beginning, he was the underdog to be rooted for and many felt protective of a character who faints when someone so much as brushes up against him on the ice.

Because Check Please! was based around hockey it also introduced a number of fans, mainly young women, to hockey and the surrounding fandom. At the height of the comic, it was common to see IRL hockey being discussed alongside the fictional characters from the story. This has led to a number of Check Please! fanworks including Hockey RPF in their storyline, due to creators wanting to ground their story further into reality by having fictional players interact with real-life hockey players.

However, there are a number of people who critique Ngozi for Eric having, what appears to be, the perfect life as a privileged white male playing a predominately white sport, all while not facing any real opposition. Some considered it a glorified portrayal of LGBT and non-white players in "real hockey" & in criticism to fandom's defense. Ngozi has been very open when talking about Check Please! that she didn’t want it to be another gay tragedy, which she is well within her right to create, but there are valid criticisms of her representation.



Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.





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