Wally Darling

"Wally Darling is the friendliest neighbor in Welcome Home, perhaps even the best painter too. With a smile like his it’s hard to disagree! Always eager to make new friends and show them around the neighborhood, Wally is happy to lend a helping hand. But you knew that already, didn’t you?"
- from Wally Darling's character card.
"That's the most!"
- Wally Darling's signature catchphrase.

Wally Darling is one of Home’s nine residents, and the most prominent character in both Welcome Home and its titular in-universe puppet show. Back when Welcome Home was still airing, he served as the closest thing the show had to a protagonist, being the one to introduce the theme of each episode and learn alongside the viewer. In addition to this role, he also had his own recurring segment, in which he would draw and paint with viewers. In the present day, Wally is attempting to communicate with you through the Welcome Home Restoration Project’s website, although his reasons for doing so are currently unknown.

For a full image gallery of this character, please click here.

Profile

Background

Wally was present for every episode and storybook for Welcome Home, as well as the focus of most merchandise and other advertisements. Little is known about Wally outside of his role as the show's audience surrogate; there is currently no mention, or even an indication, that he has ever lived anywhere but Home.

Appearance

Wally is a small yellow humanoid puppet with red eyelids, dark blue hair styled in an exaggerated pompadour, and no nose. His standard outfit consists of a red ascot, a white button-up shirt, a blue cardigan with yellow trim and yellow buttons, and pants with a vertical striped pattern of red, orange, yellow, and blue, as well as black and white saddle shoes. The soles of his shoes also have a heart on them, in order to match with his best friend Barnaby. He has distinct, almond-shaped eyes, in contrast to his neighbors' rounder ones, and is always smiling.

Personality

On the show Welcome Home, Wally is polite, inquisitive, and literal-minded. He has a simple, blunt manner of speech and a monotone voice; this is perhaps most apparent in his signature laugh, which is more akin to him saying the words, “ha, ha, ha,” than a true involuntary reaction. Although these traits can make him come across as rather naive and/or disinterested, Wally is genuinely eager to learn from his neighbors and the world they live in, in a manner befitting that of an audience surrogate – however, he may not always draw the correct conclusion from the information he gathers. He considers himself pretty, and seems very pleased to know when others find him charming, as evidenced by a 1969 interview; he does not always charm people intentionally, but he is quick to play along when it happens regardless. While Wally is capable of experiencing more unpleasant emotions such as sadness or frustration, his expression of these feelings tends to be relatively understated, and he may not always understand what has prompted them.

On the WHRP's website and in recovered materials, Wally retains many of these qualities. However, he also exhibits a more melancholic and obsessive personality, especially where you or Home are concerned. Although many of Wally’s messages are rather cryptic, whether this is him being intentionally secretive or if it is simply a side effect of his method(s) of communication is left ambiguous.

In the bug videos, he comes across as uncharacteristically distant from his neighbors, only reacting to a given situation when verbally acknowledged by one of them, at which point the video will cut out before his response can be heard.

Plot

Wally’s involvement in the plot of Welcome Home begins around the same time as the WHRP’s, if not earlier. From the beginning, many of the oddities that can be found in the site center around him, and he is quick to leave messages directed towards you once you take notice of him. Early examples of such messages include the Guestbook messages, “You,” and “So Below.” The January 17th 2023 update also introduces the YXWVOE pages, discovered by locating a series of off-center letters throughout the WHRP website and rearranging them into different combinations. While all of the YXWVOE pages contain discoveries of note, two in particular become relevant in later updates: voywex implies that although Wally has found a way to contact you through the WHRP website, this method is imperfect, leaving him unable to “see” or "hear" you, and yxwvoe confirms that Home is active alongside Wally.

In the July 27th 2023 update, Wally grows more desperate in his attempts to communicate with you. He leaves several drawings around the site, including in secret pages. These drawings link to a series of hidden records in which he attempts to make small talk with you, before audibly breaking down over being unable to properly perceive or receive any tangible response from you. Insects begin to appear throughout the site as well, linking to a series of videos all following the same pattern: a still shot featuring an offscreen interaction between two of the show’s other characters, only for the footage to distort and end abruptly once one of them acknowledges Wally, revealing that he was part of the scene the entire time. It is unclear what point in time these videos are from, but all appear to be shot from Wally’s perspective. It is also revealed through this update that Wally’s attempts at communication do not stop with you; although the Question Answerer expresses doubt regarding the WHRP’s claims that Welcome Home is real, “Staff Only” reveals that both parties have been plagued by the incessant ringing of their phones - all but outright stated to be calls from Wally - ever since they became involved with Welcome Home. His Talking Telephone Toy audio also seems to be just as intended for the WHRP and/or the Question Answerer as it is for you, if not even moreso, although this has not been confirmed.

Although Wally takes a backseat to other characters in the October 13th 2023 update, clicking on the spider next to the transcript for the "Happy Haunting to Boo and You!" storybook record does reveal a video containing something interesting: Wally demonstrating the ability to eat with his eyes onscreen for the first time. On December 25th, 2023, we see his responses to the instructions left for him by the WHRP a month prior. Although he is generally cooperative, he expresses confusion with some of these instructions (for example, when asked to "reverse" an image of Sally, he produces a back view of her character portrait, as opposed to simply flipping the image horizontally) and isn't afraid to take liberties with others (for example, spelling the word "OK" out of various stickers rather than writing it as instructed, as well as constructing crude houses using other stickers off to the side.) It is also in the December 25th update that the YXWVOE pages' URLs are altered once more - where they previously redirected to a version of the same page with the word "delete" appended to the url, the appended phrase is now "nodelete." It's possible that this is Wally refusing an instruction from the WHRP, but this is unconfirmed as of the time of this writing.

Wally's role in the March 9th 2024 update is minimal, though not entirely by choice, as the WHRP's main goal for their new website is apparently to have a domain in which Wally cannot interfere. However, this doesn't leave him totally dereft of ways to reach out, as W reports receiving a phone call from him on the same day. In the phone call, Wally wishes W a Happy Homewarming (despite it being March) and performs a cover of "Toyland," notable for being part of the WHRP's publicly available findings. Although he appears more composed here than in past updates, he still expresses disappointment over a lack of response from W, as well as a reluctance to end the call. He eventually brings himself to do so, citing the fact that he must get ready for the holiday. Although he attends the Homewarming party seen in the television transmission W received in December, his presence there is of relatively little note.

Relationships

You

As a collective, you are very important to Wally. Although it is unclear whether or not you and the viewer(s) from Welcome Home’s original run are the same entity in-universe, Wally seems to be under the impression that you are at least a suitable replacement, and as such, he considers you Home's tenth neighbor. One of his first messages to you is to tell you that “you are [his] best friend,” as though to remind you, and later messages contain similar sentiments all revolving around the idea that you have known each other previously, despite evidence to the contrary. Although Wally appears to mean no harm towards you, it is also implied several times throughout the site that he is expecting something from you, just as he is expecting something from the WHRP and the Question Answerer. Whatever this something is, he trusts that “you will come with [him],” and he aims to "help you understand" eventually.

Although Wally has found a way to contact you through the WHRP website, this method seems to be an imperfect one, as it leaves him unable to substantially perceive or communicate with you outside of one-sided conversations and written correspondence such as the Guestbook (which was eventually closed on July 27th, 2023.) Wally does not seem to know why this is the case, and as seen in the hidden records, is deeply upset by it.

Home

Wally has always had a tendency to dote on Home, being the first to include it in activities with their other neighbors and taking it upon himself to write for them due to their lack of hands. This has continued to the current day; yxwvoe features Wally singing to Home and asking if they enjoyed it, and in the hidden records, he pauses to let Home introduce himself to you before continuing to speak. Pages such as “So Below” hint at a darker aspect of their relationship, however, drawing parallels between Wally’s affection towards Home and an act of worship or prayer. It is even revealed in the March 9th 2024 update that the holiday Homewarming was founded by Wally as a means of celebrating Home. Home's own feelings towards Wally's doting are a mystery, but they appear to reciprocate it some level.

In 14-14-bh, Home is the only character aside from Barnaby to notice Wally becoming unresponsive. Although they say something in response to this, they do not appear to be using Morse code, so while we can assume their reaction is one of concern, it is unknown what they were actually saying.

Barnaby B. Beagle

As both of their character cards state, Wally and Barnaby are best friends within the show Welcome Home. Although the fact that this relationship is emphasized repeatedly in illustrations raises some suspicion, both characters seem to consider the relationship legitimate. Where Wally is dreamy and earnest, Barnaby is more sly and down-to-earth, and although he isn’t above teasing Wally, he does encourage and look out for him in his own way. Activities the two often do together include morning walks, grabbing a bite to eat at Howdy’s bodega, and Wally painting Barnaby in various comical positions. Wally seems to view Barnaby as a reliable source of information, as he often turned to him during skits that involved Wally (and the viewer) learning something new. Wherever Wally goes, Barnaby is sure to follow close behind with a snappy one-liner on hand.

In 14-14-bh, Barnaby is the only other neighbor besides Home to notice when Wally has become unresponsive, and is shown to be audibly concerned for Wally's wellbeing before the video cuts out.

The WHRP

The WHRP appears to have a conflicted relationship with Wally, to say the least. Several secrets throughout the site suggest that their collective urge to continue uncovering what remains of Welcome Home is a supernatural compulsion that, if not outright caused by Wally, is fueled by him. Despite this (or perhaps because of it) the WHRP seems to be either unable or unwilling to acknowledge his presence, even as it becomes more overt with each update. In a similar manner, Wally appears to either be unaware of the aforementioned compulsion, or has accepted it as a consequence of whatever he’s trying to accomplish. Either way, as seen in “Staff Only,” he remains undeterred from urging them to continue their work. While Wally's responses to the WHRP's instructions in the December 25th update seem to indicate that he bears no ill will towards them, it is clear that he does not suffer from the same compulsions as them.

The Question Answerer

Wally appears to the Question Answerer in a dream shortly after they begin working with the WHRP on their live exhibition, and since then they seem to have been suffering from similar symptoms as the WHRP - namely, not knowing how to answer the phone that they keep hearing, but being overwhelmed with the feeling that they must answer at all costs.

Frank Frankly

Like with all of his neighbors, Wally looks up to Frank as a source of knowledge, and while Wally is not exempt from being the target of Frank’s exasperation, for the most part he seems happy to oblige. Frank is aware of Wally’s artistic inclinations and is willing to indulge them, as evidenced by a 1971 letter addressed to Wally seen on the WHRP website's “Merchandise” page, in which Frank attaches a diagram of an insect he believes would appeal to Wally for its unique coloration.

Howdy Pillar

Wally and Howdy maintain a generally amicable relationship, albeit mostly by way of Wally being best friends with Barnaby, Howdy’s favorite customer. In a 1971 letter seen on the "Merchandise" page, Howdy takes the time to personally notify Wally that he has more paint in stock, as (perhaps unsurprisingly) it appears to be Wally's most common purchase.

W

W differs from their fellow WHRP members in that they cannot bring themselves to destroy the evidence of Wally's presence despite their uneasiness towards it, instead opting to archive it on their own website. Still, it is difficult to determine their exact feelings towards Wally. Even if they are the one remarking that Wally is their favorite on the WHRP's "News" page, it is unknown if this is genuine or a front to appease others. Wally does call W on March 9th 2024, the date of the WHRP website's relaunch, but it is unclear if he is able to differentiate between them and other members of the collective "you."

Trivia

Note: In order to ensure that this wiki has the most accurate information it can, this list does not cite any posts prior to January 2021. Many thanks to maxiswhblog on Tumblr for compiling most of these; it saved me a lot of time looking for trivia!

  • Wally is the shortest of the neighbors, standing at around 3 feet tall. He would be surprised to learn of this. [Sources: 1, 2]
  • Like every other neighbor, Wally is an adult. [Sources: 1, 2]
  • Wally enjoys apples, but does not eat them. He much prefers to hold and look at them. Candy apples are included in this. On a related note, the concept of apple pie is a confusing one for him. [Sources: 1, 2, 3]
  • Wally would not mind finding a worm in his apple. He would consider it a new friend. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally is capable of eating non-food items. [Sources: 1, 2, 3]
  • Wally eats with his eyes. (Note: This was later revealed in the story proper on October 13th, 2023.) [Sources: 1]
  • Although Wally has food preferences, they are not based on flavor or edibility, but rather what is best to hold. He prefers warm food, like bowls of soup or mugs of coffee. [Sources: 1, 2, 3]
  • Wally prefers to eat when not being watched, as he considers it rude. Blinking counts as “not being watched.” [Sources: 1, 2]
  • Wally cannot sleep, as he does not understand it. When attempting to sleep, he will repeat “I’m sleeping” out loud. [Sources: 1, 2]
  • The other neighbors often pick Wally up, either at his request or simply on impulse. Julie has the hardest time doing so, but insists on it anyway. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally maintains eye contact to the degree that he does because he considers it polite. He could look away if asked. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally, along with several other neighbors, is autistic and/or otherwise neurodivergent. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally would look the most fashionable in the other neighbors’ outfits, although Eddie is a close second. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally could play the drums, but would not have a very strong sense of rhythm. The only songs he knows are what he has learned from others. [Sources: 1, 2]
  • Wally likes mirrors because they allow him to admire his own appearance. [Sources: 1]
  • To style his hair, Wally uses a single large curler. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally does not mind hugs, but often goes limp when embraced. [Sources: 1, 2]
  • Wally blows kisses to Home every day before he leaves and when he comes back (and a few times in between, for good measure.) Home hugs Wally by squeezing him in between their door and the doorframe. [Sources: 1]
  • The first thing Wally ever painted was an apple. The second was Barnaby. Wally is a slow painter. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally will often sit and paint with Home. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally's favorite animal is Barnaby. [Sources: 1]
  • In an Alice In Wonderland adaptation/AU, Wally would be Alice. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally first learned how to laugh from Barnaby, after failing to laugh at the first joke Barnaby ever told him. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally enjoys all forms of art, i.e. crochet, knitting, letter writing, paper crafts, ceramics, sculpture, etc. [Sources: 1]
  • When it comes to Sally’s plays, while Wally is good at mimicking others’ gestures, his performance suffers from flat delivery, and he often forgets his lines. He prefers to be in the audience. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally’s voice is inspired by Teddy Ruxpin’s, as well as Mark Baker as Raggedy Andy. In older recordings, he was voiced by Clown himself. [Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4]
  • When Wally trips and falls, he will remain facedown on the ground until someone comes to pick him back up. Usually, this person will be Barnaby. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally cannot scream. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally initially did not know how to draw hearts, and had to be taught by Eddie. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally is Barnaby’s primary target for his particular expression of affection - biting. It doesn’t seem to hurt. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally prefers his ice cream plain. [Sources: 1]
  • If the two were to go to a carnival, Wally would win Barnaby at least one prize through sheer strength alone. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally was first created in 2018. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally would be "curious" about the 1968 movie The Love Bug. [Sources: 1]
  • Wally's favorite muppet would be Rowlf the Dog. [Sources: 1, 2]
  • In a Splatoon AU, Wally would likely be an idol, or otherwise too nonviolent for battle, resulting in his teammates working to protect him instead. [Sources: 1, 2]
  • Julie dislikes playing against Wally in most games, as she considers him too easy to beat. [Source: 1]
  • Wally "both does not know what love is and is consistently falling into love over and over again." [Source: 1]