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Paul Matthews is the main protagonist of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, as well as a minor character in Black Friday. He is played by Jon Matteson.

Not to be confused with his clone Paul Perkins.

Production Played by Song
TGWDLM Jon Matteson Let It Out
Black Friday What If Tomorrow Comes


Paul is a very blunt person to the point of being clueless about how this may make him appear rude sometimes. He's not a very ambitious person as he really wants for nothing except a relationship with Emma as he's a hopeless romantic at heart. Paul is extremely loyal to his friends to the point of risking his life for them but he won't do something he doesn't want to do. He also gets quite anxious in social situations especially important ones where he can become a big mess. However, despite this Paul can be quite courageous and is very straightforward with how he feels.


Paul was born in the town of Hatchetfield and lived there all his life. He attended Sycamore High and likes Hatchetfield and has never wanted to leave. His dislike of musicals began in 2003 when he saw a production of Brigadoon at Hatchetfield High, starring Emma Perkins. He also used to be the babysitter of Alice Woodward.

The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals[]

Paul is first shown at work in the CCRP office. He is rapidly typing on his computer when he is interrupted by his friend Bill who asks if he had accidentally sent a document to Paul's printer which he had. Paul is then interrupted by his boss Mr Davidson reminding him to have his reports on his desk by the end of day. Finally he is interrupted by Melissa asking Paul if he wants to sign up for the company softball league which he declines. A few minutes later Paul reminds his co-worker Charlotte that smoking isn't allowed in the office after she gets off a bad phone call to her husband. Following this Paul decides to visit Beanies the local coffee shop, to visit his crush, Emma Perkins. He offers to take Bill with him but the man declines opting instead to keep refreshing the webpage in his attempt to get tickets for he and his daughter. Paul is offered a ticket but he declines. On his way out of the office Paul is intercepted by his friend Ted who teases him about his crush on Emma and asks him to get a Chai Iced Tea for him.

At Beanies, Paul and Emma exchange a few words, with the conversation exhibiting their rather amusing awkwardness and chemistry. When Emma is forced to attend to an obnoxious teen, Paul walks out of Beanie's only for him cross paths with Greenpeace Girl. Amid their heated discussion, a storm appears, revealing unusual changes in the weather and the two watch a meteor fall to the ground.

The next morning as Paul makes his way to work, he notices people dancing in the street. He passes by the same Greenpeace Girl who bursts out in a song along with other town members of Hatchetfield much to his horror. The man eventually arrives at work confused, paranoid, and extremely uncomfortable. He gets called to his boss's office, of which starts singing, questioning his most profound hopes and desires again to his horror.

Paul flees to Beanies to get some coffee. Emma dismisses his fears that the world is becoming a musical as she runs to sing a tip song with her co-workers. However, both Paul and Emma are taken aback to discover Emma's co-workers acting in a trance-like state and finds they have poisoned their customers' coffee with some sort of "goo", Immediately, everyone at Beanies begins to dance and sing in harmony, aside from Paul and Emma who run out of the café in fear.

Paul and Emma escape to an alleyway, where coincidentally Paul's co-workers Bill, Charlotte and Ted have taken shelter too in the trash bins. Charlotte phoned her husband Sam, a cop, to save them. However, when he and two other cops arrive, they also seem to be in a trance-like state, singing and chasing Paul and his frightened friends around the stage. After managing to defeat the infected policemen the group decide to head to Emma's biology professor: Henry Hidgen's safehouse.

At Hidgens' safehouse, the professor investigates the blue goo that leaks out of Sam's head as the others get a drink from the professor's pantry. Paul is forced to intervene in an argument between Bill and Ted but eventually sits down to talk to Emma. Emma and Paul talk about their past including how Paul saw Emma in Brigadoon and Emma tells Paul about her sister Jane who died. However the moment is ruined by the appearance of an infected Charlotte and Sam who attempt to kill Paul and friends. Hidgens tells the group how he learned the aliens are using people's skin to fool them implying that any of the group could be one. To test that they're not the Professor has them sing the opening to the film Moana which is sung so poorly it is clear the group isn't infected. It as this moment that it is revealed Bill's daughter Alice is stuck at Hatchetfield High. Paul agrees to go with Bill to help get his daughter back.

When Paul and Bill arrive at Hatchetfield High, Bill laments over his failed relationship with his wife, and his fight with Alice over her girlfriend, Deb. Paul reassures him that everything will be okay, only to find that Alice, Deb and many other students in the school have also been infected. As a result, Bill tries to kill himself, but is stopped by Paul... only for Bill to be murdered by his infected daughter. The aliens then turn to Paul, when the army infiltrates the school scaring them away. They then knock Paul out, unsure if he's one of the infected.

Paul wakes up and meets General John McNamara, a member of the United States Military special unit PEIP. He tells Paul that his mission is "to make a clean sweep of what was once your town. No loose ends. No survivors." Instead, he decides to let Paul go, telling him of a helicopter that is set to pick up the squad in an hour. He also gives Paul his gun, and agrees to meet with him and Emma in an hour. Paul then returns to the safehouse and saves Emma and Ted from the aliens that Hidgens voluntarily let infiltrate the house.

As Paul, Ted and Emma make their escape, Paul gets captured by one of the aliens, and Emma runs after him managing to save him. When Paul and Emma get to the park, they find Ted and the army singing and dancing as infected zombies. They manage to fight through the crowd of infected people, and escape to the helicopter. However, mid-flight, Zoey - Emma's infected manager - reveals herself as the pilot, and pulls a gun on them. Paul kicks the gun away, only for Zoey to shoot the rotor blades, which causes them to crash. Parts of the broken helicopter stab Emma's leg, and she tells Paul to destroy the meteor and kill the aliens. The two almost share a kiss before Paul leaves but this is stopped by Emma coughing blood onto Paul's face.

Paul finally arrives at the Starlight Theater to blow up the meteor but as he grabs a grenade, the infected reveal themselves, and bids Paul to join them. Paul's proximity to the meteor, along with the high concentration of infectious spores in the air, compels Paul to sing. Nevertheless, he succeeds in pulling the grenade's pin, destroying the meteor, the infected, and himself.

Two weeks pass by and Paul appears to a now recovered Emma supposedly to take her to her new life in Colorado. However, as Emma and Paul embrace, he begins to sing, revealing that Paul has been infected. The rest of the cast join him as they dance their final number, a medley of all the songs in the musical. Once the cast has taken their final bow, they drag Emma off backstage to kill her.

Black Friday[]

Paul first appear alongside Emma driving. The Wiggly Jingle theme is playing, and an annoyed Paul switches the music off. Irritated by the jingle, he goes on a rant about how much he doesn't like the "advertising firms with their catchy jingles that worm their way into your brain". Soon after, Paul and Emma arrive at Tom Houston Emma's brother in law's house. Emma and Paul are let inside the Houston house and greet Tim Houston. Paul introduces himself to Tim, suggesting that he and Emma are dating (though she claims that they haven't put a label on it yet), but noting that they are intimate. It is then revealed that Emma and Paul are acting as babysitters for Tim while Tom goes on purchases Tim's Christmas present. Paul and Emma clearly pity Tom and his lack of planning as he underestimated the dolls popularity. They tell Tom that he should have been in line last night if he wanted a chance at getting Tim the doll at all but the man leaves anyway.

Paul and Emma later reunite with Tom as well as Becky, Lex and Hannah after they manage to escape Lakeside Mall. Paul tells the others about the bombing of Moscow and says that the news went out as they were talking about it becoming WWIII. Emma suggests that the group go hide at Hidgen's house but before they leave Tom notes that it's almost midnight, meaning Black Friday's almost over, believing that if they can survive today, they can survive anything. The group then huddles together to await the end of Black Friday. As Paul and the group count down the final seconds, a whooshing noise is head overhead as the whole cast looks up and the stage fades to black.

Watcher World[]

Paul is mentioned by Bill in Watcher World when he remarks that Paul told him someone died on the Tear Jerker, a ride at Watcher World the theme park.

Forever and Always[]

In Forever and Always it is revealed that what had initially thought to have been Paul was killed and replaced by his clone double Paul Perkins.

Jane's A Car[]

Paul is mentioned by Tim as 'Uncle Paul' in Jane's A Car when he tells his dad that he taught the boy the word intimate. In response to this Tom calls Paul a geek and says he needs to shut his mouth.

Honey Queen[]

Paul is in the audience of the 75th Annual Honey Queen pageant.


  • The name 'Paul' is of Latin origin, meaning 'small' or 'humble', and the patronymic surname 'Matthews' means 'gift of Jehovah'. As a result, the name Paul Matthews could be interpreted as 'small gift of Jehovah', or 'humble gift of Jehovah'.
  • The surname 'Matthews' is a reference to Matthew, the protagonist of 1956 the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers, TGWDLM's primary inspiration.
  • Paul shares his full name with the main character of 1992's comedy Love Potion No. 9. According to Nick Lang, this was not intentional.[1]
  • Paul's journey during TGWDLM actually somewhat mirrors that of the Christian saint of the same name. Paul the Apostle initially assisted in persecuting the Christians, until his revolutionary conversion to the group he had previously despised, before dying a martyr; Paul Matthews initially despised the Hive and all they stood for, even sacrificing himself in the hope that he would rid the planet of the pathogen, before joining the very thing he swore to destroy.
  • Paul was born in 1987.[2]
  • Paul likes 90's alternative, what he grew up with.[3]
  • Paul started working at CCRP Technical in 2011/2012, which is when and where he first met Bill.[4]
  • Paul babysat Alice in 2013, and despite Bill's attempt to butter him up in TGWDLM, Alice does not think that Paul is cool, and may not even remember him.[4]
  • Paul likes black coffee, and although the Beanies coffee isn't particularly good, he goes there in order to see Emma.[5]
  • During What Do You Want, Paul?, it is implied that Paul is not heterosexual, as when asked, one of the things he wants in life is a 'partner' (a gender neutral term for a significant other, as opposed to saying "wife" or "girlfriend.") Although this cannot be heard so well in the live version, it is very clear in the recording. So far, it is unknown as to whether this subject has been broached to the cast or creative team.
  • Jon's audition for Paul can be found on his personal YouTube channel. In Jon's audition for Paul, it can be seen that Paul was originally going to be a film critic, as he is reviewing the Hamilton live action movie, a film that won't exist for another two years after the events of TGWDLM. Supposing the zombies still make movie musicals.
  • In Black Friday, Paul works for CCRP Technical.[6]
  • As the meteor never struck in Black Friday, but they'd already started talking before the Apotheosis in TGWDLM, in Black Friday's timeline either Emma or Paul would have just asked the other out, "like ya do".[7]
  • Although Paul was content enough to avoid Wiggly's control from afar, if he'd had direct contact with one of the dolls then he would've have done what everyone else did and try to get the doll at any cost.[8]
  • When Jeff Blim asked Nick Lang if Paul was non-binary, Lang responded with a "sure thing, man!" However, this doesn't make it officially canon, as if it were, Paul would probably be played by a non binary person[9]