Ralph Mariano is the former stealing partner of Earl Hickey, he is a supporting character and sometimes mild antagonist.
Before Season 1
Ralph was caught by the police and was in prison up until he was released for good behavior.
Ralph arrived at the Crab Shack after being let out of prison and surprised Earl. Unaware that Earl had changed and was now making up for all the bad things he had done in the past, Ralph began to steal things again. In the night, Earl took everything back that Ralph had stolen, hoping karma would not punish him. Ralph soon found out from Joy that Earl had changed his ways, and despite Earl trying to help Ralph to understand karma, the two ended up parting ways. However, Randy still enjoyed having fun with Ralph, leaving Earl on his own. Ralph tricked Randy into telling him where Earl kept his lottery money, and set out to get it after tying up Earl and Randy. However, the students from Earl's foreign language class arrived and helped Earl, who called the bank before Ralph could get the money. Realising that he should not steal from his friends, Ralph gave the key to the safety desposit box containing the money back to Earl ("Teacher Earl")
Ralph went to Earl Jr.'s fifth birthday party, but complained that it was no fun and that "the gang" never did anything fun since Earl found karma. Ralph was paid $175 to burn down Pops' hot dog cart, but regretted the decision and agreed to help Earl raise the $10,000 to buy a new cart. They decided to invade the Winky Dinky headquarters and steal stuff, however things did not go to plan and they ended up running from the police. Ralph decided to cut off his little toe, put it in a hot dog, and got $10,000 in compensation from Winky Dinky's, which he used to buy a new cart ("Stole P's HD Cart").
Ralph saw on Earl's List that he slept with his mom and he threatened to kill Earl, but he didn't want to kill his friend so he attempted to sleep with Kay Hickey. After that didn't work, Ralph saw the only way to make this right was for Earl to marry his mom. After the marriage was annulled, his Mom began a relationship with Tom Sparks, a former member of Van Hickey, who became Ralph's father figure ("Van Hickey").
After Earl was sent to prison, he discovered that Ralph was his cellmate and was pleased to see a familiar face("The Trial").
Ralph escaped from prison one night by crawling through a hole behind a poster and using a watermelon as a body double in his prison cell bed. Earl tried to wake him up, and he realized that it wasn't Ralph. However, Earl discovered he had written Earl a letter saying that he got tired of life inside and would have busted Earl out as well, but he ate the other melon. ("My Name is Inmate 28301-016 (Part 1)") When Earl gets out of prison, he meets Ralph at an old woman's house while delivering foreign food. After escaping from prison, he hitchhiked in his underwear and had Kenny James drive him around for a while. He soon found a house that had food from Meals on Wheels delivered to and tried to steal it. The old woman the house belonged to caught Ralph in the act but offered to give him some clothes. Ralph wears clothes that belonged to the woman's dead husband and she began thinking that Ralph was her husband. Ralph had good fortune with this until Earl stole his clothes out of jealousy. Ralph is then kicked out of the house in his underwear. He also appears with Earl's friends as they tell Earl about how they much liked the good Earl over the bad Earl, but he just thought that they were going to beat him up. He also took the glasses Earl left at the woman's house and resumed his alias Stan Johansson. ("Bad Earl"). Ralph is not seen again after this episode.
- It is unknown what crime he committed to get sent back to prison.
- It is implied he and Kenny had an sexual encounter, to which Ralph threatened to kill him if he told.
- He was briefly Earl's stepson and Randy's nephew from Earl's marriage to Lorraine.