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"And you know this, MAAAAAAAAN!!"
Friday is an urban comedy film created by Ice Cube in 1995 and directed by Felix Gary Gray (his first film). Friday tells the story of Craig Jones (Ice Cube), a UPS worker that ends up getting fired on his day off as the film opens; as a result, Craig hangs around the porch of his house for pretty much the whole day. Craig's friend Smokey (Chris Tucker) joins him as the duo observes the other oddball characters in the neighborhood. Things take a drastic turn when Smokey is revealed to owe money to a drug dealer named Big Worm (Faizon Love), who gives Smokey until nightfall to pay him for the weed he was supposed to sell (Smokey ended up smoking it instead). Craig ends up getting pulled into the mess, and the duo frantically try to think of a way to earn the money before the deadline.
A moderate success when it was released, Friday earned $28,215,918 in the international market; most of it came from the United States, where it was the 62nd most successful film of its year.
The film features a lot of well-known African-American actors who were relatively minor back when the movie was released -- it promoted Chris Tucker to star status. When Ice Cube decided to make a sequel six years later, Tucker declined to reprise his role; newfound religious beliefs made him want to shy away from playing a drug addict, which is why he wasn't present in the sequel films. (Many fans argue that the sequels suffered as a result.)
Next Friday, released in 2000, picks up a few days after the first. Deebo (Tommy "Tiny" Lister), the resident bully that Craig defeated in the first movie, escapes from jail looking for vengeance. Craig's father (John Witherspoon) decides to hide Craig at his brother Elroy's (Don "D.C." Curry) house in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Craig meets his cousin Day-Day (Mike Epps), then Hilarity Ensues as the duo bums around the neighborhood -- unaware that Deebo is tracking Craig down. Next Friday is slightly on par with the first film, though nowhere near as good.
Friday After Next, the third (and so far final) film in the franchise, was released in 2002; it is set at Christmas time rather than summer. Craig and Day-Day are living together as roommates in a ramshackle apartment, and the night before Christmas Eve, they're robbed by a burglar -- dressed as Santa -- who makes off with their presents as well as their rent money. The next day, Craig and Day-Day's landlady breathes down their necks about not having the rent money, threatening to send her son Damon (Terry Crews) -- who just got out of prison -- to beat the rent out of them if they don't pay up. The duo spend the film working as strip mall security guards, once again observing the colorful residents while getting into hijinks and attempting to find the crooked Santa that robbed them. Friday After Next is often viewed as vastly inferior to the previous two films, although it does have its moments (and its fans).
The series received a short-lived animated adaption on MTV2 -- but no one cared about it (thus the "short-lived" qualifier).
The Friday franchise provides the following tropes:
- An Aesop: Craig's father gives one when he finds Craig with a gun in the first movie.
Mr. Jones: (shows Craig his fist) You win some, you lose some. But you live...you live to fight another day!
- The Alleged Car: Smokey's.
- Animated Adaptation: Bleh.
- Animated Credits Opening: Friday After Next
- Anticlimax Boss: Deebo in the second movie who spends most of it stowing away in the back of Mr. Jones's dog catching truck. When he finally does catch up to Craig and has him at gunpoint, Chico, Joker's dog, rushes in and knocks him down. Then the police come in and haul him away again.
- Ax Crazy: Joker
- Bad Humor Truck: First film, Big Worm disguises an ice cream truck to make his payment rounds.
- Bad Santa: One of the antagonists in the third movie.
- Catch Phrase: "YOU GOT KNOCKED THA FUCK OUT!" is said at the end of every film whenever the antagonist is beaten.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The climax of the first film is much more serious than previous events.
- Chained Heat: Deebo and Tyrone in the second film.
- Chick Magnet: Craig has a different love interest in every movie. Even Suga, his uncle's then girlfriend was on him in the second film.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Smokey at the end of the first movie.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Craig's then-girlfriend, Joi from the first movie.
- Doesn't Like Guns: As stated in the Aesop. Mr. Jones prefers fists to firepower since they, at the least, preserve life.
- Drugs Are Bad: While it's played as comedy, the first movie does show what the effect of taking drugs can do to you.
- Groin Attack: A very painful version in the the third film when Money Mike manages to temporarily stop a potential rape by Damon (the aforementioned son from prison) by using pliers to squeeze his testicles. Yes, it's as painful as it sounds.
- Hey, It's That Guy! / Voice: A few well-known rappers and black actors.
- Craig's love interest in the first movie, Debbie, was Lisa in Fresh Prince.
- Willie and Betty (Craig's parents) many will recognize as John 'Pops' Williams and Dee Baxter (respectively) from The Wayans Bros.
- Also, John Witherspoon voices Granddad and Regina King (Dana, Craig's sister) plays both Huey and Riley in The Boondocks (which references their roles in the movie numerous times).
- Damon, from the third movie, would later go on to play Chris's father in Everybody Hates Chris.
- Anybody else wonder when Deebo found his way to Gotham City?
- Before being part of Ocean's Eleven, Bernie Mac was a pastor having an affair with one of Craig's neighbors.
- Tyrone from Next Friday is played by Sticky Fingaz one of early 90's rap group Onyx, plus the TV series Blade.
- Hypocritical Humor: In first film, Joi calls up Craig and questions him on whether he's cheating on her or not. On her bed, you can clearly see another guy (shirtless, I might add) sleeping next to her.
- Jerkass: Pretty much every character in every film in the series aside from Craig, but Deebo takes the title for actually demanding money from Red, even though he has plenty of his own. Later, calling Deebo that would be an understatement.
- Made of Iron: Damn, the beating Deebo and Craig take at the end of the first film...
- Male Gaze: Debbie and Mrs. Parker's introduction scenes run completely on this.
- Mean Boss: Pinky in the second movie.
- Mood Whiplash: The first film was largely comical up until Craig and Smokey got shot at by Big Worm's hitmen.
- Mushroom Samba: In the first movie, Smokey accidentally consumes a large amount of angel dust. He runs down the street in his underwear and ends up spending the night in Deebo's chicken coop. It also makes him twitch involuntarily.
- My Name Is Not Durwood
Smokey: What's up Big Perm--I mean, Big Worm?
- Non-Action Guy: Red spends the first movie cringing at the mere thought of Deebo. Then he gets in a free hit after Craig knocks Deebo senseless.
- Noodle Incident: The audience is only given a vague explanation with regards to Craig's firing. It apparently involved a security camera and some boxes.
- In 'Friday After Next' Craig and Day-Day are never told what happened to the last security guards.
- Only Sane Man: Craig
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Joi from the first movie. D'Wana from the second
- Put on a Bus: A good majority of characters from the first film (though justified as each movie takes place in a different neighborhood), but most specifically Smokey, who Craig hand-waves in the second movie as "Gone to Rehab."
- Scary Black Man: Deebo, full stop.
- Damon from the third film.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Smokey, Pinky, Money Mike
- The Stoner: Smokey
- When the cops find a marijuana plant in Craig and Day-Day's apartment, in the third movie, the guys claim its medicinal. The cops don't believe and subsequentally take the weed plant, pretty much making them stoner cops. Not sure if Craig or Day-Day qualify as The Stoner, although having you own plant is almost enough call them that. But since the movies take place over the course of a day per movie, who knows whether or not they act like stoners the rest of the time the movie doesn't feature. However, Craig definitely isn't one during the first movie.
- Stoners Are Funny: Let's see, there's Smokey, Day-Day, Uncle Elroy, Felicia, Roach(to a lesser extent of funniness), and Ezal(although a crackhead) steals almost every scene he's in. Bernie Mac's character doesn't smoke in the movie, he tries to mooch off of Smokey's joint. Its also notable that everyone mentioned above except Roach is(was) a professional stand up comics, all of which made appearances on Def Comedy Jam during its original run. Mr. Jones, Money Mike and Big Worm are the only funny(professional comedian) non-stoners in the series.
- Straight Man: Craig almost always finds himself in this role.
- Tempting Fate: Smokey does this as Craig and he are headed for his house during the evening. He promptly calls out that no one gonna mess with him...then shit happens.
Smokey: Ain't nobody gonna mess with the Smoke Dog! *woofs, then spots a van down the street* Hey, who's that?
- the van cuts its headlights off and speeds down the street as Craig and Smokey run off and a shootout occurs*
- Theme Tune Rap: Friday, performed by Ice Cube himself.
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: When Craig and Deebo fight at the end of the first movie, Craig's father repeatedly tells everyone to give him room and 'let him be a man'.
- Token White: Roach
- White Gang-Bangers: The Joker Brothers, Well they're Mexican, so it's subverted a little.
- Would Hit a Girl: Deebo in the first film twice (though the first is off screen), which prompts the climax between him and Craig.
- The first time is when he thought she stole from him. The second is to the girl's sister who tried to call him out.
- Averted by Day-Day in Next Friday by his fear of Baby D.