Joseph "Jody" Summers
An aimless, irresponsible 20-year old man who still lives with his mother and has two different children by two different women. His mother has entered a relationship with a new man, that being an ex-convict, and it bothers him to no end. On top of that, he now has to deal with his girlfriend's ex getting out of jail and attempting to take back what he's been missing.
- Ambiguous Disorder: In private, Jody often has fantasies and nightmares of scaring the people he loves and dying in the streets. In his nightmare, as he uncovers the victim of a shooting, he finds that it was him who was shot and killed, and when Sweetpea kneecaps Rodney, he hallucinates that it's him on the ground, begging Jody to shoot himself. It's heavily implied that his brother's death after being thrown out onto the streets is the cause of this.
- Boisterous Weakling: For all his smack talk, he hardly has the physical action to back it all up.
- This is better shown when he verbally disrespects Melvin with full confidence, only to call for his mom after Melvin puts him in a chokehold.
- Another example is shown when he comes across a group of young thugs who take his bicycle and liquor. He gives them a verbal smackdown and instantly gets jumped by said thugs as a result.
- Butt-Monkey: A good chunk of the movie involves him getting humiliated and beaten up.
- The Casanova: He's no slouch with the ladies, much to Yvette's chagrin.
- Cool Car: Or Cool Bike, of which he owns a pimped-out blue bicycle with faux jewelry sprinkled about. When he starts making money from his brief clothing stint, he uses it to put some ridiculous rims on Yvette's car.
- Driven to Suicide: He comes very close to it after witnessing Sweetpea kill Rodney. Thankfully, Melvin saves him, slowly taking the gun away from him.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After Pea kills Rodney, Melvin saves him from killing himself, and as we see in the epilogue, they're on much better terms. Jody has moved in with Yvette, he's presumably making enough money to support her and Jojo, and they're expecting their second child together.
- Freudian Excuse: Jody is overly hostile to Melvin and refuses to move out because Juanita's last boyfriend, a thug named Henry, acted eerily similar to Melvin and drove his late brother out, who was later killed in the streets. He is also protective of his mother because according to Melvin's estranged son, he used to beat his mother.
- Hidden Depths: In the safety of his own mind, Jody often ponders the idea of him ever scaring Yvette, or getting killed on the streets like his late brother. On a more positive note, he has some pretty impressive charisma for someone of his nature, and is fairly gifted at creating model cars, which could theoretically make for a good career choice.
- Jerkass: His treatment of Melvin and Yvette can make him seem a lot less sympathetic than the film presents him as. He acts overly confrontational and nasty towards Melvin even before he finds out his past, and is constantly outside banging other women behind Yvette's back, sometimes even using her car.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- He's undoubtedly being an asshole to Melvin, but once the latter's extensive past as a woman beater in addition to an ex-con is revealed, it's not hard to understand where that hostility comes from. And that's not even getting into his Freudian Excuse.
- At one point, his mother tells him to leave the nest as a man his age, and he retorts that his mother herself hasn't even left the nest the day she lived with her mother, who was the original owner of the house.
- His spontaneous phone call with Rodney ironically flips this trope around, as after Rodney calls Jody out on his own struggles in adulthood, Jody retorts that for all his foibles, at least he's not the one spending hard time in prison.
- Manchild: His defining trait, and where the film's title comes into play. He engages in no shortage of childish hobbies, such as watching cartoons, playing video games, eating candy, hanging out, sometimes with actual children, riding a bike, and making model cars.
- Mr. Fanservice: For all of his childish behavior, Jody is a very well-built, handsome man, and has absolutely no trouble making moves on women.
- NEET: He's unemployed, lives with his mother, and spends his day doing nothing of importance.
- No Respect Guy: Not surprising considering his NEET status. He's the film's designated Butt-Monkey, and when he offers to give his mother some money for her date with Melvin, she quickly shoots down the idea of him having any significant amount of money.
- Oedipus Complex: He has a very heavily implied one towards his mother Juanita, and even Melvin suggests this by name. This would explain his hostility towards Melvin even before he finds out about his Dark and Troubled Past.
- Rule of Symbolism: The opening scene of the film has him, as an adult, stark naked, in a giant womb, in the process of being born. He is also notably bald, much like a newborn baby, and provides this gem as the scene ensues:"There's this psychiatrist...a lady named Dr. Frances Cress Welsing. She has a theory about the black man in America. She says that because of the system of racism, the black man has been made to think of himself as a baby...a not yet fully formed human being who has not realized his full potential. To support her claim, she offers the following: First...what does a black man call his woman? Momma. Second, what does a black man call his closest acquaintances? His boys. And finally, what does a black man call his place of residence? The crib."
- Sanity Slippage: He's notably stressed out from the ongoing war with Rodney, and when he has the latter dead to rights, he imagines he's on the ground, begging to be shot, instead of Rodney.
Jody's mother. She was previously in a relationship with a man named Henry, who was a murderer and drove Jody's brother out of the house, getting him killed. In the present day, she has entered a relationship with another man with a shady past named Melvin, who Jody isn't too fond of. She finds herself split between her son and her new love quite often.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Both of her known romantic interests are men with blood on their hands.
- Extreme Doormat: Towards Melvin. This is best portrayed when she discovers a weed plant in her garden, immediately believes it to be Jody's doing, and when she finds out it was Melvin's, she's quickly pacified by Melvin apologizing and kissing her.
- Has a Type: It seems she has a thing for dangerous men.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Her older son was killed after being thrown out by her ex-boyfriend Henry.
- Poor Judge of Character: Based on her two known romantic interests, Juanita seems drawn to seemingly reformed criminals who end up causing trouble in her household.
Jody and Juanita's late brother and son, respectively. He apparently had a problem with his mother's ex-boyfriend Henry in the same way Jody has problems with her current boyfriend Melvin, to the point where Henry threw him out. He was killed in the streets some time after. This is a major source of angst for his surviving brother.
- Posthumous Character: He died prior to the events of the film. His mother seems to have moved on but his brother is still in mourning.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Tupac was supposed to play Jody, but sadly passed away in 1996, way before production went underway. As a tribute, after the casting of Tyrese Gibson in his place, Tupac was made Jody's deceased older brother, of which he owns a gigantic mural on his bedroom wall, and plays a crucial part in Jody's internal conflict.
- Small Role, Big Impact: The circumstances surrounding his death is a major contributing factor in Jody's refusal to leave the nest and contempt towards Melvin.
Joseph "Jojo" Summers Jr.
Jody and Yvette's son.
- Harmful to Minors: When Rodney forces his way into Yvette's apartment, he briefly has to stay around Rodney and his goons lounging about, swearing and getting blazed. He also nearly has to witness his mother being raped.
- Morality Chain: Towards Jody. He's probably the one character Jody treats with absolute love and care.
- Morality Pet: Defied by Rodney. He admittedly has zero interest in being the father of a boy born from the woman he loves by another man behind his back, and makes sure everyone knows this. Though, in a shocking moment, when he tries raping Yvette, when Jojo begs for Rodney to leave her alone, he actually obliges.
- The Stoic: Perhaps worryingly, he doesn't react much to the tragic events that ensue in his life. When Rodney kicks over his cute little pillow fort, he tells Rodney that he hates him, in a deadpan tone without breaking his concentration on the television.
Jody's girlfriend and the mother of their son, Jojo. She is a deeply insecure, sensitive woman, which is not-so-subtly implied to be caused by Jody's regular affairs with other women, most being from her own place of work. She was previously in a relationship with a thug named Rodney, but got together with Jody while the former was locked up.
- Ambiguous Situation: Pertaining to her feelings for Rodney, who she left for Jody. She kept in contact with him while he was locked up, even asking for a whopping one hundred dollars from Jody to do so without his knowledge, but she claims to Rodney's face that it was just to humor him. However, considering how frustrated she gets with Jody quite often, and, again, the exuberant amount of money she requested to stay in contact with him, it is possible that she still had some feelings for him, which fizzle out completely once he gets out of jail and becomes much more unhinged.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Towards Jody, though it's pretty understandable when he's always cheating on her.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After everything both Jody and Rodney put her through, she finally gets to see Jody finally grow up, presumably gain a substantial form of income, and they move in together, expecting their second child.
- Extreme Doormat: Towards Rodney, though it's quite understandable considering his nature.
- Love Triangle: It's implied that despite clearly loving Jody, she does still have some feelings for Rodney, of whom she left for Jody. The film is set up in a way where it's possible that she'll leave Jody and come back to Rodney if he doesn't wise up, but as Rodney progressively becomes more unstable, it's safe to say all of those lingering romantic feelings get snuffed out.
- Woman Scorned: Most of her animosity towards Jody is caused by him constantly cheating on her. She eventually slaps Jody, which makes him hit her back, and causes an even bigger fracture in their relationship.
An ex-convict, who has recently started dating a woman named Juanita. He is trying to move on from his criminal past and turn his life around, settling down with his own business and a woman he loves. Unfortunately, Juanita's son Jody isn't prepared to let that happen.
- Affably Evil: "Evil" in Jody's eyes, anyway. After choking him out for disrespecting him one too many times, he heads out to the store and asks Jody if he wants anything before he leaves.
- All Psychology Is Freudian: Except he might actually be onto something when he suggests Jody's protectiveness towards Juanita and hostility towards him is Oedipal.
- The Atoner: He isn't proud of his past and genuinely wants to turn it around. Jody isn't willing to forgive him for it.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He engaged in enough criminal activities to have him convicted for some time, and he has gone on record to regularly beat the mother of his son, to the point where he grew to resent and refuse to speak with him again. To top this all off, in a Deleted Scene, Melvin explains that, unlike Jody, his mother threw him out after he turned 18, and refused to let him back in, forcing him to sleep on the streets, and most likely lead him down the path of crime.
- Freudian Excuse: It's heavily implied by a Deleted Scene that his mother throwing him out at 18 is what caused him to become a criminal in order to survive.
- Hidden Depths: His assessment of Jody as suffering from an Oedipus Complex is probably not something you'd expect from a brutish ex-con.
- Jerkass: Some of his actions towards Jody are just straight-up mean-spirited and childish.
- Jerkass Has a Point: When he's not being a dick towards Jody, he raises some great points about how Jody should grow up and stop blaming everyone else for his own problems.
- Morality Pet: He flat-out admits to Jody that he hasn't beaten the shit out of him or just generally treated him worse "out of respect for [Juanita]".
- Pet the Dog: His general treatment of his girlfriend Juanita is pretty touching coming from a man like him. He also genuinely cares about Jody, attempting to help him find a job, offering him advice, and even offering to buy him something from the store after he just got done choking him out.
- Scary Black Man: He's insanely built, and is an ex-con. Yeah, he's pretty scary. Though, when you get to know him, he's actually a pretty decent dude.
- Troll: He's clearly having a little too much messing with Jody's head once it becomes clear he's not comfortable with him entering his and his mother's lives.
Jody's best friend. He's a gangster and seems fairly proud of it, in public anyway. As the film goes on, he expresses concern that he might kill someone one day, and be denied entry into Heaven once he finally passes. In order to stay in God's good graces, he plans to get baptized.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After killing Rodney and spending the entirety of the film worried about his stance with God, he gets baptized and devotes his life to the Lord.
- He-Man Woman Hater: He calls his girlfriend Kim and her mother "unstable creatures", and even claims that he doesn't want to "say the b-word".
- Hidden Depths: For all of his pride in his gangster lifestyle, he seems genuinely concerned about doing too much dirt to the point where God would just not even bother forgiving him and deny him entry into Heaven.
- Manchild: It isn't as deeply explored on him as it is with Jody, but it's still there. He's similarly unemployed, lives with his girlfriend and her mother playing video games all day, and drinks strawberry soda.
- Religious Bruiser: Lately, he's been worried about being turned away by God and has started taking up religion. Throughout the film, he expresses his religious philosophies and even prays for himself and Jody when they're both lost and confused. At the end of the film, he finally gets baptized as he planned and is now a man of God.
- Those Two Guys: With Jody.
- True Companions: With Jody. He'll waste absolutely no time coming to Jody's aid whenever needed.
Yvette's ruthless gangster ex-boyfriend, of whom she left for Jody sometime after he got locked up. Yvette has humored him a couple times by calling him occasionally, and now he's getting out, ready to take her back.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Fairly understandable considering his girlfriend Yvette left him for Jody while he was locked up, but the extent he goes to reclaim Yvette is far from justifiable.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Surprisingly, as he attempts to rape Yvette, when Jojo witnesses this and begs him to stop, he actually does.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He certainly wasn't lying about Jody not living up to his adulthood and responsibilities when the two have a spontaneous conversation over the phone.
- Karmic Death: His death at the hands of Sweetpea is more than deserved for all he's done.
- Lean and Mean: He is way skinnier than you'd expect a gangbanger to be, but that doesn't stop him from intimidating Jody and overpowering Yvette.
- Morality Pet: Any chance of Jojo being this is viciously denied by him. The only time where he even comes close to being a moral compass to Rodney is when he begs him to stop sexually assaulting his mother.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: He wants Yvette back so bad that he's willing to kill Jody.
- Old Flame: To Yvette. It's unclear whether or not Yvette still has/had feelings for him when she spoke to him in prison, or if she really was just humoring him like she herself claims.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Thankfully averted. He was fully prepared to rape Yvette until Jojo walked in.
- Wicked Cultured: He grooves to Bootsy Collins' "I'd Rather Be With You" as he smokes up in Yvette's apartment.