Characters who appear in The PJs and their associated tropes.
The superintendent of the Hilton-Jacobs projects and the main protagonist of the show.
- Affectionate Nickname: Muriel occasionally calls him "Goodie."
- Brilliant, but Lazy: For all the jokes that are made about how bad he is at his job Thurgood is a gifted repairman that can innovate solutions to unconventional problems. It's just that he's highly unmotivated and prefers goofing off (which is made worse by HUD's poor budget allotments). One episode has him cleaning up his act when the threat of being fired rears it's head.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: As dimwitted as he can be, he's proven to be kind and a natural leader if need be.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of his interactions with the other tenants consist of sarcastic one-liners on his end.
- Famous Ancestor: The second season premiere reveals that he is descended from Thomas Jefferson.
- Informed Flaw: Many jokes are made about Thurgood being bad at repair work but quite often he demonstrates that he's a capable if unorthodox handyman, often making use of his skills to great effect.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Thurgood is short-tempered, irresponsible, and lazy to the point of apathy about his job but he's also a man who cares deeply about his friends and community.
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: A minor Running Gag is that his poor health has led to impotency. It's briefly reignited by a new blood pressure medication.
- Only Sane Man: If he's not the one responsible for the Zany Scheme of the day he'll be the one to snark about it and try to stop it if it threatens others.
- Retired Badass: Thurgood's no longer in his prime but he had a successful wrestling career and served in the navy with at least thirty confirmed kills. He also maintains an interest martial arts which he mixes with his past skills to deal with people that actually threaten him. Unless they pull guns on him the odds of Thurgood walking away after besting him are pretty good and even being armed isn't a guarantee he'll be the one losing.
- Skewed Priorities: Whenever he unclogs Haiti Lady's toilet, he's typically more concerned with the fact that she flushed paper towels than the fact that she also flushes animal parts and voodoo accessories.
- Unusual Euphemism: Often uses the names of African-American icons as expletives ("What on Eartha Kitt?", "Mother Marion Berry!", etc.).
- Verbal Tic: Prone to saying "uht" when shocked.
- Younger Than They Look: He's 45, but a lifetime of wearage makes him look like he's atleast 60.
- All Women Are Lustful: Has quite the sex drive, as demonstrated when Thurgood begins taking medication that has a side effect of increasing his libido. After he runs out, his libido drops back down, but she still incessantly tries to get him in the mood, and ends up almost forcing herself on him. When he still won't give in, she breaks down crying.
- Only Sane Man/Women Are Wiser: She's typically the voice of reason to Thurgood's antics.
- Pink Is Feminine: She usually wears pink clothing.
An elderly tenant who constantly antagonizes Thurgood.
- Cool Old Lady: But not as far as Thurgood is concerned.
- I Call It "Vera": She calls her shotgun "Mrs. Jones."
- Last-Name Basis: Most people just call her "Mrs. Avery."
- Made of Iron: She's had multiple strokes, but is still alive and able to move on her own.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Often brings out a shotgun to threaten people or to get her way.
Muriel's sister, and wife of Jimmy Ho.
- Boyish Short Hair: Although her personality is atypical for the trope.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: She and Muriel don't always get along very well.
- Really Gets Around: It's mentioned that Jimmy is her fifth husband. Lampshaded in "The Door":Bebe: With that door gone, what's to stop some strange man from comin' in here and havin' his way with me?
Thurgood: The long-ass line.
- She also slept with most of her high school teachers, as well as an exotic dancer—the night before her wedding.
- Of course, this makes "Ho" a Meaningful Name.
A Cuban tenant who speaks with an electrolarynx, and one of Thurgood's friends.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Of all the tenants Sanchez is the least liked and most mocked, with everyone making jokes at his expense and insulting him to his face. One episode has him insulting Thurgood just like everyone else, only for Avery to warn him not to get cocky. However, he's still always included in activities.
- Last-Name Basis: Everyone just calls him Sanchez.
- Multiple-Choice Past: How exactly he lost his voice. It's typically stated that years of smoking damaged his throat, but it's implied in "Haiti Sings the Blues" that Haiti Lady placed a voodoo curse on him. Not that either explanation is mutually exclusive.
- Nice Hat: Wears a blue-and-white trucker hat.
- Smoking Is Not Cool: He speaks with an electrolarynx because of his smoking habit.
Bebe's Korean husband and Muriel and Thurgood's brother-in-law, who considers himself part of the African-American community.
- Freudian Excuse: "Red Man's Burden" explains Jimmy's Pretty Fly for a White Guy behavior. He rejects his Korean heritage because the one night stand that led to his birth caused his mother be thrown out of the family and he believed his father to be black based on the name on the dog tags left behind.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Well, he's Asian, but he still fits the bill, considering himself an honorary black man and often using speaking of himself as such.
- Native American Casino: In one of the last produced episodes, he finds out he's part Native American, and opens up an Indian casino in the projects.
- Voiced by: Cheryl Francis Harrington
A Haitian tenant and the projects' resident voodoo queen.
- Voiced by: Shawn Michael Howard
A homeless crackhead who is nonetheless considered part of the Hilton-Jacobs community.
- Drugs Are Bad: He's homeless and addicted to crack.
- Hidden Depths: For a crackhead, Smokey is actually pretty intelligent. He helps Thurgood get his GED (successfully) and has an understanding of housing laws and building codes (which most likely comes from illegally living in housing projects or hanging around HUD).
- Only Known by Their Nickname: His real name, Elister, is revealed in the second season episode "Smokey the Squatter", and his surname, McDaniel, is revealed in the originally-unaired-in-the-US episode "Clip Show". Prior to that, he's either known as "that damn crackhead," "Mr. Crack," or "Smokey."
- Sticky Fingers: He tends to steal from the tenants whenever possible.
- Voiced by: Marc Wilmore
The neighborhood parole officer and a friend of Thurgood's.
- Dirty Cop: In "How the Super Stoled Christmas," he arrests a purse snatcher, but leaves him locked in a trunk instead of turning him in. He also steals evidence and sells it at the pawnshop as his "Christmas bonus", and once threatens to beat up Thurgood when he thinks he's wearing a wire.
- Son of a Whore: He mentions in the episode "Bougie Nights" that he was raised in a whorehouse.
- Voiced By: Crystal Scales
One of the local Hilton Jacob's children. Often hangs out with Thurgood and at one point planned on becoming a janitor himself. Oddly enough, his parents are never seen, despite Calvin appearing with the rest of the residents for meetings and various hijinx.
- Voiced By: Michele Morgan
Calvin's obese best friend, Juicy is the son of the Hudson family, two morbidly obese shut-ins so large, they can no longer leave their apartments and depend on Juicy to run errands and shop for them.
- Big Eater: Early episodes had his mother hanging a "Do Not Feed" sign around his neck to curb this tendency.
- Big Fun
- Extreme Omnivore: Often eats things that aren't food, such as the plastic bag around the marshmallows, or the carpet insulation.
- Fat and Skinny: The fat to Calvin's skinny.
- Fat Best Friend: For Calvin
- Fat Idiot: Is notably slow-witted and almost completely lacks common sense.
- The Unfavorite: Thurgood often treats Juicy with significantly less regard than he does Calvin.