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Film / Friday

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Smokey (Chris Tucker) and Craig (Ice Cube)

"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 in quality 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 prison 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. General consensus of Next Friday is that it's 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).

15 years after ...After Next, it was revealed by John Witherspoon that a fourth film was in the works, titled Last Friday, and set for release in 2018.

The series received a short-lived animated adaption on MTV2 whichhas a DVD set.

This film is not related to the Robert A. Heinlein novel or the Fountain of Memes song "Friday" by Rebecca Black (though someone has made that connection).

The Friday franchise provides the following tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Suga, to Craig. It's not that she's unattractive, just that she's his uncle's girlfriend.
  • Accidental Misnaming
    Smokey: What's up Big Perm—I mean, Big Worm?
  • 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 to fight another day!
  • The Alleged Car: Smokey's.
    • Inverted in the next movie with Day-Day's car, his pride and joy, which gets abused by his ex-girlfriend.
  • Amusing Injuries: Pretty much every injury from Mr. Jones getting bitten on the job in the first film to bad Santa's Humiliation Conga in the third is played for laughs.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Chico in Next Friday.
  • Animated Adaptation: Bleh.
  • Animated Credits Opening: Friday After Next
  • 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.
  • Basement-Dweller: Craig, but the first film details that the only benefit he gets from being this is a room with a bed. His dad Willie is just a dogcatcher so there's not much in the fridge.
  • Big Eater: The Jones family are shown to be this. In the first film, Craig decide to eat an entire box of cereal for breakfast much to his dad bad luck who complains about the other big meals he was gonna eat for himself before Craig ate them first. His mother Betty is shown to be one as well when she cooks some eggs, bacon, sausages and leftover pork chop for breakfast for herself.
    • It's also implied that Lil' Chris is one.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Smokey at the end of the first movie.
    • Craig delivers a blink and you'll miss it instance after Day Day walks in on him and Donna in the third movie.
    • Craig also gives quite a few aside glances to the audience in the first movie.
  • But For Me It Was Friday The films are about a bunch of random but varyingly realistic events, which aren't all that important and could happen anytime anywhere, all taking place on any given Friday.
  • Butt-Monkey: Craig. This gets shared with Day-Day in the sequels.
  • Captain Obvious: Smokey. See Catch-Phrase below.
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • "YOU GOT KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT!" is said at the end of every film whenever the antagonist is beaten.
    • "Damn!" is practically the first movie's favorite word. In fact, a scene where Craig and Smokey collectively exclaim "DAAAAAMN!!" (after seeing their friend Red's swollen black eye) was actually a nominee in AFI's "100 Years...100 Movie Quotes" list.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The climax of the first film is much more serious than previous events.
    • Played with in the sequels; while the climaxes are much more humorous than the first Friday, they still feature plausible events that, realistically speaking, could cause someone to get severely injured or killed.
  • Chained Heat: Deebo and Tyrone in the second film.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Craig wields a literal version of this for protection in the seedy neighborhood he lives in. Ultimately, when faced with the choice of using it, he doesn't, because he's "a man without it."
  • 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.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Craig's then-girlfriend, Joi from the first movie.
  • Clint Squint: Willie Jones, Craig's father, sports one when he's not lecturing someone.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: In Friday After Next, after Santa gets away with stealing lots of Craig and Day-Day's material possessions including an audio speaker in which they hid half their rent money in, Craig points out they still could have paid off the rent regardless if Day-Day didn't waste the other half on the Christmas party.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In Next Friday, Roach feeds marijuana brownies to Chico, Joker's viscious dog, to get him to stop barking. The dog gets stoned in the process and zones out.Later on, Chico rescues Roach from Deebo and lets Roach hold him as the police storm Joker's house.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Damon, a dominant ex-convict who threatens to rape Craig and Day-Day if they don't pay rent. He even tries to rape Money Mike, with painful results.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: As stated in the Aesop. Mr. Jones prefers fists to firepower since they, at the least, preserve life. Not necessarily true since punches can kill, but given that Deebo is the adversary, punching is justified here.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: In Friday After Next, Santa just robbed Day-Day, Craig and Uncle Elroy at gunpoint of their cash and gold watch. As Santa runs off with his new treasure, Day-Day runs to the donut store to get the police's help. Given it's hard to believe that Santa would rob you, the two cops just laugh this off and continue to indulge on their glazed donuts and coffee. See also Police Are Useless below.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male:
    • Ms. Purdy, Craig and Day Day's landlord in the third movie, threatens them with this at the hands of her newly-released ex-felon son, Damon, unless she receives their overdue rent money before the end of the day. She also forces herself on Craig's father.
    • Damon attempts to do this to Money Mike near the film's end. It doesn't go as planned.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Deebo.
    • Damon fills this roll in Friday After Next.
  • Drugs Are Bad: While it's played as comedy, the first movie does show what the effects of taking drugs can do to you.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: Deebo drops an ultimatum after telling Craig to keep a lookout when Deebo robs Stanley's house.
    Deebo: You don't get involved, I'll knock yo' ass out too. Make a choice.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Smokey and Craig do this when watching Mrs. Parker, the neighborhood Mrs Fanservice.
  • Epic Fail: The fact that Craig got fired on his day off is treated as one.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Willie Jones tries to convince his son Craig to be a dog catcher like him when discovering that Craig got fired. Although his 'try' was more of a suggestion.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Very few viewers have noticed that Joi had another guy sleeping beside her in her bed when talking to Craig over the phone.
  • Girl of the Week: Craig has a new love interest each movie, with not a word spoken about the previous one.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Joker's tuxedo-patterned thong.
  • 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.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Ezal, the neighborhood crackhead, will steal the shoes off of your feet, but he will never kill.
  • Hot for Preacher: Inverted with Pastor Clever, who goes running off to have an an affair with Craig's neighbor, Mrs. Parker.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In first film, Joi calls up Craig and accuses him of cheating on her. On her bed, you can clearly see a (shirtless) guy who's not Craig sleeping next to her.
    • Red is called out after he claims that he would have helped them if Deebo had robbed them:
    Red: Hey, man, why didn't y'all help me?
    Smokey: Man, I'm high.
    Red: Man, that's fucked up. If it was y'all, I would've helped y'all.
    Craig: What about the time he tried to choke me in Smoke's backyard?
    Red: Oh. (Beat) That was different.
  • I Lied:
    • Craig's mom told his dad he got fired on his day off, even though she promised she wouldn't tell. He doesn't even call her out on it.
    • Ezal catches Smokey taking a crap in his front yard and promises nor to tell anyone. He doesn't keep that promise very long.
  • Incoming Ham: Smokey first appears by sticking his head in Craig's window, ripping off the curtain and shouting "Break yo self, fool!"
  • Jerkass: Every character in every film in the series aside from Craig, Smokey and Willie, 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.
  • Improvised Weapon:
  • Ironic Echo: Willie Jones, after taking a dump, warns against anyone using the bathroom for "35, 45 minutes." In the next movie, a desperate Willie is trying to use the bathroom at a restroom in a rest stop, where he encounters his neighbor... who warns him against using the bathroom for "35, 45 minutes."
  • It's Personal: The reason why Deebo escapes from prison to go after Craig in Next Friday.
  • Made of Iron:
  • Male Gaze: Debbie and Mrs. Parker's introduction scenes run completely on this.
  • Mean Boss: Pinky in the second movie.
  • Meaningful Name: Hey, guess what Smokey likes to do. And guess what color Pinky likes to wear.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Discussed. Willie believes this to be the case when Uncle Elroy throws out his back after tackling one of Joker's goons in the finale.
  • Mood Whiplash: The first film was largely comical up until Craig and Smokey got shot at by Big Worm's hitmen.
  • Mrs Fanservice: Mrs. Parker, one of Craig's neighbors, a married woman who wears a low-cut shirt and short shorts when watering plants.
  • 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.
  • Never My Fault: Craig when he gets caught up in Smokey's situation. Smokey then reminds him that he had a choice between smoking and not smoking the weed.
    • Smokey telling Worm that Craig smoked the joint was a well earned What the Hell, Hero? moment on his part however. Something that Craig called him out on.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The beating that Felicia takes is because Smokey tried to rob Deebo.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • In Next Friday, After Deebo fails to catch up to Craig, Tyrone, at Deebo's instruction, convinces Willie Jones that his son Craig is in trouble. At the time, Craig wasn't in trouble, but Willie doesn't know this and rushes off to help him, unknowingly bringing Deebo and Tyrone with him. But later, Day-Day and Roach get kidnapped by Joker and his goons. Willie arrives at Elroy's house to find that Craig is fine, but Craig arrives soon after and explains the situation and enlists Willie and Elroy's help to rescue them. Elroy and Willie take down Joker's goons, and Deebo knocks out Joker, who was threatening them with a machine gun, buying them enough time for the police to arrive and arrest all of them. Had Deebo not sent Willie on a wild goose chase, Day-Day and Roach would have been wounded or dead, and Karla would still be miserable.
  • No Indoor Voice: Smokey.
  • No-Sell: When Smokey tries to talk his way out of paying the money that he owes Big Worm:
    Smokey: You know what happen? You gon' laugh yo ass off. You know Craig? Craig got fired yesterday!
    Big Worm: What the fuck that gotta do with me?
    Smokey: Let me explain! We's talkin' over all our problems, right, and you know how we do it. We started getting hiiiigh... nigga, we got fucked up!
    Big Worm: Look, nigga, I'ma be here at ten o' clock on the dot. Not 10:03, not 10:36! If you ain't got my money or my bud, I'm killin' you and him! (points to Craig)
  • 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 and re-claiming the bike that Deebo stole from him.
    • Despite his bravado, Smokey prefers to talk his way out of confrontation and shrinks when faced with physical confrontation from the neighborhood bully, Deebo.
    • Day-Day plays this role in the second and third films. Every time there's any kind of physical confrontation and Day-Day is around, he either refuses to fight or gets his ass kicked, while Craig handles himself at least moderately well.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • When Craig shows Willie the gun he is planning to protect himself with, Willie mentions that Craig's uncle learned about picking up a gun "the hard way" when he was 22 years old.
    • In Friday After Next Craig and Day-Day are never told what happened to the last security guards.
  • Not So Above It All: Pastor Clever. He arrives in the neighborhood and notices Smokey and Craig smoking a blunt, and chastises them for their sinful ways before asking if he can have some weed "for [his] cataracts". Then he becomes distracted by Mrs. Parker (the neighborhood Fanservice) and proceeds to have a brief affair with her.
  • Only Sane Man: Craig.
  • Police Are Useless: The cops in the third movie do nothing about the crime going on in their town. While the cops do answer Craig and Day-Day's call then arrive at their apartment to take the report, one of them finds a marijuana plant in Day-Day's room. The two beg for clemency from charges, but fortunately for them the police are too lazy to set up a court trial so the cops just confiscate the plant and smoke it themselves. And about Craig's report that there's a burglar dressed like Santa running around town? The police neglect that for donuts and coffee.
  • Prison Rape: Implied towards Baby Joker in the second movie. Him and his brothers also threatened Day-Day and Roach with this the moment they got captured.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Joi from the first movie. D'Wana from the second.
  • Psychopathic Manchild:
    • Deebo in the first film. He behaved pretty much like an overgrown trouble-making punk, wore clothes that were somewhat childish in fashion, and never was shown driving a car but was always seen riding a bike.
    • The Joker brothers and Damon count as well. Seems to be the defining standard for Friday antangonists.
  • Punched Across the Yard: Deebo punches Red so hard he's knocked clean off his feet and sent flying through the air.
  • 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."
  • Really Gets Around: Felicia, to Smokey's disgust.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Defied when Craig refuses to shoot Deebo, the neighborhood bully, in favor of Good Old Fisticuffs.
  • Russian Reversal: A non-Russian example.
    Willie Jones: The first of the month, the rent is due. If you ain't got nothin' on the table, you ain't got to worry about catchin' a dog. You gotta worry about a dog catching your ass!
  • Scary Black Man: Deebo and Damon.
  • 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 subsequently 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: Smokey, full stop; Day-Day, Uncle Elroy, Felicia, and Roach. Ezal, the neighborhood crackhead from the first film, steals almost every scene he's in.
  • Straight Man: Craig almost always finds himself in this role.
  • Tap on the Head: Deebo manages to pull this off on Joker in the climax of Next Friday.
  • 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]
  • That Poor Car: Day-Day's car is abused throughout the second movie, with his Psycho Ex-Girlfriend keying it and busting windows, and Day-Day and Craig taking refuge atop it from Chico, denting the roof in the process.
  • 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'.
  • Toilet Humor: Every movie has a variant of this:
    • Willie Jones chastises Craig for getting fired on his day off as he takes a dump.
    • Smokey, getting desperate, gets locked out of his Momma's house and squats behind the bushes of his front yard to take a dump... just as Ezal comes over to wash his car.
    • In Next Friday, when Willie Jones is driving over to Elroy's house after Tyrone convinced him that Craig was in trouble, the extra hot sauce he put on his burrito gave him digestion problems... in the middle of heavy traffic. He just barely makes it.
    • Money Mike gets knocked out by Damon after taking a leak.
  • Token Minority: The Asian store clerk in the first movie, the Korean neighbor in the second movie, and the Indian guy that Willie Nelson calls "Sabu" at a truck stop.
  • Token White: Roach, in Next Friday
  • Two Lines, No Waiting:
    • Next Friday follows Deebo and Tyrone as they break out of prison to exact Deebo's revenge on Craig as its B-Plot, and Craig living in the suburbs with his cousin as its A-Plot.
  • White Gang-Bangers: The Joker Brothers. Well they're Hispanic, so it's subverted a little.
  • The Whitest Black Guy: Stanley, Willie Jones' businessman neighbor in Friday.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Mrs. Parker.
  • 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, and played with in Friday After Next, in which he gets his ass handed to him by a female shoplifter.
    • Comedic version with Mr. Jones in the advert for Bros. BBQ in Friday After Next:
    Uncle Elroy: Barbecue taste so good, make you wanna SLAP YO MOMMA! Don't it, Willie?!
    Mr. Jones: Yeah, boy! Hey, momma!
    Grandma Jones: What the hell do you want, Willi— [gets slapped]
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Ezal, the neighborhood crackhead, attempts to convince the convenience store employees that he was going to sue them because he had tripped and fallen on his back. This, of course, fails miserably.
  • Your Mom: When Smokey asks where Craig got a gun, Craig says "yo mama".