House Party was a series of movies that were starring vehicles for the rap duo Kid n' Play (Christopher Reid and Christopher Martin). As the title suggest, each movies find the two hosting a house party. Though at a different location and for different reasons.
The first movie, released in 1990, was centered around a house party hosted by Play as his folks were out of town. Kid is invited of course among a slew of other friends. However the day of the party, he gets in trouble with the local bullies (R&B group Full Force) and causes a fight at his school. His father (comedian Robin Harris) is informed of this and bars Kid from going to the party. Kid manages to sneak out anyway and hilarity ensues both at the party and afterward proving to be a long night for everyone involved.
The second film (1991) sets Kid, now living with Play after his father died (as Harris had died not long after finishing the first movie) off to college thanks to some charity of his local church. Much to the chagrin of his friend who wants Kid to go into music with him after they got the attention of a record producer. Misfortune however befalls Kid no sooner then he starts his semester after he loses his tuition money. One thing leads to another before the duo wind up hosting a party on the campus to help Kid stay in college.
The third movie (1994) see Kid getting married to his girlfriend Veda (who was introduced in this movie rather than his past girlfriend Sydney (Tisha Campbell)). Play meanwhile has gone into the music business as a manager to a female rap trio, Sex as a Weapon (TLC). Of course though things get complicated before everything winds down to a bachelor party thrown for Kid. This film was notable for debuting Chris Tucker and featuring the rap group Immature (later known as IMx) who play as Kid's nephews. It was the last movie to revolve around Kid n Play.
And speaking of IMx, seven years after part 3 came and went in the theaters. A fourth movie was made in 2001 that was a direct to video feature, staring said rap group. Subtitled Down To The Last Minute, the film focuses on Jon Jon (Marques Houston, playing a completely different character from part 3) house sitting for his rich and very strict Uncle Charles's mansion, being told right from the get go not to have anyone over. Of course Jon Jon quickly disobeys him once he out of sight and throws a bash. Inevitably Charles' vacation goes south and he set to come home. Forcing Jon Jon and his friends Mark and T (Jerome Jones and Kelton "LDB" Kessee, Houston's fellow bandmates) to frantically fix up the house or face Charles' wraith.
After that film, the series supposedly fell by the wayside and was thought finished. But much to many a surprise, a fifth film, Tonight's The Night, was made in 2013. This film features new characters and follows the protagonist Chris (Tequan Richmond) finishing high school but will end up leaving his best friend and crush. So he plans a party for her which of course leads to complications and hijinks. Like the last film, it was a direct to video fare and even features a cameo by Kid n Play.
House Party provides the following tropes:
- Battle Rapping: The climax of the first film has Kid and Play facing off in a rap battle. Kid, who was derided by Play for having bad lyrics earlier in the film, wins the battle.
- Be Yourself: Uncle Vester (Bernie Mac) tells Kid to do this in a hilarious way.
- Brick Joke: The first film begins at a party that literally blows the roof off the house. At the end of the film, it drops down on two very racist cops that were hassling Kid and later his dad during the movie.
- The Casanova: Play
- Determinator: Kid's father goes through a lot to track down his son. But his resolve never falters.
- Dumbass DJ: Bilal
- Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: Kid's dad, Mr. Harris
- Even Evil Has Standards: In the first movie Stab (the bully that hassles Kid at the start) after getting rejected to Play's party, decides to burn the place down in retribution. His two brothers Pee-Wee and Zilla find the idea a little extreme. Beating people is one thing but burning them is taking it a bit far.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It can be really hard to like Play, sometimes. But, when push comes to shove, he really does look out for his friends.
- Karma Houdini: Averted at the very last second. Kid sneaks back into his own room at dawn, right at the verge of escaping his father's wrath... but his dad is waiting for him. With a belt.
- HeelFace Turn: The bullies later end up helping Kid out at the end of the second movie.
- Lightswitch Surprise: At the end of the first movie, Kid's father catches up to him. Cue the hilarious monologue punctuated by belt cracks and cries of pain.
- Oh, Crap!: Kid's expression during the the aforementioned Lightswitch Surprise.
- One Steve Limit: Justified. Since Kid and Play share the same first name in real life (Christopher), Play's first name was changed to Peter for the films, thus partially subverting The Danza.
- Only Sane Man: Kid, also a Dogged Nice Guy and Straight Man.
- Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: When Stab starts to throttle Kid, the DJ breaks a record over Stab's head. Stab's response is to give the guy a look that could melt steel.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Robin Harris, who played Kid's father in the first movie, died of a heart attack just days after the movie was released. Instead of recasting him for the second movie, his death was used to write out Kid's father.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Kid and Play, respectively.
- The '90s: The first three movies really show it. Considering this was made at the rise of rap music in the mainstream, its not surprising.
- You Need a Breath Mint: Bilal
- Wild Teen Party: Mostly the first two movies.
- Also in the fourth and fifth movies.