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 feature a plot revolving around Kid n Play but not the last to feature them altogether.
And speaking of IMx, seven years after part 3 came and went in the theaters. A fourth movie was made in 2001 that was an egregiously low-budget 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 overly strict Uncle Charles's mansion, being told right from the get go not to have anyone over, especially Jon Jons best friends: Mark and T (Jerome Jones and Kelton "LDB" Kessee, Houston's fellow bandmates). Of course Jon Jon quickly disobeys him once hes out of sight and throws a bash. Inevitably Charles' vacation goes south and he set to come home. Forcing Jon Jon and his friends to frantically fix up the house or face Charles' wraith.
After that film was poorly received and flopped in sales, 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 released in 2013. A direct sequel to the 90s trilogy, this film instead 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 reprising the roles of their fictional selves. In the years that have passed since the third movie, the pair now have their own record label - accomplishing a goal they decided on at the end of the second movie and pursued throughout the third. No other characters from the Kid n Play era are featured or mentioned.
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:Uncle Vester: Boy, just be yourself. If people don't like you for being yourself... FUCK 'EM! Let me tell you something. I scored with a girl when I was about your age. I try to please her poppa all the time; wen' out my way to please her poppa. I came in one day, I said, "Nice weather we having." He said, "You can't say that. You can't say that; it might rain." I said, "Nice tie you got on." "You can't say that; wife try to choke me with it." Point I'm trying to tell you, son, is be yourself. People who don't like ya for being yourself... FUCK 'EM! FUCK 'EM AGAINST THE WALL, WITH HANDCUFFS ON AND CRAZY GLUE ON THEIR LIPS!
- 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, who is always either surrounded by various women, or sleeping around.
- Caught Coming Home Late: 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.
- Celebrity Paradox: The Dance Off between Kid 'N Play and Sydney & Sharene is to the song "Ain't My Type of Hype" by Full Force. But Full Force plays the guys bullying Kid. So who's song is this in-universe?
- Downplayed with Kid 'N Play themselves. They've performed some of their real-life album cuts throughout the movies, but they're acknowledged as up-and-coming rappers in-universe, so it can be assumed they recorded some of those songs in-universe, too.
- Creator Cameo: In the first film, the Hudlin brothers, who wrote and directed the film, appear early in the movie as the two house robbers being chased by a dog. Bébé's Kids, which was also produced by the Hudlins, would also feature them in an identical cameo.
- Determinator: Kid's father goes through a lot to track down his son. But his resolve never falters. Similarly, Kid himself goes through hell and back to get to the party and then get back home in one piece, but never gives up.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Barely averted. In the first movie, Stab and his brothers attempt to crash the titular party (mostly to mess with Kid), but are both kept out of the house, and punked off by Kid and several other partygoers. In response, Stab tries to burn down Play's house,note and gets as far as dousing the outside in gasoline, but is stopped by the cops right before he could light a match.
- 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.
- The Immodest Orgasm: In the second film, Play closes the record store he manages early just so he can have sex with a random woman he met earlier in the same day, under the false pretenses that hell let her sing backup on his demo in return. The woman has a screaming orgasm so absurdly loud and manic, that it literally causes an earthquake. Once the woman realizes she has been deceived, she angrily confronts Play about it. The best answer he can give her is not to sweat him.
- 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.
- Insult Backfire: Throughout the first movie, Stab and co. were harassing Kid for being weak, repeatedly chanting "I smell PUSSY!" whenever they saw him. When they said it again to Kid and several others when attempting to crash the party, Kid and co. sting them with this as they leave:
- Kid: Well, I guess we would smell like pussy, to a bunch of...
All: (in unison) DICKS!
- 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. Whether he's either just trying to have fun, or find some stability in his life, he's either being tormented by Stab and his brothers, roped into one of Play's stupid schemes, surrounded by less-than-pleasant relatives, or simply screwed over by plain old bad luck.
- 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.
- Prison Rape: Kid is nearly raped by several criminals while stuck in central booking for an unjust arrest, but manages to keep them off his back by freestyle rapping until Play bailed him out.
- 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.
- 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, who's breath is so nasty, Sydney called him "dragon breath".
- Wild Teen Party: A series staple, excluding 3, which was a bachelor party. And each one had all the halmarks of one: Underage drinking, no supervision, property damage, fights, and at least one thwarted instance of party crashing.
- With Friends Like These...: How Kid manages to stick with Play as a friend after some of the crap he's pulled should've granted him sainthood.