Tyler Perry's House of Payne is an American comedy-drama television series created and produced by playwright, director, and producer Tyler Perry. The show revolved around a multi-generational family living under one roof in Atlanta led by patriarch Curtis Payne and his wife Ella. While it was primarily a comedy, House of Payne was known for featuring dark themes and subject matter, such as substance abuse and addiction.
The series began with a 10-episode syndicated run and was greenlit by TBS for 100 episodes, an unprecedented number for a new series. The series would run from 2007 to 2012, airing over 254 episodes by its eighth and final seasonthe largest number of episodes for any African American sitcom. In February 2020, the show was announced to be returning in the summer, a new season premiering on BET.
A sequel series, The Paynes, premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network on January 16, 2018.
This show provides examples of:
- Adult Fear:
- That your significant other is an addict to drugs and your life and family will be torn apart because of it.
- That a disaster or a financial problem will leave you and your family homeless and forced live on the goodwill of other family members.
- That you fathered a child with a woman you haven't seen in years, and her presence not only makes your current life difficult but she also makes it difficult for you to be a parent to the child.
- The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Blue, Janine's crack dealer. Subverted when he returns in Season 6 as a broken man dying from AIDS, seeking comfort and forgiveness from Janine.
- Back Door Pilot: The two part episode "Sad, Sad Leroy Brown" is one for Meet the Browns, both the television series and movie.
- The Cameo:
- Madea made an appearance in every season except the fourth and fifth. Nikki, played by Keke Palmer, also made an appearance in the first episode.
- Characters from Meet the Browns made sporadic appearances throughout the series.
- Canon Discontinuity: The ten syndicated pilot episodes.
- Channel Hop: From TBS to BET starting with season 9
- Descent into Addiction: Janine's crack addiction was the major conflict of the first season. She accidentally burned her and C.J.'s house, forced to leave their kids, left to live in crack house and eventually became a detached and unstable wreck. She eventually manages to go to rehab and rebuild her life with her family, but her addiction continued to affect the series throughout its run.
- Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: Curtis and Madea, and Ella occasionally.
- Downer Ending: The series ends with Calvin and Miranda failing to stabilize their marriage and getting divorced.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: After Season 5, almost every episode inserts the word "Payne" into the title.
- Idiot Ball: Malik often grips it hard, forgetting lessons he learned in previous episodes and doing very foolish things such as stealing Curtis' motorcycle or swiping Curtis' gun and taking it to school.
- Improbable Infant Survival: Calvin Jr. almost dies in a fire after playing with matches while under Calvin and Miranda's care. The fact that he survived relatively unscathed was the only reason Tracie didn't take away Calvin's visitation rights.
- Inciting Incident: Janine burning down her and C.J.'s home, which forces them and the kids to move in with Curtis and Ella.
- Out of Focus:
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: The Hernandez family received a lot of focus in Season 5.
- Recovered Addict: Janine, from Season 2 onward.
- Sassy Black Woman: Ella and Claretha.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: After Travis is convicted for shooting Calvin, and will likely get the death penalty, he is given a chance to speak to the court for his life. But he chooses instead to insult and threaten Calvin. In response, Calvin remarks that he has a life a family and a future, and that Travis just isn't worth his time.
- The Unreveal: Whether or not Travis got the death penalty for shooting Calvin is left unknown because Calvin doesn't care what happens to him.