Follow TV Tropes


Series / One on One

Go To
Me and you against the world, livin' One on One
Can't nobody break this bond, livin' One on One

One on One is an American Black Sitcom that aired on UPN from 2001 to 2006.

The show follows the lives of Flex Washington (Flex Alexander) and his teenage daughter Breanna Barnes (Kyla Pratt). The series begins with Breanna wanting to stay with her father, Flex, whom Breanna used to see only two weeks a year. When he blew out his knee during an NBA game, Flex had his communications degree to fall back on and became a sportscaster.note 

Flex works for the fictional WYNX-TV in Baltimore, resides in the ultimate bachelor pad, and lives the life of luxury. He is a ladies' man who wants to be both a responsible parent and a best friend to Breanna. Flex is very protective of his daughter, especially with boys. He has only had a couple of serious relationships, one of which was Breanna's mother Nicole Barnes (Tichina Arnold), whom he impregnated at the age of 18. When Nicole takes a job in Nova Scotia, Nicole allows Breanna to live with Flex.

Flex's best friend and Breanna's godfather, Duane Odell Knox (Kelly Perine), is a used car salesman and a constant presence in their lives for better or worse. Breanna's best friend is Spirit Jones (Sicily Sewell) with whom she creates some mischief. Her other best friend, Arnaz Ballard (Robert Ri'chard), is the object of her on-again, off-again affection.

The show underwent a notable retool in the fifth season, with Flex reduced to a recurring character with the show instead focusing on Breanna and Arnaz after they moved to Los Angeles. The show would also launch a spin-off titled Cuts.


  • A-Cup Angst: Breanna tends to feel that way sometimes, but special mention goes to the season 4 episode, "Lost in the Headlights," where she stuffs her bra just so she can get employed at a movie themed restaurant where women with large breasts are the main attraction.
  • Alliterative Name: Breanna Barnes.
  • Amicably Divorced: Flex and Breanna's mother, Nicole, for the most part.
  • Artifact Title: The title is a reference of Flex and Breanna's father-daughter relationship. By the end of Season 5, Flex is written out entirely.
  • Beta Couple: Duane and Candy.
  • Boyfriend-Blocking Dad: Flex can be this at times as he worries Breanna will end up becoming pregnant at a young age like her mother did. It's later revealed that much of his over protectiveness is out of fear that Breanna will allow men to treat her the same way that he treats women.
  • The Casanova: Flex. He's very popular with the ladies.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Flex stops appearing midway through Season 5, as does Breanna and Arnaz's landlord Manny. Spirit and Duane disappeared as well.
  • Downer Ending: The season 3 episode of "Stepmom, Misstep." Flex and Natalie call off their engagement and break up with Breanna changing classes from Natalie's art class just to be on the safe side. The B-plot doesn’t end much better with Duane hoping to see his long lost father, only to enter into an empty apartment, and find his father’s hat.
  • Expy: D-Mack is this of D-Money, a character from another UPN show, Moesha, that was also played by Ray J. They are both wannabe gangsters and troublemakers with families that are actually well off and an older sister played by Brandy.
  • Election Day Episode: The season 4 episode, "Rock the Vote."
  • Five-Token Band: Season 5 invoked this intentionally to appeal to wider demographics. It didn't work.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: From the season 4 Halloween Episode aptly named, "Manic Monday" with Flex and Breanna switching bodies after denying a magic boy named Timmy candy.
  • Genre Shift: From a sitcom about a playboy and his teenage daughter to a Slice of Life comedy in Season 5.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Flex and Duane as they have been friends since childhood.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf:
    • Breanna is that at least in Season 1 for her audition to McKinley School of the Arts. It’s a good thing she’s a better actor. This is ironic as Kyla Pratt is actually a good singer.
    • Arnaz really gets hit hard with this in Season 4. He wants to be a rock star and can play guitar, but he cannot sing well at all. Even Spirit pointed out how he’s getting worse at singing:
    Spirit: Oh my god, is he getting worse? It’s like he’s taking unvoice lessons.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Flex and Breanna as the latter is taller than the former.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Not only does Breanna put aside her feelings for Arnaz to console him after he and Michelle split up, ending her own relationship with Calvin in the process, she also lends Arnaz her car so he can follow Michelle to the mountains to try to win her back. She ends the episode and the series with D-Mack.
  • Lady Killer In Love: Flex a couple of times, particularly with Natalie and later Danielle.
  • Left Hanging: The show ends with Breanna and D-Mack in bed together.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Breanna as she's a nice girl despite being pushy at times.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Arnaz liked Breanna but she only liked him as a friend, then he started dating Ginger. After a while, Breanna starts dating Josh. Arnaz breaks it off with Ginger, then starts having feelings for Breanna again, so Breanna is forced to choose and chooses Arnaz. But then Ginger teams up with Josh to break them up by claming to have slept with Arnaz, while Josh appears shirtless in Breanna's apartment as an Operation: Jealousy ploy. Then Breanna decides that she and Arnaz are Better as Friends so they don't end up like Breanna's parents, but then they get back together later. Then Breanna is jealous of the attractive new singer in Arnaz's band. Then when they get to Los Angeles, they break up mid-season and start dating other people, only for Breanna's new boyfriend to break up with her when he realizes she's still in love with Arnaz. Breanna ends up sleeping with D-Mack. And then the series ends.
  • Morality Pet: Breanna becomes this to Flex as she really forces him to evaluate how he treats women, especially as she becomes a woman herself.
  • Mr. Fanservice:
    • Flex, particularly in the early seasons.
    • Arnaz would become this in the later seasons.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Breanna, especially in the later seasons.
    • Flex's many girlfriends.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The Season 3 episode "Splitting Hairs" reduced Flex to a bookending cameo and left out all the others to focus on his brother Kevin and the barbershop he ran, and Tiffany, the daughter of the owner of the shop who wanted it to become a hair salon. In the end, they teamed up and called it "Pharenity" - a mashup of "Phatheadz" (the name of the barbershop) and "Serenity" (the name of Tiffany's prospective hair salon). Unlike most examples, this actually became a series (Cuts).
  • Power Trio: Breanna, Spirit, and Arnaz.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Flex's relationship with Natalie ends when it's discovered that he and Nicole were never divorced and they couldn't get a divorce for another year as they'd slept together the previous Thanksgiving. This storyline was abandoned half a season later after Tichina Arnold (Nicole) became pregnant in real life, with the pregnancy being written into the show in order to allow them to get a divorce due to extenuating circumstances.
  • Retcon: The conflict of Season 4's finale revolves around Breanna wanting to go to college in California, leaving everyone and everything behind. Arnaz stops her at the last possible moment and confesses that he can't live without her, and they decide to live together in Baltimore after all. Season 5 begins with them moving into a flat in Los Angeles, preparing for college life.
  • Retool: Season 5. It focuses on Breanna and Arnaz's college life.
  • Sassy Black Woman:
    • Tanya, Flex's first recurring girlfriend.
    • Nicole, Flex's ex-wife.
    • In later seasons, both Breanna and Spirit become this.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Flex the manly man to Duane's sensitive guy.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Averted with Duane and Flex. The former is goofier than the latter.
  • Spicy Latina: Natalie, Flex's girlfriend in the second season.
  • Spin-Off: Cuts.
  • Status Quo Is God: No matter what growth Flex has in his relationships, they never last since it would kinda screw up the concept of the series.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Duane finally gets a permanent girlfriend in Candy during Season 3. Also both Lisa and Benjaman (the snarky owner of the coffee shop that Breanna and friends frequent in Season 5) get together in the Season 5 finale. Lisa had spent most of the season pining after D-Mack who either ignored her or treated her like garbage while Benjamin pined for her.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Duane and Candy as the latter is much taller than the former.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Breanna starts out as this and becomes girlier with age.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Arnaz seems to be dumber beginning with the 4th season.
  • Wham Line: The show has had a few here and there.
    • What Natalie said that made her call off her engagement with Flex.
    Natalie: Flex, I don’t want to have kids.
  • Wham Shot: The shot of Nicole pregnant in the beginning of "It’s a Miserable Life" is definitely one for Breanna, dashing all hopes for her mom and dad to get back together.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Breanna and Arnaz for the entire series:
    Spirit: Y'all get on my nerves.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Spirit and Arnaz were Childhood Friends. Breanna was the stranger of the trio.


Video Example(s):


One on One theme

Theme song sung by Shanice and Tonex about a single dad and his daughter living together.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ExpositoryThemeTune

Media sources: