A black teen in Brooklyn during the early 1980s attends a mostly white school in a sitcom 'inspired by the childhood experiences' of comedian Chris Rock, who produced and narrates the series. Bolstered by a soundtrack that beautifully evokes the '80s, the show chronicles the life of the young Chris, whose family's penny-pinching is leavened by love (and laughs). At home, Chris helps care for his younger brother and sister, while at school he's often the target of a racist bully.
Hoping to FINALLY out-perform his brother, Chris convinces his parents to let him take up karate lessons. Meanwhile, Tonya goes with Rochelle to the beautician and discovers the fun of gossiping.
When Chris does poorly on an exam, Ms. Morello sends him to the school's guidance counselor, Mr. Abbott. The counselor gives Chris a series of mental evaluations and ultimately determines that he must take a remedial course.
After getting bullied Caruso stops bullying everyone else which upsets the balance at school. Julius tries to keep secret that he's been forced to take his vacation days.
When Chris offers to move his father's car, things get worse when he drives to school to show off for Tasha.
Chris has to reluctantly train the family's new dog into a security dog after their house is robbed, but he just wants a pet. Meanwhile, Tonya and Drew are bored without a television, so they find other means to keep themselves entertained - including making prank phone calls.
Chris is left alone in Mr. Omar's apartment when his family comes down with the flu and Mr. Omar, who's supposed to look after him until the family recovers, leaves him for a widowed woman. Greg then suggests he invite Tasha over for some 'alone time'. However, things spiral out of control when news spreads of Chris' newfound independence.
Chris joins the school newspapers' writing staff but his skills as a writer doesn't go down well so he invents a scandalous story that goes too far when it accidentally causes a panic in the neighborhood.
Greg comes to stay at Chris' house while his father is out of town but Chris starts to have regrets. To make extra money, Julius drives taxis in his spare time where one of his customers turns out to be a fugitive.
Chris goes to work at a Chinese restaurant after Doc refuses to give him a raise. Drew is failing a class so Rochelle and Julius have to go in to meet the teacher.
When another African American kid goes to Corleone he and Chris hit it off, unfortunately Albert doesn't get along with most of the other kids including Greg. When Julius and Rochelle get a tax refund Julius thinks it's a mistake and is afraid to spend it.
Chris has to do a school assignment during the holiday break. He decides to do a good deed and helps Kill Moves find his estranged mother. Meanwhile, Julius decides that the family should celebrate Kwanzaa instead of Christmas because it's less expensive.
The family take a trip down South when a distant relative of Julius dies. While waiting for a bus at Port Authority, Chris and Julius are conned into a gambling scam and lose all their money...Will they tell Rochelle?
Chris goes through a transitional phase when he discovers Tasha, his long-standing crush, likes "bad boys" and ditches his "nice guy" image. Meanwhile, Julius is named employee of the month and wins a free family dinner at a fancy restaurant with surprising restrictions.
Chris makes plans to get invited to a party so he can experience his first kiss with Tasha. Julius makes Tonya spy on her mother when the family spot Rochelle's ex at dinner. Drew shows his dark side when he lends Mr. Omar five dollars.
Chris wants to take Tasha to her Easter pageant after she breaks up with her boyfriend but Chris already has a commitment. Rochelle competes with a new member of the church to win the Easter Pageant Hat-Off competition, which she has won for four years in a row. Julius pretends he has to work so he can stay home and watch a football game.
When Drew decides to cut school to find Wayne Gretzky, Chris reluctantly agrees to go with him.
Chris has to take part in Mr. Omar's Black Funeral Director's scholarship fund when he tries ti raise enough money to go to a Run DMC concert. Meanwhile, Rochelle jumps at the chance to get a break at home when she injures her arm
Malvo returns and enlists Chris' help to make a fresh start. Drew inadvertently upsets Julius when he declares himself a Mets fan instead of a Dodgers fan like his father; and Rochelle steps in when she witnesses poor parenting skills from one of Tonya's friend's parents.
It's Earth Day in Bed Stuy and Chris decides to collect cans because he believes it will be easy and that he can get Julius to help. Meanwhile, Rochelle is called into Tonya's school for inappropriate behavior and realizes just where Tonya's attitude comes from.
Chris' attempt to be a "cool" kid lands him in hot water when he is caught with cigarettes and is suspended from school. Kicking him while he's down, Tonya blackmails him when she finds out before their parents do. Meanwhile, Rochelle decides to teach Julius a lesson.
When Chris becomes the only boy in school without a date for the ninth-grade dance, Ms. Morello suggests he ask the only girl without a date, and she accepts. But trouble ensues when word gets out about the inter-racial pairing. Meanwhile, Tonya stresses her parents out about ballet classes.
When Chris attempts to buy Rochelle perfume as a Mother's Day gift, he discovers he cannot afford it and buys it from Risky. However, Rochelle breaks out in hives and takes Chris to the store she believes he bought it from. Meanwhile, Drew and Julius do a spot of spring cleaning and make an expensive find.
Chris is disappointed when he finds out that Greg will be going to a different high school next year. He tries to get the necessary grant money so he can afford to go to Greg's school. Rochelle volunteers Drew to be Tanya's dance partner in Swan Lake after her ballet partner gets hurt.
As a first-time high school student, Chris (Tyler James Williams) is really looking forward to attending a school with some diversity. Unfortunately, when he arrives at school, he discovers that the school's new principal, Ms. Morello (guest star Jacqueline Mazarella), has placed him in the only all-white homeroom.
Chris agrees to help a classmate, Angel improve his grades if Angel will help him get the attention of Chris' latest crush, Maria.
Chris is thrilled when Jenise Huckstable asks him to the homecoming dance. His nerves begin to get the better of him when Jenise tells him that her father Dr. Clint Huckstable wants to meet him before the dance. Drew tries to get Doc to feng shui the store when he takes over Chris' hours.
After Julius and Rochelle raise the rent, Mr. Omar demands reparations and moves in with the family while his apartment is being repaired. While there, he begins to play blackjack with Drew and Tonya using real money. Meanwhile, Chris is assigned to do a book report and decides to watch the movie instead of reading the book as an easy way out. However, as he later learns from Greg, the movie he saw did not match the book assigned.
Although warned by Greg that it's a bad idea, Chris starts to help the football team with their homework as a means to socialize with the cool kids. As a result, Chris ends up failing his own exams. Meanwhile, Julius begins a new job collecting dead bodies for Mr. Omar's funeral home and soon finds himself appreciating life more. He begins to buy numerous gifts for his friends and relatives, but then ends up with financial troubles.
Doc has a new girlfriend who is making life hard for Chris so he decides it's time to get her to move on. Rochelle is not happy when she finds a bra in Julius' sock draw, but what she doesn't know is that Tonya is the one that hid it there.
Chris has a dilemma when a reward is offered for anyone who witnessed a shoot-out outside a movie theater. Chris was there but he was supposed to be babysitting Tonya and Drew - what will he do? Meanwhile, Julius and Rochelle have a very eventful anniversary at a Broadway musical.
When the dorkiest girl in school, who everyone calls "Big Bird", asks Chris out on a date, he agrees but only to spare her feelings. He soon realizes after spending time with her that he genuinely likes her.
Julius begins to take marriage advice from "The Oprah Winfrey Show" leading Rochelle to suspect an affair. Meanwhile, Chris volunteers for the "Big Brothers" program and is shocked when he learns the identity of is his "little brother".
New Year's Eve in Times Square is something Chris really wants this year but needs an adult to accompany him. And that is where problems arise... Meanwhile, Tonya and Drew make a bet to see who stays up the longest and Julius becomes a local hero.
When Rochelle orders a copy of her birth certificate, she realizes that she is actually one year younger than she thought she was and decides to start living her life with a new, younger attitude. After a complete stranger helps Chris to safety during a city-wide blackout, Chris decides to repay the older man by getting him out to meet new friends. Meanwhile, Greg feels like he has no identity after realizing that everyone at school knows him only as "Chris and Greg."
Chris and Greg decide to join the wrestling team to earn a varsity jacket in order to impress the ladies. Meanwhile, Rochelle attempts to lose weight by drinking a popular weight-loss drink which gives Julius a money-saving idea and Tonya jeopardizes Drew's all-girl singing group.
In order to attend an age-restricted concert, Chris and Greg try to get themselves a fake ID. Elsewhere, Rochelle plans Julius' surprise party, and Drew tries returning a pair of faulty X-ray vision glasses he bought in the mail.
Rochelle inadvertently prevents Chris from "cramming" for an upcoming PSAT test by taking the family out to a social event. Knowing a good score will help him get into college, Chris resorts to cheating...
Coach Thurman spots Caruso bullying Chris and suggests he take up boxing to defend himself. Meanwhile, Julius has a new set of problems when he suspects Rochelle of adultery and catches the eye of a female neighbor...
Chris reluctantly agrees to hide away some marijuana for a fleeing crook, and now must find someplace to store it before he gets in trouble. Meanwhile, Peaches helps Rochelle learn a new computer system at the beauty salon.
While test driving a car, Chris accidentally hits Greg. Greg ends up in a hospital for a broken leg. Since Greg's parents are out of town, Rochelle drops her vacation plans to take care of him, which leaves Julius to entertain the kids at the shore where it usually rains each day.
After Chris gets his driver's license, Rochelle and Julius give him permission to buy a car, but when the car is stolen and vandalized Chris realizes owning a car is a huge responsibility. While looking for her secret stash of cigarettes, Rochelle comes across Julius' hidden racing form.
Chris decides to take a stand against his mother, Rochelle, and refuses to do his household chores, causing Rochelle to complain to Julius that her son is disrespecting her. Meanwhile, Mr. Omar thinks he's dying and decides to start saying whatever is on his mind.
Chris is shocked when Tasha agrees to be his girlfriend. But he is even more shocked when he discovers how much of his free time would disappear by having a girlfriend. Meanwhile, Rochelle discovers that Julius has been married before, and had never gotten a legal divorce.
When Chris is given the task of memorizing the longest presidential inaugural address and reciting it in front of the class as a punishment, he cooks up a surprising way of postponing his presentation. Meanwhile, Rochelle has problems of her own when a customer puts a hex on her.
It's the last week of school and while Drew decides he wants to try out for Amateur Night at the Apollo even without a talent at his disposal, Chris is informed that if he gets one more tardy he will have to repeat the 10th grade. But one day he misses the bus and arrives at school late, forcing him to deliver the bad news to his parents.
After Julius' truck is stolen Rochelle decides to get involved with a neighborhood watch group, but instead ends up in a competition with new neighbor Louise (Whoopi Goldberg). Chris asks out a new girl in the neighborhood hoping not to get rejected again. Drew has the girls all over him when he volunteers to be a crossing guard.
Chris runs for class president, with his friend Greg as running mate. When a poll reveals that Chris has no chance of winning, he drops Greg for someone more popular. Julius is diagnosed with high blood pressure, and Rochelle decides he must reduce the stress in his life.
Chris knows the only way to win the election is by giving the best speech ever but when his speech is stolen by Caruso, he knows he has to do something drastic. Rochelle rents the upstairs apartment to Mr. Omar, the local funeral director. Drew finds and spends the ten dollars that Rochelle lost.
Chris gets the everyone in the neighborhood to believe that he is dating Tasha. That doesn't set well with Tasha's grandmother Louise and she makes sure that Rochelle knows about it. Julius must redeem all of the trading stamps he's been saving. Drew thinks that Rochelle is paying more attention to Chris and Tonya than to him.
Chris loses his job when he refuses to tell Doc who robbed the store while Chris was in charge of the cash register. Julius brings home an old Betamax machine.
The new principal, Mr. Edwards, decides that the best way to solve the issues between Chris and Caruso is to have them become buddies on a school field trip. When Rochelle's favorite earrings are missing Tanya is the prime suspect. Julius tries to find a Wayne Gretzky jersey for Drew.
Chris faces an impeachment hearing. Rochelle's brother moves in after being kicked out by their mother, but it's more than Julius can take. Tonya asks Drew to show her how to "Double Dutch."
Guest star Wayne Brady play Julius' succesful younger brother. Julius tries to impress him with the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, but things don't go smoothly.
Everything goes right for Chris when Julius loans him his lucky socks. Drew and Tonya play Julius and Rochelle against each other to get what they want. Drew enters the talent show at school, but nobody wants to tell him he can't sing.
In order to make some extra money, Julius and Chris take a job at a department store as Santa and an elf. Things don't go well when Julius is fired and Chris ends up in the hospital.
For a lesson on parenting skills Chris is given an egg to take care of as if it were his child. When the electricity bill is over budget, Julius decides to figure out why. Drew a werewolf? That's what Tanya thinks so she's afraid to sleep.
Chris gets no respect when he has hall monitor duty. Greg tells him to "step up his game" but the power goes to Chris' head and he could lose Greg as his friend. Tonya finds out her popularity is because the girls want to get close to Drew.
When school is closed for a snow day, Chris is the only one that shows up, so he has to spend the day with Principal Edwards until they get get in touch with his parents. When Julius realizes that Chris isn't around he goes to find him, and Rochelle is a robbed on the subway.
When Ms. Morello is off of school for the day, Chris and Greg cut school to go see Ghostbusters. Drew and Tonya aren't happy that Rochelle is going to help out at their school. Julius renews his license at DMV.
When Chris ruins Malvo's plans to steal Vanessa's gold chain, he must figure out a way to replace it or pay the price to Malvo. Rochelle finds out that Julius has kept a credit card secret from her for over 15 years. Tonya tries to win Billy Ocean concert tickets from a radio station.
Chris is a hit as a DJ after the neighborhood DJ gets arrested during a party. Chris has a problem when he scratches Rochelle's James Brown album. Julius passes out when he sees a rabbit at a magic show he takes Drew to.
Chris must decide between going to a baseball game with his Dad and brother, or going to the movies with Tasha. Rochelle forgets to mail Tonya's letter to the Billy Ocean fan club. Rochelle's brother asks her hairdresser out on a date.
Doc discovers that Chris is a natural at picking the game winners, making Chris everyone's favorite odds-maker. Things change when Paulie the local bookie shows up to see Chris. Tonya tries to beat Drew at checkers.
When Chris secretly listens to his parents' comedy albums, he discovers that telling dirty jokes to his classmates is the key to popularity. Drew has to deal with an unwanted admirer in the neighborhood; and Rochelle decides to find her mother a man.
Rochelle decides to help tutor Chris for a math competition in algebra, when Chris doesn't think she's helping he turns to his grandmother Maxine for help. Tonya blackmails Drew when she takes the blame for breaking Julius' favorite chair for Drew.
Chris plays a prank on Caruso on the last day of school.