Uprooted to a new neighborhood and bussed to a predominantly white middle school two-hours away by his strict, hard-working parents, Chris struggles to find his place while keeping his siblings in line at home and dealing with the school bully, Joey.
When Chris's mother, Rochelle, hires the girl next door, Keisha, to tutor Drew at math, Chris sees this as an ideal chance to impress her. But someone else may have the same intentions.
Meanwhile, Julius finds himself in an awkward position when he becomes attracted to another woman, Sheila.
Chris joins the school bastketball team even though he can't play, but a failed pop quiz threatens to get him dropped.
Back at home Julius gets a lodger after he offers 6 months rent up front, despite the fact he makes Rochelle nervous.
Fists, rumors and even "D" batteries fly as the fight between Chris and school bully Joey Caruso (guest star Travis Flory) escalates, forcing school principal Dr. Raymond (guest star Jude Ciccolella) to step in. Meanwhile, when Rochelle quits her job and money gets tight, Julius makes a deal on a crate of sausages so the family has meat on table, but Tonya refuses to touch a link. Later, Drew is inspired to take up karate after watching a kung-fu movie.
Chris lets a neighbourhood kid ride his bike, despite Julius's warnings, and he takes off with it.
When Julius's co-workers go on strike he takes up some of the housework, much to Rochelle's annoyance.
It's Halloween and Chris is excited when another girl invites him to a costume party. But Caruso has plans for him...
Back at home, Julius buys cheap candy for the local kids.
When Julius and Rochelle have a special 'date night' they hire a baby-sitter. But Chris is called upon to take charge when she leaves to take care of something personal.
While Julius and Rochelle go shopping for a new TV, Chris has to take his warring siblings to the laundromat. Then things take a turn for the worse when Tonya storms out.
Julius finds 0 in food stamps but Rochelle is too embarassed to let Sheila see them, so she dips into the family savings while at the store. This leads to trouble at home when Julius has all kinds of ideas on how they can spend the cash they saved by using the stamps.
Elsewhere, Chris and Greg fall out over a school science project.
Chris and Greg fall out when they break the rule of 'no computer games' after school at Greg's house. Back at the Rock home, Tonya is missing Chris as she can't blame everything on him.
It's Christmas and Julius and Rochelle find it difficult in breaking the news that they can't afford presents because of broken water heater.
Chris is suprised to discover who the canned food drive is really for...
After Chris decides he wants to buy a leather jacket, he goes to work with Julius to earn some extra money. But it's not as easy as he thinks...
And Drew dares Tonya to drink hot sauce which ends in disaster
Chris tries to put together the right outfit for the school pictures in order to convince the other kids that he's cool. Rochelle tries to earn extra money selling cosmetics from home.
While Chris develops a crush, Julius and Rochelle have their work cut out dealing with all of Tonya's and Drew's admirers.
Chris receives a challenge to his crown of asteroid champion.
Julius and Rochelle agree to give up some guilty pleasures.
Chris fails math but he changes the grade on his report card before showing it to his parents.
Julius recovers from the gout by staying at home and watching soap operas.
Chris' beloved grandfather (Jimmie Walker) dies while paying a visit to Rochelle and the family, and the extended family comes to town to pay their respects.
The daily beatings at his school have Chris wanting to change schools. But when Julius and Rochelle won't let him change Chris resorts to attempts at getting himself expelled. Julius gets a job at a fish market. He makes more money, but his family is upset because he always comes home smelling like fish.
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.
Chris finds Julius' copy of Playboy and takes it to school and charges kids to look. But when Joey steals it he must work out a way to get it back before Julius realizes it's gone...
Chris must raise cash for the school trip by selling cookies.
Meanwhile Julius regrets sending Rochelle to Dreamgirls while he looks after Tonya and Drew who have chicken pox
While Chris finds his dad the perfect gift Julius decides he would like to spend Father's Day alone...