Inspired by his childhood experiences, comedian Chris Rock narrates the hilarious, touching story of a teenager growing up as the eldest of three children in Brooklyn, New York, during the early 1980s. Uprooted to a new neighborhood and bused into 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 surmounting the challenges of junior high.
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.
Meanwhile, Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) helps Tonya (Imani Hakim) land a job at Vanessa's (guest star Jackee Harry) beauty salon, but the customers don't take kindly to Tonya's brutally honest comments about their looks.
Chris (Tyler James Williams) agrees to help a classmate, Angel (guest star Hector A. Garcia), improve his grades if Angel will help him get the attention of Chris' latest crush, Maria (guest star Marisol Esparza).
Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) reluctantly befriends an ex-con, Peaches (guest star Tisha Campbell Martin), who has moved back into the neighborhood, but her good deed backfires when Peaches won’t leave her alone.
Meanwhile, Mr. Omar (guest star Ernest Thomas) goes out of town and leaves Tonya (Imani Hakim) and Drew (Tequan Richmond) in charge of caring for his fish.
Chris (Tyler James Williams) is on cloud nine when a cute girl, Jenise Huckstable (guest star Tristin Mays), invites him to the Tattaglia Homecoming Dance.
However, his nerves take a turn for the worse when Jenise tells him that her father, Dr. Clint Huxtable (guest star Orlando Jones), wants Chris to come over to the house (a look-alike Cosby living room set) to meet him before the dance.
Meanwhile, with Chris busy working with the high school's football team, Drew (Tequan Richmond) takes over Chris' hours at Doc's (guest star Antonio Fargas) store and convinces Doc to "feng shui" the store.
When Julius (Terry Crews) and Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) decide to raise Mr. Omar's (guest star Ernest Thomas) rent, Mr. Omar demands they bring the apartment up to code and moves in with Chris' (Tyler James Williams) family until the repairs are done. While staying with the family, Mr. Omar starts playing blackjack with Drew (Tequan Richmond) and Tonya (Imani Hakim) and decides to make it more interesting by playing with real money. After being assigned a book report on Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man," Chris decides he'd rather watch the movie than read the book, but Greg (Vincent Martella) breaks the news that the movie Chris watched, "The Invisible Man," is completely different than the book he was supposed to read.
Chris (Tyler James Williams) realizes that by helping the school's star running back (guest star BJ Britt) and his friends with homework he is allowed to hang out with the cool kids. Greg (Vincent Martella) tries to make him see that it's a bad idea, but Chris is too happy with his new friends to realize the downside until he fails his own quarterly exam. Julius (Terry Crews) has a new appreciation for life after he starts a side job picking up dead bodies for Mr. Omar's (guest star Ernest Thomas) funeral home. Unfortunately, Julius appreciates life so much that he gets himself into financial trouble as a result of buying too many gifts for his family and friends.
When Doc's (guest star Antonio Fargas) obnoxious new girlfriend, Stacy (guest star Robin Givens), makes Chris' (Tyler James Williams) life a living hell, Chris decides it's about time he split up the happy couple.
Meanwhile, Tonya (Imani Hakim) starts wearing a bra to get the attention of the boys in her class, but Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) loses her mind when Tonya naively hides her bra in Julius' (Terry Crews) sock drawer and Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) finds it there.
Although he is supposed to be home watching Drew (Tequan Richmond) and Tonya (Imani Hakim), Chris (Tyler James Williams) sneaks out to go to the movies with his friends and witnesses a shoot-out outside the theater. When a reward is offered to anyone who may have seen the crime, Chris can't decide the best way to go about collecting the money.
Meanwhile, Julius (Terry Crews) takes Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) to a Broadway musical for their anniversary, but when he accidentally hits one of the cast members, he and Rochelle are thrown out of the theater.
Chris (Tyler James Williams) is just starting to fit in at his new high school when he gets asked on a date by the dorkiest girl in school, Kelly (guest star Nina Mansker), whom everyone calls "Big Bird."
Chris only agrees to go out with her because he doesn't want to hurt her feelings, but after spending some time together he realizes that he genuinely likes her.
Julius (Terry Crews) realizes that the key to keeping Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) happy in their marriage is getting advice from "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
Unfortunately, the plan backfires when Rochelle equates Julius' new attitude with an extramarital affair. Chris (Tyler James Williams) volunteers for the "Big Brothers" program, but is surprised to learn who is assigned to him as his "little brother."
Chris (Tyler James Williams) is determined to spend New Year's Eve in Times Square, but Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) says Chris can only go if he finds a responsible adult to accompany him. The only problem is that the only people Chris can find to be his chaperone are two ex-convicts, Peaches (guest star Tisha Campbell-Martin) and Malvo (guest star Ricky Harris).
Julius (Terry Crews) stops a man from jumping off the George Washington Bridge and becomes a local hero on the evening news.
Drew (Tequan Richmond) and Tonya (Imani Hakim) make a bet to see who can stay up the latest.
When Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) 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 (Tyler James Williams) to safety during a city-wide blackout, Chris (Tyler James Williams) decides to repay the older man by getting him out to meet new friends. Meanwhile, Greg (Vincent Martella) feels like he has no identity after realizing that everyone at school knows him only as “Chris and Greg.”
Chris (Tyler James Williams) and Greg (Vincent Martella) decide to join the wrestling team to land a varsity jacket to impress the ladies. Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) attempts to lose weight by drinking a popular weight-loss drink, and Julius (Terry Crews) decides the whole family should go on the diet when he realizes it’s cheaper than buying groceries. Drew (Tequan Richmond) decides to start an all-girl singing group, but he may live to regret his decision to let diva-in-training Tonya (Imani Hakim) join the group.
Chris (Tyler James Williams) and Greg (Vincent Martella) realize they’d better find fake IDs or they won’t be able to go to the “18 and over” Fat Boys concert. Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) plans a surprise party for Julius (Terry Crews). Drew (Tequan Richmond) orders a pair of x-ray glasses in the mail, but when he discovers they don’t work, he decides to track down the company and hold them responsible for their faulty product.
Knowing that he needs to score well to help him get into college, Chris (Tyler James Williams) decides to cram for his PSAT test, but when Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) makes the family attend a social event, Chris is left with no time to study and resorts to buying the PSAT answer key. Julius (Terry Crews) wins a sweepstakes for a new television, but soon realizes it’s a trap for people who have unpaid parking tickets.
Coach Thurman (guest star Paul Ben-Victor) witnesses Chris (Tyler James Williams) being bullied by Caruso (Travis Flory) and suggests Chris learn to box to defend himself. Julius (Terry Crews) catches the eye of a beautiful woman in the neighborhood who begins doing peep shows for him from her bedroom window, unaware that it is Drew (Tequan Richmond) and his friends who are watching. Julius thinks Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) is having an affair when he finds a telephone bill showing several calls to an unknown number late at night.
Chris reluctantly agrees to hold onto a stash of marijuana for a criminal on the run, but he finds it difficult to find an appropriate hiding place that won't get him in trouble. Meanwhile, Vanessa insists that Rochelle learn the beauty salon's new computer system, enlisting the help of Peaches which does not sit well with Rochelle.
Chris (Tyler James Williams) accidentally hits Greg (Vincent Martella) while test driving the janitor’s car, landing Greg in the hospital with a broken leg. Meanwhile, with both of Greg’s parents out of town, Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) decides to skip the family vacation so she can take care of Greg. Julius (Terry Crews) must figure out a way to entertain Drew (Tequan Richmond) and Tonya (Imani Hakim) when it rains the entire time they are on vacation at the beach.
After Chris (Tyler James Williams) gets his driver’s license, Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) and Julius (Terry Crews) 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 Rochelle by refusing to do his household chores, causing Rochelle to complain to Julius that her son is disrespecting her. Meanwhile, Mr. Omar thinks he is dying and decides to start saying whatever is on his mind.
Chris finally manages to ask out Tasha and she accepts but then Chris doesn't expect that all his free time and only doing things that Tasha wants to do is the result of being with his long-standing crush. Meanwhile, Rochelle discovers Julius' shocking secret!
When Chris and his classmates are given the task of memorizing a World War II speech and reciting it in front of the class as a punishment, Chris cooks up a surprising way of postponing his presentation. Meanwhile, Rochelle has problems of her own when a customer puts a hex on her.
During the last week of school, Chris (Tyler James Williams) is informed that if he gets one more tardy he will have to repeat the 10th grade. Chris does his best to make it to school on time, but one day he misses the bus and arrives at school late, forcing him to deliver the bad news to his parents (Terry Crews and Tichina Arnold). Drew (Tequan Richmond) decides he wants to try out for Amateur Night at the Apollo, but must come up with a talent first.