List of Raising Hope characters
- 1 Main cast
- 2 Recurring cast
- 3 Guest stars
- 4 References
- 5 External links
James "Jimmy" Bon Jovi Chance played by Lucas Neff, Hope's father. A good-natured, wide-eyed 23-year-old who is clueless about raising a child and everything else. He met and had a one-night stand with Lucy Carlyle, resulting in her pregnancy and the birth of Hope. He did not know about Hope until seven months later when Lucy contacted him. He works for his father's landscaping and pool cleaning business, and later gets a second job as a bagger at Howdy's, a grocery store. He also did not know that Lucy was a serial killer until the morning after their one-night stand. Jimmy is harmless and kindhearted, but dimwitted. He is a talented artist. When he was a teenager, he went through a phase where he dressed like a goth. In Season 2 Episode 1, it was revealed that he used to have musical talent when he was young. (Teen singer, Greyson Chance played 13-year old Jimmy in the episode "Prodigy") In Season 3, he marries Sabrina and moves in with her.
Virginia Slims Chance played by Martha Plimpton. Hope's grandmother, Jimmy's mother, and Burt's wife. She is sarcastic and frequently utters malaprops. When she was younger, she had a scoliosis and had to wear a back brace, but she claims that having sex with Burt cured her of it. Virginia conceived Jimmy when she was fifteen (he was born on prom night). Her mother wanted to be a swinger and left her when she was two years old, leaving her to be raised by her grandmother, Maw Maw, who told Virginia that her mother had died when she'd fallen and hit her head on a duck lawn ornament. In the pilot, she is shown chainsmoking, but she quits in the second episode and gives Jimmy her cigarette money to pay for Hope's daycare. Virginia works as a housecleaner. For the first season, Martha Plimpton was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Burt Jebbidiah Chance played by Garret Dillahunt. Hope's grandfather, Jimmy's father, and Virginia's husband. Burt conceived Jimmy with Virginia when he was seventeen. He is dimwitted, but very kindhearted. He is a recovered gambling-addict. He has a lawn care/pool cleaning business with Jimmy as his assistant. As a teenager, he wanted to be a rockstar, and he is often shown playing his guitar.
Played by identical twins Baylie and Rylie Cregut, Hope Chance (born Princess Beyonce Carlyle), Jimmy and Lucy's daughter, Virginia and Burt's granddaughter and Maw Maw's great-great-granddaughter. Hope was conceived in Jimmy's van when he went out to get bubblegum ice cream and met a distressed Lucy Carlyle with whom he had a one-night stand. Hope is shown to be very intelligent, which she gets from her mother, as she was able to do the shape-sorter when she was two (Jimmy wasn't able to do it even when he was four) and pass a GED test by randomly filling in the dots. At one point, she scared her family by showing violent tendencies that made them think she was going to become a serial killer like Lucy; but they realized Lucy was a serial killer because she suppressed her anger and let it out drastically by killing and, if they let Hope release her anger normally, she'd be just fine.
Sabrina Collins played by Shannon Woodward. She works at the nearby grocery market despite coming from a rich family. She spends most of her time drawing on cantaloupes and mixing up the cereals and soup cans. In Season 1, Sabrina immediately catches Jimmy's attention, but she has a boyfriend, Wyatt, who is studying Finance in New York. In the season two episode, Jimmy's Fake Girlfriend, she breaks up with Wyatt after realizing how selfish he is, and starts dating Jimmy. In season three, she marries Jimmy and they move into her grandmother's old house. In Squeak means Squeak, she reveals that she is worried about her ability to be a parent to Hope, but after Hope calls her "mommy", she becomes more confident in herself. In the season four episode, Adoption, Sabrina officially adopts Hope. She is extremely nearsighted but usually wears contact lenses.
Barbara June "Maw Maw" Thompson played by Cloris Leachman. Virginia's 84-year-old grandmother, Jimmy's great-grandmother, and Hope's great-great-grandmother, who owns the American Craftsman house at 3300 Bradley Avenue where the Chances all live. Maw Maw appears to have dementia and has only short-lived moments of lucidity in which she can be very helpful or very angry about the entire family living in her house. Her moments of lucidity are random, and each member of the household has revolving "dibs" on a task they would like her to accomplish during these times. A "Special Guest Star" in Season 1, in subsequent seasons her billing read, "And Introducing Cloris Leachman as Maw Maw," joking about Leachman's decades-long career in comedy. Leachman also played the character of Norma June, Maw Maw's long-estranged, presumed deceased 104-year-old mother, in the Season 3 finale, "Mother's Day", in which both women argue, then reconcile, after which Norma June passes away peacefully in the bathroom. For the first season, Leachman was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
Barney Hughes (Gregg Binkley) is the manager of Howdy's, the store where Jimmy and Sabrina work. He used to be overweight but he had gastric bypass surgery. He is divorced. His parents are two lesbians. He likes to collect dolls and pig figurines. He had a brief relationship with Sabrina's Aunt Maxine. Like Burt, he is a recovered gambling addict. He was a recurring character for the first season and got promoted to main cast for the rest of the series.
Appeared in: 71 episodes
Shelley (Kate Micucci) is Sabrina's cousin. Shelley had previously made out with Jimmy during a party. Two years later, Shelley reappears after Jimmy needs a babysitter. Shelley is positive that Jimmy loves her and they start a relationship, which is ended by Jimmy when he reveals his feelings for Sabrina to her. She used to have a dead tooth that she kept as a conversation starter, but had it fixed out of fear of being made fun of. Shelley runs a daycare center for children, dogs, and senior citizens, for whom she frequently plays the ukulele and composes songs. In the episode "Mongooses," she is seen repeatedly turning her light switch on and off forty-five times, believing she must do so "to stay alive". As Hope's babysitter, they grow a strong bond. In season 2 episode 20, Shelley is the first name Hope says, to Sabrina's annoyance. In season 4, Frank professed his love for her and the two started a relationship.
Appeared on: 26 episodes
Frank (Todd Giebenhain) is a creepy and incompetent co-worker at the store where Jimmy and Sabrina work. However, in the Season 1 finale, it was shown that he used to do a good job before he wasn't watching what he was doing and the can accidentally hit Shelley. It was revealed in season 2's The Men of New Natesville, that he shared the same bully as Jimmy in high school, and the two of them bonded over the fact. Since then, he has largely displaced Javier and Marcus as Jimmy's best male friend. In season 3, he and Jimmy were married, but later got an annulment in the episode “What Happens at Howdy's Doesn't Stay at Howdy's”. He has a close relationship with Maw Maw in season 4, and was briefly her lover. Later in season 4, he professed his love for Shelley and the two started a relationship.
Appeared on: 50 episodes
Andrew (Ethan Suplee) is a timid neighbor with a verbally abusive wife/ex-wife who clings to Burt as his only friend once his wife is gone.
Appeared on: 5 episodes
Javier and Marcus
Both appeared on: 5 episodes
Mike Chance (Skyler Stone) is Jimmy's cousin and Hope's first cousin once removed. He worked for Burt's gardening business before leaving with a girl to join a cult. In "The Cultish Personality", Mike returns with his wife Tanya (Mary Lynn Rajskub) and "brother-husbands" Jeff (Paul F. Tompkins), Rodney (Chris Frontiero) and Chester (Kent Avenido). Tanya practices polyandry. It is revealed that his father (Burt's brother) Bruce (J.K. Simmons) had kicked him out of the house, and Burt had taken him in. After being falsely accused by Burt of kidnapping Hope (Burt's attempt to get Mike out of the cult and back with his father), Mike reunites with his father and joins the family mattress business. In the pilot, Stone was credited as a main character, but by the second episode, he was written out.
Appeared on: 4 episodes
Sylvia and Donovan
Sylvia and Donovan (Tichina Arnold and Phill Lewis) are rich friends of Burt and Virginia's. They first met the Chance family when Jimmy attempted to make friends with their son, although they had already known Virginia through her cleaning their house.
Arnold appeared on: 3 episodes
Lewis appeared on: 2 episodes
Wyatt (Ryan Doom) is Sabrina's ex-boyfriend, who is away at college. He isn't liked by Jimmy and his family. Sabrina and Wyatt break up when Jimmy and his (fake) girlfriend take them on a double date, which reveals Wyatt's selfishness to Sabrina.
Appeared on: 8 episodes
Lucy Carlyle (Bijou Phillips) is Hope's mother. She is a serial killer who has killed several of her boyfriends after inadvertent influence provided by Shelly (who merely said she should "get rid of" her boyfriend, but Lucy took the advice out of context and thought she meant kill him). She met Jimmy after trying to escape her latest murder attempt. She then seduces him and becomes pregnant with Hope. Soon afterward, the Chances learn what Lucy really is and turn her in to the police. Eight months later, Lucy contacts Jimmy and reveals that she is pregnant with Jimmy's baby. After delivering a daughter she originally names Princess Beyoncé, Lucy is sentenced to death by electric chair. In one of the later episodes, Jimmy, Burt, and Virginia receive the memoir Lucy left Hope, which includes a video about how to survive in prison and how to dance sexually. In the first part of the season 2 finale, it is revealed that Jimmy married Lucy in prison, and that Lucy is not dead after all. In the second part, Lucy arrives at the Chance's house and says that if Jimmy and Hope don't move to Tibet with her she will fight for sole custody of their daughter. Lucy's lawyer wins the case and Lucy gets Hope. Sabrina understands that, although Jimmy loves her, he loves his child and it would be wrong to keep him from Hope, and so tearfully agrees that he should go with Lucy. On the way to the airport they pass Sabrina and Jimmy stares out of the car window at her, leading Lucy to stop the car and ask him if he really does love Sabrina, to which he replies yes. Lucy then gets out of the car, says "I'm doing this for my daughter." and chases after Sabrina with a knife; but before she can kill her, she is run over by a blind Carl driving Smokey Floyd's tour bus. Jimmy then gets Hope back and the Chances go back to their ordinary lives. She did not appear until season three again when the death certificate was needed to make Jimmy and Sabrina's wedding certificate official. So when Virginia and Burt go to get it from her dad, she attacks them and is shocked by an electric collar, revealed to still be alive.
In Greg Garcia's original pilot script of the series, Lucy is not killed by the electric chair due to loose wires. After the failed execution, she argues with the warden that a second attempt to kill her would be considered barbaric, comparing it to the case of Willie Francis. She mentions that the case eventually went to the Supreme Court, and while they ruled against him five votes to four, she states that that was before female judges, lamenting that "No way Ginsburg and Sotomayor let me fry try twice". Believing that God "saved" her "for a reason", she also demands Jimmy to return Hope to her. However, Jimmy ultimately decides against it. It is implied at the end of the script that the character was to become a recurring antagonist, as the headline of a newspaper reads "Execution botched. Lawyers vow to get client released". Elements of the original script were reused when Lucy was revealed to be alive in the season 2 finale.
Appeared on: 7 episodes
Rosa (Carla Jimenez) is Virginia's Mexican boss. Virginia and Burt temporarily moved into Rosa's house after Maw Maw kicked them out. She has three children. She later recommended her company to give Virginia a promotion.
Appeared on: 12 episodes
Jack (Sean Bridgers) is a ponytailed hippie who "kidnapped" Burt twenty years ago.
Appeared on: 2 episodes
Wally Phipps (Lou Wagner) is an incompetent attorney who "helps" the Chances with occasional legal matters.
Appeared on: 8 episodes
Reverend Bob (Leslie Jordan) couple-counselled Jimmy and Sabrina and later performed their wedding. He married a foreign woman, not for love, but to help her get U.S. citizenship. He has shown to have some homosexual feelings.
Appeared on: 2 episodes
Throughout the series, many of the regular or recurring cast members of My Name is Earl have appeared in supporting parts from minor to main.
- Greg Germann as Dale Carlyle, Lucy's father and Hope's grandfather, a psychiatrist treating his wife.
- Valerie Mahaffey as Margine Carlyle, Lucy's mother and Hope's grandmother. She is being treated by her husband (who was previously her therapist) for depression. She and her husband try to kidnap Hope twice and wind up in prison.
- Jason Lee as Smokey Floyd, a washed-up rock star for whom Burt once tried to audition until Smokey told him to take baby Jimmy and go.
- Brandon T. Jackson as Justin, a fellow young father who Jimmy tries to befriend.
- Amy Sedaris as Delilah, Virginia's cousin, MawMaw's granddaughter, Jimmy's first cousin once removed and Hope's first cousin twice removed.
- Laura Avey as teenage Delilah
- JK Simmons as Bruce, Burt's brother, Mike's father, Jimmy's uncle and Hope's great-uncle.
- Mary Lynn Rajskub as Tanya, Mike's polygamist wife.
- Ashley Tisdale as Mary-Louise, Jimmy's fake girlfriend.
- Katy Perry as Rikki Hargrove, Sabrina's childhood friend who became a women's prison guard.
- Paul F. Tompkins as Jeff, one of Mike's "brother-husbands."
- Eddie Steeples as Tyler, the Gas Man / arcade manager / pizza man.
- Greyson Chance as Young Jimmy, with musical talent
- Jaime Pressly as Donna, Andrew's abusive wife who leaves him after her one guest appearance.
- Lee Majors and Shirley Jones as Burt's parents.
- Melanie Griffith as Tamara, Sabrina's mother.
- David Krumholtz as Carl, a blind man for whom the Chance family offered to babysit his seeing eye pig. After Maw Maw killed the pig, they bought a pig at a petting zoo, and trained it to help Carl.
- Dale Dickey, portraying Patty, the daytime hooker, the same character from My Name Is Earl
- Molly Shannon as Maxine
- Mike O'Malley as Jim
- Whit Hertford as Officer Ross, Natesville's resident law enforcer and keeper of the peace.
- Hilary Duff as Rachel, Jimmy's former girlfriend.
- Jeffrey Tambor as Arnold, Virginia's long-lost father, Jimmy's grandfather and Hope's great-grandfather.
- Mary Birdsong as Mayor Suzie Hellmann
- Mary Gross as Denise Jenkins
- Brian Doyle Murray as Walt
- Richard Dean Anderson as Keith
- Anthony Anderson as a neighbour
- "Raising Hope: Cast & Details". TVGuide.com. Retrieved December 1, 2010.