Whether you love her or hate her, it’s safe to say Madea likely doesn’t care. The fiercely protective grandmother is the star of more than 10 movies, and helped propel creator, writer, actor, director, and producer Tyler Perry to fame. Keep reading to find out how to watch all his Madea movies in order.
About the Madea Franchise
The brash, blunt, and at times brutal character of Mabel “Madea” Simmons launched Tyler Perry to fame and created a multi-million-dollar franchise.
The films can be polarizing, with some either loving or hating the no-nonsense grandmother, but the movies have been largely successful. The twelve theatrical releases grossed more than $650 million at box offices worldwide.
Tyler Perry first created the character of Madea for stage play productions. Oprah Winfrey attended a performance of Diary of a Mad Black Woman and subsequently invited Perry onto her show, which opened the door to the Madea film franchise.
Most, although not all, of the Madea movies are adaptations of Perry’s stage plays.
The character of Madea is a cross between Perry’s mother and aunt. In an interview, Perry also said Madea is the type of grandmother that was on every corner when he was growing up. She is absolute in taking no disrespect, and she loves those in her clan fiercely.
Another interesting note about the series is that Tyler Perry intended for A Madea Family Funeral to be the final movie.
After 20 years of portraying the character on screen, he said it was time for her retirement. However, obviously with the release of A Madea Homecoming in 2022, Perry changed his mind.
Perry said he brought Madea back in an attempt to encourage laughter amidst global turmoil and polarization.
It’s true that the Madea movies will be sure to evoke belly laughter. But amidst the witty jabs and slapstick humor, there is an undercurrent of more serious themes.
Almost every Madea movies has, at its core, themes of family, love, forgiveness, and redemption. Alongside the light-hearted humor, there are also moments of betrayal and alcoholism, that Madea and her family work through.
Madea Movies in Order
There are 13 movies that take place in Madea’s world, although the involvement of the pistol-packing grandma does vary.
For example, in Meet the Browns Madea only has a small role to play, but one of her scenes segues perfectly into the next movie, Madea Goes to Jail. As well, in I Can Do Bad All by Myself, Madea plays more the role of supporting character and comedic relief, with the main storyline developing around other characters.
While it is possible to watch the Madea movies in any order, it isn’t recommended. Each movie does follow a new plot and storyline, but watching the movies in order will allow you to follow the evolution of the series.
If you would like to find out more about each film, keep reading to discover the summary section below of all the Madea movies in order.
- Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005)
- Madea’s Family Reunion (2006)
- Meet the Browns (2008)
- Madea Goes to Jail (2009)
- I Can Do Bad All by Myself (2009)
- Madea’s Big Happy Family (2011)
- Madea’s Witness Protection (2012)
- A Madea Christmas (2013)
- Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Tough Love (2015)
- Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016)
- Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017)
- A Madea Family Funeral (2019)
- A Madea Homecoming (2022)
Madea Plays in Order
As previously mentioned, Tyler Perry’s plays were the inspiration behind this successful film franchise. Many of the plays have been adapted into movies of the same name.
But, if you’re interested in watching the original stage plays, then you’re in luck. Perry’s plays have been filmed and are available to watch.
- I Can Do Bad All by Myself (1999)
- Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2001)
- Madea’s Family Reunion (2002)
- Madea’s Class Reunion (2003)
- Madea Goes to Jail (2005)
- Madea’s Big Happy Family (2010)
- A Madea Christmas (2011)
- Madea Gets a Job (2012)
- Madea’s Neighbors from Hell (2013)
- Madea on the Run (2015)
- Madea’s Farewell Play (2019)
So, have we seen the end of Madea? It’s hard to say.
In addition to the movies above, Tyler Perry has also donned Madea’s muumuu for other cameos. Madea has appeared for guest appearances in TV shows such as House of Payne, Love Thy Neighbor, and Meet the Williams.
It’s uncertain if there will be another Madea movie. There is a Madea production in the works with Showtime that will have Tyler Perry passing the Madea torch to another actor for the first time.
The series, tentatively named Mabel, will take place in the 1970s with the titular character being portrayed by a woman for the first time.
However, as Perry has already said the series was at its end before rescinding its conclusion with the premiere of A Madea Homecoming, another movie is not to be ruled out if the inspiration strikes Perry.
He says he is looking for an exit, but remains tight-lipped on confirming another retirement of Madea for now.
Summary of the Madea Movies in Order
But before you start watching the Madea movies in order, you may want to know a little bit more about the plot of each film. Below you will find summaries for all 13 movies within the series. Each film has a runtime of between an hour and a half and two hours, with one exception that is noted below.
1. Diary of a Mad Black Woman
The first Madea movie is seen by many as the best, and it is absolutely the first movie you should watch if you’re looking to watch all the Madea movies in order.
After 18 years of marriage to lawyer Charles, Helen is shocked when he announces he’s ending their marriage and shacking up with another woman, Brenda. Helen retreats to the house of her grandmother Madea. Unfortunately, with her quick temper, Madea helps Helen destroy much of Charles’s property, earning Madea house arrest.
Meanwhile, as Charles prepares for the trial of a corrupt client, Helen begins to receive the advances of Orlando. He is an affectionate moving man with strong Christian values.
The adaptation of Tyler Perry’s play was a phenomenal financial and critical success. Perry stars as Madea, Kimberly Elise as Helen, Steve Harris as Charles, Lisa Marcos as Brenda, and Shemar Moore as Orlando. Perry also performs as Brian and Joe throughout the movie.
Darren Grant was the director, and Perry was the writer for the production. With an estimated budget of $5.5 million, it grossed $50.6 million worldwide.
2. Madea’s Family Reunion
The next year saw Tyler Perry following up his successful feature-length debut with the second Madea movie. This installment once more finds Madea at the crux of family drama. While trying to keep the peace, she will be delivering lessons about family and love.
Needless to say, the southern matriarch has a lot on her plate. Her nieces have relationship troubles, and Madea has just been ordered by the court to become the guardian of a rebellious teenager named Nikki. She must keep the peace and keep her family together while simultaneously planning her clan’s reunion.
In addition to starring in the production, Tyler Perry also was the writer and director. He donned his muumuu for the role Madea in addition to playing Brian and Joe again. Keke Palmer also stars in the movie as Nikki. Other stars include Blair Underwood, Lynn Whitfield, Boris Kodjoe, Lisa Arrindell, and Maya Angelou.
The film was a financial success, grossing more than $63 million worldwide on an estimated budget of $6 million.
3. Meet the Browns
Now, this isn’t a proper Madea film. However, it does include a cameo from Tyler Perry’s beloved character. It also segues perfectly into the next film all about Madea.
In this movie, single mother Brenda suddenly loses her job, then she receives news that the father she never met is dead. With nothing to lose, she gathers her brood and heads to Georgia. There she meets her father’s uproarious family for the first time and finds the tentative beginnings of a new romance.
In addition to his appearance as Madea and Joe in the film, Tyler Perry was also the director and the writer.
Meet the Browns stars Angela Bassett as Brenda, David Mann as Mr. Brown, and Tamela J. Mann as Cora Brown. It grossed nearly $42 million at box offices worldwide.
4. Madea Goes to Jail
Madea’s cameo scene in Meet the Browns perfectly segues into the trouble she finds herself in at the beginning of this movie, which is the fourth Madea movie in order of release.
After a high-speed car chase, Madea winds up behind bars because her quick temper gets the best of her.
Meanwhile, Assistant District Attorney Josh Hardaway lands a case that’s too personal to handle. That of a young prostitute and former drug addict named Candace. When Candace winds up in jail, Madea takes the young woman under her protective wing.
It is based on another stage play of Tyler Perry’s and in addition to starring as Madea, Joe, and Brian, Perry was also the director. Madea Goes to Jail stars Keshia Knight Pulliam as Candace Washington, Derek Luke as Joshua Hardaway, Sofia Vergara as T.T., and other returning members of Madea’s large family.
Madea Goes to Jail grossed more than $90 million at box offices worldwide.
5. I Can Do Bad All by Myself
In this film Madea largely takes a backseat to allow the storyline to focus on the other characters in the production. The subject matter is heavy and more serious, with Madea appearing to offer comedic relief.
However, Madea does have a large hand in events. When she catches three young siblings raiding her home, she takes matters into her own hands and delivers the children to their only relative: Aunt April.
At first, April, a boozy nightclub singer who leeches off her married boyfriend, wants nothing to do with them. But, then a Mexican immigrant, Sandino, begins renting a room in her basement. Suddenly, April begins to realize that life may hold more possibilities.
Tyler Perry once more reprised his role as Madea and Joe. Joining him was Tariji P. Henson as April, Gladys Knight as Wilma, Mary J. Blige as Tanya, and Adam Rodriguez as Sandino. Perry was also the director and writer for this movie, which is also based on one of his plays.
The estimated budget for this production was $13 million and it grossed nearly $52 million worldwide.
6. Madea’s Big Happy Family
Once more this was based on an original play of Tyler Perry’s, and it does bring the focus back to Madea with Perry starring in the role and offering up his trademark comedic relief. Perry is the director for this installment.
When Shirley, Madea’s niece, receives distressing news about her health, the only thing she wants is her family gathered around her. However, Shirley’s three adult children are too preoccupied with their own troubled lives to pay attention to their mother.
So, it is up to Madea, with the help of rowdy Aunt Bam, to bring the clan together and help Shirley deal with her crisis.
Loretta Devine stars as Shirley and Shad “Bow Wow” Moss, Shannon Kan, and Natalie Desselle-Reid star as her children. Cassi Davis plays the role of Aunt Bam, reprising her role from the production of the stage play.
The sixth Madea movie grossed $54 million worldwide against an estimated budget of $25 million.
7. Madea’s Witness Protection
Once more Tyler Perry starred, directed, and wrote this next installment of the Madea movies in order. However, unlike previous movies, this was an original production that was not previously a stage play.
For years, mild-mannered Wall Street banker George Needleman has meandered through life oblivious to his family’s dysfunction and his company’s malfeasance. But he’s forced to wake up when he learns that he’s been framed in a mob-backed Ponzi scheme.
Placed under federal protection, George and his family are shipped down South to Madea’s house, where the no-nonsense matriarch whips them all into shape using her special brand of tough love.
Joining Perry was Eugene Levy as George Needleman and Denise Richards as his wife Kate. Doris Roberts and Tom Arnold also star in the seventh Madea movie.
While this installment received some critical reviews, it still grossed nearly $67 million at box offices worldwide against an estimated budget of $20 million.
8. A Madea Christmas
This was Tyler Perry’s first venture into a holiday-themed Madea special and it would prove not to be his last. It was also adapted from his stage play of the same name.
This movie also features a change of scenery as Madea accompanies her niece, Eileen, to a small rural town to pay a surprise visit to Eileen’s daughter who has refused to come home for Christmas.
However, the real reason Lacey is avoiding her judgmental mother is that she has secretly married Conner, a white classmate from college. When Eileen and Madea arrive at Lacey’s farm, she tells them that Conner is an employee. But her lie soon spins out of control.
Anna Maria Horsford stars as Eileen, Tika Sumpter as Lacey, and Eric Lively as Connor. The movies also features Larry the Cable Guy, Chad Michael Murray, and Alicia Witt.
The film grossed $53 million worldwide against a budget of $25 million.
9. Madea’s Tough Love
This next installment in the list is a little bit different from the other additions. That’s because this is an animated production.
One morning while eating breakfast Madea is sucked into a television show. Once there she employs her trademark love and sass to discipline some local children after a run-in with the law.
The directors for this animated movie were Ben Gluck and Frank Marino. The writers were Ben Chambers, Matt Fleckenstein, and Ben Gluck using characters created by Tyler Perry and the consultation of Barbara Wall. Lending their voices to the project were Cassi Davis as Aunt Bam, Rolanda Watts as Betsy Holiday, Georg Standford Brown as the Mystery Man, and many more.
Unlike the other movies on this list, Madea’s Tough Love has a much shorter runtime of only 64 minutes.
10. Boo! A Madea Halloween
Following up on the success of A Madea Christmas, Tyler Perry wrote, directed, and starred in a Halloween special for the franchise. This is a comedy horror movie that is heavy-handed with its satire.
Trying to win the approval of her friends, 17-year-old Tiffany sneaks out of the house to go to a Halloween bash at a fraternity. The fun soon ends when police and the cranky, fast-talking Madea arrive to crash the party.
Unhappy with this sudden turn of events, the vengeful college students decide to scare Madea and her cronies with a series of pranks. She soon finds herself under attack and on the run from an assortment of ghosts, ghouls, and zombies on the scariest night of the year.
Diamond White stars as Tiffany, Cassi Davis as Aunt Bam, Patrice Lovely as Hattie, Bella Thorne as Rain, and Yousef Erakat as Jonathan.
The second holiday-themed movie in the series grossed nearly $75 million worldwide against an estimated budget of $20 million.
11. Boo 2! A Madea Halloween
The next Madea movie was a direct follow-up to the previous film with a second Halloween flick. This one still finds itself within the comedy horror genre; however, there is a touch more horror than the first.
Many of the same themes are revisited for Tyler Perry’s second spooky Madea movie. In this one Tiffany travels to Derrick Lake to celebrate her 18th birthday at a Halloween frat party in the middle of the woods.
Frantic and worried, Madea, Aunt Bam, and Hattie hop in the car to save her from the same terrible fate that befell a group of teens there years earlier. Chaos soon strikes when the would-be heroes find themselves fighting for their lives against an array of spooky monsters, goblins, and bogeymen.
The actors from the previous installment all returned to reprise their roles. Perry and Brian Schulman were the writers for the production and Perry was the director. The movie grossed $48 million worldwide against an estimated budget of $25 million.
12. A Madea Family Funeral
As previously said, this was initially touted as the final film in the franchise. However, Tyler Perry later changed his mind with the recent release of the next film on this list of the Madea movies in order. This did bring the series back to where it began with a non-animated, non-holiday-themed installment.
In this movie a joyous reunion in small-town Georgia turns into an unexpected nightmare. As Madea, Joe, Aunt Bam, and other family members gather for an anniversary party, they discover that it’s actually a sham.
Instead of fun and relaxation, Madea and the gang soon find themselves attending an elaborate funeral that doesn’t quite go according to plan.
Previous cast members returned for this installment, including Cassi Davis and Patrice Lovely. Tyler Perry once more was the star, director, and writer of the production. As well, joining the cast as Roy was Mike Tyson.
The twelfth installment in the franchise grossed nearly $75 million at box offices worldwide against an estimated budget of $20 million.
13. A Madea Homecoming
Finally, we have the most recent Madea movie, which Perry created with the hopes to give fans a few good belly laughs.
In this installment Madea is back, and she’s not putting up with any nonsense as family drama erupts at her great-grandson’s college graduation celebration.
Joining Tyler Perry as Madea, Brian, and Joe were many actors reprising their roles. Including Cassi Davis as Bam, David Mann as Mr. Brown, and Tamela J. Mann as Cora. Brendan O’Carroll stars as Agnes Brown.
Final thoughts on Madea movies in order
With thirteen films in the franchise there is plenty of viewing material to last you through multiple movie nights if you’re looking to watch all the Madea movies in order. While fans and critics tend to agree that the first movie is the best in the series, watching the Madea movies in order will help you decide for yourself whether that holds true.
Either way, Tyler Perry has built a remarkable series that pokes fun at itself while also tackling more serious issues such as family dynamics, incarceration, and alcoholism.
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