Cleveland Orenthal Brown, Jr. is a fictional character on the animated TV series The Cleveland Show, but originally appeared in the Family Guy episode "Love Thy Trophy." He is the son of Cleveland Brown and his late ex-wife Loretta. On Family Guy, he was depicted as slim and hyperactive; however, on The Cleveland Show he is shown to have undergone a marked transformation, both in terms of a significant increase in weight and a newly subdued personality. He was voiced by Mike Henry on Family Guy and Kevin Michael Richardson on The Cleveland Show.
At thirteen years old, Junior is the only child of Cleveland and Loretta, and the step brother of Roberta and Rallo. Junior's most prominent character traits are his laziness, obesity and low social intelligence (although there are occasional references to him being academically bright).
Since his parents' divorce, Loretta gave custody of Cleveland Jr. back to Cleveland and forced him to move. Thus, the pair left for California. However, en route, they decided to live in Stoolbend, Virginia instead, where Cleveland married Donna Tubbs, and Rallo and Roberta became his step-siblings.
Role in The Cleveland Show
Cleveland Jr. is a frequent target of weight related jokes from a variety of characters in the series, in particular Rallo, his step-brother. When Rallo met Cleveland Jr. and his father he would often call them "fat." In the second episode, Cleveland Jr. served as a door in the bathroom so that he could earn his classmates' respect, which angered Cleveland. He also exudes a nervous and overly sensitive nature, and seems to have a fear of toasters as the toaster in his house scares and taunts him.
When it is revealed in "Birth of a Salesman" that he has repressed emotions from the divorce of his parents and has in fact never cried before, his new siblings help him to express his sadness and at the same time the three of them accepted one another as family. In a preview of the show, he says, "I can eat this and a salad," and Cleveland replies with, "A salad would be a good start," possibly meaning he's encouraging him to go on a diet. However, it could also simply be some sarcastic remark to Cleveland Jr.'s obesity.
Junior's obesity and low self esteem makes it difficult for him to find friends. In "Da Doggone Daddy-Daughter Dinner Dance", he becomes friends with Laine and Kyle, although this is solely due to his agreeing to act as a replacement bathroom door. In "The One About Friends", Cleveland Jr. creates an actual friendship with Lester Krinklesac's son, Ernie. He shared a kiss with Laura Davis at the Stoolbend Community Church's chastity ball.
While Cleveland Junior is not very active as he was in Family Guy, he has other hobbies; he enjoys doing chores and playing the tuba. Derek nominated him for student-council president as a joke, but, after saving Oliver Wilkerson's life, he won. Additionally, while he may not know much when it comes to social situations, he is quite academically talented; he apparently has the second highest calculus scores at his school. A gag in one episode shows him to have built an advanced battle suit with a gattling gun out of pots and pans, possibly making him as intelligent as Stewie Griffin. The same gag shows that Cleveland tallies points for an against whether or not Cleveland Jr. is in fact intelligent, or very stupid.
Cleveland Jr. debuted in the season 2 episode 5 "Love Thy Trophy" of the animated TV show Family Guy, but only made a handful of appearances in this series. He was presumably taken into Loretta's custody after she divorced Cleveland in "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire," and has since undergone a major character reinvention upon becoming a leading character in The Cleveland Show. After Cleveland and Loretta's divorce was finalized in the pilot episode of The Cleveland Show, Junior was placed in Cleveland's custody, and moved out of Quahog, Rhode Island to Stoolbend, Virginia where Cleveland rekindled a relationship with his high school sweetheart and subsequently remarried.
In Family Guy Cleveland Junior is an active child of normal size but in The Cleveland Show he has aged and gained weight and appears mentally and socially slower. In Family Guy he wears a purple T shirt and blue jeans and white trainers in The Cleveland Show he wears a red T shirt and blue shorts and trainers and glasses.
Cleveland Jr. was a minor character who had a short time with Peter in the episode, "Fore Father", where he showed a talent of playing golf. After that episode, he made short appearances later in the show, with his last on Family Guy at his father's supposed funeral, along with Loretta.
His new appearance and personality is extremely similar to Chris Griffin. In the animatic for the Family Guy episode "Love Blactually", his new found obesity is mentioned as a side-effect of mood-stabilizing medication, though no mention of it has been made in the broadcast version of "Love Blactually" or on The Cleveland Show.
Unusually, Cleveland Jr. appears much older in The Cleveland Show than he was in Family Guy. In contrast, no other characters in Family Guy have been shown to age significantly.
Cleveland Junior's voice is provided by Kevin Michael Richardson, who voices other characters on The Cleveland Show, including Lester Krinklesac, Julius, and P-Hound. In Family Guy Cleveland Junior's voice is provided by Mike Henry.
Kevin Michael Richardson described voicing Jr. as "a character he did on ER named Patrick, who was mentally impaired and wore a football helmet." Before the show aired in 2009, the show's panel appeared at the 2009 Comic Con International, and held a discussion about the show. When describing Junior's change in physical appearance and age, Mike Henry said "Cleveland Jr. really didn't have much to him and so he didn't appear for a while and so we sort of aged him up and made room for Rallo to be the younger one for a while."
He is obsessive-compulsive when it comes to cleaning and keeping things orderly. Originally explained in Birth of a Salesman as his way of dealing with his parents divorce, he uses it to his advantage in The Curious Case of Jr. Working at the Stool to secure a job at The Broken Stool. He moos when frightened, making people mistake him for a cow. Though Cleveland Jr. is shy he can out rap people with ease and isn't above threatening people. He is quite academically talented; he apparently has the second highest calculus scores at his school.
- Family Guy episode "Love Thy Trophy," written by Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman, directed by Jack Dyer. Aired March 14, 2000.
- "The Voices Behind 'Cleveland'". Entertainment Weekly, 2 October 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- Cronan, Mark, "CCI: The Cleveland Show". Comic Book Resources, 5 August 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2010.