The movie starts off with Brenda (Angela Bassett), her son and two daughters rushing out the apartment to get to school and work. Brenda then makes a dash to the bus stop to catch her bus with her best friend Cheryl (Sofia Vergara). Once Brenda makes it on the bus she opens a letter telling her that her father, whom she has never met, has died and the funeral is Saturday and it includes bus tickets for her to get there. Brenda says that she won't go because she never met him and Cheryl tells her to go because he might have left her some money or a house or something and she should go. Brenda says she'll think about it.
Brenda and Cheryl make it to work only to find that their job has been shut down that day before anyone could get paid. We then see the ladies sitting outside their apartment looking through the want ads for a new job when Miss Mildred (Irma P. Hall) approaches Brenda for the money she owes for watching her youngest daughter Lena. Brenda informs her that she doesn't have it and Mrs. Mildred tells her to come and get her daughter at the end of the day and she can no longer watch her anymore.
We then cut to a scene of Brenda's oldest child Michael (Lance Gross) at his basketball game. After winning the game his mom tells him he needs new shoes since his are falling apart. He jokingly tells her that he told the team they are his lucky shoes and that he doesn't need any.
After the game Michael’s friend Calvin, a shady but friendly drug dealer, invites him to a party. Brenda interrupts and says he can't go. She asks Calvin does he know that his mother would be upset, if she knew what he is doing, if she was still alive. She then tells Michael not to hang with him because he is bad news. On the way to the bus station to go to Georgia, a basketball recruiter by the name of Harry (Rick Fox) approaches Michael about playing pro ball only to have Brenda appear who tells Harry her son is going to school first and then will play basketball.
Brenda and Cheryl then go to Michael’s dad, Michael Sr. He informs them to hurry up for he makes $25 an hour. She starts to tell him that her lights were turned off and she really needs his help. He tells her that Michael is not his problem and that he doesn't have any money and for her not to come to his job anymore. He then turns to go back to work but Cheryl picks up a brick and throws at his back hitting him and the two take off running and laughing.
When then cut to a small town in Georgia with Brenda and her kids getting off the bus and being approached by Leroy Brown (David Mann) and his newly found daughter with Madea, Cora (Tamela Mann). Brown takes Brenda and the kids back to his brother L.B's (Frankie Faison) house and his wife Sarah (Margaret Avery). Once there, the sister Vera (Jenifer Lewis) and her grown son (Lamman Rucker) show up. Vera doesn't like Brenda and wants to know why she is here. While Michael is outside playing basketball, Harry approaches and we then learn he lives in this town and was once a NBA player who suddenly left the league.
In the kitchen, Sarah and Cora are starting to prepare dinner and in walks Vera who is drunk. Brenda's middle child, Tosha is there eating. Vera makes fun of her for eating so fast and Tosha tells her it's because they don't really get enough to eat back home and that the food is just very good to her. Sarah and Cora encourage Tosha to eat as much as she likes. Brenda walks in and tells Tosha to go get her younger sister ready for dinner. Vera starts to ask Brenda a series of questions, which causes her to feel uncomfortable. After revealing that she has three children by three different men Vera tries to give her $10 'to help her out.' Brenda gets offended and excuses herself. Sarah and Cora tell Vera she was rude and Vera still wants to know who Brenda is and why she is here. Brenda comes outside and tells Michael to get ready for dinner and is nicer to Harry this time then she was before. Harry notices her and asks one of the cousins if he can stay for dinner.
At dinner it is finally revealed the Brenda was Pop Brown's daughter from another woman. LB says that when Pop Brown was sick he told him that he use to be a pimp in Chicago and that is how he met Brenda's mother.
At the cemetery Vera is trying to sing but is getting on LB's nerves so badly he pushes her in the burial plot. Brenda realizes that this family is just too much for her and wants to leave. LB convinces her to stay until the reading of the will.
At the reading, Pop Brown leaves LB all his money...$575, Brown his house, Vera his love (may it keep her warm at night, he also states).... and he leaves Brenda his rental home. Brenda, Harry, Michael and her girls go to see the home, which is a dump, and needs some work. Brenda says she can't afford the renovations and will move back to Chicago. Before she leaves, Cora gives Brenda an envelope with money and tells her that 'we are family and us single mothers have to stick together.'
Upon returning to Chicago, Brenda continues to look for a job and she and Harry are getting closer. One night Michael Sr. shows up and says he will give Brenda some money if she sleeps with him. She refuses and tells him to leave. He then reveals that he told her he didn't want Michael Jr. and that he has no ties or responsibilities to him and that she should have gotten the abortion like he told her. Michael comes in and hears this and he and Sr. are about to go blows when Brenda steps in between them and tells him ' he's still your father'. Michael gets upset and tells him to leave and he will 'make things happen' on his own.
We then see Michael going to Calvin where Calvin gives him some shoes and a job selling drugs. Harry shows up and tells Michael his mom is worried about him and that he is making a mistake and that he can be a pro basketball player and he will be waiting for him tomorrow at 3pm for practice. Harry then leaves.
Michael goes home later to a mad Brenda who tells him to leave and she wants no part of him if he is going to start selling drugs. Realizing she is serious about throwing him out and that she is right he agrees with her and they hug and go to bed.
We then see Harry practicing with other potential pro athletes and Michael rushing in to practice. Harry and Brenda continue dating and spending time together and everything seems to be going great. Michael goes back to Calvin and gives him the money and the drugs and tells him, "I can't do this." Calvin takes the money and tells him, "This ain't for you anyway." Then two rough guys approach them and we see them beating up Calvin while Michael runs away.
Cut to Harry and Brenda at a restaurant eating and having fun. She then tells Harry that she will never leave Chicago and this will always be her home. We then see Michael no longer running only to see a car stop behind him and fire a shot. We then see Michael fall to the ground.
Next we see Cheryl race in the restaurant where Brenda and Harry are and she tells her that Michael is in the hospital. They then rush to leave. While waiting for the doctor to tell her any news Sr. walks in and ask what is with all the phone calls. Brenda tells him what happens and Sr. says he has to get back to work. Brenda then gives him $25 and asks to buy and hour of his time. He throws the money at her and says not call anymore because it is upsetting his wife. The doctors tell Brenda that her son will be fine.
Next we see Harry, Brenda and the kids back in Georgia looking at her home and it has been completely renovated. Brown, Sarah, Cora and Vera are there to met them and show Brenda her new home. While the ladies are in the kitchen Brenda leaves to check on her daughters. Vera then proceeds to tell Sarah and Cora that Harry is only getting next to Brenda because her son is a 'goldmine' and he needs money to pay off his gambling debts and that is why he got kicked out the NBA. Sarah and Cora tell Vera that is not true and to leave them alone only to be secretly heard by Brenda.
Later Michael and Harry return to the house and Michael informs her that Harry is his manager and he signed some papers. Brenda tells him to go upstairs and she and Harry argue. She tells him that he is using her son so that he can pay off his gambling debts. He tells her his debts are paid. She doesn't believe him and tells him to leave and he does.
A pro recruiter comes to the house the next day and wants to sign Michael to a pro team. Michael and Brenda decide it's ok and she then asks the recruiter about Harry's involvement. He tells her that Harry isn't getting any money and only did it to make sure no one takes advantage of Michael. He then tells them he will bring some papers over for them to sign leaving Brenda realizing she just lost a good man.
We next see a press conference with Michael, Brenda, the recruiter and the owners of the new pro team he will play for. While answering questions from the reporters, Sr. appears and tells everyone that Michael is his son. Not believing what he is seeing Michael asks his mom what to do. She then tells him, "He's still your father." Michael tells a reporter he will "make sure his mom and sister are taken care of." When asked what about his father, he tells them his father was never really in his life and his mom has always taken care of them. Sr. is then bombarded with questions from the reporters about his lack of involvement with his son and he tells them 'its about my son and not me.' and leaves.
Leaving the press conference Michael takes his mom to see Harry and tells her to make it right with him. She goes into the gym where Harry is practicing and tells him about Michael’s new success and thanks him for all he did for her family. He tells her your welcome and continues to play. Brenda turns to leave and Harry tells her that he did get kicked out the NBA for gambling but that he paid all his debts and is free and clear and that he looked out for Michael because he didn't want the same to happen to him and that he loves her and her kids. Brenda tells him she loves him too but was scared to tell him because she has been hurt before (thus the three children w/ three different daddies) and she didn't want to be hurt again. Harry tells her he will never hurt her right when Harry approaches her to kiss, the film cuts to their wedding looking like one big happy family with the entire world at their feet.
In January 2009, TBS and Tyler Perry Studios will air "'Meet The Browns'", a sitcom in that is a spin-off of the movie, the stageplay and House of Payne where David Mann and Tamela Mann appeared as their regular characters, "Brown" and "Cora".
Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns was sold in 1-disc and 2-disc DVD and Blu-Ray on July 1, 2008