Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family is a 2011 comedy-drama film based on Tyler Perry's 2010 play of the same name and the eleventh film in the Tyler Perry film franchise, and the fifth in the Madea franchise.
The film begins with Shirley goes to visit Dr. Evans with Aunt Bam about her cancer and finds out that it has gotten worse. She asks Aunt Bam to call her children so she can tell them. Cora and Mr. Brown are at the hospital, to get Mr. Brown a check-up. Dr. Evans tells them he has to do a colonoscopy on Mr. Brown, and they find a growth that needs to be removed surgically. Meanwhile, Madea stops at a fast-food restaurant to get a quick breakfast meal. However, things quickly go downhill when Madea gets held up for more than fifteen minutes by the manager Sabrina, who's busy yelling at someone on her phone. When Madea finally gets her attention and tries to order, Sabrina refuses to serve her lunch as the time for breakfast had expired, despite having held Madea up for fifteen minutes. She then sasses Madea, telling her to move. However, this proves to be the last straw. In her usual fashion, Madea drives her car into the restaurant and proceeds to hurl various utensils at Sabrina, before peeling out before the police arrive.
Shirley's children Byron, Tammy, and Kimberly arrive at the dinner. Byron arrives with his girlfriend Renee and his baby Byron Jr. Tammy arrives with her husband Harold and their two kids. Tammy and Harold fighting about directions. Kimberly arrives with her husband Calvin. Tammy and Kimberly start to argue, and Byron's ex-girlfriend Sabrina arrives. Sabrina is Byron's baby momma, and she likes calling Byron a drug dealer, since he was one when he was young and got arrested because of it, and she loudly extends his name, just to annoy him and his family (she also lies, and uses her son's child support money, and supplies for herself, and is also trying to goad Byron back into selling drugs, so she can get more money for herself). Sabrina also happens to be the manager of 'Smax', the restaurant that Madea crashed into after she sassed Madea and refused to serve her breakfast after keeping her on hold for over ten minutes. Everybody leaves for their own reasons and Shirley doesn't get the chance to tell them about her cancer. During the night, Byron and Renee sneak inside Shirley's house to sleep there, but Byron is arrested by the police for back child support. Shirley goes to Kimberly's house to ask her to bail him out, but Kimberly refuses. Calvin instead helps Shirley bail him out.
Aunt Bam tells Madea about the cancer and the family’s situation and Madea promises to gather all Shirley’s children for dinner that evening. She goes to Harold’s garage where Tammy works and tells her to go to the family dinner. Tammy gets called by a client, so Madea disciplines Tammy’s children for their disrespect, putting fear into them. She then goes to Byron’s workplace, but she finds him outside, since he was fired for being late as he spent the night in jail. She proceeds to Kimberly, whom she finds her showing clients a house and she yells at her to attend the dinner. Meanwhile, Mr. Brown loses a lot of blood during his surgery and the doctor asks Cora to donate some. When she does, she finds out that she doesn't have the same blood type as him, implying that he may not be her real father. She and Brown confront Madea, who doesn't seem all that surprised. She points out to Cora that she had used to be a hoe, and she had been with so many men that she had no idea. However, she affirms that Mr. Brown is Cora's father, and the hospital must have made a mistake. Joe is no help either, claiming at first that Bill Clinton was Cora's daddy, and other such celebrity names.
Shirley's dinner goes well at first. However, before Shirley is able to tell her children the sad news, Kimberly snaps. She refuses to sit at this table like everyone's one happy gamily when no one can stand each other, snapping at everyone. Tammy and Kimberly have a vicious argument that leads to Tammy revealing that Kimberly got pregnant at 13 and Shirley raised the child, shocking everyone present except Shirley, Madea, and Aunt Bam. Shocked and beyond furious, Kimberly forced Calvin to leave immediately.To make matters worse, Byron jokes about this, asking what happened to Kimberly's baby. Tammy simply tells Byron to "look in the mirror," causing Byron to realize he's Kimberly's son. Shocked, Byron storms out of the house, angry this was kept from him. For the first time, Harold put his foot down towards Tammy and tells her to respect him more. Tammy and Harold then sort their problems out: Harold acted weak because Tammy acted like she was the dominant one in the relationship, and the resultant bickering and power struggle between them led their children to show no respect for their parents or anyone else. In the end, Tammy, Harold, Madea, and Bam are the only ones left at dinner, leaving Shirley unable to tell her tragic news. After dinner, Kimberly and Calvin continue to fight, which results in Calvin leaving and taking their son with him, much to Kimberly's dismay. When Byron and Renee go to the drug store, they look at the TV where they see Sabrina on "Maury" humiliating Byron and asking for her child support. This pushes Byron over the edge and he decides to go back to dealing drugs. However later on, while Byron is back on the corner, he learns Shirley is in the hospital via a phone call and rushes off.
Unfortunately, Shirley’s condition continues to decline, and she is rushed to the hospital. Byron, Tammy, Harold, and Calvin arrive to see her. Unfortunately, Kimberly does not come, as she ignores all the calls that Tammy and Calvin make to her, still bitter at them for the previous events. They are all confused about what is going on with Shirley. Resigned to the bleak truth that she will never be able to tell all her children together, she revealed that she had cancer, shocking and horrifying Tammy and Byron. Despite their heartbroken pleas to get better, she explains that she's tired and ready to move on, but loves them all, including Kimberly, and she dies. Kimberly finally shows up some time later, apparently having been at business meetings and unaware of the seriousness of Shirley's condition, and confronts Calvin, who demands to know where she had been. She snidely answers that she had things to do. Calvin tells Kimberly that Shirley had died, which shocks her. She finally breaks down after seeing Shirley's body.
After Shirley's funeral service, which went on exactly like how Shirley had asked Bam in the beginning of the film, the wake takes place at Madea's house, who did not attend the funeral because she hates funerals. Unfortunately, Madea notices the fights between Kimberly and Calvin, as well as between Sabrina and Byron beginning anew. Sick of the fighting, Madea calls the whole family into the den and confronts them, saying that Shirley was a peaceful woman and she didn't want all the fighting.
First, Madea confronts Sabrina about abusing Byron’s hard-earned money, and that she must start respecting him, especially telling her to stop using their child to make his life miserable or she will be dealing with Madea or worse. Second, Madea confronts Byron and tells him to get a new job in order go on the right path, because selling drugs will lead him to his own demise (a return to prison or an early grave) and Renee will just move on to the next man with a lot of money (Madea also threatens Renee if she tempts to backtalk). Madea also tells Byron & Sabrina to start taking care of their baby and settle things between them together. Third, Madea tells everyone that Shirley didn't want her children to know that Kimberly was raped by an uncle when she was 12, which resulted in her pregnancy with Byron, and was why she became so hostile and aggressive towards everyone, because she didn't forgive the man that raped her. Madea explains to Kimberly(who's crying during this part) that she needs to forgive him, not for his sake but hers or he'll always have power over her, and then orders her to go upstairs and settle things with Calvin. Kimberly finally sorts her issues with Calvin, feeling that she doesn't know how to begin, and finally hugs him and apologizes while they agree to acquire some professional help. Renee tried to get Byron to leave and meet Rosco. However, Byron breaks up with Renee, because he just buried his mother while Renee keeps thinking only about herself, and trying to get him to deal drugs again.
The film ends with Madea, Mr. Brown, and Cora on The Maury Povich Show to find out if Mr. Brown is in fact Cora's father. Madea says he is, but it turns out he's not. This surprises Madea who runs off-stage, sobbing hysterically.
*Mr. Brown is revealed to not actually be Cora's father. This, however, is non-canon to the rest of the franchise as Mr. Brown is still portrayed as Cora's father.
*Madea's rant to Kimberly about forgiving the man who hurt her is identical to her rant about forgiveness she made in a prison group session in Madea Goes to Jail.
*At the beginning of the film, Mr. Brown has apparently never had a colonoscopy or a prostate exam, the latter of which terrifies him, telling the doctor that he's "new." However, in the previous film Madea Goes to Jail, he tells Madea to watch her health as they're driving back from the courthouse, mentioning how he had had regular colonoscopy and prostate exams before and thinks Madea should get one, even though she's a woman.
*Madea apparently hates funerals and won't go to them. However, in Madea's Family Reunion, she told Carlos that she went to church for only two reasons, weddings and funerals. Although, she could have only said that as a subtle threat to Carlos and encouragement to Lisa to fight against him,
*This is the first film where Madea commits a criminal act and isn't arrested or sent to court for it, which is strange, given that the incident was recorded.