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Donna Lou Retton Tubbs-Brown (born 1976) is the main antagonist in the FOX animated TV series, The Cleveland Show. She is the wife of Cleveland Brown, biological mother of Roberta and Rallo Tubbs, step-mother of Cleveland Brown Jr. and ex-wife of Robert Tubbs. At first thought to be Cleveland's soulmate, she later turns out to the biggest threat in his life over the course of the series, even bypassing Loretta's villainous role in his life and proving far worse and sadistic.
She is voiced by Sanaa Lathan.
Donna Tubbs was born in 1976, to Dee Dee Tubbs and an unknown father, who left Dee Dee long before his daughter was born. To this day, Dee Dee still has no idea who the father is, as proven in "Mr. & Mrs. Brown". While Dee Dee was pregnant with Donna, she was at the height of her career, as a member of the famous vocal quartet, "The Towlettes", who sang about then-topical events such as the civil rights movement and Vietnam. Dee Dee could not risk her job, nor could she abandon her child, and yet she could not manage to handle the two things at the same time. So, she gave Donna to her brother, Kevin Tubbs and he took care of her.
Very soon after gaining custody of Donna, Kevin decided he was a woman and became a transgender. This was when Donna was still a baby, so she did not remember him as a man and grew up, thinking she was born a woman. Kevin was henceforth referred to as "Auntie Momma", at least by Donna. Dee Dee was completely absent from Donna's life at this point, even long after her job as a Towlette ended, because she just didn't have the guts to go back to her daughter, after she so carelessly abandoned her like that.
As a teenager, Donna attended Stoolbend High School and became good friends with Cleveland Brown, who secretly loved her but never got the chance to admit it. Donna fell in love with another guy named Robert and he became her boyfriend for the majority and remainder of her high school years, much to the silent disappointment for Cleveland. Episodes such as the "Pilot" expose how sleazy and misogynistic Robert was toward Donna and how much nicer of a boy Cleveland was. Despite this, Donna still chose to stay with Robert but still remained a true friend to Cleveland.
When Donna grew up and became an adult, she married Robert, holding up a promise she mad prior in "Hot Cocoa Bang Bang", when she said she'd marry anyone who saved her from drowning in a mall fountain, who was of course, Robert. She and Robert and bore two kids, Roberta and Rallo, who they raised in Robert's run-down apartment building. Robert was a very neglectful and uninvolved parent and on the rare occasions he did take care of the kids, he left a bad influence on them, teaching them how to cuss, do drugs, and commit felons.
In 2002, Robert and Donna entered a dance competition and made the theme of their dance, 9/11, with Donna playing Osama Bin Laden and Robert playing a Seal Team Six member. They both lost to LeVar and Evelyn, because it was too soon for a 9/11 themed dance. Robert blamed Donna for their loss and said he wanted a divorce, as seen in a flashback in "Dancing With the Stools". Whether or not this actually led to their divorce is ambiguous but very unlikely, as Rallo was 5 years old at the start of the series, which took place in 2008 and there was no way Robert divorced Donna two years before the birth of their son, who remembers the days of Robert being his father, fondly, so it's most likely that scene was just a gag.
After Robert dumped her and left her with custody of the kids, Donna bought a house and took up a job at Stoolbend High School, working as the secretary for Principal Farquhare. Her job was thankless and unforgiving but she did it to raise her kids. However, despite her efforts, she still needed a man in her life.
Throughout her adult life, Donna took up an interest in the flute and became skilled in playing the instrument. On some occasions, Donna would publicly perform with her flute and make money off of it but this was just an occasional thing for her and never became a regular career, so she still kept her job as a principal's secretary.
Donna would become friends with her neighbors such as her next-door neighbor, Arianna the Bear, a talking bear and a devout Christian, who tried to motivate Donna to remarry and find a new husband, by giving her constructive criticism, which really only came off to the latter as presumptuous judgment. Donna also became friends with her across the street neighbor, Kendra Krinklesac, an obese redneck girl, who was much nicer to Donna than Arianna, but at the same time, was also much stupider and really served as more of a "comic relief" friend to her, than anything. To a lesser extent, Donna became friends with her male neighbors, Tim the Bear (husband of Arianna), Lester Krinklesac (husband of Kendra), and Holt Richter, (single next-door neighbor).
Additional relationships Donna had were with Yvette, a single party girl, who was proud of being single and helped Donna with celebrating her life as a single woman, by taking her out to nightclubs and partying with her. Donna would also become enemies with Fern Stapleton, a rich white single mother, who loved bragging to Donna about how she was superior to her because she was richer and donated to charity.
In the "Pilot" episode of The Cleveland Show, Cleveland Brown and his son, Cleveland Junior went back to Stoolbend and met with Donna. Cleveland and Donna were happy to see each other again and after Donna heard that Cleveland had long since divorced his ex-wife, Loretta Brown, she saw this as an opening for them to get back together again. By the end of the episode, Cleveland and Donna had gotten married and the kids from both sides of the family all became stepsiblings and thus began The Brown-Tubbs Family.
In "Ladies' Night", Donna started to miss Yvette and the other party girls from that friend group, after Arianna and Kendra were being too annoying for her. However, being married, she would no longer fit in with her old friends, so she called them up again and lied to them that she was still single.
In "Mama Drama", Dee Dee Tubbs came back into Donna's life again and Donna was happy to be together with her mother again. Donna was not mad at her mom for leaving her as she understood her reasoning entirely. Since then, the two have spent plenty of time with each other and caught up on all of their lost time.
Following the cancellation of The Cleveland Show, Donna moved into Quahog, along with the rest of the family in the Family Guy episode, "He's Bla-ack!".
After moving back into Quahog, Donna became friends with Lois and Bonnie.
In the Family Guy episode, "Candy Quahog Marshmallow", Donna's mother killed herself. How this affected Donna's life or what this meant for her was completely ignored, as Cleveland didn't bother to go to her funeral.
Donna Tubbs-Brown is an adult African-American female with black hair and cinnamon lips. She wears a white shirt, powder-blue pants, powder-blue slippers, golden pearl earrings, and a golden necklace. Her lush black hair is also just a wig she wears. Underneath this wig, she has short, hideous gray hair, which really goes to show her true age. As for the rest of her body, large breasts, and a firm and large posterior, which matches the fact that her last name is "Tubbs".
Although she's generally a good person, and sometimes heroic, especially in contrast to Cleveland, she is also a very consistent liar, and an aspiring adulterer, still being mildly in love with her ex and attempted to abandon Cleveland for another guy.
She's also been shown on occasion to vow petty revenge on people she doesn't like, and acts unnecessarily cruel to her children on occasion, lies to her husband dozens of times and has been proven to hide even more secrets from him, even years into their marriage. She's even been portrayed as the main antagonist of some episodes.
- In "Ladies' Night", Donna was bored of spending neighborhood game night with Cleveland every week, so she called up her old friends and ditched him. She blatantly lied to both sides, telling her friends she was unmarried and giving Cleveland sex every night she returned late, so he wouldn't ask any questions. Donna got busted and apologized, but Cleveland helped her lie once again, convincing her old friends that she hates her husband, which got her on their good side again.
- In "Beer Walk!", after having her legs broken, Cleveland had to tend to Donna's needs. After a while, Donna's legs healed, but she continued to pretend she was still hurt, because she liked being pampered by Cleveland and not having to work. The guys found out she was lying to him, and if it weren't for Tim making a death threat to her, she would have never come clean.
- In "Nightmare on Grace Street", Donna laughed in amusement, as she watched hidden camera recordings of Cleveland and Rallo in a haunted house.
- In "Jesus Walks", she lied to Cleveland, sending him off on a 3 day vacation, just so that he'd be out of the house when an old friend of her's arrived. She claimed not to be having an affair, yet she still saw it as a necessity to hide all proof that she had a husband and kids, when he came over. She covered up for this not only by sending Cleveland off, but also be taking down all family pictures, sending Junior off to church camp, and Roberta and Rallo off to the movies.
- In "Escape from Goochland", she scared Rallo, by pretending to be a knife-fingered monster in his closet. After he ran away, screaming and crying, she proceeded to laugh and call him a "lil' bitch".
- In "A Vas Deferens Between Men & Women", Donna experienced melancholy over not having a baby, so she constantly harassed Cleveland to impregnate her. Eventually, Cleveland gave in and had sex with her, only to find out he had a vasectomy a long time ago. Apparently Donna learned this too at some point after having sex and before Cleveland came home to confess, because when he came home and was about to tell her the truth, Donna instantly started faking being pregnant, to make Cleveland come clean about getting a vasectomy, which only ended up confusing him and stopping him from doing so. Little did she know, Cleveland knew full well that she was lying, but he did not know that she knew about his lie. Cleveland was also trying to get Donna to come clean, by pretending to still be fertile. Neither of them gave in, until the "birth" of their new child, which turned out to be a pillow case, shoved up her shirt.
- In "Hustle 'N' Bros", when Junior accidentally broke her flute, she went full-on psycho and consistently pestered him, throughout the day, asking him when he was going to get back to her with the broken flute part, even when Junior was trying his best to work on it. She eventually snapped and tied Larry the Leopard up to a log, and was just about ready to saw him in half, before Junior came in with the flute part and saved him. Donna was acting like an actual, frizzy haired, cackling psycho during this.
- In "Brownsized", she pushed Cleveland off of a building out of anger, when hearing that he lied to her about getting fired. Cleveland landed safely on the mattress, but Donna would then imply that she didn't know there was a mattress there, meaning she was completely intending to kill him and had no strife with that.
- In "Pins, Spins, & Fins", she insulted Rallo, dumping onto him the sad truth that "Kids Suck at Everything". She'd constantly berate him and demean him, throughout the episode, telling him the truth about how his drawings looked and how he played sports. She even unjustly insulted Roberta for dressing like a slut from her point of view. Later when she inadvertently starts a fire at a carnival (after arriving to diffuse the situation that Cleveland and his friends were in, after Rallo tried and failed to diffuse the situation resulting in endangering himself), and to make things worse when she shouts for help she said "some kid started a fire", likely trying to place blame on Rallo, who asks his mother "What is your problem with children?", citing that his mother is constantly demeaning the capabilities of those much younger than she is, likely out of some insecurity of her own incompetence.
- In "Who Done Did It?", she hated her neighbor Arianna, for thinking she was better than her. So, sent Cleveland out as a hit-man to go out and egg her house, and would soon get completely caught up in this, sending him to different people's homes every day to egg them. This went on for about a week or two, until Cleveland presumably killed Lydia Waterman, by chucking a hard-boiled egg at her. This would make Donna indirectly responsible for her death.
- In the Family Guy episode, "He's Bla-ack!", she spanked Chris Griffin's naked butt, for breaking her vase. This got Lois really pissed at her and the two of them got into a fight. She also forced Cleveland not to hang out with Peter, despite him having nothing to do with it. Donna stalked Cleveland, going all the way down to the Clam and spying on him through the window, to make sure he was obeying her commands. She'd later spank Cleveland's penis, after hearing that he was with him.
- In the Family Guy episode, "A House Full of Peters", she prank called Cleveland, claiming to be Michelle Obama and insulting him. She also did this at a time, when she knew he was currently in a state of depression, crying on the toilet and eating pie.
- In the Family Guy episode, "Shot in the Dark", after Peter accidentally shoots Cleveland Jr., an indirect result of Cleveland making their children enter the house through the window to avoid letting out air conditioning, Donna scolds Peter and falsely accuses him of shooting Jr. due to race, when she should've criticized Cleveland for making their children enter their home as if they were burglars. She continues these false accusations and along with Cleveland turns public opinion against the Griffin family, causing them to become social pariahs. This backfires on her and her family as when the case goes to trial Peter's father-in-law Carter, a powerful corrupt businessman uses his connections to set Peter up with a convincing and manipulative lawyer (although the jury and town's stupidity works in their favor) that successfully portrays Jr. as a threatening criminal, resulting in the town angrily protesting at their home. Peter then takes the blame for what happened and is in the process of being arrested before Cleveland falsely states he shot Jr., as the town doesn't care about a father shooting his own son. Donna's reaction isn't shown but it can be safe to assume that she stood with Cleveland as Peter helped their family by ceasing the town's harassment, however she still refused to hold Cleveland accountable for his unintentional role in the shooting.
- She has alluded famous villains from outside work on several occasions. In "Escape from Goochland", she pretended to be Freddy Krueger, sticking her hand of "knife-fingers" through Rallo's closet door. In "Hustle 'N' Bros", she alluded to Johnny Inkslinger, by tying Larry the Leopard to a log of wood, and slowly pushing the log toward a saw.
- In "Wheel of Family!" she almost admitted being married to Dennis Rodman, before being married to Robert. It is unknown how many times she's been married before this.
- She also mentioned being pregnant five times in "A Vas Deferens Between Men & Women", but her only two known biological children are Roberta and Rallo.
- Much of her villainous tendencies could be justified by the fact that she was abandoned by her mother as a child, though this can only go so far.
- In "Fraap Attack!" she mentioned being in contact with two drug dealers and in "A Rodent Like This", Cleveland told the cops she had pot in her drawer.
- In "Dancing With The Stools", Donna said she had kidnapped Rick James for three months.
The Cleveland Show
- Donna Tubbs-Brown at the The Cleveland Show wiki
- Donna Tubbs-Brown at the Family Guy wiki
- Donna Tubbs-Brown at the Heroes wiki
Guest Star Characters