Vivanne Griffin, who is settling a divorce with her ex-husband Anthony Griffin – a successful stock broker, has moved in with her grandmother, Mable "Madea" Simmons. Madea didn’t like Anthony at all. Madea just got home from the hospital because she is diabetic. Another person Madea is helping out is Bobby Mitchell, a total stranger who just got out of doing 12 years in prison for possession of drug paraphernalia – even though, according to him, it was his two older brothers and since he was the youngest they told him to say it was his and he did. Bobby is Madea’s handyman and usually cuts her grass and both Madea and Vivanne think he is attractive. Vivanne doesn't want to admit it.
Vivanne sister, Maylee and her fourteen-year-old daughter, Keisha, are also staying with Madea. When Maylee was very young about Keisha’s age, her mother wanted money for drugs. So her mother put her in a room with a guy who paid to do whatever he wanted to Maylee. As a result, Maylee got pregnant and had Keisha. Keisha resents her mother because of the way she acts and has never been there for her. When Maylee shows up to Keisha’s school wearing a mini-skirt, Keisha is embarrassed. Later, Maylee comes home with a new car bought by Anthony Griffin, and announces she’s getting married to Vivanne's ex-husband!
Keisha is still resentful towards her mother. When her mother tries to help with her homework, Anthony calls and Maylee runs to him. (Motherless Child)
Cora Simmons, Madea’s daughter, arrives and announces she is staying with her mother. She mentions she is just staying for the weekend, as she lives out of town. Keisha confides in her Aunt Cora and tells her the kids at school bully her except one kid, Kelly.
Madea’s next door neighbor, Leroy S. Brown, whom everyone calls Mr. Brown brings in Madea’s mail. Mr. Brown says hi to Cora, who he hasn’t seen in a long time. Madea thinks that Anthony cheated on Vivanne because there is no way they would have gotten engaged that fast. Vivanne agrees.
While everyone is getting ready to eat over at Madea’s house, Bobby is taking a shower and has to run downstairs to get the soap. First Bobby and Vivanne flirt with each other and then Madea tries to flirt with him but he won’t buy it. Madea can tell Vivanne likes Bobby. Mr. Brown comes back over to eat at Madea’s house and brings a dish to share. Everyone has a little fun before supper. (Old Time Mix) Madea puts in her two cents. (The Bible According to Madea) And once more. (The Bible According to Madea, part 2)
Anthony starts to insult Vivanne, but Vivanne won’t put up with it. She pulls a knife on Anthony freaking everyone out. Everyone tries to calm Vivanne down and make her feel better, but nothing seems to work except when Cora talks to her.
Bobby continues to flirt with Vivanne, and he tells her his story of how he got put in prison. While walking upstairs, Vivanne tells Bobby she’s not ready for a relationship.(Let Me Hold You)
Maylee gets a call from the school nurse about Keisha. Anthony tells Maylee that she either must choose him or her daughter, not both because he says she is an out of control teenager. When Keisha arrives home Maylee tells her to put her stuff down and they are going to go to the clinic because Keisha is pregnant from Kelly(one of her friends), but Kelly and Maylee want her to have an abortion. Cora tries to stop her, but Maylee won’t have it. Maylee tells Cora about the man Maylee’s mother let do whatever she wanted to her, the end result Keisha. Maylee forces Keisha out of the house and Cora is left alone praying for Keisha. (Grace)
Madea gets a call from an Eric Jones offering Bobby a job and when Bobby and Vivanne come back from a date, Madea relays the message. When Maylee and Keisha get back from the clinic, Madea has already heard about the abortion from Cora and gets mad at both Keisha for getting pregnant, and Maylee for suggesting an abortion.
Vivanne tries to get Maylee to understand that Anthony doesn’t love her. He’s only marrying her to get back at Vivanne. Maylee doesn’t believe Vivanne; however Madea does. Bobby tells everyone that he got offered a job in California as Head Foreman,but he’s reluctant to accept.
Vivanne and Bobby force Madea to go upstairs as they talk about their future. Bobby wants marriage and kids, etc., but Vivanne doesn’t want that right now. As they talk, the doorbell rings and it is Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown is mad at Madea for giving his dog sleeping pills. They battle it out in a friendly manner.
The next day, Bobby packs his bags to move to California. Anthony tries to turn Bobby against Vivanne by saying all she’ll do is sleep and eat. Bobby tells Anthony Vivanne never loved him. Anthony tells Bobby that he either moves away to California because if he stays here; then Anthony will call his probation officer and get him sent back to prison. Anthony also tells Bobby that he went to school with Bobby's probation officer.
Police sirens are heard and Madea runs inside the house. Apparently Madea and Maylee were getting their nails done at a nail salon, when one of the employees begins talking about Madea. The employee calls Madea Godzilla, so she shoots up the nail salon and runs like hell back home. Maylee comes back from back from nail salon angry at Madea for what she did.
Bobby debates whether to stay or go to California. Vivanne tells him to follow his heart. Bobby realizes he really wants to stay with Vivanne even though she’s not ready for a relationship right now. However, Bobby still walks out the door and heads for California. Madea tells Vivanne that she needs to go after her man. Then, after a few minutes of hesitation, Vivanne decides to go chase Bobby down before he leaves. However, as soon as Vivanne opens the door, Bobby is standing right there. He had never left. Bobby comes inside and proposes to Vivanne. Under Madea’s direction, Vivanne says yes!
Before Vivanne drives Madea to a casino, Madea makes sure Maylee doesn't try to steal Bobby away, or try to make a play on him. The ladies leave. Maylee congratulates Bobby even though she is jealous of Vivanne. Cora doesn’t understand why and finally gets Maylee to see the brighter side. Finally, Maylee and Keisha make up and hug. (It’s Gonna Be Hallelujah)
Later that day, Maylee brings Anthony’s bag downstairs and she tells him that he is going be driving home alone because she is leaving him. After Anthony leaves, Maylee apologizes to everyone for everything. (Lord I’m Sorry) Cora reminds Maylee to always be there for her daughter. (Talkin’ Properrr/Bye Baby )
And with that Bobby and Vivanne get married, Mr. Browns dog survives, and as for Madea, she’s still alive.Tyler Perry as MadeaKisha Grandy as Vianne GriffinTamela Mann as Cora Jean SimmonsDavid Mann as Leroy S. BrownTyga Graham as Bobby MitchellDonna Stewart as Maylene "Maylee" GriffinElaine O'neal as Keisha GriffinCarl Pertile as AnthonyTyler Perry as Madea (Mabel Simmons)Kisha Grandy as Vianne SimmonsTamela Mann as Cora Jean SimmonsDavid Mann as Leroy S. BrownTyga Graham as Bobby MitchellTosha Moore as Maylene "Maylee" GriffinCarl Pertile as Anthony
-The character Keisha was added to the play later on for DVD
Live Tour Musical NumbersOverture (I Can Do Bad By Myself)Old Time Gospel - Mr. Brown, Maylee, Vianne, CoraLord I'm Sorry - VianneLet Me Hold You - BobbyIn The Name Of Jesus - CoraHallelujah - CoraGod Is The Answer - Cora, Maylee, Keisha, Vianne, BobbyOverture/I Can Do Bad By MyselfMotherless Child – Keisha GriffinOld Time Gospel – Mr. Brown, Maylee Griffin, Vianne Griffin, Cora Simmons,Lord I'm Sorry – Vianne GriffinLet Me Hold You – Bobby MitchellIn the Name Of Jesus – Cora SimmonsHallelujah – Cora SimmonsGod Is the Answer - Cora Simmons, Maylee Griffin, Keisha Griffin, Vianne Griffin, Bobby MitchellIn the beginning of the play, Keisha tells Madea and Vianne that Maylee came to her school "with a big, old wig and a mini skirt". Later in the production, however, Maylee herself said that she wore a dress (which was clearly not a mini skirt) to Keisha's school. While she is dressed in a blonde wig, she is still arguably more presentable than Keisha implied.The scene right before the song 'Motherless Child' when Maylee is talking to Keisha, you can hear Anthony's voice coming from what sounds like the backyard. You can even clearly see Maylee talking out the door, too. However, when she goes to "check on him", she is seen going upstairs.When Vianne calls the police she says the address that is backwards from what's on the door. The number is 678 but she says 687.
A film adaptation titled I Can Do Bad All By Myself, was released on September 11, 2009.
The film has a completely different storyline from the play. The only thing that remains the same is the title. Despite this, Tyler Perry appears as Madea.