|“||So, you think they have enough? Well, they don't. For humans, enough is never enough! And what do they do with the stuff they don't eat? They put it in gleaming silver cans, just for us!||„|
RJ is the main protagonist of Over the Hedge and Hammy's Boomerang Adventure.
In the film, he made a deal with Vincent to return his food to him in a week when he reawakens.
Eventually, RJ stumbles upon the forest animals trying to find food for themselves to survive so he bribes them and they eventually figure out his true intentions and abandon him.
A week later, as he is about to give Vincent his food back, a now-remorseful RJ goes back to the animals to give them more food and work together to defeat Vincent. Afterwards, the animals praise RJ as a hero and welcome him to his new family.
He is voiced by Bruce Willis, who also played John McClane in the Die Hard films.
RJ is a small, stripy, brown and white raccoon with a black nose, bright blue eyes and a bushy tail.
Originally, RJ had an entire family of raccoons until they were killed by a weed hacker, possibly used by Gladys Sharp, who is the main antagonist of the movie.
After the death of his parents, RJ had to live on his own and he soon became a conman in order to obtain food for himself to survive for the rest of his life, alone and family-less (though it's most likely that he made up the story just to get Verne and the others to feel sorry for him).
In Over the Hedge
In the film, when he fails to get snacks from a vending machine, RJ becomes so desperate that he tries to raid a large food cache belonging to Vincent.
But while trying to leave, he wakes Vincent and loses both the food and the red wagon that it is on when a truck runs it over. Furious at RJ for letting this happen, Vincent turns on his friend and stops him from escaping and prepares to eat him whole. RJ begs for mercy and Vincent decides to give RJ a whole week to recollect his food and give it back to him. Otherwise, he will hunt down RJ and kill him. Vincent sets RJ free and goes back to his cave to hibernate.
Soon, RJ stumbles upon the forest community struggling to find food. RJ, who sees the entire commotion, convinces the other animals it's easier to raid the humans' garbage for food rather than forage for it, and they manage to get enough food to keep them from starving. He helps them scale the hedge, even though Verne recalls the Verminator. Worried for his family's safety, Verne decides to return the food to the humans. RJ tries to stop him, resulting in an argument between the two. This attracts the attention of a playful Rottweiler, who chases them across several lawns before all of the food the animals gathered is destroyed. RJ blames Verne who, while trying to defend himself, makes a comment that hurts the others' feelings.
RJ helps Verne reconcile with the others. He also discovers that Gladys has recently restocked her pantry with a large food supply for an upcoming party and concocts a plan to get past the exterminator-planted booby traps in her backyard. Working together under cover of darkness, the animals get the food. RJ and Verne get into another argument, this time over a can of "Spuddies" potato chips, resulting in RJ snapping and accidentally confessing his true motives towards Verne and the others, making them feel betrayed and used. Gladys wakes up, discovers the animals in her house, and calls VermTech. The Verminator, whose real name is Dwayne LaFontant, arrives and traps the animals except for RJ, who escapes with the food.
RJ takes the food to a now-awake Vincent. But when the latter points out RJ's treachery, the raccoon decides to betray Vincent and sacrifice the food to save his friends. This angers Vincent, who chases RJ as he pursues Dwayne's truck. Verne is happy to see RJ again but the others no longer trust him since he abandoned them.
They nearly thwart RJ's efforts to help before Verne finally convinces them otherwise. The animals then subdue Dwayne and turn his truck toward home, but the truck goes out of control and demolishes Gladys' house.
The animals hide in the hedge, trapped by Vincent on one side and Gladys and Dwayne on the other.
RJ and Verne get an idea to give Hammy a can of cola, which puts him into overdrive. The plan works and Dwayne almost escapes over a fence, but he accidentally steps on a squeaky toy, thus alerting Nugent (the same dog that chased RJ and Verne earlier) and making him bite Dwayne in the leg, making him scream in pain.
Back in the forest, Verne tells RJ that if he had explained what he was trying to do in the first place, the others would have helped because "that's what families do," and welcomes him back to the family. Meanwhile, their food supply is refilled.
In a post-credits scene, the animals go to the vending machine seen at the beginning of the film and cause every product to fall into the access bin. However, the amount of snacks prevents the access door from opening.
RJ, as said by Vincent, is shown to be greedy, selfish, arrogant and a liar, using the other animals as pawns to get the food to pay back Vincent without telling them and attempting to avoid getting to attached to them. Over the film, however, it is shown that he is actually very caring and nice as he went back to rescue Verne and the others from being killed by Vincent, Gladys and Dwayne and gave them the food he was originally going to give to Vincent in a week. It is implied that his initial personality stemmed from the fact that he and Vincent were once friends.
- Originally, RJ was going to be voiced by Bill Murray in the film and later, Jim Carrey, but then Bruce Willis got the role.
- RJ always calls Hammy by different variations of his name, like Hamilton and Hamsquad, a name which resembles Farquaad.
- He also calls Ozzie different variations from his name like Oz or Ozzman.
- He appeared to not have had a family before meeting the animals.
- RJ's cunning behavior had made him be a false antagonist of the movie, but he was never a true villain as Vincent was.
- He, along with Verne and Hammy are the only prominent characters in the movie to be from the original comic.