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RJ is the main protagonist of the Over the Hedge franchise. He is the leader of the animals, VerneHammy, and Stella's best friend, and Vincent's former best friend.

He was voiced by Bruce Willis.



RJ grew up in a family of raccoons and had a happy, carefree life until they were killed by an unknown person using a weed hacker.

After losing his parents, RJ was forced to live on his own. Soon, he started to make wrong choices and became a thief, conman, and briber in order to obtain food for himself to survive.

In Over the Hedge[]

RJ is first seen trying to get snacks from a vending machine. When he fails, RJ tries with various objects, but still fails. He becomes so desperate that he tries to raid a large food cache belonging to Vincent. While trying to leave, he accidentally wakes up Vincent and loses both the food and the red wagon that it is on when a truck runs it over. Angry at RJ for letting this happen, Vincent turns on RJ and chases him, preventing him from escaping, then proceeds to grab RJ by his head and open his jaws to swallow him. Scared, RJ begs for mercy and promises to return all of the food, so Vincent decides to give him a week to return the food to him because if not, he will hunt him down and kill him; he also tells him to not think about running away. Then he mercilessly throws RJ aside and goes back to his cave to sleep for the winter.

RJ stumbling upon the animals

Soon, RJ stumbles upon the forest community struggling to find food. RJ, who sees the entire commotion, convinces the other animals that it is easier to raid the humans' garbage for food rather than forage for it. Fortunately, they manage to get enough food to keep them from starving. RJ helps them scale the hedge, though Verne recalls the Verminator.

Worried for his family's safety, Verne decides to return the food to the humans so they will not kill them. After realizing the food is missing, RJ tries to stop him, resulting in an argument between the two. RJ then notices a chain, which connects inside a nearby doghouse. Startled, RJ tells Verne to be quiet and follow him. However, Verne doesn't believe RJ, thinking he is tricking him again. Fed up, Verne tells RJ he doesn't know what he is up to, but his tail is tingling and says he is now listening to it and putting him foot down. Unfortunately, this attracts Nugent's attention, who chases them across several lawns. Eventually, the wagon and food is destroyed. RJ blames Verne who, while trying to defend himself, makes a comment that hurts the others' feelings.

Later, RJ helps Verne reconcile with the others. He also discovers that Gladys has just restocked her pantry with a large food supply for an upcoming party and concocts a plan to get past the exterminator-planted 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. During this, RJ confesses to Verne (and the others) that he has to hand over the food to Vincent and that he will be killed by him if he does not. Unfortunately, Gladys wakes up, discovers the animals in her house, and immediately calls VermTech. The Verminator, whose real name is Dwayne LaFontant, arrives and traps the animals except for RJ, who escapes with the food.

RJ being suspected by Verne

RJ takes the food to a now-awake Vincent (who was on his way to kill RJ), but when the latter points out RJ's treachery, he decides to sacrifice the food to save his best 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 had abandoned them. They nearly thwart RJ's efforts to help before Verne finally convinces them otherwise by revealing that his tail is not tingling. The animals then subdue Dwayne and turn his truck toward home, but the truck goes out of control and demolishes Gladys' house.

The animals get out of the truck and 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, alerting Nugent and making him bite Dwayne in the leg, making him scream in pain.

RJ being welcomed into the family

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 (which is 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 make every product fall into the access bin. Unfortunately, the amount of snacks prevents the access door from opening.

In Over the Hedge: The Video Game[]

Coming soon!


At the start of the film, RJ is a conman, more or less leading the woodland gang and making various plans for varied objectives – and just as varied success. Verne often objects to his motives, but is always beaten or otherwise humiliated at some point.

When he brought the food to Vincent, RJ decided to be a better person instead of a thief in order to rescue his friends. In doing so, he regains the animals' trust for good.

RJ is friendly, confident, and well-meaning, but also quite mischievous and somewhat sneaky.


RJ is a slender raccoon with blue eyes.


  • Originally, RJ was going to be voiced by Bill Murray in the film and later Jim Carrey, but Bruce Willis was hired for the role.
  • RJ sometimes calls Hammy by different variations of his name, such as Hamilton (his full name) and Hamsquad.
  • Despite being the main character, his mischievous, cunning behavior had made him be a false antagonist in the film, but he was never a true villain as Vincent was.
  • Artworks of RJ from the film shows that RJ was originally going to have a black mask (just like raccoons in real life) but this is remove, this is likely due to the fact in the original comic strips, RJ has no mask just like in final version of the movie.
  • In the console version of the video game, there is a mini-game where the player uses their projectile to break objects. If RJ breaks the correct object, he says, "Raccoons and golf. We go together like skunks and frisbees." This references Stella's projectile attack as she uses a disc.