RJ is the main protagonist in Over the Hedge. He is a carefree raccoon. He is voiced by Bruce Willis. His exact species is common raccoon.

When RJ steals food from Vincent the Bear, he must find food, or else Vincent will kill him.


RJ runs into Verne and the foragers and uses them to restore all the food and opens them up to a new world of snacks. However, RJ later finds out that they are his family and that the grass isn't always greenier on the other side. It is revealed that RJ's family has been killed by a weed hacker (though he could have been lying).


RJ is shown to be greedy and selfish and a liar, but is actually very caring, going back to rescue Verne and the others from being killed by Vincent, Gladys Sharp, and The Verminator. RJ is a sad misunderstood character in the film. He had lived under the shadow of Vincent getting food for him. At the end he forgave his friends for what he has done.

Role in Film

When RJ fails to get snacks from a vending machine, he becomes so desperate that he tries to raid a large food cache belonging to Vincent, a hibernating black bear. However, while trying to leave, he wakes Vincent and loses both the food and the red wagon that it's on when a truck runs it over. Hastily, he promises to replace everything by the time Vincent reawakens in a week.

RJ soon 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 then 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 Sharp has just restocked her pantry with a large food supply for an upcoming party and concocts a plan to get past the exterminator-planted boobytraps in her yard. 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 which Verne (and the others) learn of RJ's true motives. Gladys wakes up, discovers the animals in her house, and calls VermTech. Dwayne (The Verminator) 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 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 Dwayne and Gladys on the other. RJ and Verne get an idea to give Hammy the hyperactive squirrel a can of cola, which puts him into overdrive. The plan works, and the Verminator almost escapes, only to encounter the same Rottweiler that chased RJ and Verne earlier.

Back in the forest, Verne tells RJ that if he'd 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 in 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 wakes Vincent by opening a can of "Spuddies", which appear later in the film.
  • RJ makes an appearance in Hammy's short, "Hammy's Boomerang Adventure".
  • Originally, RJ was going to be voiced by Bill Murray and later, Jim Carrey, but then Bruce Willis got the role.
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