James Bon Jovi "Jimmy" Chance is the son of Burt and Virginia Chance, father of Hope Chance, husband of Sabrina Collins and great-grandson of Barbara June Thompson and one of the main characters in Raising Hope. He is portrayed by Lucas Neff.
Jimmy was born on September 19, 1988 to teenage parents Burt and Virginia Chance. He was believed to have been the result of an accidental pregnancy, but Burt later admitted to poking a hole in one of his condoms because he was afraid that Virginia would eventually leave him. While still an infant, Jimmy was given up for adoption to a seemingly perfect family, but only lived with them for three weeks before Burt and Virginia changed their minds.
Jimmy is generally a good-natured (albeit a bit naive) and caring young man but is far from the sharpest tool in the shed. He frequently makes malapropisms, has horrible spelling and grammar, and often takes a while to make logical steps.
He lives with his wife, Sabrina, and his daughter, Hope. Their economic status would be considered lower class (likely under the poverty level), as the family struggles financially to keep up with things like working household appliances, health insurance, and house maintenance.
Jimmy's parents meant well, but were very young when they raised him. This led them to employ unorthodox parenting practices such as poor hygiene (as in dropping food/kitchen utensils/pacifiers on the floor and continuing to use them) and continual lies to Jimmy throughout childhood and into his adulthood, to either keep him out of trouble or just to make him easier to handle. Such lies include that he's allergic to all fruit, an eel lives in his butt and will bite his hand off if he picks at his butt, and that the "internet tubes" don't yet reach to their part of town.
In "Jimmy's Fake Girlfriend", there are signs that Sabrina might be interested in Jimmy. At the end of the episode, she breaks up with Wyatt, Jimmy professes his love for her, and the two share a passionate kiss. From then on they're in a relationship.
Thanks to his parents, Jimmy finally obtains his G.E.D. in the episode "Mrs. Smartypants".
In the episode "Inside Probe," it is revealed that Jimmy actually got married to Lucy while she was still in prison and pregnant. The end of the episode revealed that Lucy survived her execution, much to the horror of the Chances. She sues for custody of Hope and ends up winning, so Jimmy reluctantly decides to go with Lucy and Hope to Tibet in order to stay with his daughter.
However, Lucy is later run over by a bus, restoring the status quo of the show.
At the beginning of season three, Jimmy and Sabrina get engaged. They get married in the episode "Modern Wedding". It's also revealed in the episode that Lucy is still alive and being kept in a catatonic state by her father. She finds out about Jimmy and Sabrina's wedding and tries to object, but Dale hits her over the head with the Ten Commandments.
- He ate a pack of Virginia's cigarettes when he was a few months old.
- Jimmy's full name is James Bon Jovi Chance, an obvious homage to Bon Jovi.
- Jimmy and the man seen chasing after Lucy in the pilot are the only survivors of Lucy's killing spree.
- One of the many lies Virginia told Jimmy as a child was that he was allergic to every fruit. Although this is false, it turns out that he is allergic to star fruit.
- He made out with Sabrina's mom when he was in high school.
- He went through a goth phase in his late teens, during which he wanted to be called 'Drakkar Noir'.
- Jimmy shares the same birthday as Maw Maw.
- He plucks and eats his eyebrows when he gets nervous.
- Jimmy is probably the dumbest one in the Chance family.
- In what is likely a production error, Jimmy’s drivers license erroneously states his name as “James Chase” in Killer Hope.
After getting a job at Howdy's Market, Jimmy's romantic feelings for Sabrina begin to develop as they grow closer and closer. Unfortunately, Sabrina already has a long-distance boyfriend, which prevents Jimmy from asking her out. During the first season, Sabrina's feelings for him seem to be entirely platonic, however in "Happy Halloween", she kisses Jimmy while she is drunk, thinking he is Wyatt, and calls him an amazing kisser. At the beginning of season two, their relationship seems to blossom and they later start to date in "Jimmy's Fake Girlfriend" after Sabrina realizes she doesn't care for Wyatt anymore. At the beginning of season three, they are engaged to each other, and later, married.
Jimmy and Lucy meet in the first episode of season one, when Jimmy innocently "saves" Lucy from her boyfriend while out picking up bubblegum ice cream for his family. After he and Lucy have a one-night stand in his van, the entire Chance family meets her, and to Jimmy's delight, they all like her.
However, while Lucy is using their restroom, the family finds out from the news that she's a serial killer, and Virginia knocks her out cold with the television. Several months later, Jimmy finds out that Lucy is pregnant with their child, and soon gains custody of Hope when Lucy is executed in the electric chair. In "Inside Probe", it is revealed that Jimmy and Lucy were married while she was still in prison and had a jailhouse wedding, and at the end of the same episode it is revealed that Lucy somehow survived her execution and the murder charges were dropped as an effort to dissuade her from suing. After, she fights for custody of Hope (and wins), but is later hit by a bus in the process of chasing Sabrina down with a knife.
Jimmy and Shelley made out along with some heavy petting, but never actually had a relationship together nor did they have sex, as Jimmy never called her back. When Shelley and Jimmy meet up years after while Jimmy is looking for daycare for Hope, she is excited to see him, therefore beginning a one-sided relationship between them in order to get free daycare. He later tells her that he doesn't have any feelings for her because he has a crush on Sabrina, Shelley's cousin, and Shelley understands and offers to watch hope for $60 a week. They then become good friends.