Tichina Arnold stared in the top-rated, critically acclaimed television sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, portraying a 1980s version of comedian Chris Rock's real-life mother. The no-nonsense, working-class New York City household depicted on the show is not very different from Arnold's own background as a kid in South Ozone Park, Queens. Arnold's breakout role came in 1986 when she was cast in the film version of a popular off-Broadway musical, Little Shop of Horrors.
She appeared on two ABC daytime dramas, Ryan's Hope and All My Children, and in the 1991 Bette Midler-Woody Allen comedy Scenes from a Mall. She finally landed a visible part in 1992 staring as Pam James on the hit Fox television sitcom Martin alongside comic Martin Lawrence. She appeared in the box-office hit Big Momma's House as well as a critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated HBO film, Dancing in September. A year later, Arnold won a recurring role on the UPN sitcom One on One as Nicole Barnes. In 2009, Arnold appeared onstage in The Wiz revival at the New York City Center in the part of Evillene, The Wicked Witch of the West. In 2010 she guest starred in the one-hour episode premiere of the Disney XD Original Series Pair of Kings as Aunt Nancy.
Beginning 2014, she has played the lead role of Cassie Calloway on Survivor's Remorse and currently has a leading role in VH1’s satirical comedy-drama television series Daytime Divas; based on the book Satan's Sisters by former co-host of The View, Star Jones.