"Now, I know it's not my place, but it's old folks nature to butt in" - Vernon Gaines
Vernon Gaines, often referred to as Mr. Gaines, was the owner and manager of the Hillman College restaurant The Pit. A generally grumpy older man, Gaines has worked at The Pit at least since Claire Huxtable attended the college. Being a veteran himself, and generally acquainted with the older men, he became friends with Colonel Bradford Taylor and Coach Walter Oakes. He often interacted with Kim Reese as she was a longtime employee during her time at Hillman.
Mr. Gaines was often grumpy and claimed not to like children. He also didn't take lightly to his son who, at a time, had been staying in his home after possibly falling on hard times. Gaines is often unafraid of disagreements, and won't stand to talk to people he is uninterested in.
"Well, I'll make it quick then. Tell you a story about my cousin Ida Mae. We grew up together. Ida Mae was always saying "I don't believe my husband loves me unless he hits me once a week." Well, one day her husband LOVED her to death. And we buried her last year."
- Mr. Gaines, five nieces are Faith, Hope, Charity, and Henrietta are portrayed by R&B group En Vogue
- Gaines has appeared since season 2 of the show
- Gaines is the first Character to break the fourth wall. In Season 4, Episode 22 "Monet Is the Root of All Evil," Vernon looks directly to camera and says, "You can play the theme song now."