Tommy Joe is a competitor in the Rustbucket series and one of Mater's six cousins. Originally appearing in Cars: The Video Game, Tommy Joe has become a recurring character, and appears in the first four Cars video games. He is a dirty and rusty car is painted in cream livery, with the number "83" painted on his sides, and a license plate that reads "TJ". He is shown to have more nerve than the other cousins, as he does not react to when Mater says to "act natural" in Cars: Mater-National Championship.
Cars: The Video Game
In Cars: The Video Game, Tommy Joe appears as an opponent in the race Rustbucket Race-O-Rama, where he is usually found as the fastest competitor. He also appears in the event's respective cutscene, where Lightning asks Mater why he is ramming into a stack of obstacles. Mater explains that he is practicing for the upcoming Rustbucket derby, which attracts the attention of Tommy Joe. McQueen is introduced to Tommy Joe, who gives him a "hoodbutt" as a way of greeting him. He only has dents in the Xbox 360 version of the game.
Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures
In Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures, Tommy Joe and the rest of his cousins appear in the mini-game Tow The Line, in which they must be towed to the other side of Mater's junkyard. His red pinstripes are darker and wider in this game.
Cars: Mater-National Championship
In Cars: Mater-National Championship, he appears as one of the opposing competitors in Rustbucket Races #1, #2 and #3. In the cutscene for the Rustbucket Race #1, he informs Mater that he and the rest of the cousins were sitting for the last hour to watch Emma, who begins to drive towards them, causing Mater to shout "Act natural!" and they immediately get up and jump on Mater, presumably to keep Emma from seeing him. Tommy Joe is slammed into by Buford and trampled by Lewis in the process. He has dents in the PC version of the game. In the PlayStation 3 version of the game, he has his appearance from Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures (darker and wider pinstripes), along with the font of his "83" being different.
In Cars: Race-O-Rama, Tommy Joe appears as a competitor in all four Smash Ups (except on the Playstation 2 version, in which he only appears in the first one), along with Lewis, Sarge, Tater and Fred. Unlike in Cars: The Video Game and Cars: Mater-National Championship, Tommy Joe does not have any dents on his model in any version of this game.