Idella is like an older version of Florida, the maid Esther Rolle played in the hit '70s TV shows Good Times and Maude. She fills the stereotypical, uh, rolle of sassy black maid, gently teasing Daisy for not letting Boolie hire a driver, when she says, "I think you ain't got the sense God gave a lemon."
She knows how Daisy can be, though. When she first meets Hoke, she tells him:
IDELLA: I wouldn't be in your shoes if the sweet Lord Jesus came down and asked me Himself.
Miss Daisy is nicer to Idella than many white folks are to their maids. Florine yelling at her maid is one notable contrast. However, Daisy never breeches the line between the owner of the house and the help. As friendly as they get, they always eat separately.
Idella dies suddenly while watching her beloved soap operas and shelling peas. Daisy's devastated by Idella's death and commiserates with Hoke about how nobody could make coffee like Idella.