|“||I don't wanna fight you, BoJack. I just wanted to tell you I know. I know you wanna be happy, but you won't be, and—-I'm sorry.[...] It's not just you, you know. Your father and I, we— Well, you come by it honestly, the ugliness inside you. You were born broken, that's your birthright. And now you can fill your life with projects your books and your movies and your little girlfriends but it won't make you whole. You're BoJack Horseman. There's no cure for that.||”|
—Beatrice Horseman, Brand New Couch
Beatrice Elizabeth Horseman (née Sugarman) is BoJack's neglectful and verbally abusive mother, the widow of Butterscotch Horseman, and the heiress to the Sugarman sugar cube company. She is a recurring character (mostly through flashbacks) throughout seasons one and two, and she is a supporting character in Season 4 of BoJack Horseman.
Beatrice is a thoroughbred female horse, who was described to be beautiful in her youth. She has a curled blonde mane, a cream coat, and a white diamond marking between her eyes. She also has a gap in her two front teeth.
In flashbacks to BoJack's childhood and teen years, she wears a purple button-down long sleeved sweater with a mint green collar, a yellow apron with pink pockets, a mint green skirt, and dark brown heels. She had bags under her eyes and wore purple eyeliner and light red lipstick.
In Brand New Couch, Beatrice is seen for the first time in the present day. She looks much older, having more wrinkles and an overall more elderly appearance. Her hair is now light gray, and she seems to have developed cataracts, as her eyes are now an opaque blue color. Her fur is also much paler, most likely due to her old age. She is also now wearing pink and magenta eyeliner and lipstick, respectively, with her having a bit of lipstick on her two front teeth.
She is wearing a lavender cardigan over a mint green top, some sort of purple wrapping around her head, 2 beaded necklaces, and white wrist gloves. Her coat has a red, blue, and yellow flower pin.
In "Thoughts and Prayers" and the rest of her present appearances in Season 4, Beatrice, who now has dementia, is now wheelchair bound. She has the same physical features as her previous appearance although now some of the curls have come out of the bottom half of her hair. She still has the purple head wrapping, and now wears a purple sweater, which is only buttoned at the top, over a dress with a teal top and a long light purple skirt over black leggings and pink and white shoes.
In Brand New Couch and Time's Arrow, when Beatrice is shown in flashbacks to the '80s, '90s and early 2000s, she appears a bit older, having wrinkles around her mouth and dark circles under her eyes. She is wearing a dark purple sweater with a pink trim, a matching dark purple skirt with pink trim, dark gray leggings, dark purple and yellow heels, and a pink pillbox hat with small green and pink flowers and feathers on one section.
As a young adult in "Time's Arrow", Beatrice has oval shaped eyes instead of being completely round and they are a bit larger and lower. Her hair also appears slightly different in the back. She wears light blue eyeliner and light pink lipstick.
Her normal outfit consisted of a knee length light blue dress with white dots and a pencil skirt, a small pale blue sweater, a white belt, navy blue heels, and a pearl necklace. For her debutante party, she wears an off shoulder white dress with a broach in the middle, a wide calf length skirt, 2 pearl necklaces, white gloves, and white heels.
As a child she wore a blue and and white gingham dress in the summer that had a pink ruffle collar and big pink pockets in the front, along with white socks, pink Mary Janes, and a pink hair ribbon tied in a bow. Her school uniform was a dark green button down cardigan with white buttons, a white collared dress shirt, a plaid red skirt, brown loafers, and white socks and the same ribbon in her mane.
Beatrice was born sometime in the mid or late 1930s to Joseph and Honey Sugarman. Her family founded Sugarman Sugar Cube Company and were very wealthy. She likely lived in Indianapolis, due to Joseph saying he had to " Ankle back to Indianapolis" likely for work. They had a yearly family tradition of staying at their summer home in Harper's Landing, Michigan. She had an older brother, Crackerjack, who was shot and killed while fighting in World War II.
In either August or September 1945, when World War II ended/the US bombed Japan thus ending the war, Beatrice and her mother, who we're still in Michigan at this time, went to a celebration nearby. Honey had been mentally unstable since the death of her son, and ended up getting drunk, kissing one of Crackerjack's war friends, and asking Beatrice to recklessly drive them both home (saying "I want to feel alive again! I'd do anything to feel alive!"), which results in them getting in a car crash and leaves them both seriously injured.
Joseph was enraged that Honey put Beatrice in jeopardy, and Honey pleads for help for her hysteria. Honey was lobotomized to Beatrice's horror, after which Honey tells Beatrice "Love does things to a person, terrible things. Beatrice, promise me you'll never love anyone as much as I loved Crackerjack." Not long after, Beatrice caught scarlet fever and her father ordered the help to burn all her infected belongings - including Beatrice's prized possession, a baby doll. When she starts crying, her father says she shouldn't let her "womanly emotions" get the better of her or she'll end up like her mother.
At school, she was picked on by Clemelia Bloodsworth, calling her "fat", with her father even somewhat agreeing, since after getting scarlet fever he said her throat was very swollen, which could help her lose some weight. She went to Barnard College and got a Bachelors Degree, although her father only sent her there to find a husband.
Beatrice's débutante ball was held June 14-15, 1963, when she was in her early 20s. She was expected to marry Corbin Creamerman, also an heir to a wealthy agricultural family (his father Mort Creamerman owned Creamerman's Creamy Cream-Based Commodities). However, it was there that she first met Butterscotch Horseman, a rebellious young horse and aspiring author who admired the beatniks, and she ditched her own party to have sex with Butterscotch, seeing him as a breath of fresh air from a stuffy high-society world and household.
Her father forced her to agree to a date with Corbin two weeks later, and they did develop a deep sympathy and understanding for each other before Beatrice ruined the date by vomiting on him due to morning sickness.
She later went to Butterscotch to tell him she was pregnant with his child - he initially urged her to get an abortion, but she insisted on keeping the baby (her first thought was of her burnt baby doll) and they agreed to move to San Francisco together and get married.
At first, during their honeymoon phase, they were a happy couple, but, as of 1970, Butterscotch was working at a fish cannery (he had refused multiple offers of a cushy desk job from Beatrice's father) and still hadn't finished his novel, and had even turned against the beatniks that he had once admired. He resented Beatrice's family's wealth, his inability to provide for her, and the fact she wanted to keep the baby (telling her "You wanted that baby. Never forget that"). Beatrice resented Butterscotch for not accepting her father's job offer, making little money at the job he had, and his treatment of her.
This caused their marriage to become highly dysfunctional. The two gradually began to despise each other more and more, which affected how they treated BoJack during his formative years. They also became alcoholics and heavy smokers. When BoJack was six, Butterscotch finally agreed to work for Beatrice's father, and they became wealthier-but not happier as Beatrice and Butterscotch merely came together because of the disdain of the world around them.
Beatrice, along with her husband, first appear in a flashback in "BoJack Hates the Troops". She makes her husband an omelet and implies that he is having an affair with his secretary. Butterscotch himself implies that the only reason he married Beatrice was because she got pregnant and wouldn't get an abortion. After this exchange, young BoJack asks if he can have an omelet too, to which Beatrice replies "You're the birthday boy".
In "Downer Ending", Diane Nguyen (in her book) says BoJack always felt like he had to impress her with material items, and she believes this need may have came from his parents. She describes Beatrice as the heiress to the Sugarman Sugar Cube fortune and being used to certain comforts, and Butterscotch as BoJack's working class father who struggled, and often failed, to provide those comforts. Later, in BoJack's drug hallucination, a flashback to him as a child shows him crying under the kitchen table because his mother is forcing him to sing the "lollipop song" in front of her supper club. She says he has to do it for her to love him, and nobody gives a damn about how he feels.
In a flashback at the beginning of "Brand New Couch", Beatrice gets into a fight with her husband, claiming that he was out with other women, which causes him to leave. While this argument happens, young BoJack is trying to listen to Dick Cavett's interview with Secretariat, where they read a letter that BoJack sent in asking him what to do when you feel sad. However, his parents' yelling prevent BoJack from hearing Secretariat's answer to the letter. Beatrice comes into the living room and tells BoJack to not sit so close to the TV, because it'll make him cruel. She then tells BoJack that she was beautiful before she got pregnant, he ruined her, and that he better become successful to make up for the damage he's caused. BoJack timidly replies to these statements as "I know" and "I will". After this, she says "enough of me being a great mom", and that she's going to hide Butterscotch's heart medication.
In "The Shot", young BoJack takes a cigarette from Beatrice's purse and tries to smoke it, due to seeing Secretariat do it. She catches him and forces him to finish it, saying she won't be the mother of a quitter. BoJack starts crying as he tries to smoke it, and she tells him he doesn't deserve to cry. When BoJack asks if she's punishing him for smoking or for stealing she says "I'm punishing you for being alive".
A flashback in "Thoughts and Prayers" shows BoJack as a teenager. He has joined the football team, but Beatrice says he doesn't have the haunches for it and he'll only embarrass himself like every other endeavor he persues. BoJack tries to protest, but Beatrice interrupts and says if he wants to get knocked around for an afternoon he should read one of his father's manuscripts and call his prose pedestrian and derivative, because it works for her everytime. This hints that Butterscotch may have also been physically abusive to Beatrice.
BoJack left home in the mid 1980s to be a comedian in Los Angeles, eventually making it big as the star of Horsin' Around starting in 1987. He invited her to a live taping in 1988 and they ate at a restaurant afterwards (shown during a flashback in "Brand New Couch") - despite all of BoJack's success, she was extremely critical and condescending towards him, Horsin' Around and Los Angeles' culture in general, saying the town was full of AIDS and how she was offended by a man in the theater wearing a t-shirt saying "Just do it". She said his show "certainly wasn't Ibsen", that he was a clown, and that she hopes he dies before she does so he'll never have to know what it's like to lose a mother. BoJack responds to these criticisms by repeatedly requesting alcohol from the waiters, eventually shouting "Can we please get some alcohol into my mouth!?".
A scene in Time's Arrow shows Beatrice visiting BoJack in 1999 (3 years after Horsin' Around has ended) to give him a painting she got from her father, who passed away a while ago. BoJack questions why she and Butterscotch won't get a divorce, Beatrice says that's the "Hollywood way" and that no one will want her now because of what he (BoJack) did to her body. She then goes on to criticize him, saying all he does is take and that it depresses her that she had to make all these sacrifices just so he could do "silly stories" on a TV Show. Similar to the restaurant scene in Brand New Couch, BoJack defends himself and uses sarcasm with his comebacks. However, he is still somewhat nice to her, pouring her a glass of wine.
In December 1999, Butterscotch had an affair with their housekeeper Henrietta Platchkey, and he got her pregnant with a baby girl horse (Hollyhock). Beatrice fired Henrietta, but agreed to pay her nursing school tuition if she gave the baby up for adoption. She also sharply criticized Henrietta's positive view of Butterscotch, saying "Don't let that man poison your life the way he did mine." Beatrice was present for Hollyhock's birth, but didn't let Henrietta hold Hollyhock before taking Hollyhock away, saying she shouldn't grow attached. A frightened Henrietta screams out and sobs for her child proving she wanted the baby all along. Beatrice again thought back to her baby doll being burned, and it becomes yet another metaphor for something being "taken away" from her, especially when her father told her "Your sickness has infected everything. It all must be destroyed for your own good." BoJack knew nothing of his half-sister until Hollyhock contacted him in 2017, thinking BoJack was her biological father instead-it is unclear as to why BoJack never knew about Hollyhock's birth, as of Season 4.
Sometime after 2007 (or after The BoJack Horseman Show premiered), Butterscotch passed away. BoJack and Beatrice are seen in a flashback riding in a limo together on the way to his funeral. She says they were playing his dumb show in his hospital room, it was the episode where The Horse walked in on his daughter in the shower, she says he always knew how to play the fool. BoJack angrily asks if they have to have this conversation , and he then sadly says there was so much more he wanted to say to his father. Beatrice says he can forget it now.
In "Brand New Couch", in the present, she calls BoJack (who was currently filming the Secretariat movie) on his cell phone while he is in his trailer, listening to his inspiration tape. He inhales, and asks her what she wants. She says "Look who finally decided to pick up the phone", due to the fact she tried to call him twice before in the episode but he ignored both of them, and also implying that BoJack rarely speaks to her anymore. She tells him that she read his autobiography, especially the parts about her and what she has said to him in the past, and that he must think of her as a real monster. She says that she knows he wants to be happy, but he won't be, and she "apologizes", saying that he was born "broken", and nothing he tries to fill his life with will ever make him whole.
Two years after this, BoJack takes Hollyhock to meet Beatrice, who has been living at Walnut Springs, a nursing home in Santa Barbara. She is now in a wheelchair, does not recognize BoJack and keeps calling him "Henrietta". BoJack learns she has dementia. BoJack at first believes she is being passive-aggressive towards him by faking dementia but then later he realizes her memory has, in fact, deteriorated with time.
He takes her home after she causes a havoc in the nursing home and is kicked out. Tina then becomes her caretaker. BoJack then has Tina, Beatrice, and Hollyhock living in his home. He later finds out Beatrice has been putting weight loss pills in Hollyhock's coffee which stemmed from Beatrice's father's obsession about her weight in her youth (unknown to BoJack), which led to Hollyhock passing out, being taken to a hospital, and her fathers blaming BoJack for it and forbiding him to see her. In a rage he drives her to the worst possible nursing facility he can find claiming he is going to take her somewhere "she can't hurt anyone anymore". There, she finally recognizes her son again and BoJack, who originally wanted to tell her off for everything she's done to him, narrates to her a summer from her childhood, saying she is at the lake house in Michigan with her family (including Crackerjack), and they're telling her everything is going to be alright. BoJack also says they're eating vanilla ice cream, which Beatrice's parents never let her have. BoJack asks if she can taste it, to which Beatrice replies "Oh, BoJack, it's so....delicious."
Beatrice is passive aggressive, neglectful, and verbally abusive and a bitter old woman. This may stem from her difficult life (including her troubled and loveless marriage) and traumatic childhood.
She blames her son BoJack for "ruining her" and claims that she was beautiful before she got pregnant. She is apparently oblivious to how cruel and abusive she is to BoJack, as she refers to herself as an "amazing mother", right after telling young BoJack he ruined her and that she was beautiful before she got pregnant.
However, we see that she slowly developed this personality from her difficult life. She had a troubled childhood where her brother was killed in the war, her mother became hysteric and depressed and was given a lobotomy after a public meltdown which left her an empty shell of her former self, she was left in the care of her father who seemingly lacked empathy and told her to not let her womanly emotions control her or she'll end up like her mother. She married Butterscotch because he got her pregnant and out of spite for the world, and he emotionally abused her, which led her to take her anger on young BoJack.
Beatrice was a woman who'd been disgraced for her entire life and was forever resentful of her ultimately bad decisions she made as an adult.
As a child, she was deeply traumatized by the death of her older brother Crackerjack, and especially her mother having gotten a lobotomy, this explains her attitude, she promised her deeply depressed mother she would never love anyone as much as she loved Crackerjack.
In her youth, she was quite intelligent, earning a Bachelors degree at Barnard, and caring about poor people and welfare. Even going so far as to roll her eyes and detract her father's backwards and old-fashioned thinking. She also was seen reading a lot. Part of the reason she was attracted to Butterscotch was because he was an aspiring author and admired the beatniks.
Season 4 shows her with an early onslaught of dementia as she does not recognize her son BoJack and for some bizarre reason thinks he is the Horseman Household's former maid Henrietta Platchkey. She is also somewhat kinder, especially to Hollyhock.
- BoJack Hates the Troops
- Downer Ending
- Brand New Couch
- The Shot
- The Old Sugarman Place
- Thoughts and Prayers
- Stud Piece of Sh*t
- The Judge
- lovin that cali lifestyle!!
- Time's Arrow
- "Here's your omelet. I'm sorry it's not as good as the omelets your secretary makes, but then you're not married to your secretary, are you?"
- "Can't lives on a house in won't Street. You will not embarrass me in front of the entire supper club, I told them you were going to sing the lollipop song.
- "Nobody gives a damn what you feel! You've got an audience out there and they want to hear you sing! Now you want you're mommy to love you? You go out there and you do the only thing you're good for which is singing the god damn lollipop song!
- "Oh big stud! Running out to gallivant with your fillies!"
- "Don't sit so close to the TV, it'll make you cruel."
- "You know, I was beautiful, before I got pregnant."
- "You ruined me, BoJack."
- "It takes a real narcissist to think anyone wants to buy a book about them. You know how I feel about Anne Frank.
- "You're BoJack Horseman. There is no cure for that."
- "I'm punishing you for being alive."
- In "Fish Out Of Water" BoJack says she tried to drown him in a bathtub when he was 22.
- BoJack has had to give blood to her in the past, as revealed in "Brand New Couch" when he says "Do you need more blood?" when they are talking on the phone.
- The image of Beatrice as a child was on the wrappers of Sugarman's Sugar Cubes.
- Thouhts and Prayers reveals she has dimentia, and will not live for another 10 years.
- Beatrice was never allowed to eat ice cream by her parents, instead she had to have sugar-coated lemon wedges which were considered to be a "healthy girl's snack".
- The only time she did have some was at the end of the war celebration, by her mother who had her meltdown that led to her lobotomy. Beatrice got an orange freezy pop and she only got 2 licks out of it, and she dropped it once her mother started having her meltdown.
- Thoughts and Prayers and Time's Arrow show that to the present Day she has still never had any, since when BoJack mentions ice cream in the former episode she says no ice cream for her because she's watching her figure, and in the latter episode when BoJack says they're at the lake house, and says at the end they're eating ice cream, and asks he if she can taste it she pauses for a bit and lies and says it's delicious.
- This may have also been related to her father wanting her to stay skinny
- She took weight loss pills when she was younger to stay skinny and pretty (she referred to them as "pretty pills"), which may have come from being called fat by Clemilia and her gaggle when she was a little girl, and at around the same time her father told her she could loose weight due to her swollen throat from her scalet fever. This could have been also due to beauty standards at the time.
- This led to her putting weight loss pills in Hollyhock's coffee
- Lisa Hanawalt states that when they desiged Beatrice getting older, they made her eyes smaller because in animation it's a way of showing age, and to show she's closing off from the world and becoming more bitter and harder.
- As an elderly woman, Beatrice has appeared to developed cateracts, as her eyes have gone from black to an opaque green color, which is a real condition in older horses.
- Beatrice coldly tells young BoJack that she was beautiful before she got pregnant. This is somewhat proved a few times
- When Hollyhock is looking through the photo album with Beatrice in Thoughts and Prayers, she sees a photo of Beatrice from her debutante and she exclaims she was so beautiful.
- It is shown in Time's Arrow Beatrice's face had a slightly different design from when she was young. The commentator at her debutante when she is doing her performance (where she jumps over hurdles and trots as though she were in a horse competition) he remarks of how well she performs and how gorgeous she is.
- In "Time's Arrow" Beatrice's dementia is portrayed in her memories through disturbing details such as exit signs and hotel names glitching into an illegible bunch of letters, several characters faces left blank or people she's trying to forget having their faces scribbled over (such as Henrietta).
- Beatrice could not abort BoJack due to the trauma of her babydoll being burned as a child when she had scarlet fever
- Due to how her life ended up after marrying Butterscotch, she convinces Henrietta, the house maid Butterscotch gets pregnant, to give her baby up for adoption, telling her she thinks she wants thus but she doesn't, and to not let Butterscotch poison her life, and she goes on to tell her she'll graduate school, meet a good man and have a family. She tells Henrietta to not do what she did.
- Beatrice's father tells her not to cry and let her womanly emotions consume her when she is a child, and in "The Shot" she's tells BoJack "Don't you ever cry" when he cries when smoking the cigarette he took from her purse and she makes him finish.
- It is unknown, as of Season 4 exactly why she and Butterscotch kept Hollyhock a secret from BoJack.
- Beatrice admits of regretting not marrying Corbin Creamerman saying he would have been kind to her.