|“||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) was BoJack's neglectful and verbally abusive mother, the widow of Butterscotch Horseman, and the heiress to the Sugarman Sugar Cube Company. She was also the daughter of Joseph and Honey Sugarman, and the younger sister of Crackerjack.
Beatrice was a thoroughbred palomino female horse, who was described to be beautiful in her youth. She had a curled blonde mane, a tan colored coat, and a white diamond marking between her eyes. She also had a gap in her two front teeth. According to model sheets, she was about 6’0 in heels. Her head appears to be shaped like an Arabian horse’s.
In flashbacks to BoJack's childhood and teen years in the 1970s, she wears a purple button-down long- sleeved sweater with a mint green collar, a pale yellow apron with pink pockets, belt and stripe along the bottom, a mint green skirt, and brown heels. She had bags under her eyes and wore purple eye shadow and light red lipstick.
In the present day, Beatrice, now an elderly woman, has more wrinkles, her hair has gone grey, and she seems to have developed cataracts, a common trait in old horses, as her eyes are now an opaque green color.
Her fur is also much paler, most likely due to her old age, and she now wears pink and magenta eye shadow, and lipstick, respectively, with her having a bit of lipstick on her two front teeth.
In Brand New Couch, which is set in 2015 and is Beatrice’s first appearance in the present day, she wears a lavender coat over a mint green top, a small purple turban around her head, two beaded necklaces, and white wrist gloves. Her coat has a red, blue, and yellow flower pin.
In her present-day appearances (2017-early 2018) in Season 4, Beatrice now has dementia, and as a result is 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, and it appears shorter and thinner.
She still wears the purple turban and the same makeup from her previous appearance, and she now wears an oversized purple sweater, which is only buttoned at the top, over a dress with a teal top and a long light purple skirt, grey leggings, and pink and white shoes.
In the '80s, '90s and early 2000s, Beatrice appears a bit older from how she appeared in the 70s, having wrinkles around her mouth, dark circles under her eyes, and slightly paler fur and hair. She wore an indigo sweater with a pink trim, a matching indigo 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 the 1960s, Beatrice has slightly larger oval-shaped eyes, slightly different features on her face and head, her hair appears slightly different in the back, and she has a slightly smaller, skinnier figure compared to how she looks in the years following after she has BoJack. She wore light blue eyeliner and light pink lipstick.
This point of her life was her prime in terms of her looks. Her normal outfit consisted of a light blue dress with white dots and a pencil skirt, a small pale blue sweater, a white belt, navy blue high heels, white wrist gloves, and a pearl necklace.
As a child in the 40s she wore a blue and white gingham dress in the summertime that had a pink ruffle collar and big pink pockets in the front, along with white socks, red Mary-Janes, and a red hair ribbon tied in a bow.
Her school uniform consisted of 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 red ribbon in her mane.
She wore a light pink short nightgown with white lace trim and white socks for sleepwear.
Beatrice was born in 1938 to Joseph and Honey Sugarman. Her family founded the Sugarman Sugar Cube Company and were very wealthy.
The family lived in Michigan and had a yearly tradition of staying at their summer home, a lakefront cabin, in Harper's Landing, Michigan. She had an older brother, Crackerjack, who, in 1944, 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 were still in Harper's Landing at this time, went to a celebration nearby. Honey had been depressed and mentally unstable since the death of her son, and, after singing her and Crackerjack's favorite song, I Will Always Think of You, to herself, 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, before apparently going catatonic, 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.
While her mother, pre-lobotomy, was a kind, spirited, and sassy woman, her father, despite his cheery demeanor, seemed devoid of empathy, to the point of being a sociopath. He was also very misogynistic, even for the time period, at one point even saying when his wife was depressed as a modern American man he was uneducated about and unwilling to deal with a woman's emotions;.
He was averse to the idea of women doing anything that wasn't conducive to baby-making or home-keeping, let alone being educated, all of which clashed with Beatrice's interest of literature and education, her well-read and snarky personality, and her interest in current events or global problems.
Beatrice’s débutante ball was held around June 14 or 15, 1963. 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 then 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 being of her trauma from her burnt baby doll, and they agreed to move to San Francisco together and get married. Their son, BoJack F. Horseman, is born on January 2nd, 1964.
At first, during their honeymoon phase and Beatrice’s pregnancy, they were a happy couple. However, shortly after BoJack is born their relationship begins to fall apart. Butterscotch was working at a fish cannery for little income. 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 due to whatever he had wrote being rejected.
He resented Beatrice's family's wealth (although it is later learned he would blow through whatever was left of it), 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. The baby also proves to be stressful for the both of them, especially when it cries during the middle of the night.
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, in 1970, 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 mutual 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 that 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 says in her book One Trick Pony, BoJack’s autobiography/biography, that BoJack always felt like he had to impress her with material items, and she believes this need may have come 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.
It is later learned in Free Churro that BoJack would perform this for all of his mother's supper clubs, along with the other members who would also perform other skits and acts. The grand finale was always a dance Beatrice did in a beautiful dress that she only brought out for occasions like this. BoJack remarks it was beautiful and sad, even Butterscotch, who hated these parties and would lock himself in his study and bang on the wall to tell them to keep it down, would linger in the doorway and watch his cynical, miserable wife take flight.
In a flashback to June 1973, at the beginning of Brand New Couch, Beatrice gets into a fight with her husband, claiming that he was out with other women, and during the argument, the two smash plates, and Butterscotch ends up leaving.
While this happens, BoJack, who is nine years old at the time, 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 prevents 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. As she leaves she tells BoJack to "enjoy his dumb little TV show".
In the beginning of The Shot, a flashback to 1972 shows 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 because he wanted this. When BoJack asks if she's punishing him for smoking or for stealing she says "I'm punishing you for being alive".
A flashback at the beginning of Free Churro shows that BoJack's parents have failed to pick him up from soccer practice. BoJack sits on a bench shivering as it gets later and colder out.
Butterscotch eventually pulls up and begrudgingly tells his son to get in. On the drive home, Butterscotch tells BoJack his mother is having another episode, as she saw A Doll's House with her girlfriends the other night and she got "ideas", and she locked herself in the bedroom to weep.
Butterscotch rants how because of this he had to make himself a sandwich, and how he had a good run on his novel, where he was writing a sentence that went on for several pages, when he realized Beatrice didn’t pick their son, leaving him to have to do her job again. He tells BoJack to not this incident gives him mixed up ideas about gender.
He says Sundays are his writing days and tells BoJack he and his mother ruined the day for him. He then apologizes for Beatrice, saying she’s trying her best, but you still can’t depend on women or anyone in that matter. He tells BoJack he’s lucky that he has a good mother to teach him that. BoJack for the entire time sits in terrified silence and doesn’t respond to this. Butterscotch is offended thinking he is showing his son kindness, and obnoxiously shouts in his face "THANK YOOOUUUU?".
A flashback in Thoughts and Prayers shows BoJack as a teenager. He has joined the football team, but Beatrice tells him he doesn't have the haunches for it and he'll only embarrass himself like every other endeavor he tries out. 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 every time. This hints that Butterscotch may have also been physically abusive to Beatrice.
In the same episode, BoJack in the present says he once had a shaky choir solo in the 8th grade, so his mother pretended not to know him. He had to get a ride from the pianist who “liked to tickle more than the ivories”. When BoJack made it home safe, Beatrice said “Huh. I guess no one wants you.”
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 Beatrice to a live taping in 1988 and they ate at a restaurant afterward 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 three years after Horsin' Around has ended to give him a painting she got from her father, who recently passed away. BoJack questions why she and Butterscotch won't get a divorce, Beatrice says that's the "Hollywood way" and then says "Well who else would have me now? After what you did to my body?".
She continues 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, and even saying despite people liking his show, it wasn’t Ibsen, referencing what his mother told him eleven years prior.
In December 1999, Butterscotch had an affair with their housekeeper Henrietta Platchkey, getting her pregnant with a baby horse girl. Beatrice fired Henrietta but agreed to pay her nursing school tuition if she gave the baby up for adoption. She sharply told Henrietta “you don’t want this”, but pleaded Henrietta to not do what she did, give up her life and dreams for the baby and let Butterscotch poison her life. Henrietta agrees.
Beatrice was with Henrietta when she gave birth, on September 14, 2000, holding her hand all the way through. However, she refused to let Henrietta hold her baby before taking it away, saying she shouldn't grow attached and that it’s for her own good. 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."
The baby was eventually adopted by eight gay men and named Hollyhock Manheim-Mannheim-Guerrero-Robinson-Zilberschlag-Hsung-Fonzerelli-McQuack. BoJack knew nothing of his half-sister until Hollyhock contacted him in 2017, thinking BoJack was her biological father instead, due to their strong resemblance.
On October 31, 2009, Butterscotch passed away after tripping and hitting his head on a rock during a duel, which happened after Butterscotch wrote to a newspaper challenging anyone who didn’t like his book to one, and somebody from Montana responded. Beatrice calls BoJack and tells him this news during his Halloween party.
BoJack and Beatrice are seen in a flashback riding in a limo together on the way to his funeral in Thoughts and Prayers. 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.
Beatrice gave the eulogy at Butterscotch’s funeral. She said "My husband is dead, and everything is worse now", which surprised BoJack since the two had despised each other for their entire marriage.
Although at that point, Butterscotch had frittered away whatever was left of Beatrice’s family inheritance and had left them in debt. As a result, Beatrice had to sell the house, and all of her fancy jewelry, according to BoJack, and BoJack and his agent Princess Carolyn put her in Walnut Springs Nursing Home in Santa Barbara.
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 inspirational audio book. 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, in the episode Thoughts and Prayers, BoJack takes Hollyhock, who he initially thinks is his daughter, 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 at first believes she is being passive-aggressive towards him but learns from a doctor she has dementia, and will not live for another ten years.
Hollyhock wants her and BoJack to visit Beatrice every week because dementia is hereditary and one they might have it and they would want someone to take care of them.
BoJack reluctantly agrees. He shows frustration over her not being able to recognize him. One day while she is showing them a photo album she mistakes a picture of BoJack as a child for her brother Crackerjack. When BoJack tries to deny this, she just ignores him and refers to him as Henrietta.
Beatrice in general has mellowed out in terms of her personality, despite that she insults “Henrietta”, she is still somewhat kinder, especially to Hollyhock, although she does criticize her for her weight, giving her advice on how she can be thin too after Hollyhock sees a beautiful picture of her from her debutante.
Later BoJack and Hollyhock put on an episode of Horsin’ Around called I'm Ready For My Closeup, Mr. Dementia so that he can figure out how to deal with Beatrice. Here, Beatrice recognizes BoJack on the TV, and, to BoJack’s surprise, laughs at the episode.
Later, as the three watch another episode, BoJack, after remembering the car ride with his mother to his father’s funeral and how he regretted having so much more to say to him, goes outside.
Hollyhock follows and he laments to her about the situation. Hollyhock wonders how they can get Beatrice to connect the BoJack from the show to the BoJack who visits her every week. BoJack then gets the idea to put on a live episode of Horsin’ Around in the nursing home, and when they’re finished he’ll introduce himself to her and she’ll say “BoJack? Is that You?”. And when her eyes sparkle with recognition, he’ll sit down next to her, squeeze her hand and get real close, and say “Fuck You, Mom!”.
Despite Hollyhock thinking this is a terrible plan, the two still do this, but Beatrice becomes scared and confused and starts having a physical meltdown where she even shoves another elder. The nurses put her back in her wheelchair and push her out of the room as she screams. She is kicked out for being violent, and due to her rapid deterioration, the male nurse tells BoJack she should stay with him and Hollyhock.
BoJack reluctantly agrees. While Beatrice is being moved in, now with Tina as her nurse and caretaker, BoJack goes onto his deck, telling Hollyhock that his mother is going to die, and she’ll never know how much he hates her. Hollyhock said she probably did know, she read his book. BoJack says he still wishes he could say it to her face. Hollyhock assures him Beatrice will have bad days and good days, and maybe one day she will recognize him.
In Stupid Piece of Sh*t, Hollyhock gets Beatrice a baby horse doll after she keeps asking where the baby is. Hollyhock also tells BoJack it was getting depressing to look at her. Beatrice treats the doll like a real baby and is loving towards and is constantly cooing over it. She is even happy enough to make eggs. She also makes coffee for Hollyhock, to which the latter thinks is amazing. Beatrice comments on how well behaved her baby is. Hollyhock says it’s because she’s a good mother, BoJack tells her to not say that, and she’s not really like this.
Beatrice‘s treatment of the doll annoys and angers BoJack, due to her being a better parent to a doll than she was to him. Hollyhock tells him to get over the beef he has with his mother because now she’s just a sweet confused old lady.
BoJack, frustrated that no one knows what’s she’s really like and certain that the real her is in there somewhere, takes the doll from her and drops it and starts tossing it around, sarcastically asking if leaving the baby alone and not feeding it or changing it would make him a good mother, or if telling it for eighteen years how it embarrasses him and his life would have been better if it wasn’t born, releasing his resentment towards his mother’s lifelong abuse towards him.
Beatrice demands he give the doll back to her and calls him a “worthless waste of my husband’s jisim” (at first this is interpreted as her son, but it relates to Beatrice thinking BoJack is Henrietta, Butterscotch’s mistress and Hollyhock’s father). BoJack then throws the doll over his deck. Beatrice screams in agony and falls to her knees and sobs, as this moment (unknown to BoJack, and the audience at this point) makes her relive her childhood trauma of her father callously burning her beloved baby doll after she caught scarlet fever.
Hollyhock shows disappointment in BoJack‘s actions. He feels guilty right afterward and gets Mr. Peanutbutter’s help to track down the doll, which ended up in Felicity Huffman’s yard. He returns the doll to her after getting drunk at a bar. She responds with “About time, Henrietta”.
In The Judge, she is seen still cooing over her baby doll. BoJack tells her she got a package (one that eventually leads him to finding out about Hollyhock’s true parentage), and she asks if she got any “gentleman callers”, saying she’s expecting a visit from Corbin Creamerman. After Hollyhock arrives home from her night with Miles, Beatrice announces she’ll make coffee. Before Hollyhock leaves for her date with Miles, BoJack asks if she wants breakfast, but Hollyhock rejects, saying she’s good with her coffee.
In Lovin that cali lifestyle!!, we see her playing Uno with BoJack, Tina, and Hollyhock. However, we at first see things from Hollyhock‘s point of view, and she appears dizzy. She has also lost a lot of weight, as her clothes are now loose around her. She gets up to get a glass of water, but she loses grip of the glass and it falls on her, giving her a cut on her forehead. BoJack tells her he has band-aids in his bathroom.
After she leaves, Beatrice lays down her second to last card and says “one”. She told “Henrietta” earlier that “she” shouldn’t use a foreign language in front of the child, because then she’ll get “ideas”. Hollyhock‘s dizziness gets worse as she enters BoJack’s bathroom, knocking over multiple prescription pills he had in his medicine cabinet. After texting one of her father’s that’s she's ok (saying “Lovin that Cali lifestyle!!”), she passes out. BoJack hears from downstairs, and she is taken to the hospital by ambulance.
Unable to prove he’s her legal guardian, BoJack stays in the waiting room until he wakes up to discover Hollyhock's fathers have arrived. They reveal she overdosed on amphetamines. BoJack tries to explain he had no idea, and one of the dads' questions how he couldn’t because she’s now as thin as a pole. They blame him and forbid him from seeing Hollyhock ever again.
BoJack rushes home ignoring Beatrice asking “her” if he wants one of her grapefruits)and finds his opened and spilled medications in his bathroom. Thinking Hollyhock took them, he flushes them all down the toilet and lays on the floor as he has a panic attack.
Later, as BoJack stares out the window, Beatrice asks where the girl is. BoJack says that she’s gone, to which Beatrice replies “Oh yes, I took her didn’t I?” Which is actually true, as she did take Hollyhock away from her mother. This perhaps implies she knew Hollyhock was that same baby. She then draws her attention to one of BoJack’s paintings and asks “her” to help her pack it, as she wants to give it to her son, parroting a conversation she had with the real Henrietta years ago.
BoJack tells her he always thought she was a terrible parent, and she was, but he blew it even worse, and being a parent is impossible, so he can’t be that mad at her. Beatrice laughs and says “she” shouldn’t be mad at her, because it’s the right thing. BoJack wonders if maybe they deserve each other.
Beatrice gasps and asks again where the girl is, because she made the girl coffee. BoJack questions what is up with them and coffee. BoJack suddenly realizes something to his horror, and runs into the kitchen, shoving past his mother. He questions Beatrice what she put in the coffee, to which she replies with a bit of a devilish look ”That’s an old family secret!”.
He goes under the cabinet and inside the bag with the coffee beans he finds a bottle of “Chubb Be Gone”, or weight loss supplements, revealing that Beatrice had been drugging Hollyhock with them to make her loose weight. Beatrice says she was doing it only until she learned to take them herself. This also stems from her father’s and bully’s criticisms about her weight in her youth.
BoJack is enraged, which frightens Beatrice, and tells her whole “not knowing where she is or who her son is” thing is not cute anymore, once again convinced she is faking her dementia. He says she ruined the one good thing he had and didn’t ruin by himself, but was ruined because he decided to give her another chance. Beatrice asks where Crackerjack is. BoJack angrily tells her she’s out of chances.
In a rage, he drives her to another nursing home and demands they put her in their worst possible room. We see the room is dimly lit, there are stains on the walls, and the window looks out to a dumpster. After the nurse leaves, BoJack coldly tells his mother this is what her life has added up to, her by herself in this room. He says “Best of luck, see you never.” and begins to leave. Beatrice asks who he is, and BoJack ignores her and says “Ugh, bye Mom". There, Beatrice finally recognizes her son again, calling him by his name.
The following episode, Time's Arrow, shows what happens in between BoJack finding out about the coffee and Beatrice recognizing BoJack. On the car ride BoJack, once again, angrily tries to convince her he’s her son, to no success. When she asks if they’re going to the lake house, he says they’re going to a magical place where they’ll lock her up and she’ll never hurt anymore ever again. She tells “her” to speed up and repeats her father’s old saying, “time’s arrow neither stands still nor reverses”, and asks “Isn’t that right, Henrietta?”, and in place of BoJack we see the real Henrietta, although her face is scribbled out, and Beatrice now looks like her beautiful young self.
Though out the episode, the audience sees Beatrice’s backstory through her own mind, although as a result of her dementia, certain details are messed up, as most background characters have no faces, a few people have their faces scribbled out, and signs and scenes glitch and change.
We see everything that has led up to this moment in Beatrice’s life all juxtaposed together; her being bullied and called fat, catching scarlet fever, her father further revealing himself as the horrible man he really was, her mother being represented only as a shadow, her debutante, meeting and getting inpregated by Butterscotch, giving birth to BoJack, her and Butterscotch‘s honeymoon romance becoming a dysfunctional and abusive one, becoming an abusive parent to BoJack along with Butterscotch, a montage of the family becoming wealthier from Butterscotch’s new job that ends in 1999.
We also see Henrietta the maid getting pregnant by Butterscotch, and Beatrice convincing her to give up the baby for adoption and to not do what she did, which leads to a scene where we see both Henrietta and young Beatrice giving birth. Along with these, we also cut to the scene of child Beatrice’s belongings, and her baby doll, being burned due to her scarlet fever.
At the same time, we see Beatrice in 1999 taking Hollyhock away from Henrietta , as the mother screams and cries from being denied to hold her baby, which ends and cuts to child Beatrice, with her mind making the fire surrounding her and her father, crying for her baby as well, with her father using her lobotomized mother who appears behind him as a shadow with her scar highlighted, and with his ears resembling devil horns as a threat. Beatrice’s flashbacks end with her father telling her one day this will all be a pleasant memory.
After seeing all of this, we pick up where the last episode left off, with Beatrice finally recognizing BoJack. She is scared and confused by her surroundings, despite BoJack bluntly telling her where she is, and she questions again where she is. BoJack then begins as if he’s going to give her his “Fuck You!” speech he planned episodes earlier, but he hesitates, and instead he tells her she’s in Michigan at the lake house.
He then narrates to her a story about where she is, saying it’s a warm summer night, and she’s with her family including Crackerjack, and they're telling her everything is going to be alright, which visually pleases Beatrice, as she agrees and remembers all these details. In a rare tender moment between mother and son, BoJack also says they're eating vanilla ice cream, and asks if she can taste it. Beatrice begins to respond positively, but she hesitates, as she remembers she never got to taste ice cream, so she lies and says "Oh, BoJack, it's so....delicious."
Beatrice Horseman died in October of 2018, very likely due to complications of her dementia, as revealed in Free Churro. BoJack stayed with her in the hospital during her final moments, which were filled with nonsensical screams and cries.
However, there was an instant of calm, where she looked in his direction and uttered her final words - "I see you". No criticism or insults, just the simple recognition that he was a person in the same room as her, and she could see him. BoJack feels weird that it was the first time that his mother saw him - the thing he’s been missing and what he’s ever wanted, but it’s not a relief, since it came on her deathbed.
BoJack was prepared for cruelty in her final moments, to insult him and put him down like all she’s done to him for his entire life, but he wasn’t prepared for "I see you". He thinks he might be giving her too much credit, maybe it wasn’t a connection at all, or maybe she did just mean that she could actually see him. She was senile in end, so it’s hard to tell.
He gave the eulogy at her funeral. Before he did, he went to a Jack in the Box, and he got a free churro when he told the girl behind the counter his mother died.
BoJack apologizes for the closed casket. Beatrice wanted an open casket, but he thought she looked pretty bad dead, since the coroner couldn’t get her eyes closed so her face is forever frozen in horror and anguish.
During the rest of BoJack's eulogy, he talks about life and his relationship with his parents and their abuse, and tries to interpret her final words, but towards the end he realizes his mother was probably reading the hospital sign "ICU", and that he was in the wrong funeral room the whole time.
BoJack constantly brings up to others, especially Diane, that his mom died in the following episode, "INT. SUB", although when she asks him if he wants to talk about it, he insists he doesn’t and asks why she keeps bringing his mom up. He also abruptly leaves his therapy session with Dr. Indira when she asks him about his mom.
In "The Showstopper", during "Don't Stop Dancing Till The Curtains Fall", a musical number sung by Gina in a hallucination dream due to BoJack's opioid addiction, a woman dressed as Beatrice tap dances around him, referencing how she would always perform a dance at her supper clubs, before she moves backwards and curtseys as she’s enclosed in a coffin.
Throughout BoJack’s flashbacks, Beatrice was passive aggressive, neglectful, cynical, bitter, and verbally abusive, and an overall atrocious mother.
She blames her son BoJack for "ruining her" and claims that she was beautiful before she got pregnant. She would constantly put him down and discouraged him for any endeavor he tried out, despite the fact she pushed him to succeed in order to compensate for what he "did" to her.
She would even get violent with BoJack, as she forced him to finish a cigarette when she caught him stealing one, saying she didn’t want to be the mother of a quitter and was punishing him for being alive.
Beatrice made it very clear to BoJack that he was an embarrassment to her, and that he ruined her life, to the point where it could be said she hated him, and she made him feel like nothing he ever did would be good enough for her or would make up for "ruining her" with the mere fact of his birth. She turned to smoking and drinking heavily to cope with her misery, as in flashbacks after BoJack is born she is rarely seen without a cigarette in her mouth.
She still apparently thought she was a “great mom", as she called herself this right after verbally abusing her son, and she also tells him as an adult that he doesn’t know how lucky he is to have her and that she hopes he dies before she does so he’ll never have to know what it’s like to lose a mother.
Along with Butterscotch, her addictions and abuse are a large reason of how BoJack ended up the way he did, adopting the same addictions and bitterness as his mother, and becoming severely depressed, along with having intrusive thoughts that constantly put him down and tell him how worthless he is, as seen in Stupid Piece of Sh*t. Other characters have even agreed on this, with Herb telling BoJack she’s a bitch and Princess Carolyn referring to her and Butterscotch as BoJack’s “asshole parents”.
However, we see that, much like with her son, 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.
This came to a point where she endangered Beatrice's life as a child 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 cheery but deeply misogynistic father, who seemingly lacked empathy and told her to not let her womanly emotions control her or she'll end up like her mother, who before going catatonic from her lobotomy told Beatrice to never love anyone as much as she loved Crackerjack.
She married Butterscotch because he got her pregnant and out of their mutual spite for the world.
He emotionally abused her (as did she), had multiple extramarital affairs, was misogynistic and would berate her for doing a poor job with her "wifely duties". He was arrogant and narrow minded especially when it came to his critics. Butterscotch failed to help her escape from her old life of living in her father’s shadow, as he ended up having to take a job for her father since his writings were rejected.His writings were bad in general. Though he was a very verbose speaker.
This led her to take her anger on a young BoJack, frequently putting him down, never being satisfied or supportive with anything he tried or accomplished including his show, and telling him he ruined her beauty and her life.
She believed her beauty and figure was ruined by her pregnancy, but, aside from the fact she never looked that terrible, and it can be implied her smoking, alcohol, and drug use most likely contributed to this even more, it is learned she grew up in a society where she was taught (especially by her father) a woman's looks and body were very important and her only value.
These were the only features her peers and father would compliment or comment on, not focusing on other aspects of her such as her intelligence, which at that point in her youth she seemed to value more than her looks, as she would roll her eyes when one of her suitors would only think to compliment her appearance, or when her father shot down or looked down upon her love of reading, her interest in current events or global problems, or her high education.
As a child, she was sweet and happy, but she was deeply traumatized by the death of her older brother Crackerjack, and especially her mother having gotten a lobotomy due to going mad with grief. Her dazed lobotomized mother made her promise she would never love anyone as much as she loved her son, and Beatrice promises.
This is one of the reasons why Beatrice was so cruel to BoJack and never showed any love for him. Her father callously burning her beloved baby doll when she caught scarlet fever and telling her to stop crying and not let her womanly emotions consume her, or she’d end up like her mother, led to her being traumatized into being unable to abort BoJack, and furthered her distant and unloving nature towards him and others.
In her youth, as noted previously, she was quite intelligent, earning a Bachelors degree at Barnard, and cared about poor people, welfare, injustice, and civil rights. Even going so far as to groan and roll her eyes and detract her father's backwards and old-fashioned thinking.
She was not impressed with the upper class lifestyle that her father forced her into, she thought debutante balls were “self serving, garish wastes of money”, sarcastically questioned her father if hers would end poverty, war, or bring civil rights activist Medgar Evars back to life, and told him he’s a reminder of the unequal distribution of wealth in America, and that poor people find that “dreadfully gauche”. 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. These traits angered and disappointed her father, as he had backwards views on females, and all he cared about was marrying her off, even admitting he doesn’t give a damn what she feels and he would marry her off to literally anyone.
Criticisms from her father and her peers at a young age makes Beatrice feel insecure and inadequate, which she compensates into meanness and sarcasm as an adult.
Despite not being impressed with the upper class lifestyle that her father was forcing her into before she had BoJack, she had actually became accustomed and dependent on it, as when she leaves that lifestyle to marry Butterscotch, she complains that he can’t afford them a nanny or a maid to help her, and is miserable living a middle class life with the low salary Butterscotch made at the fish cannery, even calling him a “peasant” during an argument. She appears happy when he finally agrees to get a high paying job for her father’s company.
In Brand New Couch, it seems Beatrice had a moment of clarity of how she affected her son, as she read about herself in BoJack's book and tells her son "You must think I'm a real monster". However, , she cannot make a straightforward apology for her abuse, rather she apologizes for BoJack being "born broken", which indirectly mentions the generations of trauma and abuse that had been passed down ever since Crackerjack died, as Beatrice is seemingly unwilling to deal with it directly.
Overall, Beatrice was a woman who'd been disgraced for her entire life and was a victim of circumstances, she couldn’t let go of her past and was forever resentful of her ultimately bad decisions she made as an adult, all of which mirrors her son BoJack's situation. She also ended up living her worst fears: she became an abusive tyrant like her father (in fact, even worse than him), and she lost her mind like her mother due to her dementia.
Season 4 shows her in the present day 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. Although she still insults “Henrietta”, she is also somewhat kinder, especially to Hollyhock, although she criticized her weight and secretly put weight loss pills in her coffee, which she eventually overdosed on and was sent to the hospital after passing out, although we learn this came from Beatrice taking weight loss pills when she was younger due to being criticized for being “fat” as a little girl by Clemelia Bloodsworth and even her father.
She also openly enjoys Horsin' Around, despite criticizing it before, showing she had lied, most likely due to her believing her high standards shouldn’t allow her to like it, or the fact that she was still unwilling to show love towards her son due to what happened to her mother. Beatrice also gets attached to a baby doll that Hollyhock gets her and acts like a loving mother towards it, to BoJack's annoyance, and possibly hinting at the mother she could of been if it had not been for the aforementioned circumstances that seemingly prevented her to.
- The Old Sugarman Place
- Thoughts and Prayers
- Stupid Piece of Sh*t
- The Judge
- lovin that cali lifestyle!!
- Time's Arrow (final present day appearance)
- Free Churro (mentioned)
- "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?"
- "Nobody gives a damn what you feel! You've got an audience out there and they want to hear you sing! Now you want your 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!
- "You know, I was beautiful, before I got pregnant."
- "You ruined me, BoJack."
- “You better grow up to be something great, to make up for all the damage you’ve done.”
- “Okay, enough me being a great mom. I’m gonna go hide your father’s heart medication. Enjoy your dumb little TV show.”
- "You know, the man sitting next to me was wearing a t-shirt, a t-shirt BoJack, in the theater!"
- "The t-shirt told me to "Just Do It". I don't know to what 'It' the t-shirt referred, but I will not be spoken to in that tone by an article of clothing!"
- “You don’t know how lucky you are to have me. I hope you die before I do so you’ll never have to know what it’s like to lose a mother!”
- "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."
- "Don't you dare cry! Don't you ever cry! You wanted this."
- "I'm punishing you for being alive."
- "Give me the baby you worthless waste of my husband’s jisism!"
- "Time's arrow neither stands still nor reverses after all, it merely marches foreword. Isn't that right, Henrietta?"
- "You think you want this but you don’t. Not like this...Don't throw away your dreams for this child. Don't let that man poison your life the way he did mine. You are going to finish your schooling and become a nurse. You'll meet a man, a good man, and you'll have a family, but please believe me, you don't want this."
- "Oh, BoJack, it’s so...delicious."
- In Fish Out Of Water BoJack says she tried to drown him in a bathtub when he was twenty-two.
- 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 is on the wrappers of Sugarman's Sugar Cubes.
- Thoughts and Prayers reveals she has dementia, and will not live for another ten years.
- She died at the age of eighty in Free Churro.
- Her death makes BoJack and Hollyhock the only two living members of the Horseman family left.
- Her last words were "I See You", although she may have been reading the hospital sign "ICU".
- She died at the age of eighty in Free Churro.
- Lisa Hanawalt states that when they designed 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.
- Beatrice was a part of a supper club, during which they would put on skits and other performances.
- Beatrice would perform a dance routine while wearing a beautiful dress she only wore on special occasions, and she was so amazing even Butterscotch, who hated her parties and being married to her, would even leave his study to see her dance.
- Beatrice also made BoJack perform The Lollipop Song, which introduced him to performing in front of other people.
- 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", and her father was obsessed with keeping her thin.
- 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.
- She took weight loss pills when she was younger to stay skinny and pretty (she referred to them as "pretty pills"), due to being made insecure about her weight as a child by her school bullies and her father.
- This led to her putting weight loss pills in Hollyhock's coffee
- 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.
- 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,
- 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, leaving him unable to cry in front of others as an adult. She also gets annoyed when Henrietta starts crying when she talks with her about Butterscotch getting her pregnant, saying "Well, don’t do that, what does that solve?"
- 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.
- Despite her advanced age and primarily needing a wheelchair, Beatrice was shown to be in better shape than Bojack. In The Judge, while Bojack struggled to do a single push up, she was able to do over 40 push ups.