A series of family comedy films about a St. Bernard named after Music/LudwigVanBeethoven. Unlike in its [[WesternAnimation/BeethovenTheAnimatedSeries animated spin-off]], Beethoven could not speak, although he still had AmplifiedAnimalAptitude. In keeping with the theme of the composer, the sequels were named ''Beethoven's 2nd'', ''Beethoven's 3rd'', etc. It was originally executive-produced by Ivan Reitman, who had previously produced and/or directed such films as ''Film/{{Meatballs}}'', ''Film/{{Stripes}}'', ''Film/{{Ghostbusters 1984}}'', ''Film/{{Twins}}'', ''Film/KindergartenCop'', ''Film/{{Dave}}'', ''Film/{{Junior}}'', and ''Film/SixDaysSevenNights''. It was also originally co-written by Creator/JohnHughes, writing under the pseudonym "[[Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo Edmond Dantes]]."

The original film, released in 1992, focused on Beethoven's adoption by the Newton family: curmudgeon father George (Charles Grodin), earnest wife Alice (Bonnie Hunt), CoolBigSis[=/=]BrattyTeenageDaughter Ryce (Creator/NicholleTom of ''Series/TheNanny'' fame), geeky son Ted (Christopher Castile of ''Series/StepByStep'' fame), and CheerfulChild Emily (Sarah Rose Karr of ''Film/KindergartenCop'' fame). Unbeknownst to them, however, Beethoven is an escaped would-be test animal for a lab run by Dr. Herman Varnick (Dean Jones, who would later voice George Newton in the animated series; Nicholle Tom was the only other cast member to return for the series, providing Ryce's voice), a veterinarian who sounds like {{Satan}} and is stealing his customers' dogs for use in unethical experiments.

Reportedly, the American Veterinary Association wasn't happy about the film featuring an evil veterinarian who uses dogs as ballistic test dummies, and wrote a scathing letter to Jack Valenti, then-president of the Motion Picture Association of America. Probably as a result, the sequel has a 'safe' villain in the form of Regina (Debi Mazar), a [[Disney/OneHundredAndOneDalmatians Cruella de Vil]]-esque RichBitch and her arrogant but [[TheDitz somewhat-dimwitted]] boyfriend Floyd (Chris Penn). ''Beethoven's 2nd'' was the last film to feature the original cast and the last to be released theatrically. It was also the last film to involve Reitman as executive producer.

Seven years after ''Beethoven's 2nd'', the series was resurrected with some DirectToVideo sequels. The family members were replaced with {{Suspiciously Similar Substitute}}s, with the explanation that Beethoven was living "[[SequelNonEntity temporarily]]" with George's brother Richard Newton (Judge Reinhold) and his family. This family includes wife Beth (Julia Sweeney), son Brennan (Joe Pichler) and daughter Sara (Michaela Gallo). After two films with them, ''Beethoven's 5th'' featured Sara ([[TheOtherDarrin now played by Daveigh Chase]]) bringing Beethoven along on a visit to her Uncle Freddie (Dave Thomas) with the rest of the family absent. ''Beethoven's 5th'' was followed by ''Beethoven's Big Break'', which [[ContinuityReboot rebooted]] the franchise. The most recent sequel is ''Beethoven's Christmas Adventure'', which was released in late 2011.

An eighth film, ''Beethoven's Treasure Tail'', was released direct-to-video Fall 2014 -- it being a continuation of ''Big Break.''
!!'''Provides Examples Of:'''

* AdultFear: In the first film. What if your young child got too close to the pool when the babysitter wasn't paying attention?
** More to the point, what if you unknowingly hired a flagrantly negligent babysitter who would let your child go near an unprotected pool to begin with?
** Also when Dr. Vernick tells George how Beethoven might become aggressive.
* ArmorPiercingResponse: From the first movie:
-->'''George''': Come on. My dream is going down the drain and you're worried about a ''dog''.\\
'''Alice''': Our family is going down the drain and you're worried about a dream.
* ArtisticLicenseAnimalCare: Plenty of it. Beethoven's owners are seen feeding him bacon and twinkies, and he eats other human foods like cookies when nobody's around. Such foods are known to give dogs indigestion, and too much bacon could give a dog pancreatitis.
** One little girl is seen feeding Beethoven her vanilla ice cream cone as she [[{{Squick}} continues to lick it herself]]. Understandable as she's just a child, but vanilla is likely not to sit well with Beethoven either. Had it been a chocolate cone, he'd be even worse for the wear.
** There is so much wrong with the way Dr. Vernick runs his practice that anyone with knowledge of veterinary care is going to either laugh uncontrollably or {{Facepalm}} throughout the film. Some of it crosses over into ArtisticLicenseLaw, to boot. Some of it can be [[HandWave hand waved]] on account of him being, y'know, ''evil'' and obviously willing to lie to achieve his goals, but not all of it.
* AwardBaitSong: The second movie has [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-odILRnHpb0 "The Day I Fall In Love"]] by James Ingram and Music/DollyParton.
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: Beethoven gives bacon to the stray dog who helped him escape from the Varnick's goons as a puppy.
* BedmateReveal: Beethoven keeps climbing into bed with George. George is certainly NOT amused in the first film.
%%* BigDamnHeroes
* BigEater: Beethoven, who is often looking for food and annihilates a holiday turkey in one scene.
* BigFriendlyDog: The titular character.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Dr. Varnick acts nice to people, but deep down, he's a son of a bitch of the highest order.
* BrickJoke: At the beginning of the first movie, a biker woman comes into the pet shop, saying she has a big junkyard and needs a big junkyard dog. She rejects the St. Bernard puppy after he pees on her and exclaims "You got any pit bulls?" Much later in the film, when [[spoiler:Dr. Varnick's goons flee the dogs, they take cover in a big junkyard, occupied by four big '''dobermans''']].
* ButtMonkey: George gets the brunt of Beethoven's mischief.
* CarFu: [[spoiler:Ted]] crashes the family station wagon into the bad guys' warehouse in the first movie.
* CassandraTruth: From a window, little Emily sees Dr. Varnick hit Beethoven in order to provoke the dog to lunge forward. Varnick then pulls the WoundedGazelleGambit detailed below. Because of Emily's age, the adults initially don't believe her, but when Alice sees that Emily sticks to the story no matter what on top of having never accused an adult of lying before, she convinces George to investigate the situation.
* ChildHater: George's JerkAss clients who are a married couple with careers.
* ComicBookTime: There's a seven-year gap between ''Beethoven's 2nd'' and ''Beethoven's 3rd'', but they apparently take place in immediate succession. So evidently the world just randomly jumps from the early '90s to the early '00s.
* CoolOldLady: If she wasn't so criminally negligent, the babysitter in the first film could come across as this. Her idea of entertaining the kids is to play "Lady Marmalade" on the piano for them.
* CruellaToAnimals: Dr. Varnick uses poor, innocent dogs for his deadly animal experiments ''and'' he wants to test a new type of bullets on Beethoven, something he expresses with perverse pleasure.
** Played straighter with Regina in the second movie. She initially wants to get rid of Beethoven's puppies by any means necessary, and only decides not to drown them when she finds out that they're purebred and worth a bunch of money.
* DateRapeAverted: Happens to Ryce in ''Beethoven's 2nd''.
* DesperateObjectCatch: PlayedForLaughs with Beethoven's drool in one of the sequels.
* DogsAreDumb: Played with. It's intentionally left vague just how smart Beethoven is and he does things that are both astoundingly brilliant and incredibly dumb, sometimes simultaneously.
* EatingContest: George and Beethoven participate in one in the second movie.
* EvenTheDogIsAshamed: In the first movie, when George goes to the vet to [[spoiler:have Beethoven put down]], you see three dogs with their owners in the waiting room as he exits. All three of said dogs look away from George and/or whimper at him.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: Ryce comments on the "perfection" of her secret crush's girlfriend.
%%* EvilDetectingDog
* FanserviceExtra: There is a lingering shot of Beethoven jumping over a reclining bikini girl.
%%* FirstPetStory
* FourEyesZeroSoul: Dr. Varnick wears a pair of glasses, and is a very bad guy.
* FreshClue: In ''Beethoven's 2nd'', as the Newtons are tracking their dogs, they happen to find some dog poo that likely belongs to one of the dogs. To find out when they left it there, Ryce sticks a finger in it to feel if it's still warm. It is.
* FreudianExcuse: George's reason for his hostility towards Beethoven. [[spoiler:While driving Beethoven to be put down, George tells him how he hated his own dad for taking his dog away.]]
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: If you watch closely during the scene where all the dogs freed from Dr. Varnick's lab chase his mooks through a market, a golden retriever picks up an entire cabbage in its mouth and spends the rest of the scene hanging onto it.
* GroinAttack: [[spoiler:Dr. Varnick gets this visited upon him by another dog.]]
** Also what happens to Floyd, Regina's henchman, in the second movie.
* HeroicDog: Beethoven saves Emily from drowning, Ryce from being raped, the family from being swindled, and performs tons of other feats of heroism.
* HiddenDepths: George, after seemingly finding every reason to dislike Beethoven throughout most of the first movie, reveals that [[spoiler:he is still bitter because of his father taking his old family dog to the vet to be euthanized, and regrets that he thought he had to do the same to Beethoven (and having the same resentment from his own kids). Thankfully, as soon as he realizes that Dr. Varnick is corrupt, he does everything possible to save Beethoven]].
* TheIgor: Floyd in ''Beethoven's 2nd''.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Sal [=DeMargo=] in ''Big Break''.
%%* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: George
* JerkassHasAPoint: In the first movie, George opposes adopting Beethoven--saying he's a cute little puppy for now but will grow to be enormous, drool everywhere and wreck the house. The following montage of Beethoven wrecking the house shows George had a point.
* KindlyVet: Completely averted in the first movie; Dr. Herman Varnick is an utterly dirty veterinarian.
* LaserGuidedKarma: Dr. Varnick, who spent a lot of time injecting experimental chemicals into dogs, gets [[spoiler:pumped full of his own chemicals]]. And his henchmen, who spend a lot of the movie being cruel to dogs, get [[spoiler:mauled by Dobermans]].
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: Dean Jones as Dr. Varnick in the first movie and Debi Mazar as Regina in the second one (she's known to be a great dog lover).
* {{Mooks}}: The two characters played by Creator/StanleyTucci (Vernon) and Oliver Platt (Harvey).
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: George is hit with this after he leaves Beethoven with Dr. Varnick to be put down after the alleged attack; having wished constantly for his mischievous pet to be out of his life, [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor George realizes that he wasn't that bad after all]].
* MySignificanceSenseIsTingling: In the first film, Beethoven sensed Emily was about to fall into the pool and ran to the rescue.
* NegativeContinuity: At the end of ''Beethoven'', George adopts all the test dogs at the end. This is ignored in the sequel.
** Though they probably didn't adopt them, but let them stay until they got adopted.
* NeverMyFault: The babysitter in the first film tries to gloss over her negligence by claiming that the fault lies with Emily for wandering off. Alice is not impressed.
** Sal [=DeMargo=] in ''Big Break''.
* OhCrap: The two {{mooks}} from the first movie upon realizing that [[spoiler:they just tried to take shelter in a junkyard...one patrolled by some ''very vicious Dobermans'']].
* OnlySaneMan: Gender-flipped, with Alice filling this role in the first two movies, mostly observing the chaos caused by her husband, kids, and Beethoven.
* PapaWolf: Don't cross George Newton. He may not look like it, but he is very protective of his kids and his dog.
** Beethoven in the sequel for his pups. When one of his sons was threatened, he didn't hesitate to [[GroinAttack ram a tree branch in Floyd's crotch.]] He also looks out for his humans, especially George.
* PetsHomageName: Beethoven himself was named after the composer when he seemed to react positively to Emily playing Beethoven's 5th Symphony on the piano. In Beethoven's 2nd, in keeping with the tradition, one of his puppies is named Tchaikovsky.
* PoliceAreUseless: When George tries to report Dr. Varnick to the police and tells them about him faking being attacked by Beethoven as an excuse to take him, the police responder replies with 'So what?'
* PunchClockVillain: Harvey isn't anywhere close to a likeable guy, but he isn't close to being the sadist that Dr. Varnick and Vernon are.
* PutOnABus: The entire Newton family after the second film, having passed Beethoven on to their relatives from the third movie onward.
* PrinceAndPauper: Whole plot of ''Beethoven's 4th''.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: George really lays one on Beethoven in the first film, failing to comprehend why his family likes a sniffing and drooling creature better than him. Maybe if he paid more attention to them than his career obsession to raise more capital, hence his obliviousness to Brad and Brie's plans to eventually take over his business, it wouldn't seem that way so much.
* RedemptionRejection: Harvey appears to contemplate a HeelFaceTurn when he learns that Dr. Varnick wants them destroy the ''dogs'' along with all the other evidence. Then he shrugs and gets back to work.
* RichBitch: Regina in ''Beethoven's 2nd''.
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl: One of Dr. Varnick's henchmen, when Beethoven broke free.
* SiblingRivalry: Averted in the first two movies. The Newton siblings regularly do activities together and rarely squabble despite their different ages.
* SoftGlass: [[spoiler:George]] enters the bad guys' warehouse through a skylight in the first movie.
* SuddenlyVoiced: In ''Beethoven's Christmas Adventure'' (the seventh movie), Beethoven can now speak (with the voice of Tom Arnold).
* TheTalk: In the second film, Ted and Emily need George [[WeNeedADistraction to be distracted]] so they can sneak Beethoven's puppies into the house. Emily asks George where babies come from and it works perfectly.
** Even better is that, after he's been desperately trying to tell her in a way that's both pretty honest and as non-sexual as he can muster, she finally ends it with, "You don't really understand this, do you, Dad?" and walks away.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Harvey and Vernon, Dr. Varnick's two henchmen.
** Tommy and Bill in ''Beethoven's 3rd''.
** Sal [=DeMargo=]'s henchmen in ''Big Break''.
* TooDumbToLive: Dr Varnick's dim-witted thieves in the first film.
** Floyd in ''Beethoven's 2nd''.
** Dr. Vernick himself. [[spoiler: Upright and uncapped is ''not'' how you place a syringe when you aren't using it!]]
** The drunken teen partyers in ''Beethoven's 2nd'', who dump beer on Beethoven for their own amusement; this leads to Beethoven collapsing the entire house where the party is at, sending everyone into the lake! (And saving Ryce from a dangerous situation in the process)
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: A local pet store is robbed of several dozen of its puppies and the authorities don't know what became of them. George places ''dozens'' of lost dog posters for Beethoven when he wanders into their home for the first time. Nobody in town makes the connection that he's one of the stolen pups.
* VileVillainLaughableLackey:
** In the first movie, the veterinarian's goons' bumbling and cowardice were PlayedForLaughs, but the veterinarian himself was not.
** In the second movie, Floyd's stupidity was PlayedForLaughs, but his greedy girlfriend was much more cruel and intentional than he was.
* WhatTheHellHero: Alice calls George out for caring more about about his dream than his own family. And his kids were mad at him for taking Beethoven to be put to sleep. Both are angry at his "unreasonable" hatred of Beethoven from the start and for always looking for "excuses" to get rid of him.
* WildTeenParty: Ryce's would-be rape in ''Beethoven's 2nd'' takes place at such a party. [[DrugsAreBad The other teens there are all drinking beer because they are Bad, but Ryce refuses to have any because she is a Good Girl.]]
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Dr. Varnick pulls this on Beethoven by pouring fake blood on his arm to make it look like Beethoven attacked him so he'll have an excuse to have him euthanized with the threat to press charges otherwise. Thankfully, it backfires against him later since Emily saw the whole thing and when George goes to confront him, his arm isn't covered in a cast or stitches and doesn't even have any bite marks.
* YouExclamation: George shouts this at Beethoven in the first movie after coming home on a rainy day to find his house completely trashed and the mud-soaked dog lying on his and Alice's bed. Beethoven stands and shake himself dry, much to George's further disgust.