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- Take That!:
- Season 2's "Chickens" has a two-fer.Chicken4Dayz Executive: Relax, Tommy. Everything we do is completely legal and FDA-approved, so therefore it is fine.
Tom Jumbo-Grumbo: I have no follow-up questions.
- And later...Officer Meow-Meow Fuzzyface: Don't worry ma'am. We'll bring your daughter home, dead or alive.
Kelsey Jannings: Alive. Alive!
Fuzzyface: We're the LAPD, ma'am. We'll probably make the right call.
- Season 1's "Downer Ending" had BoJack and Todd, strung out on drugs, come up with the obvious solution to the US's gun crisis — everyone gets a gun so they don't have to fear guns.
- The "Titpuncher" webside in "Hank After Dark", spoofing similar outwardly misogynistic websites, complete with an advert on the side about "Sandwiches: how they should be made for you".
- Season 3 has Ethan pitch "Ethan Around", an obvious jab at Fuller House, right down to the copycat premise of the original series.
- The list of Oscar nominees Todd and Mr. Peanutbutter come up with in "It's You" is meant as a jab at the Academy and its nomination practices. There are shots at the frequent lack of diversity among the nominees ("Black people?" and "Freida Pinto" are seen crossed out on the whiteboard), as well as the Academy's habit of picking the same actors over and over again ("Cate Blanchett" and "Jennifer Lawrence" are seen written multiple times, with a total of seven nominations for the latter).
- Season 4 has a multitude of Funny Background Events aimed at the President, including a news-ticker thread where he complains about the "fake news" "not reportting all the times I won at ball & cup game".
- "lovin that cali lifestyle!!" also features the Philbert script being picked up by a time keeping website aiming to get into original TV programming, a clear jab at the growing number of Netflix streaming competitors, Amazon (originally a retail company) in particular.
- Philbert also serves as nod towards networks increasing obsession with ratings grabbing prestige dramas and their anti heroes. As noted above, in particular it seems like a jab towards Amazon's Bosch which features a brooding detective in L.A. living in a expensive house. Which is somewhat odd as, unlike others of that nature (True Detective, The Shield, etc). Bosch is more self-aware of its tropes.
- In season 5, Philbert's writer becomes a take that at shows that use True Art Is Incomprehensible as an excuse for what is otherwise crappy writing, making everything metaphorical or overly complex, while having little actual content or plotline. Diane later adds to this by saying that the show is meant as a deconstruction of toxic masculinity, but is actually using this as an excuse to bask in it shamelessly, which includes gratuitous sexual violence.
- At the end of season 5, after the time keeping website leaves streaming, the aforementioned writer proposes just finding some other random website to host them. "Or if we're really desperate, TNT".
- Season 2's "Chickens" has a two-fer.
- Tempting Fate: A dark historical joke in "Time's Arrow" where a young Beatrice laments on the then-recent assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers and later remarks "At least Evers' death means no one else will be assassinated this year, 1963. The FBI is on too high alert to let anything like that happen again."
- There Are No Therapists: And how! Pretty much the only thing BoJack doesn't do to help himself is seek therapy.
- Averted in season 3 regarding Mr. Peanutbutter and Diane. After she stayed away from the house pretending to be in Cordovia in season 2, the two of them actually start to go to couples counseling sessions during season 3, though Diane struggles with expressing herself and communicating effectively.
- In "Stop The Presses", BoJack briefly interacts with The Closer, a customer service employee whose keen observations and sense of tact are used specifically when people want to cancel their subscription to ''The L.A. Gazette". Such virtues are used during her interactions with him all the while getting to the root of his problems the same way a normal therapist would do. It's implied that rather than being against the idea of therapy altogether, BoJack is against what it would mean going there: that he has no control over his life.
- In season five, it is revealed that Diane has been seeing a therapist for seven years. When she hides behind some of her therapists advice to avoid a confrontation with BoJack, he pays the therapist a visit and ends up having a few therapy sessions with her - though, true to form, he deludes himself that he and the therapist are just hanging out
- The Thing That Would Not Leave:
- Todd, pre-character development.
- His friend, Keith, lives with Jurj Clooners and if his half-joking comment about asking Todd to tell him to "pick up his shit" is true, then he's implied to be just as a moocher. Hell, going by the comments made during the AA meeting in "That's Too Much, Man!", several people are living in celebrities' houses with the disgruntled hosts reacting the same way as BoJack has: sabotage and annoyance.
- This Is Going to Be Huge: A series of them in the 2007 Whole Episode Flashback "The BoJack Horseman Show":
- BoJack is the proud owner of an HD-DVD player.
- A skywriter is shown advertising John from Cincinnati (and two months later strikes through the same message).
- Mr. Peanutbutter gets a gig fundraising for "the next President of the United States": John Edwards.
- Mr. Peanutbutter is about to do a "Blockbuster Original Series".
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Season 4 serves as one for BoJack himself, as well as Todd. By really, truly changing for the better, BoJack earns the right to a happy ending. He creates a good, lasting relationship with Hollyhock, begins the steps to repairing his friendship with Todd, and begins working with P.C. for her sake rather than his own. By being selfless in multiple instances (such as him finding Hollyhock's mother all on his own, talking about his mental issues to Hollyhock in a way that she can understand, taking the high road with his ailing mother and showing genuine appreciation for the people around him, BoJack finally succeeds in turning his life around, even just a little. Todd, on the other hand, becomes self-reliant during this season, and learns to value himself more. By doing this, he becomes much happier in life, and begins to live on his own terms rather than mooching off of PB, PC or BoJack.
- However, the subsequent seasons end up being a Happy Ending Override for BoJack. An accident on the Philbert set leads to him getting addicted to prescription opioids, in turn causing him to steadily lose his grip on reality and strangle his co-star and Love Interest Gina during filming, destroying their relationship. Meanwhile, Diane finds out about his indiscretion with Charlotte's daughter Penny, straining his relationship with her as well. While BoJack and Diane reconcile by the Season 5 finale, the midseason finale of Season 6 sees all of BoJack's greatest failures resurfacing: a reporter gets increasingly close to discovering his involvement in Sarah Lynn's death by finding out about Penny, Gina has a breakdown on the set her of new show because of the trauma of BoJack assaulting her, and Hollyhock runs into Penny's friend Pete at a Wild Teen Party in New York, where he brings up BoJack abandoning him and his girlfriend after she got alcohol poisoning from alcohol BoJack provided.
- This Is Reality: In "Prickly-Muffin," BoJack cites Horsin' Around as an example of good parenting; Todd responds that this is real life, not a TV show. He is immediately interrupted by a flaming lemur running into the room and smashing through the wall on the other side, leaving an Impact Silhouette in his wake.
- Time Skip: Season Two takes place a month after Season One's finale.
- Season 2's infamous eleventh episode "Escape from L.A." includes a two month long time skip.
- Season 4:
- "The Old Sugarman Place" skips through a huge amount of time in the space a few seconds of a weather & seasonal montage in front of BoJacks old family house. After they are reunited in Episode 7, Diane remarks that BoJack was gone from Hollywoo for a year and a half while he was in Michigan, a time period for BoJack which were shown in just a couple of episodes.
- "Time's Arrow" skips through several decades of Beatrice Sugarman's life, showing its highlights (for better or worse); of course, it's justified by these memories being filtered through Beatrice's dementia-riddled mind.
- Title Drop:
- Tongue Twister: The writers just love driving Amy Sedaris, the voice of Princess Carolyn, insane with these tongue twisting lines. It was prominent in season four when Todd was paired with celebrity actress Courtney Portnoy. Don't believe me? See for yourself.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Beloved Character actress Margo Martindale namechecks the trope almost verbatim when she mourns for Skippy, the paper mache Todd head that has become her imaginary friend.
- Totem Pole Trench: Vincent Adultman, he even fills out the sleeves with a mannequin arm and a broom. Nobody questions him at all except for BoJack, leading the viewer to almost expect the trope to have been subverted all along given the nature of the show.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Toaster Strudels, cotton candy, and apple fritters for BoJack.
- Triang Relations: A major plot line is the evolution of BoJack's relationship with Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter, including how they perceive it to be and how it really is.
- BoJack falls in love with Diane, who's in a committed relationship with his rival, Mr. Peanutbutter—who, for his part, genuinely likes BoJack and is always trying to become his friend, despite the constant rejection.
- Then, when they start working together: Diane's focused on BoJack, whose interest for her is growing, yet only for his biography and is truly in love with Mr. Peanutbutter, who yearns to be BoJack's friend much to the latter's displeasure and annoyance. At the same time, as feelings start coming to the upfront, both the horse and the labrador end up in the same running path to win Diane's heart, putting them in conflict as rivals, all while Diane remains oblivious for the most part, especially regarding BoJack's real feelings.
- And then it gets really weird thanks to BoJack starting to make actual efforts to win Diane over, while Diane remains devoted to Mr. Peanutbutter while at the same time seeing her relationship with BoJack grow as a strong bond of friendship. Followed very swiftly by Type 8 when both of her suitors's relationship evolves from a one-sided friendship to a two-sided rivalry to a reluctant partnership, complete with uneasy civil treatment.
- Meanwhile, from Diane's point of view, it's more of a Type 10 with a more platonic edge: she's in a committed relationship but has feelings for BoJack in a way (sort of).
- It all eventually falls apart however by the series finale. Diane & Peanutbutter are long since divorced. Bojack's friendship with Diane fades into a form of co-dependency until Bojack ends up in prison. Diane ends up in a second marriage and moving far away from California. The strange thing is that in the end, from the entire cast, the last pairing left with a strong friendship is Bojack and Mister Peanutbutter.
- Troubled Production: In-Universe, the process of filmmaking and shooting are given detailed emphasis as the overlooked lifeblood of each production, with its flow and tight schedule being the definitive factors in ensuring a project's wrap-up rather than the final cut. As such, when production is derailed, the series' focus dissects each unstable part involved in the process; Horsin' Around 's, Secretariat 's and Philbert 's given the most screen time:
- Horsin' Around:
- As successful as the show was, most of the people who worked on it ended up being worse off.
- BoJack went from a friendly, amiable fellow to an alcoholic, narcissistic, bitter, clinically depressed asshole who alienated everyone he worked with and couldn't replicate his old success after the show ended.
- His friend Herb, who created the series and got him the part in the first place, was fired and blacklisted by Hollywoo(d) after being outed as gay; BoJack was too afraid of damaging his own career to stick up for Herb, who never forgave him.
- Of the show's child stars, one developed an eating disorder as a direct result of working on the show, another ended up sexually assaulting some cheerleaders and becoming a sleazy strip club owner / drug dealer, and the youngest nearly died of alcohol poisoning thanks to BoJack and his hairdresser smuggling water bottles full of vodka onto the set, and leaving one unattended next to her; the new producer covered it up by firing the stylist. The same actor later became an internationally famous pop singer, but the pressures of fame caused her to get addicted to drugs and eventually die of an overdose in her early 30s.
- BoJack initially couldn't get the right read on his character, and acted in a cheery, upbeat manner similar to his Horsin' Around work.
- Diane's negligence in pointing out where a big cable was resulted in an assistant tripping on it, burning her face off with the hot coffee she was carrying, and causing a fire that forced the set to be rebuilt.
- The film's biggest supporting actor, Corduroy Jackson-Jackson, died during the shoot from relapsing into Erotic Asphyxiation, spurned by BoJack because he didn't want to talk about Christianity.
- BoJack deliberately stretched one scene into an entire day's worth of shooting in a failed attempt to have the shoot go all night so he wouldn't have to go back to his house.
- After the production went into hiatus, the entire film was retooled from a serious portrayal of the subject's life into an inspiring film replete with Adapation Decay as the result of a focus group.
- In an attempt to counter said decay, BoJack and director Kelsey Jannings hatched a scheme to finish a scene at President Nixon's Oval Office from the original version of the film, breaking into the Nixon Library and causing a police shoot-out in the process. This led the producer to fire Jannings and replace her with Abe D'Catfish (a director known for making schmaltzy, feel-good movies.
- With the film nearly complete, D'Catfish ordered extensive re-shoots because BoJack insulted the version of the film he was making.
- During the re-shoots, BoJack fled Los Angeles for two months in a botched attempt to enter a relationship with a former friend. This cause the film to finish production with a CGI version of BoJack (using scans of his head made at the beginning of production for insurance purposes), which the producer decided was better than BoJack's performance, thus causing all of BoJack's work in the film to be replaced by the CGI double.
- Princess Carolyn managed to push this forward as her first producer role (cause the different between an agent and a manager is a manager can produce) and actually originally signed Bojack on by forging his signature. What was originally meant to be a more serious detective show quickly went sideways into a very melodramatic, exploitative, apocalyptic adventure due to juggling the demands of egotistical producers and stubborn actors.
- The whole show ran into an issue with Writing by the Seat of Your Pants, one scene in particular started with a halfway written header "INT: Sub" and the production team built a submarine set when it was supposed to read "INT: Subway." This demanded they completely rewrite the episode in order to justify what the hell they were doing in a submarine.
- A cheap production and Princess Carolyn being distracted by personal problems lead to Bojack attempting some of his own stunts, which results in a serious back injury. He is prescribed opioid pain killers to cope, which he ends up addicted to. While trying to detox, he purposefully gets into a car accident so he can justify another prescription, which only leads to things getting worse and eventually while on set he was supposed to mime strangling his co-star and ended up throttling her for real. This results in the production running damage control, and Bojack is spurned by Diane to go to rehab.
- Horsin' Around:
- True Art Is Angsty: In-Universe, Season Three reveals that this was the downfall of BoJack's other show, as he and Mr. Cuddlywhiskers were thrown off by the Network Executives having zero complaints about the original script — so they reworked it to the point that the opening scene is BoJack taking a dump on a "Horsin' Around" VHS.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: Philbert combines this with True Art Is Angsty. Princess Carolyn puts it best when trying to defend BoJack Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud:"It's confusing, which means the show is daring and smart."
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Meta-example — Wanda is seen carrying a script for a show entitled "Fat Guy Hot Wife".
- Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: Todd is addicted to a game series called Decapathon, which appears to be this trope at first glance, starting with the title. The cover art and menu screen feature a sword-wielding Barbarian Hero posing with a severed head to a Heavy Metal soundtrack. Ultimately subverted when the actual gameplay turns out to be an abstract Puzzle Game in the same vein as Columns or Bejeweled.
- Unfortunate Names: Bradley Hitler-Smith. Butterscotch Horseman. Pinky Penguin. Quentin Tarantulino.
- The Unreveal: When we finally see the real Henrietta, her face is scribbled out
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Played with several ways as far as the main characters are concerned.
- BoJack is presented at first as the archetypical jackass whose problems and foibles are usually the cause of his insufferable personality, especially with how needy and pathetic he has become after years of being a star and falling out of the public grace. Once Diane, his personal ghostwriter, starts digging a bit deeper, he's revealed to be far more complex than initially thought: he has a helluva Freudian Excuse, he can be more intelligent than he lets on and in spite of his cynicism and impulse to Kick the Dog, he's quite aware of how little does this do to help him out of his increasing depression and feels guilty about it. Once that's out of the bag, though, BoJack's double whammy comes out front: he knows how to change, but is unwilling and incapable of changing. Hollywoo(d) has accustomed him to a certain livelihood and he doesn't intend in leaving it, even if that addiction keeps killing him. In short: complex motivations, overcomplicating an otherwise easily solvable problem.
- Princess Carolyn, while miles more understanding and better than BoJack, is probably far pettier: as a Hollywoo(d) agent, she has little in the way of scruples that stop her from exploiting anything valuable or sentimental, especially if doing so results in a jackpot of money down her way. She's also calculating and brutally honest, with a side dish of jerk behavior if things are to be kept in order and as much as she bemoans having to clean BoJack's screw-ups and not having time for herself, she often implies she craves it to be this way and feeds off their co-dependence just as he does to heighten her self-esteem. Furthermore, her backstory portrays her as the daughter of an alcoholic maid who pulled herself from the depths of poverty to the place she occupies today and as such, this has created the need to solve other people's problems and to aspire to higher places, which renders her unable to form any life outside of work.
- Diane is a downplayed example: she's nice, hardworking and never completely means ill-will toward anybody, at least as long as nobody is attacking causes or people she cares about. But a lot of her actions are motivated by less-than-noble purposes and have bigger repercussions, often leading to instances where she ends up in a bad place because of her decisions. Not to say her vindictive streak and sense of self-importance that can lead to glory stomping out emotions, friendships and even logic. That being said, she's shown to have suffered a similar background like BoJack and has come to empathize with him in ways much more deeper than either realize, even if she can still exploit him and lash out to him. Her abusive childhood has shaped her sense of inferiority which she counters with new purposes and desire for love.
- Equally downplayed with Mr. Peanutbutter, who's a Nice Guy for the most part except when unpleasant topics arise at which point his passive-aggressiveness and oblivious nature get turned Up to Eleven as auto-protection. This leads him to show little empathy toward others and fail to understand how to handle it in a healthy way, resorting to suppressing it outright and exploding when it becomes too much for him to handle. His perspective is also pure Straw Nihilist with his antics and foolishness often ways he distracts himself from the horridness of living and makes him do a lot of really stupid things, which contributes to people seeing him as common Hollywoo(d) shallowness. He can admit he's wrong when he feels he's gone too far and can occasionally confront an obstacle when there's no other way around it.
- Averted with Todd. While he has selfish moments, he's by far the most innocent and perhaps the only constantly decent person in the cast.
- Unusual Euphemism:
- Princess Carolyn's "Oh, fish!"
- Sarah Lynn's hit single refers to her private parts as her "prickly muffin", which was the pet name BoJack's character had for her on TV.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In "Our A Story Is A 'D' Story," in an effort to distract citizens from the helicopter bringing the 'D' back to the Hollywood sign, BoJack begins throwing a wad of dollar bills into the street. Of course, because they're only $1 bills, nobody cares. Beyoncé tripping on the bills, however...
- Vanity License Plate: BoJack has two: "HORSINA" on his black SUV and "WOAHBOY" on his red convertible. Mr. Peanutbutter has "GOODBOY" on his car. Diane has "D1AN3" on hers.
- Season 3 has BoJack receiving a new Tesla, with the plate reading "GOHORSE".
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Secretariat becomes a Cliché Storm with Secretariat in love with a French debutanté and teaching Latino gangbangers after Kelsey is fired.
- Very Special Episode: In-Universe in a flashback in "Still Broken", Joelle complains to the recently-fired Herb that all of the show's writing has focused on Sarah Lynn and her character has gotten little attention.Joelle: I haven't gotten a single "very special episode", when am I going to learn about drunk driving?
BoJack: Oh, God, this is just like the episode of Horsin' Around when Olivia went to the frat party, but Penny doesn't have a kind angel played by Jose Canseco to help her get out of this jam!
- It later gets a Call-Back in "That's Too Much, Man!" when BoJack believes (mistakenly) Penny might've started drinking after their near romp in "Escape From L.A." just because she's drinking Red Bull.
Mr. Peanutbutter: What is this, a very special episode?
- In season 3, when Captain Peanutbutter gets a twisted spleen
- Villain with Good Publicity: "Hank After Dark" hinges on this, and nobody will believe that someone as iconic and sweet as Hank Hippopopalous could do anything as bad as what Diane accuses him of.
- Visual Pun: A huge amount involving the animal characters, including a bunch of foxes sitting in a trench in Cordovia.
- In "Thoughts and Prayers," the guy who pesters Diane with (racist) flirting and doesn't listen to her refusal is a badger...which is also a verb for repeatedly bugging someone about something.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: As the series goes on, Bojack and Diane end up being one of the closest friendships in the show despite regularly having very big arguments and blow-outs. The thing about Bojack is that even though he treats others poorly he is so full of self-loathing that when other people are having a bad day he is the last one to start moralizing to them and will let them vent out their frustrations without judgement. Diane, in turn, appreciates that side of him when she needs it, while she also ends up feeling comfortable enough to call him out when needed. By the fifth season their friendship is probably the most strained it's ever been, Diane still calls him her best friend.
- Warts and All: BoJack drops this quote multiple times in reference to Diane's book, after the events of "BoJack Hates the Troops". When he actually sees the book towards the end of the series, the confrontingly negative portrayal of him causes him to mentally break down.
- Watch It Stoned: Sarah Lynn insists on going to the planetarium with Bojack during their bender. When he finally agrees to go, it's Deconstructed and she reveals that what she REALLY likes about planetariums isn't the trippy graphics - it's the work that had to go into constructing the domed building.
- We Used to Be Friends: Friendships, relationships and familiar bonds are often portrayed as tenuous at best, with work having to be done on both sides to hold everything together. In spite of its constant messages of "friendship and love is the only way to be fulfilled" and "relationships can help you be stronger", it doesn't shy away from telling you how easily such bonds can be broken.
- Herb Kazaaz was once BoJack's mentor, going as far as to create his first TV show specifically for his friend. The two would eventually grow distant due to their bloating egos, but the final straw came when the network fired Herb after it was revealed that he was gay and BoJack didn't come to his aid. BoJack's efforts to make amends twenty years later only made it worse.
- Then in season 2, Charlotte Moore. A mutual friend of BoJack and Herb during the golden days, she has since moved to Tesuque, Nuevo Mexico. One chance reencounter and suddenly BoJack visits her once Secretariat 's filming goes through a drastic shift in tone and his relationship with Wanda goes sideways, believing her to be the one....only for Charlotte to tell her she's now married with kids. While the details should be left elsewhere, the deal breaker involves Charlotte's daughter, BoJack and a furious Charlotte with a sword hanging upon the horse's head should he decide to contact them ever again. How will she react when she finds out about his visit to Oberlin College?
- Season 3 ends with BoJack still estranged from Todd and possibly from Princess Carolyn. As of Season 4, he's on civil, speaking terms with both, but Todd mentions in one episode that he's still not ready to be friends with BoJack again.
- Princess Carolyn and Rutabaga Rabitowitz from Vigor had a long standing relationship that barring certain workplace backstabbing was a supporting one based on mutual recognition of their talents and sense of being under-appreciated (Princess by Vigor and Mr. Witherspoon, Rutabaga by his wife Katie); once reaching a boiling point, Rutabaga, in a whim, decides to divorce Katie and secede from Vigor, with Princess Carolyn starting to notice he's seeing her differently. Yep, he wants her to be his partner. And sleep with her. As their relationship continues, PC starts to notice he's not really listening to any of her suggestions for the company despite supposedly being partners, he's talking more to Katie again and the property supposedly bought by the two has being signed to "her name". And once the bridges with Vigor have been burned, Carolyn discovers Rutabaga didn't quite divorce his wife or intends to in any sort of way. Maybe continuing their fling while still being married? After all, she's 40: She should feel glad someone like him actually wants to be with her in spite of her age. Three guesses how she reacted to the revelation. When he reappears in season 3, he and Princess Carolyn barely speak to one another with all ties severed, with Rabitowitz having paired with The Rival Vanessa Gekko to oppose her in the agency business, although with a more Just Business approach.
- Wham Episode: Many episodes in the latter halves of both Season 1 and Season 2, especially "The Telescope", "Downer Ending" and "Escape From L.A." There are so many there's even a page dedicated to them.
- Wham Line:
BoJack: I'll never forget that night on the...U.S.S. New Mexico.
- Throughout the first season, BoJack tries to get in contact with a friend of his from back in his Horsin' Around days — Herb Kazazz, who he discovers through Sarah Lynn is dying of rectal cancer. Finally, in "Say Anything", he finally receives a phone call from Herb.BoJack: Holy shit. Herb! How the hell are you, buddy?
Herb: Ruin any lives lately? I got your message, asshole. You got something to say to me, you come out to Malibu and say it to my face. I'll be alive tomorrow. After that, who knows?
- In "The Telescope", BoJack finally works up the courage to apologise to Herb, at which point Herb outright rejects BoJack's apology, leading into his crushing "The Reason You Suck" Speech, and one of the first genuinely serious and heartbreaking moments on the show.BoJack: I'm sorry.
Herb: Okay. I don't forgive you.
- When BoJack finally receives a copy of his memoirs, penned by Diane: "One Trick Pony"
- At the end of the same episode:BoJack: ...Maybe you're right.
BoJack: No. You're fired.
- At the end of the same episode:
- In "Downer Ending," BoJack wakes up in his bedroom after passing out for two days from a drug bender to find Diane sitting next to him. The two make amends and BoJack agrees to let Diane publish her book about him, and she kisses him passionately. Then Diane's eye explodes before she transforms into an Eldritch Abomination.BoJack: Oh shit, I'm still tripping.
- In the same episode, BoJack settles down with Charlotte in Maine and spends the rest of his life happily married and raising a daughter. Then it turns out it was all just an indulgent dream. Even if you see the reveal coming, the delivery of the line is heartbreaking as BoJack is once again forced to confront reality.BoJack: What are you thinking about?Charlotte: Oh, just how nice things could have been if you had chosen this life.(Cue BoJack waking up in a parking lot to the sound of his cell phone ringing.)
- At the end of "The Shot":Turtletaub: Turns out you two knuckleheads snuck out last night and got that shot I told you not to get for the scene that's not in the movie any more. Silly me, I didn't like that. So I fired her ass.
- Near the end of "Out to Sea", Princess Carolyn again mentions Jill Pill's desire to speak to BoJack about the play she's putting together.BoJack: Jill Pill?Carolyn: Ring any bells? Apparently she worked on your TV show.BoJack: Horsin' Around?Carolyn: No actually. The other TV show.BoJack: Other TV show...? Oh, shit! Jill...
- The ending of "That's Too Much, Man!":BoJack: Right, Sarah Lynn? Sarah Lynn? ...Sarah Lynn?
- And just to drive it in even further, at the beginning of the season three finale, "That Went Well," via a newscast:Tom Jumbo-Grumbo: Again, for those just joining us, actress and pop star Sarah Lynn is dead at 31.
- In season 4, given her condition throughout the season, Beatrice's line at the end of "lovin' that cali lifestyle!":Beatrice: BoJack?
- Beatrice's mother in The Old Sugarman Place, providing an explanation for why Beatrice is the way she is today.Honey: Love does things to a person. Terrible things. Beatrice, promise me you'll never love anyone as much as I loved Crackerjack.
- Preceding this was Joseph's setup.Joseph: What's broken in the heart can never be repaired, but the brain, well, we have all sorts of science for the brain. She's a brand-new woman now, and she'd like to meet you very much.
- Preceding this was Joseph's setup.
- And the Season 4 finale provides a positive one.Hollyhock: I told you from the beginning that I have eight dads... but I've never had a brother.
- There's also Diane's acceptance that her marriage might be beyond repair.Diane: Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter. Back to normal, right? You know, sometimes I feel like our marriage is like a magic eye poster. It's messy. And at first glance, it doesn't seem to make any sense. And it's hard to figure out. But sometimes, if you squint at it just right, everything lines up, and it's the most perfect, beautiful, amazing thing... *begins to cry* But I'm so tired of squinting...
- In "Planned Obsolescence," Pickles and Mr. Peanutbutter are on a "non-date" and saying all the things they would never say on a regular date. The last thing Mr. Peanutbutter says before an awkward hush falls over them: "I still have feelings for Diane..."
- In "INT. SUB," when Diane writes a Philbert script last-minute and BoJack has to read it in real time. He gradually recognizes the situation as oddly reminiscent of the incident with Penny, with two verbatim lines taken from his confession. The last line of the scene:
Jameson's dad: I thought she would change after she had her baby, but...
- Jameson spends much of "A Horse Walks into a Rehab" griping about her father and how he clearly prioritizes the "new baby" over her. Then BoJack gets to talk to Jameson's father, who is genuinely worried about her, and drops a detail that recontextualizes everything and makes BoJack go wide-eyed:
- Throughout the first season, BoJack tries to get in contact with a friend of his from back in his Horsin' Around days — Herb Kazazz, who he discovers through Sarah Lynn is dying of rectal cancer. Finally, in "Say Anything", he finally receives a phone call from Herb.
- Wham Shot:
- From "Intermediate Scene Study w/ Bojack Horseman", Bojack gets a phone call. What the screen says when it cuts to it? "Calling: Charlotte."
- In "The View From Halfway Down", if you hadn't figured it out already from numerous hints, one shot hammers it in: BoJack looking down at his drowning body floating face down in the pool.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- After BoJack lets slip to a reporter that his potentially Oscar-winning performance in Secretariat was entirely computer-generated, his publicist Ana ominously says that she's "taken care of it.". Careful viewers will notice that Ana speaks to the reporter on the phone in a later episode, so she didn't have her killed or anything, but what she did do is anyone's guess.
- Season 5 reveals that she's held onto the recording, and uses it to turn Diane against BoJack, but we still don't know the exact deal she made with Heather.
- Near the end of "Escape From L.A." BoJack abandons Penny's two friends at a hospital entrance when one has possible alcohol poisoning from drinking watered-down vodka all night and the other is a jittery panicked mess. BoJack leaves to go back to L.A. before the audience knows if she makes a full recovery or not.
- In the midseason finale of Season 6, it's revealed that Maddy survived the alcohol poisoning after having her stomach pumped, and that both she and Pete were severely traumatized by incident, when a Contrived Coincidence sees Hollyhock run into Pete at a party in Manhattan.
- There's been no mention of Sextina or what happened with her pregnancy since "Brrap Brrap Pew Pew."
- After BoJack lets slip to a reporter that his potentially Oscar-winning performance in Secretariat was entirely computer-generated, his publicist Ana ominously says that she's "taken care of it.". Careful viewers will notice that Ana speaks to the reporter on the phone in a later episode, so she didn't have her killed or anything, but what she did do is anyone's guess.
- What the Hell, Hero?: BoJack sells out his best friend for the sake of his own television career. Even Todd casually mentions that this was a pretty cold thing to do.
- What You Are in the Dark: Towards the end of Season 4, BoJack finally manages to find out information on Hollyhock's mother. He takes the info to her eight dads who still blame him for Hollyhock's overdose, and won't let him anywhere near her. Even so, BoJack says he doesn't care if Hollyhock doesn't know it was from him, or about what it will cost him, just as long as she gets the information. Her eight dads, albeit begrudgingly, agree to give Hollyhock the information, but tell BoJack to leave without seeing her, and he willingly complies. It's one of the few truly selfless things that BoJack has ever done for someone.
- When She Smiles: Bojack has a particularly powerful version of this in the fourth season finale. After finally solving the mystery of Hollyhock's mother, Bojack's father impregnated the maid, she contacts him expressing gratitude knowing Bojack is her brother. He gives a pure look of joy as the last shot of the season.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The episode "Later" serves as this for the first season.
- White-and-Grey Morality: Played with. Overall, morality runs on Grey-and-Gray Morality with occasional Black-and-Gray Morality. However, many characters are still portrayed as likable, sympathetic and human, even if their perceptions are eschew and their actions range from unpleasant to unforgivable.
- Who's on First?:
Sarah-Lynn: Hu's not Dr. Quinn, Hu's Dr. Hu.Todd: I don't know.Sarah-Lynn & Dr. Hu: Third base!
- Played straight and Lampshaded with Doctor Hu.
- Prior to this, we have this Chain of Corrections-style one in "One Trick Pony".Quentin: Oh, not you, I'm talking to Diane.
Naomi!Diane: Oh, thank you!
Quentin: Now, where's my peanut butter?
Mr. Peanutbutter: Right over here, Q!
Quentin: No, I'm looking for peanut butter.
Mr. Peanutbutter: Oh, you mean BoJack?
Quentin: (Pinching his nose) If I wanted BoJack, I would call BoJack!
Wallace!BoJack: Someone called for BoJack?
- Season 3 has everyone mistake "Ojai" as being "Oh, hi" whenever it's used on conversation.
- Until the ninth episode, when BoJack mistakes Todd saying "Oh, hi" as saying he just came from Ojai.
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Done as a Visual Pun at Diane's wedding, where a wolf talking to an ewe is wearing a Fun T-Shirt that reads, "Sheep".
- Who Writes This Crap?!: Tom Jumbo Grumbo's response to the the MSNBSea news story being called "The Great BoJack Jerk-Off"Tom: Really? That's the best name we came up with? (yelling to someone off camera) Who came up with that? Was it Randy? Did Randy come up with that?
- Whole Episode Flashback: Done a couple times in Season Three — first to 2007 in The BoJack Horseman Show, then Stop The Presses which has BoJack relating current events to "The Closer" for the LA Gazette, which even does a Flashback Within a Flashback a few times.Diane: So that's why I'm late.
BoJack: Why did you tell us that whole story?
Diane: I don't know.
The Closer: Why did you tell me that whole story?
BoJack: I don't know.
- "Time's Arrow" in Season Four mixes this with A Day in the Limelight for Beatrice. Plenty of flashbacks to her childhood also crop up in "The Old Sugarman Place", intertwined with BoJack's struggles in the present.
- "INT. SUB" mostly takes place as Dr. Indira and Mary-Beth recanting what they learned from their patients as the stories of "BoBo the Angsty Zebra" and his friends from earlier that day. "Mr. Peanutbutter's Boos" also intertwines flashbacks to 1993, 2004, and 2009 equally with the story of the present.
- Women Are Wiser: "Wiser" is always relative in this Dysfunction Junction, but of its five main characters, the women tend to be more sensible and are often tasked with wrangling whichever characters are in their orbit. Compare the ambitious, organized, and prone-to-pep-talking agent/manager Princess Carolyn and the nerdy and socially aware writer Diane to the self-destructive and messy BoJack, the lazy slacker Todd, and the blissfully oblivious Mr. Peanutbutter.
- World of Funny Animals: The world of BoJack Horseman is populated by people as much as it is anthropomorphic animals, some being relatively regular like BoJack and Mr. Peanutbutter (a horse and a dog respectively), while more extreme examples would be a whale newscaster and a maggot undertaker.
- Worst News Judgment Ever: An important education bill before Congress gets interrupted by the "Jerk-off".
- Downplayed in "Hank After Dark", as allegations of a beloved late night host being secretly abusive are pretty big news, but it takes up far more time than the news of a genocide apparently orchestrated in the name of Todd as the Cordovian prince.
- Season 4 takes this Up to Eleven in the premiere, where Mr. Peanutbutter challenges the current Governor to a race-off down Devil's Mountain in order to take control of California. This goes on for a month with everyone commenting on it. When the Governor finally explains how it'd be blatantly unconstitutional to decide the Governor in this fashion before saying that if an amendment was passed to allow it, he'd accept, the public is quickly ready to adopt such a plan.
- Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: In-Universe, the show Bojack stars in the fifth season "Philbert" slowly spirals out of control due to a Troubled Production. The head writer/director slowly has a breakdown and no one knows exactly what they are trying to film in any given scene. The episode "INT: Sub" is about a scene that was supposed to read "INT: Subway" but that mistake lead to the set crew building a submarine set, and they had to work backwards to explain why this Film Noir detective show ends up on a submarine.
- Yiddish as a Second Language: Lenny Turtletaub speaks this way. BoJack lampshades this in Season 2:Turtletaub: Explain that the widow Day-Lewis. She'll be devastated. Kaput. Kapleshky.
BoJack: Are you actually Jewish? Because I feel like you're just making some of these up.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Princess Carolyn has pink fur.
- You Have GOT To Be Kidding Me: BoJack at the very end of "Fish Out of Water" when he realizes that he was able to speak the whole time, using the microphone on his helmet.
- Your Cheating Heart: Mr. Peanutbutter sleeps with Diane multiple times while he is dating Pickles
- Your Other Left: BoJack on moving a sofa: "A little to the right... No, house right. That's an acting term. It means left. I'm an actor."