Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / BoJack Horseman - The Horseman Family

Go To

Main Character Index | Main Characters | BoJack Horseman (A-D, E-K, L-Z) | Princess Carolyn | Diane Nguyen | Mr. Peanutbutter | Todd Chávez | Hollywoo Residents and Other Stars | L.A. Residents | Stilton Family and Associates | MBN | Horsin Around Cast And Crew | Sarah Lynn | Secretariat Biopic Cast And Crew | Vigor | VIM Agency | Gekko-Rabbinowitz Agencies | One Shot and Bit Characters | The Main Group Family Members | The Horseman Family | Beatrice Sugarman-Horseman |Butterscotch Horseman | Hollyhock | Other Characters | Tesuque, New Mexico | The Moore-Carsons | Charlotte Moore-Carson | Historical Characters | "Horsin' Around" Characters | "Mr. Peanutbutter's House" Characters | "Secretariat" Biopic Characters
Advertisement:

Beware of rampant spoilers of the current season! While the majority of spoilers involving plot points of the current season will be hidden, this is not consistent depending on the situation. Just the presence of certain tropes can be considered spoilers. Check the character folders at your OWN RISK.

This is a listing of all characters who are somehow related to BoJack Horseman; whether by blood, marriage, adoption, or other connections; who appear in major and minor roles, or are just mentioned by passing.

Advertisement:

Sugarman and Horseman Families

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/captura_de_pantalla_2018_01_01_a_las_164942.png
Sugarman Family
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maxresdefaultf.jpg
Horseman-Sugarman Branch
As you can see, it is anything but a happy family.

BoJack often felt the need to impress me with material items. I wondered where this came from. There were two obvious suspects.
One Trick Pony by Diane Nguyen.

And if it were up to me, [the Sugarman summer cabin] would've been torn down years ago. It's a blight on the neighborhood. And that broken door is the cherry on the top of the shit sandwich.
Eddie the Dragonfly, "The Old Sugarman Place"

Every hero, Every villain, Every in-between has an interesting, horrifying, and/or tragic backstory, and BoJack's certainly no exception, in any of those areas.

Midway through World War II, the Sugarman Family was doing just great. The patriarch, Joseph Sugarman, was the owner of Sugarman Sugar and as such the family was incredibly well-off; the mother, Honey, was doting in every way to her children, Beatrice and CrackerJack, the latter whom had finally reached enough age to leave for the war. Before leaving, the family had a last photo shoot, which in retrospect would be the last time they would all be in the same room together, happy.

Advertisement:

News of CrackerJack's demise circled around winter, devastating the entire family. Joseph refused to acknowledge his feelings on the matter while Honey slowly succumbed to depression, leaving little Beatrice as the sole witness of her family's slow dissolution. On one night celebration of the war's end, Honey snapped and drank enough to interrupt the party. Unable to return home and face any possible retribution from her husband, Honey coerced Bea to be the driver, intentionally causing a nearly fatal car crash in a fit of hysteria. Upon a tense confrontation, Honey loses it and asks Joseph to fix her. Unable to find it in himself to comprehend or understand enough to help her, Honey undergoes a lobotomy, which leaves her a dazed and empty shell of her former self, and eventually goes catatonic for the rest of her life. Beatrice, the only member innocent enough to be affected by all of it, is helpless to do anything beyond moving on. After her lobotomy, Honey tells her to never love anyone as much as she loved Crackerjack.

Not long after this, Beatrice catches scarlet fever, and her father orders all of her belongings to be burned, including her beloved baby doll. When she cried as she watched her "baby" burn, her father cheerfully warned her to not let her womanly emotions consume her, or she’d end up like her mother. Meanwhile, Beatrice is called fat at school by the popular girls, and her father also shows concern for her figure. Joseph’s lack of empathy and misogynistic views shape how Beatrice ends up as an adult.

In June 1963, Beatrice, now heiress of the prestigious Sugarcube Company, meets the rebellious Butterscotch Horseman, a blue-collar, struggling writer, when he crashes her debutante party, which was thrown by her father to marry her off to the heir of a creamery. Beatrice leaves her own party to have sex with Butterscotch, conceiving a little foal in the process. Unable to get an abortion due to the trauma of losing her baby doll, she and Butterscotch decide to get married and run off to California.

They're happy for a time, but as their differences in their upbringing become more obvious and Butterscotch’s failure as an author forces him to take a low income job at a fish cannery (he rejects multiple offers from Beatrice’s father to work a cushy office job for him), causing friction between them. Beatrice is less than impressed with how little Butterscotch can provide for her and him blaming his failures on her, Butterscotch resents her financial stability, regardless of hard work, and parenthood getting in the way of finishing his novel, and both resent giving up their former lives for a baby, especially Beatrice, who complains that her pregnancy ruined her beauty and figure. Their mutual hatred slowly starts to sweep in their treatment of BoJack, berating and educating him in their own personal ways. Butterscotch eventually leaves his job at the cannery and goes to work for Bea’s father, making them wealthier, but not happier.

Eventually, each member of the family goes their own way: Butterscotch does end up publishing his novel (although its implied it was not successful, and the on,y paper that wrote a review tore him to pieces) and he dies on Halloween 2009 from injuries he sustained in a duel, Beatrice, due to Butterscotch frittering away the last of her inheritance and leaving them in debt, sells their house and moves to a retirement home, and succumbs to dementia before passing away in September 2018, and BoJack leaves for L.A to become a famous actor on the '90s sitcom Horsin' Around, and becomes washed up after the show’s cancellation.


    open/close all folders 

    General 
  • Abusive Parents:
    • That page image? That's from Bojack's Imagine Spot when he dismisses his initial thought of an overly-rosy childhood, earning his imaginary self a Dope Slap from his father. For specifics, see their respective pages.
    • Beatrice and CrackerJack's father, Joseph Sugarman, wasn’t any better. Matter of fact, he was probably worse. Agreeing to his wife's lobotomy and crushing his sole daughter's self worth and independence to keep her in check may be the lowest moral point anyone in the family could ever achieve, let alone aspire to.
  • The Alcoholic: Bojack, his parents, and his maternal grandmother were all addicted to alcohol, abusing it to cope with their miserable lives.
  • Alliterative Family: See below.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: All names of the Horseman-Sugarman family start with the letter B. It looks like the family had a predilection towards making sure the names of its members start with the same letter.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Comes with having The Mentally Disturbed and The Ophelia In the Blood.
  • Awful Wedded Life: You think? In all fairness, as their respective flashbacks in season 4 show, they didn't start like that.
    • Bea and Butterscotch were both once young, idealistic and having a certain fondness for each other. Of course, it wasn't a relationship built in solid foundation: they tied the knot only because they fucked up and Beatrice wouldn't have any sort of intrinsic value beyond what she could offer as a fertile, virginal woman; without it, she had no chance of marrying anyone and Butterscotch felt he owed her at least that to save her reputation. Years later, their seeming idyllic life has not reaped any of the promises they thought it would and so they start resenting each other out of their perceived shortcomings (lack of money and mediocre life the main problems).
    • Joseph and Honey, for their part, were madly in love with each other and would often take any opportunity to kiss anywhere. Their relationship was healthy by 1940s standards, a very misogynistic time it was when psychiatrists didn't exist and women (okay, who are we kidding? EVERYONE, period) had to keep their emotions in check. When CrackerJack, their only son, died in WWII, Honey was simply devastated while Joseph preferred to ignore his emotions because of his unwillingness to deal with them. Getting worse and worse with time, Honey's depression reached a point where she caused a car crash with Beatrice behind the wheel. Joseph, furious, confronted her over the incident and she admitted to no longer feeling capable of going on without her son. This led to Honey's lobotomy and her being just a brain-dead presence during the rest of both of their lives.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Might as well be the family's motto.
    • CrackerJack wanted to be a patriot and model son and decided to fight in World War II. He was dead by winter.
    • Honey wanted the pain of her son's death to go away. She was lobotomized. Moreover, before that she wanted to feel alive again, which made her do all sorts of stupid, reckless stunts resulting in a car crash in which her only remaining daughter was injured which is what caused her to be lobotomized in the first place.
    • Joseph is perhaps the one most guilty of this: he wanted to have his model family again –– obedient wife, alive son, promising daughter. He lobotomized his wife because he didn't understand her pain and it's the only thing he could think of doing, leaving her an obedient, braindead wife who could no longer take care of Beatrice; Bea, for her part, grew to resent her father and constantly fought him over her future, eventually eloping with Butterscotch. This caused the Family Business to be absorbed by larger corporations and the family wealth to fall in decline.
    • Beatrice grew up believing in the stories books told her and the hope of a better future. Because of her inexperience and desire to escape, she got knocked up with the first scoundrel she found charming and lived an unfulfilled life with nothing but regret and hate in her mind.
    • Butterscotch wanted to be a novelist and be someone of importance. His arrogance and need for attention led him to knock up Beatrice and refuse to compromise anything of his life in a tug-of-war neither was willing to lose. He published a book... without any fanfare and long after failing at everything. The only ones who know him, Bea and Bojay, don't really care that much for him.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Not big by any sense, but makes it up by being one of the worst and dysfunctional families ever put on television. Unlike many examples of this trope, this can swing on the scale Depending on the Writer with their flaws being Played For Dark Laughs or just a sad and horrifying reminder of how much the experience made BoJack into the screwed up individual he's today. Their expanded family beyond Hollyhock isn't any better: Beatrice's family, her father especially, molded her into the cruel, bitter woman she eventually became and Butterscotch's lack of any paternal or maternal figure has made him look for love in the all of the wrong ways.
  • Brutal Honesty: There's no filter for what anyone of them has to say. If they want to say it or feel like it, they will; the feelings of other people or how truly necessary it is notwithstanding.
  • The Chain of Harm: Simple equation: Beatrice + Butterscotch = current BoJack.
    • Even more complex equation: Joseph Sugarman + Honey Sugarman + Crackerjack Sugarman + little Beatrice Sugarman = Happy family. That - Crackerjack = Broken Honey. That + Distant Joseph = Alternate Solution. All + Beatrice being an only child = A grown up frustrated Beatrice. That + rugged stranger named Butterscotch = little BoJack.
    • In short, to determine who is exactly to blame for what is the easy part of the equation; to properly identify why and how the pain is inflicted to put a stop on it is truly complicated. Each one of the members of the family have caused each other pain in large or small doses and it's this unsolved damage and lack of a genuine corrupting influence other than a long list of silent grievances added through the years that continues the cycle. As evidenced by BoJack's reconciliation with Hollyhock, it's not impossible to stop the stream; just difficult: you've gotta solve this vicious cycle with an active engagement of yourself, admitting your faults (how much you're willing to change) and leaving yourself vulnerable to properly help other people.
  • The Clan: A bit smaller in scope, but otherwise fits the trope: The Sugarman family comes from an implied long lineage of south-based businessmen and debutantes who have inherited Sugarman Sugar for generations. Then, there are the similarities and traumas passed down through relatives, as well as the Tangled Family Tree. One of the major themes in season 4 is how BoJack, last living of the original Sugarman, is the evolution of a dying, rotten dynasty and Hollyhock is the new branch, destined to evolve into the brand new day.
  • Corruption of a Minor:
  • Deadpan Snarker: All of them. The grade of bitterness in the putdowns varies, but it's always sharp and dripping with snark.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype:
    • As they are, they're the living example of why a Big, Screwed-Up Family doesn't necessarily start that way (all it's needed are a few unexplored flaws you see and with the right button pushing, even the most stable family can fall apart crushed by circumstances) and why it doesn't work long term (if they each had found ways to cope with everything beyond what was right in front of them, the sole remaining heir wouldn't have felt alienated and elope with a stranger, nor would have the company collapsed and bought off by Asian investors. Not to say of The Chain of Harm followed through the next generation...).
    • The Sugarman part of the family are this to standard 1940s stereotypes, which began the entire family's descent into tragedy. See their folders (and Beatrice's) for specifics.
  • Deconstructed Trope: The Horseman-Sugarman family deconstructs the typical romantic story of the wealthy woman marrying the poor suitor and living happily ever after with a child, despite losing most of their savings. Different lifestyles are tough to overcome, especially when marriage forces to give up such life, regardless of decision. Once reality sets in, Butterscotch and Beatrice's contrasting personalities and the grimness of their situation snowball into a grand deal of resentment of both sides, which they then redirect to the living embodiment of their greatest failure: the little foal BoJack.
  • Domestic Abuse: One line in "Thoughts and Prayers" indicates that, on top of the emotional harm Beatrice and Butterscotch do unto each other, Butterscotch has gotten physical towards Beatrice before.
    Beatrice: If you're looking to get knocked around for an afternoon, why don't you just read one of your father's manuscripts and tell him his prose is pedestrian and derivative? Works for me every time.
  • Dysfunctional Family:
    • Horseman-Sugarman: Two alcoholic parents, one a Rich Bitch with resentment over the loss of her figure, the other a failed writer with financial resentment towards his wife; one screwed up son.
    • Sugarman: Perfect family with suppressed emotions, a dead ace of a son, one an emotionally distant father, the other a cheerful yet broken mother, a neglected surviving sibling; one cruel grown-up matriarch.
    • Horseman: A disappeared dad, a dead mother, cold streets; a washout patriarch.
  • Edible Theme Naming:
    • Beatrice's family last name is "Sugarman" just like the Family Business. Out of the family, CrackerJack stands out.
    • Then, there's Butterscotch's name.
  • Expy: To two very similar messed up families.
    • A Southern based family who's legacy is destroyed slowly through generations down to their last members, one of which had an unplanned pregnancy out of wedlock? Surely the Compsons wouldn't disagree.
    • On the other side, the Buendias have also a fair shot at this claim: family with similar traits (virtues and flaws) passed down from person to person Played for Drama, descent to madness from one of the main patriarchsnote , chronicle of their rise and fall? Probably just a coincidence...
  • Family Business: Sugarman Sugar. In the present, it's not even theirs anymore but in its prime, it was their biggest source of income.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride, envy, wrath, and mental illness.
    • Joseph's biggest priority, more than his family, was to keep the family reputation. His sociopathy and inability to understand how to make his family whole again other than ignoring their problems, was to follow the time's practices, which rendered his wife brain-dead and his daughter traumatized. Failing to learn anything and being mercenary towards Beatrice turned her into a semi-functional being, whose hidden traumas wrecked her life.
    • Beatrice and Butterscotch failed at their dreams because they ended up bound together, after an unexpected pregnancy and got married to keep afloat. The resentment they developed for their offspring resulted in them putting down everything he did, and giving him no intrinsic value. This despite having the necessary tools to actually raise their son properly and free of baggage, because they wanted for someone to suffer like they did every day.
    • BoJack's desire to be happy is hindered by how much guilt he carries, how much his decision-making is motivated by rage and envy, and how his pride makes him refuse to see a psychiatrist or ask for any help. Not that it would matter, since his actions have burned bridges all over Hollywoo.
  • Freudian Excuse: Detailed below in each folder, everyone has their own. Beatrice and Butterscotch are this for BoJack.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: One of the common themes running in the family: nobody in the family can see beyond their own suffering and slam onto others for a twisted sense of retribution/revenge (something shown to be self-destructive and stupid). Their reasons range from genuine to petty, but never valid or justified. Everyone hurts, is held accountable and pays one way or the other. The best a Horseman can hope to do to get better is to work around their issues and let go of the bitterness, forgiveness optional.
  • Gilded Cage: Their home in San Francisco was mostly a regular, low middle class house without any luxuries which made Beatrice miserable since she was pretty much a housewife in a crappy place. Once Butterscotch got a job at the Sugarman West branch instead of low-paying jobs, the house was gradually redecorated with better tapestry and fancier furniture, which only called attention even more to the empty marriage and lives living within this environment.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Beatrice and Butterscotch, for their molding of BoJack's behavior and issues and its subsequent consequences as seen in the series properly. Look no further than the Horseman family for a 101 class on how not to raise a child. Or alternatively, how to create an insecure, harmful horseman. Even then, it seems that Beatrice's father was the source of many of her own issues that would be passed down to BoJack.
  • Hate Sink: Downplayed and Justified. The main point of showing BoJack's family is getting an insight into how he became the bitter, awful horse person he's today and so it falls to the Horseman parents to be as awful, unrepentant and destructive as they are presented. That being said, it's often hinted that they didn't became this without any reason and they're just as miserable and crushed as they make little BoJack be (and as of Season 4 we know this to be the case, with Beatrice having an extremely terrible and traumatic childhood). Hell, being miserable is the reason they made him miserable!
  • Happier Home Movie: Averted and Played Straight.
    • The few photographs and portraits we see of the Horseman Family after BoJack was born can't hide any disgust or unhappiness in any form. Even BoJack himself can't imagine a fantasy sequence where they're well-adjusted, happy and nice to him while trying to rewrite his life story in "Downer Ending".
    • However, the Photo Montage in the Whole Episode Flashback "Time's Arrow", happening before BoJack was born, shows Beatrice and Butterscotch during the first few months of their marriage (eloping, moving to San Francisco) and they're actually happy, heavy contrast to their dour expressions while raising BoJack.
    • During BoJack's fugue state, he visits the Sugarman summer house. Multiple portraits show back-and-forth a miserable Beatrice, Butterscotch and BoJack during their years together and a sunny, cheerful Beatrice with her family during childhood and adolescence.
  • Happily Married: Joseph and Honey Sugarman were this pre-World War II. Deconstructed post-War since their diverging personalities and conflicts caused the one unwilling to compromise and help with the suffering to the other to force a "permanent" solution.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: The Horseman-Sugarman marriage was hardly a happy one, but having been born out of convenience and necessity (a child conceived out of wedlock was a bigger thing back then), they would usually put a front making it seem they at least tolerated each other.
  • Impoverished Patrician: The Sugarman company and fortune accumulated during early 20th century collapsed after the Dysfunction Junction concentrated spilled over, causing the heirs, Beatrice (and Butterscotch by proxy) to spend most of the remaining money and Sugarman Sugar to be absorbed by larger corporations.
  • It's All About Me: A trait shared by the Horseman and Sugarman family, all to minor or major degrees. It's saying something that the one member that didn't had this, CrackerJack, was way too innocent for World War II.
  • Jerkass: Zigzagged. It doesn't apply to all of them, but a common trait in the family line is that be it a Horseman, a Sugarman or someone related to either, they're bound to be quite selfish, prideful or unpleasant to varying degrees. For standout examples, there's Beatrice, Butterscotch, Joseph and BoJack, although the last one edges to Jerk with a Heart of Gold most of the time.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: BoJack, on a semi-regular basis. Not quite the White Sheep yet far from the Black Sheep as well, he bridges the gar between the more toxic parts of the family tree with the blossoming stem of the new generation once removed.
  • Messy Male, Fancy Female:
    • Butterscotch has an unkempt mane, while Beatrice has a mane that is groomed into neat curls.
    • Inverted (darkly) with Joseph and Honey: Joseph always took care of his appearance while Honey, usually well-groomed, fell into Seriously Scruffy as she was lobotomized.
  • Nice Guy: Miracles can still happen, although it's very rare for this breed to last for long, considering how unlucky and as a result bitter most end up.
    • Honey Sugarman dances all over the place with this one: she loves CrackerJack...and Beatrice, of course, but mostly her son; she's a nice mare with a song in her heart and always does what's best for her family. After CrackerJack dies, Honey starts ignoring little Beatrice, angsts and cries her soul out, loses control of herself and almost gets herself and Beatrice killed in a car accident.
    • CrackerJack is probably the nicest of the bunch: a Cool Big Bro toward Beatrice, The Dutiful Son toward his parents (especially regarding his war duties) and just the kind of person anyone could hang out with. Veredict is still out on whether he'd have returned the same after the war and whether he inherited some of his family's dysfunction. Honestly, it doesn't matter.
    • Hollyhock is a nice little mare with a huge heart, even if she still has some of the family's selfishness. She ends up unwittingly poisoned by overdosing on diet pills, leaving her very traumatized.
  • Origins Episode:
  • Shotgun Wedding: It can be difficult to find a reason why Beatrice and Butterscotch ended up tying the knot other than "I knocked you up and we should get married", seeing as they can barely stand one another. There may have been traces of real affection judging by their enormous hatred but who knows.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: Negative example. As "The Old Sugarman Place" shows, the Sugarman family (family from Beatrice's side) had a summer cabin in Harper's Landing, Michigan that has since fallen into disrepair as a sign to their fall from aristocracy. It was also the site that saw the destruction and rising rotten core of the entire family. By the end of the episode, the cabin is destroyed by bulldozers by grandson BoJack, as a way of burning down the past.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: They're only seen in Flashbacks or occasional appearances, yet we can all thank them for turning BoJack from a Cheerful Child into a Cynic and then unleashing him out there in the world.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Played with, zigzagged, deconstructed and just about fucked with in every way. Due to the family's tradition of Lamarck Was Right, Uncanny Family Resemblance and Shared Family Quirks, several family members inherit traits and flaws left and right. So if there's some sort of Unfinished Business for a Posthumous Character, even a sorely missed presence, they'll always be there in spirit...which can only mean bad news for any guilty conscience.
    • Beatrice inherited a lot of physical traits from his father (contrasting her brother who took more after their mother), but she always had a more kindred soul with Honey, taking after her in personality with a more cynical streak during her early adult years. Joseph, having lobotomized Honey several years ago, was often frustrated with Bea's attitude because it reminded him too much of Honey's pre-lobotomized state.
    • BoJack bears a resemblance to his deceased uncle, CrackerJack, with his name having a similar suffix. Having never grieved her brother's death, mixed with her belligerent feelings for her son, Beatrice's attitude oscillated between neglect and abuse, never showing affection at all.
    • Hollyhock has traits similar to pre-broken Sarah Lynn in terms of personality and a resemblance to Penny Carson. Feeling special self-loathing regarding the destruction of those two, BoJack is especially careful around her as to not make similar mistakes. It goes the same for Beatrice, at least in the beginning: her birth represents a particular low point in her life as well as a reminder of Butterscotch's infidelities.
  • Southern Belle and Southern Gentleman: Basically the long line of Sugarmans who have inherited Sugarman Sugar through the years. They're usually deconstructions of the ideal: nobody in their right mind would encourage a hegemony supporting lobotomy as a cure for mental illness....or Female Misogynists for that matter.
  • Start of Darkness: Crackerjack's death in World War II is what kick started all the events that would poison and destroy everyone in their family. In order: his death caused his mother Honey to go mad with grief and get lobotomized. This causes little Beatrice to learn the lesson to never love anyone. Honey's lack of care caused by her Empty Shell post-lobotomy state resulted in Beatrice getting scarlet fever, which prompted her father to callously burn all her possessions, including her baby doll, and casually threaten to give her a lobotomy like her mother if she ever cried or allowed her "womanly emotions" to get the better of her again. This resulted in Beatrice bottling up all her trauma, using only scathing sarcasm and resentment to deal with life's problems. Furthermore, Honey's Empty Shell post-lobotomy state resulted in Beatrice being fully raised by her father's sexist ideals, pushing her to the charming stranger Butterscotch that got her pregnant and the subsequent abusive raising of their son, BoJack.
  • Token Evil Teammate: JOSEPH FREAKIN' SUGARMAN. Abusive father, monstrous husband and part of the rot at the center of the Horseman-Sugarman family.
  • Villain Protagonist: It's not their only defining trait but this becomes more prominent from the Horseman-Sugarman branch onwards, with Joseph serving as The Corrupter and a Hero's Evil Predecessor to Bea, Butters and BJ, with the latter three serving different flavors of villainy from strongest to mildest.
  • White Sheep: Separated by two generations, CrackerJack Sugarman, Beatrice's brother, and Hollyhock, BoJack's supposedly illegitimate daughter/half-sibling are the only two consistently functional members of the clan.

BoJack

    BoJack Horseman 

BoJack's Parents

    Beatrice Horseman, née Sugarman 

    Butterscotch Horseman 

Hollyhock's Family

    Hollyhock 

    Hollyhock's Dads 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/08_bojack_410w710h4732x_1.jpg

Played by: ???

Hollyhock grew up being totally unaware of the identities of her biological parents. She was adopted and raised by eight gay men in a polyamorous relationship who live in Wichita, Kansas serving as her joint legal guardians. They consist of Dashawn Manheim, Steve Mannheim, Jose Guerrero, Cupe Robinson III, Otto Zilberschlag, Arturo "Ice Man" Fonzarelli, Gregory Hsung, and Quackers McQuack.


  • Bears Are Bad News: Subverted; Jose is a bear, but he was a good father to Hollyhock, along with his seven other spouses. Don't piss him off or get his little horsegirl in danger.
  • Cool Shades: Arturo wears a pair of black sunglasses.
  • Expy: Arturo is a dead ringer for ol' Fonzie, and his (graying) pompadour and popped-collar jacket is reminiscent of his style. Even his first name, "Arturo", sounds suspiciously similar to Arthur, Fonzie's first name.
  • Foil: To Beatrice and Butterscotch Horseman. The Horseman couple only married because the former got pregnant out of wedlock and they grew to hate one another and take their anger and frustrations out on BoJack throughout his life, which is the main reason why he's so screwed up in the present; Hollyhock's dads are shown to have a healthy relationship with one another despite each of them being of different species, and gave Hollyhock all the love and care she wanted, which resulted in her growing up to be more emotionally stable than BoJack (though she still has most of the same self-hatred he has).
  • Good Parents: Hollyhock's description of them and their Papa Wolf attitudes toward her show that she was cared for and loved throughout her life.
  • Greaser Delinquents: Arturo is a fifty or even sixty-something year old man who dresses up like one of these, Fonzie-style.
  • Insistent Terminology: Gregory doesn't like foreign movies, he likes foreign films.
  • Interspecies Romance: They are in a same-sex polyamorous relationship. And said relationship includes five humans, one bear, one lizard, and one duck.
  • Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: Their ages aren't specified, but based on some of their appearances, almost certainly averted.
  • One Steve Limit: Dashawn Manheim and Steve Mannheim's last names are only one letter off from being exactly the same.
  • Papa Wolf: Every single one of them are pissed off at BoJack for not watching Hollyhock enough to know she became addicted to amphetamines (to be fair, BoJack didn't know either until it was almost too late); and they forbid him from having any more contact with her.
  • Polyamory: They are eight gay men engaged in polyandry with each other.
  • Punny Name: Both of the Man(n)heims are human, showing that it's not only animal characters who have Species Surnames.
  • Repetitive Name: Quackers McQuack's name, naturally.
  • Straight Gay: All of them are homosexuals, but they don't have any of the stereotypical behaviors.
  • Visual Pun: Jose is, indeed, a gay bear.

    Hollyhock's True Parents (MAJOR SPOILERS) 
The Season 4 story arc has Hollyhock enlisting BoJack's help to discover who her birth parents were. Very contrary to their initial assumptions about Hollyhock being the daughter of BoJack and one of his ex-girlfriends, she's actually his half-sister, having been conceived in an extramarital affair by BoJack's father Butterscotch Horseman and his maid, Henrietta Platchkey. See their respective pages for more information.

Sugarman Family

    Joseph Sugarman 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stupid_piece_of_shit.jpg
As a modern American man I am woefully unprepared to manage a woman's emotions. I was never taught, and I will not learn.
"All right. Believe it or not, time's arrow neither stands still nor reverses. It merely marches forward."

Beatrice's father and BoJack's maternal grandfather. Joseph was a wealthy sugar tycoon and an excellent businessman. But on the other hand, he was a not-so-excellent husband and father...


  • Abusive Dad: Even though he was well-intentioned (and in par with the standards of the time), his actions were still rather excessive and emotionally abusive. This ranges from prohibiting his daughter from eating ice cream to callously burning her belongings and then threatening to give her a lobotomy if she cries too much. Granted, this was because she had scarlet fever, but he could have handled it more humanely.
  • Affably Evil: Zigzagged. Joseph, by all accounts, seems to genuinely care about his wife and daughter in his twisted, warped way and believes what he's doing is best for them, but his old-fashioned beliefs and behavior ultimately lead to his actions leaving a permanent scar on the rest of the family. However, his temper tantrums whenever someone would refuse to see things his way, willingness to ignore any feelings that might make him uncomfortable and use any tactics necessary to keep everyone in line, all with the same calm, affable demeanor can make him slide into Faux Affably Evil just as often.
  • Adult Fear: Losing one's children, a half-realized (he had two foals) terror that led him to do terrible things that eventually alienated his sole remaining heir.
  • Arc Villain: Initially of Beatrice's character arc, ranging from her childhood to young adulthood. Afterwards, however, the long term effects caused by his brand of upbringing leads Beatrice to become His Own Worst Enemy elevating him to Greater-Scope Villain status since by then he's no longer involved in her life in any substantial capacity.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: One of the most disturbing aspects of Joseph's inner process is to see how clearly he rewrites reality for everyone, especially himself, and then stick with it, regardless of what anyone else says.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He's a charmingly polite family man on the surface; but is really an emotionally manipulative, psychologically abusive asshole with very little consideration for his family's feelings.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: One of his main failings and courtesy of being almost programmed by society to be so; Joseph loves his family, so far, so good. But his values are constructed in a way that makes him see some of his family as less than others and put their well-being over their rights or free will, if he genuinely considers them to have them at all. Not to say, whenever confronted with the truth, Joseph will go into self-denial or avoid the issue altogether, making his love and morals very warped indeed. Not to say, toxic and harmful.
  • Clock King: Very observant about time and schedules. Part of this is because of his constant back and forth with the company, but even then it's clear he tries to see everything within a limit of time dedicated to every part of life. This is just part of his Control Freak tendencies.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: He was aware of how fattening his products were and did his best to prohibit Beatrice from eating sugary foods, such as ice cream, to keep her thin. Health risks aside, despite knowing how much joy his sugary treats brought other people (like his son Crackerjack and his soldier buddies), he denied his daughter Beatrice that same joy just because she was a girl.
  • Control Freak: Downplayed. The two times he's shown to lose his temper on-screen, it's because his "hysterical" wife and rebellious daughter are acting out, and thus acting out of his control. He sites his inability to keep his family in-check when he yells at Honey for her grief-induced breakdown, before proposing a lobotomy. And with Beatrice years later, he finally snaps and yells at her due to her rebelling against his attempts to get her married off to Corbin Creamerman.
  • Cutting the Knot: By all appearances his Fatal Flaw. He seemingly doesn't have the patience to actually think his actions through and shows a disturbing tendency to choose what that might appear on the surface to be quick and easy solutions to his family's problems, but are incredibility destructive and harmful to those around him, deconstructing the trope in the process. Is the wife struggling with mental illness? Have her lobotomised so you don't have to deal with it again! Is the child sick with a contagious disease? Just burn all of her possessions! Is the said child crying for her lost possessions? Just threaten to give her a lobotomy like her mother. That'll shut her up!
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: None of his actions or beliefs are particularly bad by the standards of the time period, which makes the outcome of those actions even more horrifying.
  • Evil Counterpart: He's painfully similar to Mr. Peanutbutter in terms of color palette, temperament, and a propensity for whimsical business ventures while trying to maintain an air of happiness and contentment often to unintentionally calamitous outcomes.
  • Freudian Excuse: Defied. When Honey goes mad with grief, he says he was not raised to handle a woman's emotions... and "will not learn," showing that it's not that he honestly can't relate to Honey's emotions, but that he actively refuses to try. He'd rather just do what's easy and comfortable for himself. This makes his decision to have her lobotomized that much more despicable.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: His abysmal parenting played a big part in turning Beatrice into a miserable person, which played a big part in turning his grandson into the man he became.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: By the 1960s, the smooth bangs in his mane have receded a bit, and by the time of his death in the late 90s he is bald on top with only white hair on the sides.
  • Happily Married: He and Honey clearly loved each other despite his decision to have her lobotomized.
  • Happiness Is Mandatory: He believes that sadness is a weak, obstructive "womanly emotion" and tries to enforce positive feelings in his household to keep everyone moving forward. This is not without long-lasting repercussions.
  • Hate Sink: Joseph Sugarman is probably the most despicable member of the entire Sugarman/Horseman family line, but for different reasons than the others: While Beatrice and Butterscotch can rival him in terms of child abuse, Beatrice has the big excuse of a neglectful childhood and multiple traumas all around and Butterscotch was decent(ish) enough to actually take responsibility for what he had done to Beatrice and had just as rough a life. Joseph's lack of trauma, dissonant cheerfulness to his deeply harmful actions and enforced casual misogyny toward his daughter's aspirations and his wife's inability to deal with trauma make a standout monster above all. There's no excuse beyond his experience and how he was taught to deal with everything, and even those fall flat when so much pain and suffering is caused because of his actions: he's unwilling to reach to anyone and uses extremity, force and emotional blackmail to keep everything in his life in check, no matter how much damage it causes everyone around him. Even his happy façade can drop when something goes wrong and the monster can show itself.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: He doesn't seem to consider women as people, or rather, he considers women to be the epitome of grace: beautiful, smiley and not problematic to men's business. Anything emotional or flawed within them is just plain wrong.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: It'd be easier to list the occasions this didn't happen to any of Joseph's schemes.
    • First, his decision to avoid any mention of the Elephant in the Room of CrackerJack's death, let alone help Honey work through the pain, caused Honey to slowly become emotionally unhinged and caused not only for the local celebration of the war's end at Harper's Landing to end in a brutal disaster, but Honey becoming desperate enough to cause an accident that almost kills her and little Beatrice.
    • His decision to lobotomize Honey was done to keep her emotions in check while making more docile. This instead caused her to become brain-dead and unable to look after Beatrice, which became apparent for Joseph after Bea contracted scarlet fever without anyone noticing. This forced him to hire nannies and take more time to look after his daughter, adding further to his day-to-day stress.
    • Letting Beatrice know about his arrangement with Mort Creamerman to get his son Corbin and Bea together played a part in making Beatrice do the bare effort to bond with Corbin as a form of preemptive rebellion and led her to the hooves of a rough stallion named Butterscotch Horseman. This led of course to Bea's unexpected pregnancy and the end of the Sugarman company and lineage.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Joseph is introduced in season 4, along with Honey and CrackerJack, as Beatrice's family. Unlike them, Joseph is memorable for other reasons.
  • Innocently Insensitive: His actions shaped Beatrice into who she would become but nothing he did was out of malice. He gently explains his motives to his daughter like lobotomizing his wife because of her grief over their son dying or burning Beatrice's possessions because of her scarlet fever and despite how horrific his actions are he honestly is acting with the best of intentions for his family.
    Joseph: As a modern American man, I am woefully unprepared to manage a woman’s emotions. I was never taught, and I will not learn.
  • Innocent Bigot: Joseph doesn't think highly of civil right movements or feminism, let alone seeing women as people with rights, but his initial appearance masks those traits as something commonplace in the era and emphasizes his love for his family. Then, it's slowly deconstructed showing how this type of mindset can kickstart heinous actions without fully comprehending their impact.
  • It's All About Me: Joseph's biggest failing is to think of his family's well-being insofar as how it affects him and how he thinks they'd be happier, so much he can hardly conceive any other opinion rather than his own. When he's briefly snapped from this belief, he lashes out with sudden outbursts of violence.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While it doesn't excuse his negative actions and behavior toward his family, Joseph getting angry at his wife for recklessly putting Beatrice in danger (especially after losing his son) is understandable.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: This guy has little to no humanizing moments. Whenever it looks like Joseph might actually care to some degree for Honey or Beatrice, he proves himself to be devoid of any empathic thinking or basic support to offer.
  • Karma Houdini: Played with. While losing his son to the war, his wife to a lobotomy, and his only daughter and heir to her rebellious elopement with some low-class scoundrel, he never faces any direct repercussions for reducing his wife to an Empty Shell, nor literally traumatizing his daughter for life; nor is he ever truly blamed or called out for it by Beatrice. Her accidental pregnancy from a rebellious one-night stand and subsequent elopement aside, she continued to revere her father as a good man and ideal husband up to his death, in which she attended his funeral.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: The only ones Joseph is seen being somewhat nice to are his family, which makes it all the more shocking when both Honey (his wife) and Beatrice (his daughter) are the ones who suffer the most at his hands.
  • Knight of Cerebus: One of the only antagonists whose actions not only darken the series but are never played for laughs, instead showcasing his warped and terrifying sense of reality and how it destroyed his family.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Once CrackerJack dies during World War II, part of his Start of Darkness is to become this. Joseph, in his own twisted way, wants to keep his family safe and sound and because of their actions and his busy affairs at Sugarman Sugar, he can't keep everything under control, so he decides to make final decisions regarding his loved ones' future in order to ensure their well-being. Whether they like or agree with it is another matter. First, there's his wife's lobotomy to keep her emotions in check and stop her self-destructing sadness, then his decision to push Beatrice into a life of being simple arm candy just to ensure she'd be comfortable and well-off.
  • Lack of Empathy: He at least thinks of himself as being a decent family man, but doesn't seem too concerned about actually trying to help his wife or daughter deal with their depressions resulting from Crackerjack's death. While it seems that he really does love his family, his emotions for them are entirely selfish, and only seems concerned for how they can make himself feel happy.
  • Light Is Not Good: See Man in White below.
  • Man in White: He's almost always seen using the same white vest, even during old age. This color contrasts with his more heinous actions, as detailed all over here.
  • Measuring the Marigolds: Another of his Fatal Flaws. Being an obsessive Schedule Fanatic and Control Freak, Joseph often seems to aim for shortcuts and do things at their own time, no more, no less; all for the sake of multitasking and balancing personal and professional life. Thing is, for all of his neglect and desire to get back to work, he never really takes any pleasure in being in charge of Sugarman Sugar, seeing it as something he has to do. Likewise, while he can enjoy being with his family, he doesn't do a lot of efforts in spending more time with them beyond the necessary, usually thinking of these family gatherings as appointments in his agenda and nothing more. Understanding life as basic duties and roles, Joseph goes through life, sketching his family's life, earnings, reunions and all affairs of the company in analytical terms, yet without a shred of involvement or feeling, seeing everything as logical. This, of course, clashes with his wife Honey, a free spirit, and is precisely one of the reasons the family falls apart.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Downplayed, but once he sees that his wife's lobotomy basically turned her into a vegetable and caused her to not notice that Beatrice contracted scarlet fever, he regrets having had the lobotomy done in the first place. Of course, he only regrets it because it means Honey can't be a proper caregiver to his daughter, not because he reduced his smart, sassy, lively, beloved wife to an Empty Shell.
  • Never My Fault: One can see where Beatrice got it from. He blamed his lobotomized wife for failing to notice that Beatrice had contracted scarlet fever, even though he failed to notice too. Beatrice herself had tried to tell him directly that she was not feeling well minutes before, which he brushed off.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Joseph's personality and actions are a very real brand of scary, mostly because of how little he processes the damage and wrong he's doing, all with a terrifying smile.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: He bears many similarities to Joseph Kennedy, patriarch of the Kennedy family. He was a wealthy and ambitious businessman in mid 20th century America, who had some seriously antisemitic beliefs, lost a son in World War II, and had a female family member lobotomized for embarrassing the family. By the standards of his time, he was an ideal father and husband. Only by modern standards is his behavior recognized as toxic and abusive, and is he held to blame for the devastation of his family line.
  • Obliviously Evil: Despite all the cruel things he does to his wife and daughter (burning his daughter's doll in front of her since she had scarlet fever, lobomotozing his wife to stop her grief, forbidding Beatrice from eating ice cream), none of them are really done out of malice and are meant to reflect the very different parenting standards of the time. He did all these things to keep his family stable but without considering the emotional and long-term effects.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: His eldest child and only son died in World War II.
  • Papa Wolf: Was outright enraged when he found out that his lobotomized wife hadn't noticed Beatrice had contracted scarlet fever. This might arguably have been why Honey was lobotomized to begin with — she'd already presented a threat to Beatrice with the car crash.
  • Parents as People: Was a genuinely loving father... by the standards of his time. The actions he takes are line with what would have been considered acceptable back then and none of his motivations are born out of malice.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He's incredibly sexist, believing that his wife and daughter have no place in life beyond being in the household; he also dismisses their mental illnesses as just being "womanly emotions" that he will not even try to understand as a man. He also thinks that the Jews "provoked" Adolf Hitler into starting World War II;note  and he couldn't care less about the US Civil Rights Movement.
  • Posthumous Character: He is dead in the present timeline, only appearing in flashbacks.
  • Schedule Fanatic: He often keeps tabs on time, especially how much he can spare regarding Sugarman Sugar's affairs and gets annoyed with any delay that may arise: he chides gently CrackerJack for arriving late to the family picture and is just waiting for Honey and CJ to finish their piano song before just plain closing the fallboard and reminding them of the photo. This attitude of his is also shown to be rather unbalanced: more time for the company, less time for family, something Honey tells him about, but never really complains. When CJ dies, Joseph starts working much more, partly to avoid his wife and to avoid feeling anything, all the while showing little to no compassion for Honey's grief. Needless to say, this is disastrous.
  • Shipper with an Agenda: Joseph even states that he doesn't care about Beatrice's personal interests, only caring that she make nice with Corbin Creamerman so they could get married and their family businesses would work together to make more profit.
  • Skewed Priorities: When the doctor informs him that his young daughter's throat has been swollen almost completely shut due to scarlet fever, he's thrilled because it means she'll be able to lose that baby weight.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Downplayed. While the desire to keep his remaining family safe drives him to commit all kinds of atrocities toward them, it also slowly reveals that he wouldn't have been above committing them in the first place, whatever the situation may be.
  • The Sociopath: His overall personality imply that he's this, and is perhaps a surprisingly very creepy example. He has a deep desire to keep his family safe at all costs... which sounds good and noble on paper, but Joseph's "love" for his family is extremely possessive and self-centered, and he discards all morality to control their future, even if it makes them unhappy or unfulfilled. It's up to interpretation if he becomes this gradually, or was always like this and was only slowly unraveling.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: In spite of his laundry list of disgusting actions, Joseph's tone of voice is always calm, almost comforting. Emphasis in almost.
  • Standard '50s Father: Emotionally distant, responsible, father of The All-American Boy that is Crackerjack. He seems to be somewhat of a deconstruction since by the customs of the time, he's the epitome of virtue and good manners; from a contemporary perspective, he's just a very covert abusive parent and husband, although one that didn't start that way.
  • Stepford Smiler: Strange mixture of all 3 types. He tends to act constantly cheerful, even when his domestic life is falling apart. It's soon made clear that beneath his superficially happy family-man persona, he's a very grouchy and passive-aggressive Control Freak who can't stand to not get his way over his wife and daughter. He's also heavily implied to suppress his emotions to an unhealthy degree, especially grief when it comes to CrackerJack's death and fury at being unable to control life. And he often looks like he's forcing himself to feel anything, even if he seriously doesn't.
  • Tragic Villain: Deconstructed. Word of God's that the show's real villain is suffering and how people deal with it. Looking at it from that perspective, Joseph's actions are at least understandable. There's also the possibility that he also has a tragic backstory and, from his perspective, he still lost a son to the war, watched his wife go mad with grief having to lobotomize her (something they implied he regrets bitterly) and had his only daughter run away with a man who knocked her up and, for a long time, refused a cozy job due to his swollen pride. However, while his actions can be understood, they're never excused. Joseph, for better or worse, still chose to lobotomize his wife rather than finding a way to help her cope and traumatized his daughter by doing what he thought was correct, but in such degrading and borderline-sociopathic ways that can never be forgiven.
  • Tranquil Fury: How he usually expresses his displeasure and frustration. He finally cracks and outright shouts when Beatrice refuses to go on a second date with Corbin Creamerman after she skipped out on her debut.
  • Troubled Abuser: His mistreatment of his wife and daughter stem from a (very warped) sense of morality and family values, and out of misguided beliefs that this is the only way to keep his surviving loved ones safe.
  • The Unfought: While Beatrice never quite forgave her father for all the trauma he caused her, she came around to defend him, even justifying his methods whenever someone would call him out on his actions in a twisted form of Stockholm Syndrome. Joseph passed away calmly and without regrets, with his damaged daughter at his side mourning him.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Had his wife lobotomized to contain her grief over their deceased son Crackerjack, callously burned Beatrice's possessions after she contracted scarlet fever, then cheerfully threatened to have her lobotomized too if she couldn't control her crying the way her mother couldn't.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Implied. For someone as addicted to routine and robotic like Joseph, being around Honey makes him somewhat loosen up. Of course, what happens to them is a clear warning of the wild going to extremes too risky for the uptight's tastes and the latter deciding to buck her up.
  • Wanted a Gender-Conforming Child: Out of his relationships with both of his offspring, Joseph seemed to prefer CrackerJack's law-abiding, chip-of-the-ol'-block attitude (even if this blind obedience of his was what led to his death) to Beatrice's increasing questioning of his inner logic and eventually rebellious attitude. As far as he knows, the only way Beatrice can hope to get a cushy future as a housewife is to be light as a feather, smile and act as submissive as possible rather than the "sassy" Mouthy Kid she slowly transforms during her teenager years. This leads to their strained relationship after Honey's lobotomy becoming even more so after she returns home with a Barnard college degree rather than a "husband".
  • Workaholic: Joseph is often off on Sugarman Sugar matters and often has to ration his time with family and business. Gradually, the constant clashes between both lives led him to find more permanent solutions for both.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Implied. While it's never outright stated, Joseph spends a lot of his time in the office, where he often mentions complimenting his secretary for her "tight sweaters" as part of his routine. However, it's not brought up in general and he and Honey were in a quite happy marriage, making the whole thing ambiguous.

    Honey Sugarman 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/honey_7.jpg
I have half a mind to kiss you with that smart mouth.
Played by: Jane Krakowski

"Love does things to a person. Terrible things."

Beatrice's mother and BoJack's maternal grandmother. She was a wealthy housewife who dearly loved her family. But she was also extremely emotionally unstable...


  • The Alcoholic: She becomes one after her son died in the war. This leads to a drunk-driving incident that endangered her (and Beatrice's) lives.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Most real-world lobotomies involved an ice pick into the brain through the corner of the eye so as not to leave a scar, or at most a surgical hole above the hairline so regrown hair can cover the incision. Honey's lobotomy leaves her with a big, garish scar right across her forehead, which is admittedly much more dramatic.
  • Death of Personality: Honey started out as a kind, lively woman with sassy attitude who loved her family, but after the death of her son caused her to develop a severe case of PTSD/depression, she was lobotomised, which turned her into an Empty Shell and she eventually lost the abillity to speak, think properly and she wasn't even capable of taking care of her daughter. Because of this, even though she was technically still alive, Beatrice just saw her as dead.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the Hysterical Woman: Honey completely loses it after CrackerJack's death, resulting in severe depression, mood-swings and collateral damage toward people around her. However, she doesn't devolve into an emotional mess until months after the fact, lack of treatment and a trigger in the form of the summer house and the locals' celebration of World War II's end. The breakdown she undergoes then is understandable for the situation, but not for the era: her husband Joseph, traditional as he is, sees her as a hysterical woman since he can't (and won't) deal with women's emotions, with the public siding with him. It doesn't help her case that her reactions also led her to neglect Beatrice and almost injure her in a car accident, something which her husband for once justifiably calls her out. Without any advance in psychological help, Honey is forced by Joseph to undergo a lobotomy to render her emotionless and as such keep her in check.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Like her husband, Honey thinks a woman's only role is to be a thin, pretty housewife who dotes on the boys. She makes pancakes for her husband but doesn't let her young daughter have any, tells Beatrice ice cream is for boys so she can sprinkle some sugar on a lemon and suck on that instead, and when Beatrice tries to lift a suitcase Honey curtly tells her it'll rupture her uterus.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After Crackerjack's death, her downward spiral led to her drinking excessively in order to cope with her loss.
  • Empty Shell: Post lobotimization, she hardly shows any emotion or appears to be alive at all. Beatrice describes her as being somewhat dead.
  • Famous Last Words: A heartbreaking example.
    Honey: "Why, I have half a mind..."
  • Female Misogynist: Sadly, yes. While Honey was a good mother and loved her children, she was also a firm believer of male dominance and women's place in the world being the kitchen. It says something that she appreciated her son far more than her daughter who she seemed to neglect a bit and often told her daughter off whenever she showed signs of defiance. It's this attitude that does her in: she doesn't quite comprehend the pain she's suffering for her son's death, but it feels real...and she doesn't have any of the right tools to deal with it nor is she inclined to look for them, thinking all of it as "women's feelings" just like her husband.
  • Foil: To Eddie the dragonfly. Both characters take the death of a loved one extremely hard (even sharing a simultaneous Grief Song), but their respective breakdowns have different motivations. When Beatrice was trying to drive herself and her drunk mother home, Honey cried out that she "wanted to feel alive again" and stomped on the gas pedal, causing them to crash. Eddie tries to kill BoJack after being tricked into flying again, but after BoJack saves him from drowning, he starts crying that he doesn't want to live.
  • House Wife: Your typical '40s version of one... for a while, anyway. Although rich, she still did a few chores around the house.
  • Like Mother, Like Daughter: It's pretty clear Beatrice inherited her keen intelligence, sass, and smart mouth from her mother. (However, while Honey was a cheerful woman who playfully quipped to make people laugh, Beatrice due to the trauma of her mother's lobotomy was a miserable woman who used her sharp tongue to shiv people.)
  • Love Makes You Crazy: She loved her son dearly, but his death during the war caused her to descend into such grief that she drank excessively, tried to make out with her dead son's friend, and made her very young daughter drive their car which resulted in minor injuries for both of them. After she's lobotomized, she comes to acknowledge this trope (as seen in the quote above), and makes Beatrice promise to never love someone that much again.
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "Why, I have half a mind to [x]!" This takes a very dark turn after she's been lobotomized, when she says "Why, I have half a mind..." but trails off. Considering what a lobotomy does to a person, she quite literally only has half a mind now.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • An absolutely heartbreaking one that happens twice in one episode. She and Crackerjack would play the piano while they were at their summer house. After Crackerjack died, she tried to play the song they always played and couldn't bring herself to finish it, and after she's lobotomized she can barely play a note.
    • And in the same scene, she concludes by saying "I have half a mind..." and trailing off, reflecting the earlier, happy scene where she says "I've half a mind to kiss you with that smart mouth", prompting her husband to quip "THAT half you can keep!"
  • Motif: Shadows. Beatrice remembers her as a shadow and after episode 2, she just appears as a shadow. During her flashbacks in "Time's Arrow", her mother appears only as a shadow, sometimes with the scar in her forehead highlighted.
  • Nice Girl: She was very kind and devoted to her family. Unfortunately her husband didn't actually care about her, while her excessive grieving over her dead son led her into a downward spiral that almost got herself (and her daughter) killed out of sheer recklessness.
  • Nobility Marries Money: Judging from their setting and implied background, Honey was most likely a debutante from a highly respected family who wed Joseph for his inheritance of Sugarman Sugar from his family. Not that it stopped them from loving each other. Or helped them in the long run.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Post-lobotomy, Honey is never seen directly by the audience, but as a shadow or silhouette. Considered how much she's implied to deteriorate over the years post-lobotomy, and how unkempt and zombie-like she holds herself, this just serves to highlight the horror of her condition.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: While young Beatrice is delighted when her mother finally lets her buy a freezy pop, to the audience it's a clear sign of Honey's grief and depression over her son's death. Honey finally snaps not long after.
  • Parental Favoritism: Downplayed. She isn't mean or overly neglectful, but Honey openly doted on her son Crackerjack while treating young Beatrice as almost an afterthought. Beatrice didn't seem too bothered though, and Crackerjack died before anything could come of it. Though it's implied to play part in why her daughter was a poor consolation to losing her son, and could be part of the reason her grief made her willing to endanger her daughter in her drunk driving stunt to "feel alive again."
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Her eldest child and only son died in World War II.
  • Playing Against Type: A very sad, very dramatic role for Jane Krakowski.
  • Posthumous Character: She is dead in the present timeline, only appearing in flashbacks.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: When she's shown post-lobotomy in flashbacks, Beatrice sees her only as a silhouette with the highlighted scar.
  • Stepford Smiler: She tries to keep a brave face for her child and husband, but inevitably breaks down as she can't handle life without Crackerjack.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • She asks Beatrice to never love someone as much as she loved Crackerjack after she was lobotomized, setting the stage for her entire outlook on life.
    • It goes beyond that: While Joseph holds most of the blame for how things went south for Beatrice, Honey certainly played a major part due to her Female Misogynist tendencies. Honey taught Bea how such values would certainly work on their favor when the time came to find a husband and settle down, but when she broke down and and ended up lobotomized, the dissonance of how being a housewife wouldn't ensure safety, not even from loved ones, pushed Beatrice toward a dark path.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Due to her own charmed life and the misogynistic values of the time deeming all turbulent emotions "womanly hysteria", when the normally cheerful and vivacious Honey experiences grief and heartbreak from her son's death, she's unable to identify, let alone process or cope with the pain, and ultimately begs to be "fixed."

    CrackerJack Sugarman 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crackerjack_7.jpg
I will always think of you...

Beatrice's older brother and BoJack's maternal uncle. He tragically died young while fighting for the American military in World War II.


  • Cool Big Bro: Showed to be a nice older brother to Beatrice, which is shown when he gives her his old blanket.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: He's the only one in his family who mixes blonde mane with brown fur.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype:
    • Of The All-American Boy: CrackerJack Sugarman was the epitome of what every young American aspired to be: well-groomed, decent, patriotic, instilled with good old fashioned values, great son and brother for whom World War II drafting was as far as he was concerned "pints and killing Nazis", fun and fighting, unaware of the carnage, suffering and PTSD that awaited him, since he had never dealt with dark thoughts and emotions before. That is if he had returned at all. Instead, CrackerJack was killed in action during WWII.
    • Of the Wide-Eyed Idealist: CrackerJack's innocence made him someone very loved and treasured by his family. So much that when he died, the sole thought of someone so innocent and good dying instigated the destruction of his family. His naivety at what war really was like also made him susceptible to think it as nothing more than a good game instead of the carnage that would eventually kill him.
  • Drink Order: He clearly loves his beer, as he's only on screen for about two minutes and mentions it twice.
  • Foil:
    • To Jeffretariat through a generational distance. Like Jeff, CrackerJack was the brother of one of the pivotal influences in BoJack himself during his childhood (Jeff being his hero Secretariat's brother, CrackerJack his mother Beatrice's), was drafted for a war (WWII and 'Nam, respectively) and their deaths cause their siblings' situation in life go From Bad to Worse. There's tragedy in both cases, albeit diverging: Jeff is essentially forced into service in Secretariat's place and CrackerJack, like many kids his age, doesn't realize the full extent of what he's signing for.
    • To BoJack's (possibly) unnamed paternal uncle. They're (apparently) from different sides of the family tree, both are the main character's uncles from mother and father's side and they both are (implied in the case of this uncle) nice guys in screwed up families. The main difference lies in the details: CrackerJack never got to meet BoJack since he died in World War II but it's implied he would have been a genuine Cool Uncle for BoJack if he had, this guy lived to meet and interact with him. CrackerJack was the epitome of the American golden boy and implied to have old fashioned values regarding modesty, probably refusing to be the one to show BoJack sexual imagery; this guy was an avid pervert and regularly showed his nephew skin mags as a way of bonding which BoJack remembers fondly.
  • Momma's Boy: It's implied he had a close relationship with his mom as they both sang a song together and his death was more devastating for her than her husband.
  • Nice Guy: Comes across as a perfectly normal guy who loved his sister and parents.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: His death causes a good chunk of the plot, specifically involving the dysfunction of his family.
  • Posthumous Character: He was killed in combat during World War II, and is only seen alive in a single flashback.
  • Security Blanket: An embarrassing yellow-and-blue blanket Honey insisted on him having on hand for their portrait which he insists he's outgrown, but gives to Beatrice to hang onto. Becomes a Tragic Keepsake after he died, as Honey demanded to return to the summer house in the middle of winter in a desperate search for it.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He only appeared in a single scene, but he had quite an impact on his family.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: He was friendly and good-humored, loved his mother and little sister, and went off to war under the impression that it would entail killing Nazis by day, and kicking back in the beer gardens by night. We last see him in summer and he's dead by winter.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: BoJack bears a striking resemblance to him, and Beatrice even mistakes an old photo of BoJack for her brother. Notably, while diamond shaped stars are shown to run in the family (and serve as a major plot point), BoJack and Crackerjack are the only two seen with snips.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It was Crackerjack's death during the war that unintentionally set off the cycle of abuse in the Sugarman/Horseman family.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Given that he was a happy-go-lucky, rich young man who grew up living quite comfortably at home, he held some very naive expectations that serving his country by going to war can't be all that bad. See Wrong Genre Savvy below.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: It's pretty clear he watched one too many American propaganda films glorifying WWII, since he seems to think war will be this easy, fun adventure where he gets to shoot Nazis by day, and kick back with a pint in the beer gardens at night. He's dead wrong.

Other Relatives

    Unnamed Uncle 
Mentioned in: "Horse Majeur".

BoJack: "But don’t you want to know what my Rosebud is?"
Diane: "You told me repeatedly it was the nudie magazine your uncle showed you with the three-nippled woman."
BoJack: "Who was she?"

Unknown, unnamed uncle related to either the Horseman or Sugarman family and one of the protagonists of BoJack's less tearjerking childhood stories. Implied to have loved pornography.


  • Ambiguous Situation: It's unclear what's his relation with BoJack beyond "uncle" or even "uncle" from which side, why did he show BoJack the filth, when did it happen or whether their relationship was good at all.
  • Cool Uncle: An odd mixture of this and Creepy Uncle (see below). For the former, it's not unusual for family to bond reading filth and it's never clarified what was BoJack's age. Not to say, the most telling fact: this is one of the happiest memories the tortured horse has.
  • Creepy Uncle: An odd mixture of this and Cool Uncle (see above). For the former, BoJack's heavily short on those with the exception of the one interaction with his uncle regarding the nudie mag. On one hand, it's highly inappropriate to show your nephew porno of any kind and there's enough ambiguousness to the whole affair that BoJack's uncle may have had ulterior motives to do it.
  • Dirty Old Man: Loved girlie mags and had implied kinks.
  • Filth: A devoted fan of such material.
  • Foil: To CrackerJack Sugarman. They're (apparently) from different sides of the family tree, both are the main character's uncles from mother and father's side and they both are (implied in the case of this uncle) nice guys in screwed up families. The main difference lies in the details: CrackerJack never got to meet BoJack since he died in World War II but it's implied he would have been a genuine Cool Uncle for BoJack if he had, this guy lived to meet and interact with him. CrackerJack was the epitome of the American golden boy and implied to have old fashioned values regarding modesty, probably refusing to be the one to show BoJack sexual imagery; this guy was an avid pervert and regularly showed his nephew skin mags as a way of bonding which BoJack remembers fondly.
  • The Ghost: He has thus far been unseen and only mentioned, while his name and exact relation to BoJack are also unknown.
  • Naughty Is Good: One possible interpretation for him. He was a porn lover, but he was implied to be one of BoJack's only relatives to treat him well.
  • No Name Given: None whatsoever. He's only referred in passing as "Uncle".
  • Riddle for the Ages: For BoJack at least. One of the women in his uncle's mag had three nipples and BoJack was mesmerized by such a beautiful woman. In the present, he can't remember anything about the girl beyond the "three nipple" thing, wondering who she was.

    Butterscotch's Parents 
Mentioned in: "Time's Arrow"

Butterscotch: "I'm sorry, did—did [Beatrice's mother] pass?"
Beatrice: "No, not exactly."
Butterscotch: "Mine did."
Beatrice: "I'm very sorry to hear that."
Butterscotch: "I was little. I don't remember, really. But she had a diamond just like yours. I saw it in a picture once."

Butterscotch's never-seen parents, and BoJack's paternal grandparents, who are implied to be the main culprits for the trainwreck their son would eventually become.


  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Implied. It's never confirmed if they're dead or not, but Butterscotch is implied to be the same age as Beatrice (around early twenties) and beyond mentioning his mother passing at a young age, there's not a lot of information whether he had any parental figures growing up. This freedom allows him to simply save whatever money he can get to ditch the scene for San Francisco without any attachments.
  • Disappeared Dad: Butterscotch's dad is never mentioned and he's implied to live alone.
  • Freudian Excuse: Their deaths/disappearances weigh heavily upon Butterscotch, even if he may not admitted himself. One interpretation is that because of having to grow up completely on his own, Butterscotch never had a big opinion on family itself or any talent in taking care of anyone else beyond himself, so when the time came to be a father, he just couldn't raise to the task.
  • The Ghost: Mentioned, but never seen at all.
  • Missing Mom: His mom died when he was younger. Part of Butterscotch's Fatal Flaw is his refusal to acknowledge that he might actually be imprinting on other women what he could never experience with his own mother.
  • Parental Abandonment: At least from the father's part; the mother was a most tragic exception.
  • Posthumous Character: Butterscotch's mother has already been long dead since his childhood, and his father would most likely have already passed away from natural causes in the present day.
  • Precious Photo: The only way Butterscotch is able to remember his mom is by a photo he saw once.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: To say they influenced a lot of Butterscotch's personality is a serious understatement.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report