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- Adorkable: He is normally a narcissistic loudmouth, but Hollyhock ends up bringing out this side of him. After accidentally insulting her appearance (questioning why a guy would be interested in her, but was more about being protective of her) she asked him point blank if he thinks she is pretty and he manages to stumble through an awkward but sincere "Of course I think you're pretty" that actually makes her blush.
- Affectionate Nickname: When they were friends, Herb called him "BJ".
- The Alcoholic: The biggest one in the series. Despite this trait being a regular sight in Hollywoo, it speaks a lot about the quantities he needs to drink in order to qualify for that title. While a big part of it is because he's in a constant downer mood and hates himself; being a horse, he really needs to drink gallons before feeling the effects of the alcohol.
- The Aloner: One of his major problems and worries is being alone. Being the kind of person he is, he's often alone in his house, in his life and in his private time. Part of his Character Development is to be more outgoing and easy with people as well as being comfortable should this happen.
- Always a Bigger Fish: No matter how much he tries, BoJack can never break into mainstream fame and when he tries, there's always someone more famous or powerful than him. He's no Hank Hippopopalous. According to Jurj Clooners, Bread Poot and Leornerner DiCapricorn are household name, BoJack isn't. He's just the fifth wheel in the Oscar race.
- Anti-Hero: BoJack is an abrasive, lazy, bitter older man that resists any attempts to change himself for the better when he can help it. But deep down, especially when he's sober, he's a surprisingly intelligent and thoughtful guy that really does care for the few people he can consider friends. Of course, in BoJack's case, it's given a revisionist spin. See Deconstructed Character Archetype below.
- Ascended Fanboy: A childhood fan of Secretariat, he achieves his lifelong dream of starring in a Biopic about him in Season 2.
- At Least I Admit It: For all of his flaws and unsavory moments, BoJack never hides completely what he is or holds fantasies about what kind of person he is, being open about his addictions, problems and attitude about things.
- Bastard Angst: BoJack was an unplanned child and the main reason his parents ended up together. They each blame him for how miserably their lives turned out. Even to this day, he's still haunted by the very abusive childhood he had.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: More than twenty years ago, BoJack Horseman used to be a caring, somewhat friendly, if still flawed individual who would do his best to help out anyone. In the present, BoJack is a bitter, uncaring and sad individual who seems resigned to the way things are in Hollywoo.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: BoJack latches on to anyone who's even remotely nice to him, due to growing up without love or support. It's one of the main reasons why he becomes romantically obsessed with Diane, since she's the only one who knows everything about him and largely accepts him despite it.
- Beneath the Mask: He looks at first glance like a grade-A douche washout, especially if you're involved with him on some capacity. Once you get past that though, BoJack reveals himself as a far more caring person who's not only undermined by his own flaws and egocentrism, but also by the circumstances and society surrounding him. And he's all too aware of it.
- Big Eater: He can down a whole box of muffins in one sitting.
- Broken Ace: Famous actor with a fancy house, millions of royalties, a great agent and a part on one of the most beloved sitcoms in the '90s. Underneath it all, he suffers from depression, loneliness and big regrets.
- Broken Bird: For a couple of reasons, the first being his Stage Mom and generally emotionally-abusive upbringing and the other being his betrayal of his best friend in order to keep his career. Because of this, he has a pathological need to have the public's approval above everything else. According to his mother, he was born to be a broken mess.Beatrice: You're born broken, it's your birthright. You're BoJack Horseman. There's no cure for that.
- Broken Hero: Deconstructed, in a similar way to his hero, Secretariat. BoJack was born and raised in an unhappy family, so much of the resentment deriving from his birth and the ensuing rushed wedding between two radically different and horrid people who warped his innocence into a major ticking time bomb. However, his ability to remain dedicated to his dreams of stardom and fame gave fruition when he was cast as The Horse in Horsin' Around per his friend Herb Kazzaz's request, becoming an overnight famous and renowned celebrity with all the luxuries, status and reverence anyone could ask. However, this sudden rise gave leeway for him to vent his pent-up anger, unsolved issues and become a rather demanding, entitled person, gone were the days were he was a Humble Hero. As his eventual decline into obscurity happened, BoJack found himself hollow having alienated his closest friends with only the receding public to count on. His guilt and bad string of decisions eventually led him to become a recluse that stayed indoors for more than 18 years up to the beginning of the series.
- Brutal Honesty: BoJack will never filter or sugarcoat what he wants to say, ever.
- Butt-Monkey: Frequently at the end of his rope, receives little to no respect on the few occasions he deserves some, has several Break the Haughty moments, more often than not has a penchant for losing and hits new lows with each passing season. Deconstructed given that some of the bad things that happen to him are hubris of his own making and since his content mishaps (though no doubt partly of his own doing) have led him to develop a deep anxiety whenever something is going his way, fearful of losing it or just being a plain setup for a worse situation causing it to become so.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: BoJack can't remember what Bradley Hitler-Smith's mother looks like, despite the fact that he slept with her and caused his parents' divorce. He had random trysts with a lot of women back then, after all.
- Commander Contrarian: Tell him to do something and he'll do the opposite. He'll argue over it. Even if he doesn't mean to. Or thinks it's a good idea. Maybe he's just bored. Bottom line: try to make a Plan B just in case.
- Commitment Issues: At first it's just hinted, given his reaction to Princess Carolyn's (mild) suggestion that they have a baby. It's finally confirmed in season 2 as his first steps to get close to Wanda involve having to open up and, even then, he continually self-sabotages unconsciously to drive her away.
- Condescending Compassion: Whenever BoJack expresses empathy and understanding towards someone else, it's hindered by his desire to overcompensate as well as his bitter cynicism and fatalistic attitude, resulting in coming off as arrogant, smug or entitled when doing a favor or being done a favor.Wanda: BoJack, this is our first show and it is very important that things run smoothly tonight. I mean, do you even care about this at all?
BoJack: (with an understanding smile on his face) Sweetie, no. I think this is stupid and a waste of everybody's time. But you're my girlfriend and I care about you.
- The Corruptible: As a kid, he was exposed to several negative influences, such as his parents fighting while he tries to watch his tv show, often resulting in him turning up the volume, being forced to finish smoking a cigarette after being caught and being pushed into being the best by his mom. As an adult, he also became susceptible to alcohol and drugs while living in L.A. and constantly shows weakness when it comes to addictions.
- Crazy Jealous Guy:
- When he had a crush on Diane, he had a Cock Fight with Mr. Peanutbutter in order to impress and then tried to sabotage their wedding.
- As reluctant as he is to admit it in the first place and correct as he is about Vincent, BoJack eventually admits in private that one of the reasons why he so desperately tries to break Vincent and Princess Carolyn's relationship is cause as much as he doesn't take their relationship seriously, he does feel hurt he can't recur to her anymore for comfort.
- When Alex, a guy, shows interest in Wanda due to their similar background, BoJack goes berserk with jaundiced eyes.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He doesn't like to talk about his childhood or his parents.
- Determined Defeatist: For a guy who certainly believes the worst of everything and has little hope about improving his broken life, he still shows an inordinate amount of energy and determination to keep going, even if he bitches or complains all the way through.
- Dirty Old Man: BoJack is in his 50s, yet he often tends to sleep with women who are half his age.*
- Does Not Like Spam: Professes an undying hate for honeydew melon on "Hank After Dark". Later on the episode, he finds some support from Princess Carolyn in their mutual hatred of the fruit.
- Don't Explain the Joke: He had a propensity for doing this up until Herb talked to him over it in their standup days, which stemmed from his childhood. While he doesn't do it constantly anymore, it still pops up from time to time.Dick Cavett: (Reading BoJack's letter to Secretariat) "When I grow up, I want to be just like you, and I think I'm on the right track. Get it? Track, because horses run on tracks, and you are a horse, and I am a horse. Do you get it? Do you get my joke about the track?" Okay, there's a whole page of this.
Secretariat: Should I write him back, and tell him I get it?
- Drives Like Crazy: BoJack has no scruples about driving under the influence or while watching videos. As a result, he is a terrible driver who causes traffic accidents on a near daily basis, and his Cool Cars tend to pretty quickly be reduced to The Alleged Car.