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Series / Mr. Bean

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"Ecce homo qui est faba" translation: 

Mr. Bean (1990-1995) is an incredibly well-loved British comedy by writer Richard Curtis and writer-star Rowan Atkinson.

The show is about a very odd man about whom we know nothing except his last name, who basically wanders around, getting into trouble, finding unique solutions to predicaments, and both wittingly and unwittingly causing mayhem. Mr. Bean is perhaps the ultimate example of No Social Skills. Not only does he seem to be unfamiliar with all social conventions and standard methods for doing anything, he never even demonstrates normal human thought processes — witness his strategy for protecting his furniture and possessions when painting his flat, which is to wrap every single item in newspaper right down to individual grapes, not to mention that his method of painting the flat includes a stick of dynamite.


Considering the mixture of stupidity and inspiration in his way of doing things, Mr. Bean epitomizes the aphorism, "Nothing can be made foolproof because fools are so ingenious".

The vast majority of the humor is visual, to the point that the eponymous character says only a handful of complete sentences throughout the entire run of the series. Pretty much every plot is based around how Mr. Bean handles an everyday situation, such as going to a department store, going to church, sitting for an exam, etc. In essence, it was a Sketch Show in disguise, especially considering the way that the "plot" was only maintained throughout a few of the episodes. Because of its largely visual and disconnected nature, it was cheap and easy to air in foreign markets as no language dubbing was required and so was bought by networks all over the world. As a result, it is big pretty much everywhere. It is still Rowan Atkinson's most lucrative and recognized work.


It was followed by an animated version, which was obviously less well-received by the fans, as the whole point of the original show is Rowan Atkinson's physical performance.

There are two film adaptations, Bean (1997) and Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007).

In 2006, the MythBusters tried to reproduce Mr. Bean's "dynamite in a paint bucket" method of painting his flat, with no luck.

Speaking greatly to the popularity of the character, Mr. Bean was part of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, via a skit in which he's part of the orchestra playing the theme from Chariots of Fire (specifically only one note on the electric piano over and over again). That turned out to be Mr. Bean's farewell, as Atkinson said in November 2012 that he was retiring the character, citing among other reasons the problem of playing a childlike man as he continues to age.

However, in October 2014, the character returned in an ad for the chocolate bar "Snickers" as part of their "You're Not You When You're Hungry" campaign, where he plays the alter-ego of a Chinese assassin and blunders across rooftops, making a complete ass of himself... until he's told to "eat his Snickers" and reverts to assassin mode. Watch it here.

Atkinson also revived the character to take part in Comic Relief 2015, a fund raising event for the similarly named UK charity (founded by Curtis and Lenny Henry). In the short, Mr Bean gets into hijinks... at a funeral.

The entire series is available on YouTube care of the official channel.

Not to Be Confused with Mr. Bean the Postman from The Comic Strip Presents: Dirty Movie.

This program provides examples of:

  • Accidental Proposal: Inverted. Mr. Bean's girlfriend points to an engagement ring in a store window when he asks her what she wants for Christmas. When she spies him going into the store a few minutes later, she assumes he's going to buy it and propose to her at Christmas dinner. Naturally, Mr. Bean thought she was pointing to the portrait of an engaged couple that was behind the ring and winds up buying that instead.
  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: After Mr. Bean eats bad oysters in "Mr. Bean in Room 426" he has a nightmare about the waiter and his neighbor taunting him as he eats the oysters, which have deteriorated into yellow slime.
  • All for Nothing: Some of Mr. Bean's antics end up being this. One such example is in "The Trouble with Mr. Bean". While waiting outside the dentist, Mr. Bean pours water onto a boy's lap so he has to go home, all so he can get the boy's "Batman" comic; no sooner does he start reading than he's called in to the dentist's room.
  • All There in the Manual: The tie-in books Mr. Bean's Diary and Mr. Bean's Scrapbook provided a lot of background information that would later be used in the animated series.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Bean is restless and easily bored (sign of ADHD), sometimes struggles to read other people's social cues (sign of Aspergers syndrome), and may even have Peter Pan syndrome (playing with toys, talking to an imaginary friend, and his overall behavior).
  • Ambiguously Human: Some elements of the show imply something along these lines. The opening sequence of Bean being dropped via a spotlight and the beamed back up in the episode's outro; the effect Bean has on various electronic devices like television sets; his ingenuity. It also offers another explanation for his bizarre behavior and intrigue at the most basic everyday devices.
  • Amusement Park: "Mind the Baby, Mr. Bean" takes place at one.
  • Anti-Sneeze Finger: The church skit in the first episode has one of these, albeit without the actual finger.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Even when the citizens notice Mr. Bean's childishness and silliness, they don't usually care enough to call him out on it.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • The golf ball in "Tee Off, Mr. Bean" bounces quite a bit higher and farther all over the place than one would expect a golf ball to bounce.
    • When Mr. Bean acquires his new television set, he fits the plug by simply inserting the wires, and twisting them; the TV works.
  • Aside Glance: The last thing Mr. Bean does in "Do-It-Yourself Mr. Bean".
  • Ass Shove: Mr. Bean uses Teddy as a paintbrush this way in "Do-It-Yourself Mr. Bean".
  • Audible Gleam: The American Express card in "The Return of Mr. Bean", and the engagement ring in "Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean".
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Many of Mr. Bean's plans are this.
  • Balloonacy: A baby and his carriage are lifted into the air by an absurdly small number of balloons in "Mind the Baby, Mr. Bean".
  • Bag of Kidnapping: Twice, Mr. Bean does something similar to this:
    • In "Mr. Bean Goes to Town", a friendly passer-by steals his camera in the park. Mr. Bean grabs a meshed litter bin, and plonks it over the thief's head and upper body, before wrestling him to the ground. But the thief escapes and runs off, still with the bin on his head.
    • In "Mind the Baby, Mr. Bean", a Snooping Little Kid interferes with Mr. Bean's fun on the slot machines. Mr. Bean pulls the boy's loose shirt over his head, spins him around, and shoves him aside.
  • Banana in the Tailpipe: Actually a golf ball in the tailpipe during Mr. Bean's Golf Game in "Tee Off' Mr. Bean." After the guy's engine sputters for a few seconds, it explodes which sends the golf ball flying out.
  • Bathos: "Back to School Mr. Bean" has by far the saddest ending, with Bean's car completely destroyed and a tear-jerking rendition of the theme tune playing as he staggers towards the remains before dropping to his knees. Then we see him salvage the driver door's padlock and crack a smile before scurrying off.
  • Behind the Black: Several jokes work like this. One notable example is in "Room 426" when Bean attempted to get past an old woman walking down the stairs by climbing through the outer side of the stairs and somehow he didn't notice an old man ahead until the old man is actually visible on the screen. This gets him trapped between the old man and the old woman.
  • Big Blackout:
    • In "Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean", he pulls an electric cord out of its socket to test a string of Christmas lights while shopping at Harrods and cuts out all the power to the store.
    • Plus, the time he was out clubbing with his girlfriend and she leaves him for another man, he pulls the fuses on the disco's lights before making a hasty exit.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Or at least the closest a show like this can get. Bean saves the baby in the aforementioned carriage with balloons on it by shooting it down with one of the carnival's bows and arrows.
  • Birthday Episode: "The Return of Mr. Bean" has him celebrating his birthday by eating out at a restaurant.
  • Bits of Me Keep Passing Out: Mr. Bean accidentally injects his dentist with Novocaine until he passes out completely, forcing Bean to do his own dental work.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: Mr. Bean finds himself playing one in "Tee Off, Mr. Bean", in which he accidentally knocks a ball out of the miniature golf park, but continues to play the golden rule: "Always play the ball where it lies." It doesn't matter where the ball goes, even if it's on a bus, down the sewers, or into the dump truck, he will continue his game. By the time he finally gets back to the course, it's just about to close, and he's surpassed three thousand strokes.
  • Blindfolded Trip: When Mr. Bean arrives in room 426, he takes his blindfolded teddy out of his suitcase, as if it was a surprise journey for him.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: Inversion. The original theme song (used throughout the first episode) was reused as the Reliant Regal's leitmotif for its appearance in "Tee Off, Mr. Bean".
  • Brick Joke:
    • "Do It Yourself, Mr. Bean." During his failed New Year's party, one of his friends leaves his hat on the mantel, and leaves the party without it. The next day, when he paints the apartment with explosives, we hear a door open while he waits for the explosion. When he enters the room, everything has been painted perfectly white... but the silhouette of Bean's friend retrieving his hat is visible by the mantel.
    • "Mr Bean Goes to Town": the first part of the episode is Mr. Bean setting up his new television set, which only works when he is in just the right position. At the end of the episode, he walks past a shop window full of televisions, causing them all to show fuzzy lines.
  • British Brevity: The original TV show consisted of only 13 episodes (with a 14th as a direct-to-video exclusive), airing gradually from 1990 through 1995, unusually for a British sitcom.
  • British Royal Guards: In "Goodnight Mr. Bean", Bean does an assortment of increasingly pesky things to a guard in preparation for a posed photograph, all while the guard remains perfectly still. It all basically amounts to one hell of a Motionless Makeover. Among the things Bean does to the guard, he polishes the trigger of his gun, trims the guard's mustache to resemble Hitler's, and decorates him with flowers. At the end, the guard receives his orders to march to his next post, just before the picture could be taken.
  • The Bully: The jock that harassed Mr. Bean in the first act of "Tee Off, Mr. Bean" is even credited as "The Bully".
  • Canon Immigrant: Mrs. Wicket, Mr. Bean's crotchety old landlady, first appeared in "Mr. Bean's Diary" (a tie-in to the TV series).
  • Cargo Envy: In Mr Bean's Diary, he writes a poem about longing to be Shirley Bassey's microphone, so she can sing to him.
  • Cartoon Conductor: Done in "Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean", where Bean conducts a Salvation Army brass band playing "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen" using a highly complex series of gestures, including fast twitchy movements to indicate a light tempo, sweeps for a more Wagnerian feel, and a funky pace to turn it into a jazz number. It culminates in him modifying the volume by making a gesture indicative of turning down a volume dial on a radio, making the band stop playing. He continues conducting, but nothing is heard until he remembers to turn the band on again.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Not so much from a nightmare, but whenever he drifts off and is suddenly woken, he jolts awake and makes a loud "BUH!" sound. The only time he wakes from an actual nightmare, in "Mr. Bean in Room 426", the reaction is rather subdued - he sits up and just gasps relatively quietly.
  • Cats Are Mean: Scrapper, Mrs. Wicket's cat.
  • Censor Steam: Mr. Bean's crotch is hidden by bubbles when he takes a bath in "Mr. Bean in Room 426".
  • Character Tics: Mr. Bean sticks out his tongue and waggles it whenever he is anticipating eating a treat.
  • Chekhov's Gag:
    • In The Best Bits of Mr. Bean, after the church scene from the first episode, Mr. Bean throws a boomerang away, but it comes back to him. He throws it away again, and we see the "meeting royalty" skit from "The Return of Mr Bean". After that, the boomerang comes back again, and Mr. Bean, frustrated, throws the boomerang out the attic window. In the end, Mr. Bean reopens the window to discover that it stopped raining, and, inconvenienced, shuts the window again, and the boomerang comes back to rest on the roof.
    • In "Back To School Mr. Bean," there's a brief scene of Bean in a chemistry lab mucking up a little boy's experiment and causing an explosion, but getting away just in time. In the next scene, Bean is in an art class, extremely prudish about drawing a nude model, so he scurries away to the pottery section. Just as he does, the boy from the chemistry lab (who is now covered in blue chemical powder) and his teacher burst into the room to find Bean... only for the teacher to grab the boy and rush right back out as soon as the boy notices the nude model.
  • Cherubic Choir: The opening sequence has a choir chanting Ecce homo qui est faba, which literally translates to "Behold the man who is a bean".
  • Chorus-Only Song: invoked In the first episode, Mr. Bean is in church when the congregation begins to sing the hymn "All Creatures of Our God and King". He doesn't know any of the lyrics save for the repeated "Alleluia" chorus, which he happily sings at the top of his lungs.
  • Christmas Carolers: After finding nothing but war films playing on TV on Christmas Eve night, Mr. Bean is greeted by carolers so he adjusts his armchair to watch them. After listening for a few seconds, the song starts making him fall asleep, so he goes to the door and slams it in their faces. This might be a nod to "Blackadder's Christmas Carol", where Blackadder says "Here's your present, it's a door in the face".
  • Christmas Episode: "Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean".
  • Chronically Crashed Car: The Reliant Regal, Bean's nemesis, which gets tipped over or crashed almost every time it shows up.
  • Clip Show: The Best Bits of Mr. Bean is a direct-to-video example.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mr. Bean seems to exist in his own private universe of eccentricity.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Bean occasionally demonstrates this. In the first few minutes of "Goodnight, Mr. Bean", for instance, he blocks an ambulance by parking directly in back of it, cuts in line at the hospital, grabs the last empty seat in a waiting area just ahead of an old man, mocks a wheelchair-bound patient in a neck brace by moving around in his seat and then swipes her number ticket so he can be seen ahead of her.
  • The Comically Serious: The Royal Guard in "Goodnight, Mr. Bean" doesn't move or even change his facial expression, no matter what increasingly ridiculous things Bean does to him, and it eventually comes time for him to change shifts, and he marches off with total seriousness.
  • Companion Cube: Teddy, and possibly Mr Bean's car.
  • Congruent Memory: In "Mr. Bean Goes To Town" Mr. Bean's camera is stolen by a thief. Bean manages to catch him by putting a wastebasket on his head and poking him with a pencil, but he runs off with the bin still over his head when an officer arrives. Later, in a police lineup, Mr. Bean cannot recognize any of the suspects by appearance, so he asks for bins to be put over their heads and pokes each with a pencil until he hears the same sound, picking out the thief.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In "Mind the Baby, Mr. Bean", the titular character ends up with somebody else's baby when his car's trunk opens and the knob catches on the baby's pram. After several scenes of him dealing with the baby, it starts crying inconsolably. In an effort to get it to stop crying, he ties balloon after balloon to its pram, with predictable results. He rescues it by shooting out the balloons with a bow and arrow from a carnival stall from earlier in the episode. And of course, it floats down directly in front of its panicking mother.
  • Counting Sheep: "Good Night, Mr. Bean". Bean tries to get to sleep by literally counting the sheep in a large photograph. When he gets frustrated that he keeps losing count, he counts the sheep along two adjoining sides and then multiplies the results in a calculator. After marveling at the tally, he instantly falls unconscious.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Subverted Trope. Mr. Bean does try and give CPR to a man that has suffered a heart attack, using a rolled-up magazine to avoid mouth-to-mouth contact, and having fun with the rise and fall of his chest. He revives him with the jumper cables from his car only to accidentally knock him out again, then he uses the ambulance that shows up to save him to jump his car's dead battery, disabling the ambulance.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: In "Mr. Bean Goes to Town", Bean doesn't seem to take well to another guy trying to dance with Irma in a club. Mr Bean's Diary takes it further with him actually stalking Irma and, when he discovers she has become engaged to someone else, makes plans to kill the guy.
  • Creator Cameo: Co-writer Robin Driscoll appears as minor character in several episodes.
  • Cringe Comedy: Frequently.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In the Library short, after destroying a rare tome, Mr. Bean manages to replace it with the book of another customer. This works out well... until Bean returns to retrieve his bookmark, which he put inside the damaged book.
  • Dinner Order Flub: At a fancy restaurant for his birthday, Mr Bean orders the only thing he can afford, Steak tartare, believing it is just a fancy steak. After trying and failing to eat it, the rest of the scene revolves around him trying to get rid of all the raw beef by hiding it in ludicrous ways.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Bean's schemes often collapse, with a notable case being his attempt to drive his car from the chair strapped atop it.
  • Ditzy Genius: While his social skills and personal hygiene leave a lot to be desired, Mr. Bean is an incredible driver, and his zany and outlandish schemes are often workable, if not successful.
  • Double Take: In the art class segment of "Back to School, Mr. Bean", Bean only notices the fruit still life has been swapped out for a nude model when he sees that he's drawn a smiley face on his page—the mouth being the banana from the still life and the eyes being the model's breasts.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Subverted in "Back to School, Mr. Bean." After Bean realizes his car got crushed by a tank at the end of "Back to School, Mr. Bean," he appears to be distraught, but after examining the wreckage, he finds his padlock intact, and reverts back to his usual self, indicating that that was the only part of the car he was worried about.
    • "Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean." Irma hinted very strongly that she wanted an engagement ring for Christmas by pointing at one in a shop window. Bean doesn't really get hints that well, and after Christmas dinner he proudly presents her with the picture that was sitting behind the ring in the window. Realizing he has no intention of proposing, Irma is crushed, and walks out in tears, leaving poor Mr. Bean alone, not even understanding what he did wrong.
  • Drives Like Crazy: A number of sketches take Bean's antics to the streets as he drives around in his Mini.
  • DIY Dentistry:
    • In the live-action episode "The Trouble With Mr. Bean", Bean accidentally renders his dentist unconscious and has to resort to filling his own cavity. He ends up putting paste on several teeth (due to the X-ray being readable four ways), resulting in him gluing his jaw shut. The dentist wakes up and Bean screams, thus ungluing his jaw.
    • In the animated series episode "Toothache", after bearing the pain from a loose tooth after eating popcorn, Bean tries to pull out his aching tooth such as the classic doorknob method. When the knob fell off, he tried by pushing a drawer out of the window with string attached in tooth. When that didn't work, he tried by tying that string to a tree and wait for a passing vehicle to come by, and nada. The tooth only came out when he ate popcorn again.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first episode is different from all that would follow right from the start, as it omits the usual 'falling from the sky' intro and choral theme song and instead simply begins with a subtitle and jaunty theme, though the standard intro is added on in later releases. In the exam scene, Bean speaks a couple sentences to another student that are slightly wordier and more coherent (albeit still in a funny-sounding voice) than his usual mumbling, In the same episode, he drives a red Mini instead of a green one, which he crashes during the credits, perhaps explaining why he probably gets a new Mini later on.
  • Easter Egg: In the church sketch, the vicar is speaking complete gibberish (in a satire of boring and barely coherent sermons) and is voiced by Rowan Atkinson himself.
  • Enmity with an Object: It's not clear whether Bean's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis is the never seen driver of the blue Reliant Robin or the car itself.
  • Epic Fail: The comedy of the series pretty much relies on Bean's hideous incompetence to perform the most standard of tasks.
  • Exact Words: In "Tee Off, Mr Bean," Bean is told to not touch a golf ball with his hands and to use the putter to move it instead. Sure enough, the rest of the episode involves Bean going across town attempting to retrieve the ball using only the putter.
  • Exercise Excuse: A dance variation shows up; while at church, Mr. Bean is trying to get a piece of candy that fell through a hole in his trouser pocket during the singing of a hymn. When the man sitting next to him stares at his movements, Mr. Bean pretends to be dancing to the hymn.
  • Foreign Remake: Pakistani Mr. Bean. Tired of the constant barrage of death, violence, and tragedy in his home country, a Pakistani man took on the persona of Mr. Bean so that he could get people laughing and having fun. Apparently, Rowan Atkinson himself loves it.
  • Free Wheel: Every time Mr. Bean crashes the Reliant Robin offscreen.
  • Friend to All Children: Hilariously subverted in "Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean". After getting frustrated that everything on TV is either violent or horror, Mr. Bean hears some young carolers outside his door, and greets them, turning his chair to face them and watch. However, the song starts to make him sleepy, so he gets up with his box of chocolates and nonchalantly slams the door in their faces.
  • Genius Ditz: Bean seems to have great difficulty handling everyday problems, but comes up with quite intricate and ingenious ways to navigate them. One example involves him attempting to get changed into a pair of swimming trunks in public without exposing himself. He succeeds, but it turns out the person he was so self-conscious about changing in front of was blind.
  • Genre-Busting: The Snickers ad is an absurdist comedy Wuxia parody.
  • "Getting Ready for Bed" Plot: One episode is about Bean's bedtime routine and ends with him falling asleep trying to count the sheep in the picture.
  • Girls Have Cooties: Though Irma is his girlfriend, Bean is reluctant to kiss or hold hands with her.
  • The Ghost: We never get a look at the driver of the Reliant Robin, so it isn't even clear if it's the same driver and car in each encounter with Bean.
  • A Gift for Themselves: During Mr. Bean's Birthday Episode, he is shown sending birthday cards to himself by slotting several birthday cards through his apartment door's letter-slit, and then walking into his own apartment with a feigned "surprised" look on his face at the number of cards he had received.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: In "The Curse of Mr. Bean", he falls into a pool so hard his trunks get blown off, and unfortunately, a little girl innocently picks them up and leaves with them without her parents noticing.
  • Gratuitous Latin: The theme tune. "Ecce homo qui est faba: Behold the man who is (a) bean."
  • Green Around the Gills: In "Mr. Bean in Room 426" Mr. Bean turns green after he realizes he has eaten a whole plate of bad oysters.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: In "Mr. Bean In Room 426", he has a nightmare over some rotten oysters he'd binged earlier. We get this sickening closeup of Bean holding an oyster shell up to his mouth, only for slime to spill out.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: In "Mr. Bean In Room 426", Bean gets locked out of his hotel room naked, and must get through the hotel unseen. He picks up a few signs from the hotel to cover his front and behind, though he doesn't hold into them for long.
  • Hero's Classic Car: Played for Laughs Bean's BMC Mini is a small econo-car with character, and Bean makes occasional eccentric modifications to it. Depending on your taste, it could qualify as a Cool Car.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Bean in the Snickers ad is so incompetent at parkour that he smashes through a tiled roof.
  • Hot Librarian: Mr. Bean's recurring love interest Irma Gobb, though it's only revealed she works as a librarian in the tie-in book Mr. Bean's Diary.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": Upon being specifically asked what his first name is, he simply replies "mister", until its subversion in Mr. Bean's Holiday, of course (see No Name Given below).
  • Iconic Outfit: While Bean will dress differently for certain occasions—pajamas in bed, a swimsuit at the pool—when he is normally out and about he will always be wearing a brown tweed sport coat, a thin red tie, a white shirt, and dark pants.
  • Idiot Savant: Played with, since in most circumstances he is actually competent, he merely deals with problems in an unconventional way and appears strange and idiotic to others.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode of the series includes "Mr. Bean" in its title.
  • Improbable Parking Skills: Mr Bean thrives on these.
  • Improvised Diaper: In "Mind the Baby, Mr. Bean", Bean uses a girl's teddy bear as a makeshift nappy for the baby that he accidentally kidnapped. When the mother gets the baby back, she is understandably bewildered by it.
  • Indy Hat Roll: In "Mr. Bean in Room 426", after Bean accidentally locks himself out of his hotel room naked, he finds signs to cover himself with and has to crawl underneath a long rug to get to an elevator (to avoid a couple making out). He realizes one of his signs isn't with him and tries to pull it back in by the cord, but the elevator shuts before he can do so.
  • Insomnia Episode: The last part of "Goodnight, Mr. Bean" is about Mr. Bean not being able to get to sleep. He finally succeeds at the end by Counting Sheep...with a calculator.
  • Jerkass: Throughout the series, Mr. Bean often comes off as not only bumbling and eccentric, but also mean-spirited. He's at his worst in the hospital scene in "Good Night, Mr Bean." He parks his car right behind an ambulance so they can't open their doors, throws a little girl's doll across the room and gets two men to start a fight with each other just so he can be first in line, steals a seat from an old man with a cane, mocks the woman sitting next to him who's in a bodycast and switches numbers with her, and changes the number of a little boy from 85 to 850.
  • Karma Houdini: Though he occasionally gets a small dose of Laser-Guided Karma, Bean always escapes any serious consequences for his actions.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Some victims of Mr. Bean's antics actually deserve it, such as The Bully in "Tee Off, Mr. Bean" and the man who stole his pants in "Back to School, Mr. Bean." If you actually look closely when the man took Mr. Bean's pants, you'll realize that he actually took it by purpose rather than by mistake as he warily looked at Bean when he took the pants.
  • Large Ham: Mr Bean himself can be considered a physical equivalent of this trope.
  • Laugh Track: The show includes one as a mark of its age, though it is obviously shot with a single camera.
  • Lethally Stupid: Bean can be destructive at times, though he never hurts people too seriously.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Mr. Bean is almost always attired in his trademark ensemble of dark brown trousers, white shirt, red tie, and brown tweed sportcoat.
  • Look Behind You: Mr. Bean does this on several occasions: to distract a fellow candidate in an exam so he can copy, when his girlfriend is hiding his present behind her back while she wait for him to kiss her, and to distract somebody sitting in a toilet cubicle who has mistakenly taken his trousers, so that he can reclaim them by force.
  • Manchild: Mr. Bean sleeps with a teddy bear. In the first episode, he puts two dolls on the table when he sits down to take an examination. In general he is of the more common, Fish out of Water type, although his strangeness goes beyond childlike and into the realm of truly bizarre.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: In the episode, "Back To School, Mr. Bean", rather than the wind causing this, a lady's ankle-length skirt receives a static cling to her upper body, which is caught in the skirt when it blows up, due to static electricity on a piece of paper Mr. Bean hands her to get rid of it.
  • Mister Strangenoun: The titular protagonist. There was also a Mr. Sprout in the first episode.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Mr. Bean is stripped naked in "The Curse of Mr. Bean", "Mr. Bean Goes to Town", and "Mr. Bean in Room 426". In the latter episode, this leads to him employing Hand-or-Object Underwear and then dressing in drag.
  • Naked People Trapped Outside: He locks himself out of his hotel room in "Mr. Bean in Room 426".
  • New Year Has Come: He hosts an awfully dreary party in "Do-It-Yourself Mr. Bean", which his friends escape by winding his clock forward and pretending it's already midnight.
  • Nightmare Sequence: A dream about bad oysters in "Mr. Bean in Room 426".
  • No Ending:
    • "Mr. Bean Rides Again" cuts to black at the exact moment Bean pops a barf bag filled with puke on a plane. The Movie reuses this gag, except it actually shows the immediate results.
    • "Mr. Bean in Room 426" ends with Danny La Rue angrily confronting Bean for wearing his gown and cuts to credits after the former yanks an earring from Bean's ear.
  • No Name Given: Bean is never given a first name.
    • In "Mr. Bean's Diary", there's a clipping of a report card from Bean's school years. Despite the presence of ink stains, it can be seen that his first name starts with an S.
    • Bean his passport has his surname as "Bean" and his first name as just "Mr."
    • However, in Mr. Bean's Holiday, his passport reveals it to be Rowan.
    • Bean's girlfriend is simply billed as "The Girlfriend" in her first couple appearances, although she's eventually identified as one Irma Gobb.
  • No Peripheral Vision: Literally any extra character in any episode of Mr. Bean. One would think he could do anything and get away with it, because no other character ever seems to notice anything he does unless he's directly in front of them, and, maybe not even then.
  • No Social Skills: The starting point for much of the humour—in fact, Atkinson's original concept for the character was "the most embarrassing man in the world", both to himself and to others.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Occasionally, as when Bean attempts to retrieve his trousers from the man in the bathroom stall in "Back to School, Mr. Bean" and the drill instructor walks in on them.
  • Offscreen Crash: The ending of the first episode. "The Trouble with Mr. Bean" has what could be called an Offscreen Splash.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Parodied with the intro and outro song Ecce Homo. While at first glance it seems to invoke this trope, the lyrics for the song are actually just as ridiculous as the show itself. The intro lyrics are Ecce homo qui est faba (Behold the man who is a bean), while the outro lyrics are Vale homo qui est faba (Farewell to the man who is a bean).
  • One-Person Birthday Party: In "The Return of Mr. Bean", Mr Bean goes to a restaurant on his own for his birthday, and gives himself a birthday card. This reflects his general isolation, however, since he gives himself all of his Christmas cards as well.
  • Overly Long Gag: Just before Mr. Bean takes an exam, he takes a pen out of his pocket; then a pencil, then another pen, and another, and another, and another. Then he reaches inside his jacket and takes out a whole handful of pens. Not content with this, he then produces two mascots, and an alarm clock. When the exam begins, he dithers over which pen to use; and finally, at the end of the exam when he is writing furiously, the pen in his hand stops working, so he grabs one from his neighbour, oblivious to all the other pens in front of him.
  • Pet the Dog: By Mr. Bean's standards, the scene where he encounters a busker playing saxophone, finds he doesn't have any small change on hand, and then goes so far as to start dancing nearby just so he can earn some money to tip him.
  • Police Lineup: "Mr. Bean Goes to Town" has the scene where Bean has to identify the man who tried to steal his camera in the park. When he can't figure it out by sight, he arranges for all five to be lined up with a rubbish bin on their heads, and he pokes each of them with a pen so he can identify the high-pitched noise that the thief made. It works.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Mr. Bean feels uncomfortable in the presence of nudity and the show has him disapproving not only of nude models but also nude art. So whenever he sees a nude statue or a painting of a nude he uses the closest piece of cloth or paper to hide the offending area. With the nude model, he crafts a makeshift bra out of the art studio's clay and gets it on her without his instructor noticing.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: "Wrestle Bean" in the animated series.
  • Properly Paranoid: Mr Bean often goes to ridiculous lengths to secure his property. He's right to do it. (A carjacker tries to steal his Mini only to discover that there is no steering wheel.) However, Bean habitually removing his own doorknob almost gets him caught in a paint explosion when he can't find it in the objects he's wrapped up in newspaper.
  • Reality Ensues: In "Artful Bean", Bean uses various condiments as subsitute for actual paint. This results in his painting attracting a lot of flies.
  • Removable Steering Wheel: Present in "The Trouble with Mr. Bean" and "Mr. Bean in Room 426".
  • Ring Ring Crunch: In "The Trouble With Mr. Bean", the titular character's response to his electronic alarm clock going off is to drop it into a glass of water.
  • Road Trip Episode: "Mr. Bean Rides Again" is all about Bean taking a trip first by train and then by plane, although we never do see where he was going to.
  • Running Gag:
    • When driving about, Mr. Bean is continually having unfortunate encounters with a three-wheeled blue Reliant. The Reliant often gets tipped over.
    • In "Mr Bean in Room 426", Mr. Bean turns everything he does into a competition with the man in the room next to him. He races to receive his room key before this man, races up the stairs while the neighbour uses the elevator. When choosing food for dinner, Mr. Bean takes double of everything his neighbour takes, and imitates his every gesture, including pouring water from a jug, in perfect synchronicity.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story
    • Mr. Bean in the titular episode tries to change into his swimming trunks without exposing himself in front of a man with sunglasses. After going through all that trouble, the man turns out to be blind.
    • For his birthday, Mr. Bean celebrates at a lavish restaurant but with an unpalatable steak tartare after not realizing what it meant. After a waiter trips and Bean plays off the pieces of meat he's been hiding as scattered by the accident, he's given a new table... and a fresh steak tartare.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The postie van kiddie ride in "Mind the Baby, Mr. Bean" plays the Postman Pat theme.
    • In "Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean", when Bean is playing with the Nativity figurines, he pulls out a group of toy drummers and starts humming "The British Grenadiers", which had been used in the intro to Blackadder Goes Forth. (In the same scene, he has a toy dinosaur "threaten" baby Jesus, then fights it using toy tanks and a Dalek.)
  • Shrunk in the Wash: Teddy gets shrunk in the wash in Tee Off, Mr. Bean. Of course he's back to normal again next episode.
  • Signature Team Transport: His compact Mini, which keeps coming back despite being trashed every odd episode.
  • 6 Is 9: In "Goodnight, Mr. Bean" he is waiting in a doctor's office. Bean has ticket #52. He realizes that on the digital display #25 and #52 are the same number flipped upside down, so he flips the counter over after #24 is called, causing his number to be called next by a confused receptionist.
  • Silence Is Golden: Much of the show's international success has been attributed to its reliance on physical comedy over dialogue.
    • The title character is pretty much The Voiceless in the TV show apart from some wordless grumbling, or the very occasional comment. This is averted in the first film, which climaxes with the character giving a big speech about Whistler's mother.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Bean is an inexplicable feud with a light-blue Reliant Regal, which he runs off the road practically every time he encounters it. In "Tee Off, Mr. Bean", he's hitchhiking and when the Reliant stops to offer him a lift, Bean refuses. Because the driver is never seen, Bean seems to object to the car itself.
  • Sleeping Dummy: In "Do it Yourself, Mr. Bean", he plants a dummy in a sleeping bag in front of a shop he wants to be first in line at for January sales. It's made from some balloons (which he pops in front of the stunned queue while revealing his deception) and a head of cauliflower (which he throws in the nearby rubbish bin).
  • Slippery Swimsuit: Bean loses his trunks and is horrified, but successfully avoids getting seen by the lifeguard. Then he runs into the girls' swimming team when trying to leave the pool.
  • Something Something Leonard Bernstein: Mr. Bean attends a church service, but when the time comes to sing the hymn "All Creatures of our God and King", the man next to Mr. Bean refuses to share his hymnal (due to Mr. Bean's earlier off-putting antics). Mr. Bean is left mumbling all the words along with the general tune until it gets to the one word he knows and shouts triumphantly: "ALLELUIA!" The rest of the first verse has him alternating between mumbling and "ALLELUIA!"
  • Special Guest: The late female impersonator Danny LaRue in "Mr. Bean in Room 426". Bean steals some of his drag to cover up after getting locked out of his room naked.
  • Stairs Are Faster: Parodied in "Mr. Bean in Room 426''. Another guest makes it into the elevator to head to the top floor, and the doors close just before Mr. Bean gets there. He races up the stairs to the next floor and presses the button there, so that the elevator stops; he does this on every floor.
  • Status Quo Is God: Poor Teddy gets decapitated in "Mr. Bean in Room 426", used as a paintbrush in "Do-It-Yourself, Mr. Bean", and shrunk in the wash in "Tee Off, Mr. Bean", but is back to normal at the beginning of the next episode. (On the other hand, since Teddy's look varies from episode to episode, there may be a succession of individual toys Bean uses in universe as he constantly damages poor Teddy.)
  • Stealing From Thieves: In the episode "Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean", while Mr. Bean is collecting money for a Salvation Army band he comes across a young pickpocket at work in a crowd. He forces the thief to put all of the money and goods he has stolen into the collection basket.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Bean's method of repainting his entire flat in one fell swoop basically consists of putting some fireworks into a tin of paint, lighting the fuse and running. This was actually busted by Mythbusters.
  • Take a Number: While in a hospital waiting room, Mr. Bean does a number of nasty things to get a lower number. He gets his comeuppance in the end, though.
  • Toplessness from the Back: In Back to School Mr Bean, Mr Bean is horrified by the sight of a topless model he is expected to draw. The audience only sees the model from the back.
  • Title Drop: Take a wild guess what Mr. Bean says at the end of "Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean".
  • Unknown Rival: Mr. Bean sometimes decides to "compete" at a mundane task with a random stranger.
    • In "Mr. Bean in Room 426", he starts racing with a fellow guest at check-in, trying to get to his room first. Despite doing everything in a mad rush (including copying the other man's answer when filling in the guest book), Bean gets his key stuck in the lock and loses the "race", with the other man oblivious to what he was even trying to do. The next day, Bean stages another contest at breakfast, taking double portions of everything the man takes and eating them twice as fast. This is what leads to Mr. Bean guzzling an entire platter of spoiled oysters while the other guest, taking his time, realizes they are off and sends them back. Amusingly, Bean's resulting Acid Reflux Nightmare depicts the other guest laughing at Bean and offering the oysters, because it was clearly his fault Bean ate them.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: It's a bit complicated. On occasion he can be casually cruel, as when he torments the calligrapher in "Back to School, Mr. Bean." On the whole, however, his misdeeds are the result of childish selfishness, curiosity, or misunderstanding, and when Laser-Guided Karma catches up with him it's hard not to feel bad for him.
  • Vacation Episode: "Mr. Bean in Room 426". Also, both movies feature this, each taking Mr. Bean to a different country.
  • Vertigo Effect: Used in "Mr. Bean in Room 426", when he realizes he's just consumed a bunch of rotten oysters.
  • Video Inside, Film Outside: Not totally consistent, as some inside scenes are shot with film when on location, but it's fairly obvious when one is used versus the other.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: A variation. When Bean tries to entertain an airsick boy during a flight, he looks for a bag to pop. When his back is turned looking for one, the boy vomits into one of the plane's barf bags. Bean then turns around and takes it, thinking it's empty, blows it up, and the episode cuts to black right as we hear the bag pop.
  • Wake Up Fighting: After Mr. Bean falls asleep on the floor in the church sketch, he suddenly wakes up, runs around a bit panicked and confused and briefly strangles a bewildered Mr. Sprout who was sitting nearby.
  • Zany Scheme: A lot of the humour comes from the fact that Bean approaches the same problems as everyone else using his own improvised plans along these lines. And quite often, they work.

"Vale homo qui est faba" translation: 

Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Mr Bean


Mr. Bean

Mr. Bean loses his swimsuit.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / SlipperySwimsuit

Media sources:

Main / SlipperySwimsuit