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"I will auction you right outta here! I wanna be a bee!"

Bee Movie is a 2007 CGI animated feature film produced by DreamWorks Animation and co-written by and starring Jerry Seinfeld. Barry B. Benson (Seinfeld), a bee who has just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry is rescued by Vanessa Bloome (Renée Zellweger), a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, Barry discovers that humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue us.

Yep, that's the entire movie.


This film contains examples of:

  • Acoustic License: There are numerous cases when you have to wonder how is it possible that everyone can hear a tiny bee crystal clear, no matter the distance. It gets especially stupid during Barry's speeches in the court, where he doesn't use a microphone or anything like that, and yet everyone can perfectly hear him.
    • And on a related note, when Barry gets promoted to a Pollen Jockey and puts on his new uniform, Vanessa can perfectly see it. Despite Barry standing on top of a plane's wing and Vanessa standing probably a good distance away.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In the trial scene, Barry makes a pun about Ray Liotta being a "bad fella". Oddly enough, he also directly congratulates Liotta on winning an Emmy for a guest spot on ER in 2005. Liotta is even holding and displaying said Emmy as he's on the stand.
    • Jerry Seinfeld's character Barry B. Benson alludes to his first major acting role in a bit part on Benson.
    • Patrick Warburton plays the lead female's boyfriend in a work starring Jerry Seinfeld. This applies to both here as Ken and Seinfeld as David Puddy in the last few seasons.
    • Renée Zellweger would voice the love interest for a yellow animal (who has a strong resemblance to the celebrity voicing him) as she did in Shark Tale.
  • Advertisement:
  • Alliterative Name: Barry B. Benson.
  • Alphabet News Network: BeeNN is spoofing the most well-known real-life example, CNN.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • A bee stinging a man and surviving by replacing the stinger with a plastic sword, and the whole bit about pollination; the moment the bees stop pollinating, every plant dies despite the fact that pollination would only stop new flowers from being made, and plants would live as normal (especially obvious with the trees that would still live for years), and the pollen being reintroduced bringing them all back to life. Also, it is impossible to pollinate most flowers with pollen from other species.
    • Even if the bees stop, there's still the hummingbirds/butterflies/etc to pollinate as well. Losing every bee would be catastrophic (especially for farming), but bees don't have dibs on all pollination. In fact, many species don't even need animals at all, relying on the wind alone for pollination, and would be perfectly fine and ordinary.
    • Sting (the singer) gets arrested for his stage name since it's a bee-thing. Sorry, but the wasps, bumblebees, mud daubers, yellow jackets, stingrays, hornets, scorpions, platypi, and jellyfish would like to have a word.
      • Not to mention it has connotations outside of the animal kingdom.
      • Especially baffling as the name "Sting" is actually trademarked to professional wrestler Steve Borden, who has the Animal Motif of a scorpion.
  • As Himself: Larry King plays Bee Larry King.
    Barry: You know there's a Larry King in the Human world too!
  • Bathroom Brawl: Ken attacks Barry in Vanessa's bathroom and she breaks up with him for it.
  • Beehive Hairdo: As a sort of Visual Pun, all the female bees seen have fifties-style hair that's puffed on top and curled at the sides.
  • Big Applesauce: All the plant life in the world is saved—once Central Park is restored, first.
  • The Cameo: Vincent the bear from Over the Hedge makes a brief appearance during the courtroom trial, albeit with brown fur instead of the black fur he had before.
  • Courtroom Antic:
    • While waiting for the Smoking Gun to arrive, Adam stalls by teaching the jury how to make paper boats.
    • Barry brings a live and aggressive bear into the courtroom as a Demonstrative. Needless to say, no court would allow such a thing.
  • Dark Parody: At one point, Winnie-the-Pooh gets shot with a sleeping dart and kidnapped.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: "Well, I was already a blood-sucking parasite! All I needed was a briefcase!"
  • Fantastic Aesop: The first acts seem to be preaching an aesop against human exploitation of animals, but then flips the message around in the ending act. It's okay to eat honey as long as it comes from sapient bees that give you permission.
  • Fantasy Twist: Barry's daydream about Vanessa and himself having a romantic picnic together ends abruptly as Vanessa pilots a yellow and black ultralight to fly with him, then crashes and burns when she tries to duplicate an aviation feat only bees can accomplish.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Successfully advocating for a cause might actually make things worse, especially if you don't do the proper research about what you're advocating for or against in the first place.
  • Hollywood Law: The whole "sue humanity because they're stealing honey from bees" is done in a way that doesn't work. Apart from all the "they're just animals" issues being done away with (legally, bees are chattel, owned by humans who are legally permitted to reap their produce), there's enough to fill a video:
    • Right out of the gate, Barry's trying to sue the entire human race. Which is impossible. To sue a party in court, they have to be a recognizable entity that can be sued, an individual, a corporation. In real life, if someone tried to file this lawsuit, it would be handled by the courts the same way the courts handle individuals who try to sue God or name God as a party: they would just dismiss the case out of hand because there's no way to properly notify the human race because the human race doesn't have a fixed address to accept service of the lawsuit, or they would just let the case go into default, and the propounding party (the bees) wins because the other party didn't respond. But there's no way to recover winnings from the human race, so it's just a Pyrrhic Victory in either case.note 
    • Not just that but they're going after "all of humanity" - THE REST OF THE WORLD. Countries like China, the United Kingdom, any nation in Africa, and North Korea (the lattermost being completely hostile to the United States) are not going to stop honey production because ONE court case in the United States, and not even the Supreme Court, ruled in favor of bees.
    • A florist cannot help sue another party in court. Vanessa is engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. She also doesn't properly handle the letter that starts the lawsuit (you or a process server have to personally go down to the courthouse to file the suit, you can't just stick in the mail), and it's also addressed to the "Superior Court of New York," when the civil court in New York State is the Supreme Courtnote .
    • By the start of trial, the bees have rolled back the lawsuit to just suing five honey manufacturers. Still, the lawsuit should be tossed out by this point for other reasons. Now Barry Benson is trying to do a class action lawsuit, where a few representative plaintiffs claim that they are representative of a larger class of people, and as a result, they claim that they should be able to prosecute the lawsuit on behalf of all of those people who are similarly affected. Going with the federal definition of a class action lawsuit, there are some requirements you have to meet before you're able to proceed further per Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires:
      • 1) An adequate class definition. (They've defined the class as all bees. Not all of whom have had their honey taken)
      • 2) That the class be ascertainable. (There are billions, if not trillions of bees out there, and there is no way to identify the individually affected bees)
      • 3) That there must be numerosity, in other words, a lot of people. (This is the only criterion met)
      • 4) There must be commonality amongst all of the class members. (Different bees are treated differently by the honey manufacturing companies)
      • 5) There must be typicality between the representative plaintiffs and the class members. (Barry Benson's hive isn't a commercial one for honey harvesting, and thus Barry isn't typical of the bees affected)
      • 6) Adequacy of counsel. (Barry's not even a lawyer, so he can't even proceed with this proceeding, let alone adequately represent the actual class members that he's trying to move forward with.)
      • 7) Some other requirements (that are also not met for the above reasons)
    • This lawsuit goes straight to trial rather quickly, completely ignoring the years of pretrial discovery and motion practice that would have to happen first.
    • When the defense presents their opening statements and case before the plaintiff does (when the plaintiff outlines what the matters in contention are), there's an obvious logical, let alone legal, problem:
      • Montgomery goes straight from counsel table directly into the well of the court, and then goes straight at the jury. Judges and juries really hate it when lawyers invade the personal space of the jury, and if you are aggressive about it, the bailiff will tackle you. His opening statement is also completely improper argument that should be stricken from the record.
      • Same goes for Barry. Sorry, Barry, you don't get to fly straight from counsel table directly to the ledge in front of the jury and then give your opening statement. You're invading the personal space of the jury.
    • During the direct examination of Mr. Klauss Vanderhayden of Honey Farms and Barry's questions about why he uses honey jars shaped like bears, the opposing counsel really should've been objecting for relevance repeatedly.
      • To demonstrate how the bear as the shape of a honey jar is offensive ("BEARS KILL BEES"), Barry has a muzzled grizzly bear brought into the courtroom. In addition to being completely irrelevant to the court proceedings, it goes without saying that when you bring a demonstrative into court, it cannot be a lethal animal, or probably any animal at all except for service dogs.
    • During Montgomery's effort to grill Barry about his relation with Vanessa, people and bees should be interrupting with "Objection, relevance" and "objection, argumentative".
    • One of the reasons we have a legal system in the first place is so that we don't have to rely on violence to solve our problems. Yet, Adam, as bee co-counsel, gives in to his aggression and attacks the opposing counsel with his venomous stinger. He should be disbarred for that. And there is absolutely no way that he would be allowed to sit at counsel table anymore. He would be arrested, and the judge would probably have to declare a mistrial because of the outburst that occurred, because it's not fair to either party to have to proceed with a tainted jury as a result of Adam's bad conduct in assaulting the opposing counsel.
    • The court case is done in a courtroom in New York City, rather than the Supreme Court of the United States which is in the district of Columbia, which borders Virginia and Maryland, not the state of New York. Ergo, any patent rights the bees are granted wouldn't be applied to the rest of the United States, let alone the other nations in North America, Canada and Mexico.
    • The way the judge up and decides the case is also a major stretch. The judge cannot decide in the middle of the court case to just grant the verdict in favor of the plaintiffs. This would be overturned on appeal immediately because the defendants have been denied their due process.
    • The settlement demands:
      • When you win a lawsuit, generally you are entitled to monetary compensation. You can sometimes be rewarded with actual physical property that you feel you are entitled to, per specific performance. But that's primarily seen in real estate cases. If it's possible to give financial compensation, the court almost always will give financial compensation. And there's no reason that the bees couldn't be given financial compensation instead of a return of all of the honey.note  On top of that, all of the things that they are getting in this potential settlement would never be given by the court.
      • "We will no longer tolerate derogatory bee-negative nicknames" probably violates the First Amendment right to free speech.
      • We see federal agents seizing honey from a woman on the street using it as a tea sweetener. There's no reason why an injunction would be granted to prevent people from using honey that's already in the stream of commerce.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters
    • Especially jarring with the two guys who seem to work at the honey plant just because they enjoy sadistically torturing bees.
      • It might just be those guys, to be honest, but those are the only two workers Barry sees, which might contribute to the whole thing.
  • I Love the Smell of X in the Morning: When Ken attacks Barry in the bathroom, he sprays him with perfume spray
    Barry: I love the smell of flowers!
    Ken: Oh, yeah? How do you like the smell of FLAMES?! (holds up a lighter in front of the perfume spray)
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Barry is just Jerry Seinfeld with wings and stripes.
    • Also, Ray Liotta and Sting both appear as themselves. The primary purpose of Bee Larry King's one scene interviewing Barry on BeeNN is lampshading his similarity to the human version.
  • Insect Gender-Bender
    • Male mosquitoes don't drink blood (and females only drink it so they can get the protein to make eggs)
    • Male bees don't sting. The stinger is a modified ovipositor that only female worker bees have.
      • On top of that, there's no such thing as a male worker. In a beehive (as well as an anthill and a wasp's nest), all of the grunt work is done by infertile females. This includes pollinating, which the movie shows male bees doing. Really, the only purpose of a male bee in real life is to mate with the queen, then die.
  • Interspecies Romance: Barry and Vanessa. Not to mention Barry's uncle and the cricket in San Antonio.
  • Jerk Jock: Averted. Early in the movie there's a scene where it looks like the pollen jockeys are going to turn out to be like this, inviting Barry along on their next scheduled nectar run to mess with him, but when he actually shows up, they're perfectly happy to show him the ropes and are quite personable about the whole thing.
    • Perhaps played straight with the Patrick Warburton character, though, given how he's played as an antagonist and is a tennis player.
  • Just Plane Wrong: Aside from everything else that's obviously wrong with the entire scene, Vanessa is shown pulling the landing gear handle to shut down the plane's engines.
  • Kissing Cousins: In the beginning, Adam makes a comment about a girl next to them being hot. Only to learn from Barry she's his cousin.
    Adam: Hey, Barry. Do you think that girl's hot?
    Barry: What are you talking about? That's my cousin.
  • Large Ham:
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Pooh and Piglet appear in one scene, with Piglet wearing a green sweater instead of magenta.
  • Logo Joke: The boy in the film's DreamWorks logo is distracted by Barry as he's floating up to the moon with balloons. He ends up falling back to the ground while Barry sits on the moon in his place and lets out a chuckle.
  • Make the Dog Testify: The courts don't bother making sure the bees can speak before allowing them to sue humanity.
  • Meaningful Name: A florist named Vanessa Bloome (Bloom). As well as a bee named Barry B. Benson.
  • Mistaken for Romance: Barry and Vanessa's friendship is easily mistaken for romance by her ex-boyfriend Ken and Adam.
  • Mouse World: Inside a beehive is a fully functioning multi-level metropolis.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Deliberately. Barry has a swordfight with a shelfstocker wielding a pushpin.
  • Newscaster Cameo: NPR's Carl Kasell As Himself.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: To quote Mr. Montgomery after Benson won the lawsuit, "This is an unholy perversion of the balance of nature, Benson! You'll regret this." Turns out that now that the bees were put out of the job due to the honey being "brought back" to them, the pollination halted and the plant life was slowly dying out, with the rest of the food chain about to follow soon.
  • Parental Bonus:
    • Crickets make their characteristic noise by rubbing their legs together. THAT is the "innocent" interpretation.
    • Mr. Montgomery interrogating Barry if he lives with Vanessa and if he's her "little bedbug."
    • When giving his final statement in court, Barry asks "is this what nature intended for us? To live out our lives as honey slaves to the white man!", while the scene cuts to Montgomery's four lawyers, one of whom is black (this person then awkwardly shifts his chair away from the others).
    • "Shack up with a grasshopper". It can mean just being roommates, but...
    • The discussion between Barry and Adam about who the girl Barry met is. Apparently, spiders are thought of as very hot due to having eight legs.
  • Playing Games at Work: The director of the Honex Industries can be seen playing a hexagon-shaped Solitaire at his computer during Barry's motivational speech at the end. Justified in that at the time, the honey production was shut off and the bees had nothing to do.
  • Pun-Based Title: It's rumored that the title began as a joke Jerry Seinfeld made to Steven Spielberg, who pointed him to Jeff Katzenberg to make it into a movie.note 
  • Science Marches On: At the time, we actually didn't know how bees flew. Since the movie came out, however, we've figured out. Turns out wings need to flex, like bee wings do, and you can't just use a pair of rigid boards as wings.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: It is Seinfeld as a bee.
    Vanessa: (Looking down at two unconscious pilots) What happened here?
    Barry: I tried to talk to them! But then there was a Dustbuster, a toupee, a life raft exploded! Now, one's bald, one's in a boat, and they're both unconscious!
  • Serious Business: The montage where the honey is reclaimed. The ATHF holds a little old woman stirring honey into her tea at gunpoint.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Barry B. Benson is named in honor of Jerry Seinfeld's first television role in a guest spot, playing a character named Barry on an episode of Benson.
    • "Turn your key sir!" from the movie WarGames, a film that Matthew Broderick (who voiced Adam) starred in.
  • Shown Their Work: It's clear the company did a fair amount of research, then overruled it in favor of the Rule of Funny.
  • Slap Yourself Awake: Vanessa stabs the back of her hand with a fork to wake herself up when Barry talks to her for the first time. It hurt a lot.
  • Smoking Gun: Used literally. Barry shows up with a smoke gun used to calm down honeybees. Bees win the case against humans.
  • Tagline: At least two, displayed on official posters - "Hold on to your honey" and "Honey just got funny".
  • Take That!: When Vanessa complains to Barry that she doesn't know how to land a plane, he replies:
    Barry: Didn't you say John Travolta was a pilot?
    Vanessa: Yeah...
    Barry: How hard could it be?!?!
  • Wearing It All Wrong: Exploited when Ken puts winter boots on his hands to try and kill Barry with.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Ken disappears from the plot following his confrontation with Barry, though he returns for a moment at the end to express his frustration at Barry "living his life", and Mr. Montgomery disappears from the plot after Barry wins the trial.

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Video Example(s):


Bee Larry King

The Late Great Larry King, makes a cameo in the film as Bee Larry King. The Bee counterpart to the human Larry King.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / AsHimself

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Main / AsHimself