Bunsen Is a Beast is an American animated children's television series on Nickelodeon, the fourth to be created by Butch Hartman, after The Fairly OddParents!, Danny Phantom, and T.U.F.F. Puppy. The series was previewed on Nickelodeon on January 16, 2017, and premiered on February 21, 2017. It is the 38th cartoon in the Nicktoons brand.
Bunsen Is a Beast centers around a beast named Bunsen, who is the first beast in Muckledunk Middle School, and Mikey Munroe, his human friend. However, a girl named Amanda Killman wants Bunsen gone so that his kind will not increase on earth. Together, the duo try to navigate through school life.
The show ended roughly one year later on February 10, 2018, after only one season due to Butch Hartman's retirement from Nickelodeon.
Tropes pertaining to the series:
- Adorkable: Unlike Amanda, Mikey is open to a lot of Bunsen's world and is excited to take part in it.
- The title character Bunsen can also count for some people.
- Alliterative Name: Mikey Munroe, Sophie Sanders, Fuzzy Fred Friendly, and obviously Bunsen the Beast.
- All-Loving Hero:
- Bunsen. He loves all humans.
- Mikey, who is a human who wants Bunsen to be safe and happy.
- All Women Are Lustful: Amanda constantly admits "I like it!" around police cars, being stuck in army tanks, and while being in the boys' locker room.
- Some of it is targeted at Mikey in particular, calling him scrumptious, saying a lamp (he is disguised as) is attractive, liking him in gym shorts, liking him with a tan, promising to marry him (in an alternate timeline), etc.
- Ambiguously Brown: Sophie Sanders, who may have some indeterminate Asian ancestry.
- Darcy is also darker than Mikey and Amanda and she has purple hair to boot.
- Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: in Braces for Disaster. Mikey "that sound attracts minks! Bunsen, are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Bunsen "Yes! If I had soup-eating eyes, I could use them to cook the mini-wieners!"
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "By Hook or By Schnook", when Mikey and Bunsen go on a treasure hunt, Bob and Ken, the newscasters, issue the following breaking news bulletin:Bob: Thanks to two reckless treasure hunters named Mikey and Bunsen, Muckledunk is in total mayhem: Buildings have sunk, the streets are flooded, and an angry panda is terrorizing a teenager with terrible fashion sense.
Julian: It's hard to run in socks and sandals!
- The Bad Girl Wins: At the end of "Wilda Beast", when Mikey and Bunsen are participating at a monster school, Amanda Killman does a Tarzan swing and yell, kicking Wilda's jealous ex-boyfriend Jeremy in the face, and Amanda dances the rest of the night with Mikey in her grip.
- Berserk Button: Tangelos for Bunsen. It's not that he hates the taste, he just hates that they aren't oranges despite looking like them.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Amanda and Denzel Crocker in "Beast of Friends".
- Bullying a Dragon In "Bearly Acceptable Behavior", Amanda deliberately tries to provoke a bear Bunsen brought into class into attacking her so that Bunsen will be expelled.
- Camping Episode: "Unhappy Campers".
- Clear My Name: Mikey and Bunsen have to do this for Commander Cone in "The Case of the Cold Case", when Amanda frames him for stealing her phone case.
- Continuity Nod: "Commander Cone, remember us?" In Astro-Nuts. They had met him in a previous episode.
- Crossover: Received one with The Fairly Oddparents almost right out of the gate. Apparently, Bunsen and Cosmo are good buddies.
- Does Not Like Spam: Bunsen does not like frozen yogurt.
- Episode Title Card: Every episode has one, preceding is the phrase "Bunsen Is A Beast in:" followed by the name. Every episode ends with the same title card, but with the show's name in its place.
- Fantastic Racism: Bunsen is a victim of this, especially from Amanda's part, who is constantly scheming to get rid and wants that his kind suffers from extinction.
- Fictional Holiday: Beastgiving.
- Forgetful Jones: The teacher constantly admits she forgets she is a teacher... during class. She thought she was a horse on the camping trip
- Friend or Idol Decision: In "Friend or Phony", Mikey and Bunsen go on the "Friend or Phony" game show hosted by Fuzzy Fred Friendly to see how much they know about each other. As the rounds progress, Mikey's and Bunsen's team wins a brand new speedboat, a lifetime supply of tacos, and a pair of jetpacks, with a catch: the prizes can't be shared but must be awarded to one friend. As the show progresses, Mikey and Bunsen have a heated discussion when Mikey chooses the speedboat, Bunsen takes the tacos, and when Bunsen calls dibs on the jetpacks, they are just about to break up, when Mikey and Bunsen decide that their friendship is more important than any prizes, with Fred being so moved by their declaration of friendship he gives each of them a speedboat, lifetime supply of tacos, and pairs of jetpacks.
Sophie: Okay, Brandon's great and all, but enough is enough! You're going to have to choose between him and me.
- In "Beauty or the Beast", Sophie Sanders, who is fed up with Bunsen frequently popping up on their date, asks Mikey to choose between Bunsen (whom she frequently misnames Brandon) or her:
Mikey: But— but, Sophie, you're the girl of my dreams, but Bunsen is my best friend ever! How can I choose?
Bunsen: Mikey, you don't have to choose.
Mikey: Oh no, you overheard that?
Bunsen: Well, I do have 17 ears. Mikey, you've had a crush on Sophie since forever. I'd hate myself if I ruined that for you.
Mikey: I... I don't know what to say.
Bunsen: I'll be okay, buddy. I've got my invisible dog, my mean toilet, and the weird trolls who are always trying to get girls into their basement kingdom. I'll just sit here with my weird friends and... sip my snotty lemonade.
Mikey: Wait, this is crazy!
Sophie: I know, like, who drinks snotty lemonade?
Mikey: Sophie, you're awesome. But if you're making me choose between you and Bunsen... well, then I have to pick my best friend... (Mikey breaks down into tears) even though he's not super pretty, and doesn't smell like a beautiful field of spring flowers, so... I guess it's over between us— I mean, marry me!— I mean it's over!
Sophie: Mikey, I'm like... really touched. You're a super loyal friend; it was wrong to make you choose. There's no reason I can't have a boyfriend who has a best friend.
Mikey [Sophie kisses him]: Really? Oh, I've never been so happy! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! [Mikey faints to the floor]
- General Ripper: General Lance Justice. Though unlike Amanda, he wants to fight a giant, vicious beast. Not a fuzzy ball of cute like Bunsen.
- Halloween Episode: Mikey tries to keep his winning streak for getting the most candy. It's Bunsen's first Halloween. Amanda and her unwilling sidekick plot to steal all candy from Munkledunk's kids (apparently an annual tradition for her). And homeschooled Darcy participates in her own peculiar Harvest Nacht tradition.
- Hiccup Hijinks: "Eyes On The Pies", for Bunsen. Combined with Malfunction Malady: for Bunsen, the hiccups cause progressive memory loss, which reverses when the hiccups stop or are cured.
- Homeschooled Kids: Darcy. Whose entire house appears to be a school.
- Humanity Ensues: Happens to Bunsen in the episode "Handsome Beast" after he eats a can of fancy body spray.
- It Makes Sense in Context: Relies on this trope all the time.
- Lance Justice. Who is just at home hanging out with school kids all day as he is driving a tank.
- Commander Cone. Same.
- Number of the Beast: Parodied in "Body and the Beast" where each of Amanda's makeovers for her class photo cost her $667. Also referenced in Hall of Justice and others.
- Organ Autonomy: Beast teeth are animate and each have their own personalities when they fall out.
- Panda-ing to the Audience: When Mikey and Bunsen are on a treasure hunt in "By Hook or By Schnook", they dig a tunnel to China, where their singing wakes up a giant panda, who is not happy about it, and runs wild in Muckledunk.
- Physical Fitness Punishment: In the episode Cookie Monster, Amanda orders Beverly to do 10 pushups as punishment for the stupid suggestion of caramel apples for lunch after Amanda had just said her braces prevent hard foods and sticky foods.
- Real Men Wear Pink: General Justice of all people collects glass baby unicorns.
- Right-Hand Cat: Amanda acquires one midway into season 1.
- Rule of Three: Students who ditch school three times get expelled, as proven in Bunsen Screams For Ice Cream.
- Running Gag: At least one per episode.
- Secret Test of Character: In "Friend or Phony", Mikey and Bunsen grow suspicious of each other when the rules state that only one of the contestants can have the prize per round. Mikey calls dibs on the boat, and Bunsen calls dibs on the tacos and jetpacks. Fuzzy Fred Friendly thinks that Mikey and Bunsen aren't really friends, which prompts Mikey and Bunsen to tell Fred that he can keep the prizes so their friendship doesn't come to an end, and Fuzzy Fred reveals that the final round was a test of friendship, with Mikey and Bunsen each both getting their own speedboats, lifetime supply of tacos, and pairs of jetpacks.
- Shout-Out: In "Beast in Show", the poster for Saucy Sally's Spicy Salsa & Cinnamon Sausage Dog treats features two other Butch Hartman franchise characters: Dudley Puppy from T.U.F.F. Puppy, and Sparky from The Fairly OddParents!.
- Side Bar: invoked by Mikey twice in Braces for Disaster when doing a Huddle Shot with Bunsen: "may we have a moment to discuss your proposition? Sidebar!" .. "Let's pick a topic. Sidebar!"
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Amanda is beaten, attacked, and victim to her own schemes almost once a scene.
- Space Episode: "Astro-Nots".
- Spelling Bee: "Spelling Beast".
- Technicolor Eyes: A rather major example as some characters eyes are colored while others are simply black circles, Mikey and Amanda for example.
- Third Wheel: Bunsen, who tags along on the date he arranges for Mikey, Sophie, and himself in "Beauty or the Beast". Ironically, part of the date night involves dessert at a restaurant called "The Third Wheel".
- Too Kinky to Torture: Whenever Amanda is arrested, she lustfully admits she likes it.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Tacos for Mikey and Bunsen.
- Treasure Hunt Episode: "By Hook or By Schnook", where Amanda sends Mikey and Bunsen on a wild goose chase with a place-mat nap from a pirate-themed restaurant.
- Yellow Sash of Power: "Hall Of Justice".