Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Bunsen Is a Beast

Go To
Bunsen Is a Beast!note 

"Not a bear and not a yeti
Many hands to eat spaghetti
Hole in head that shoots confetti
Bunsen Is a Beast!"

Bunsen Is a Beast is the fourth Nicktoon 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, followed by its official premiere on February 21, 2017.

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:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Sophie misnames Bunsen as Brandon in "Beauty or the Beast".
  • 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.
  • 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 Guy 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.
  • Babysitting Episode: "Adventures in Beastysitting" has Mikey and Bunsen look after a baby beast while trying to return the little guy to his parents.
  • Bad Santa: "Beast Busters" shows that one of Amanda's prized possessions is a picture of her sitting on the lap of Anti-Claus, an evil Santa who presumably gives presents to naughty children.
  • Banana Peel: Amanda slips on a lot of banana peels in "Remote Outta Control".
  • 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".
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: "Bunsen Saves Christmas" reveals the Abominable Snowman to be Bunsen's cousin Bob.
  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: Muckeldunk newscaster Bob calls Amanda a big meanie-head in "Network Newbs".
  • Bigot with a Crush: In spite of her hatred of beasts, Amanda Killman is shown to be attracted to the beasts Phlegm Hocker and Sweet Teeth in "Beast Halloween Ever".
  • Blind Mistake: In "By Hook or By Schnook", Captain Schnook makes a lot of vision-related blunders due to wearing two eyepatches.
  • 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.
  • Chirping Crickets: "Network Newbs" has the sound of cricket chirping heard when Bob and Ken ask if anyone wants Amanda to get her own news segment, followed by a shot showing that there is an actual cricket among the audience.
  • Christmas Episode: "Bunsen Saves Christmas", where Mikey and Bunsen have to save Christmas after Amanda takes over the North Pole.
  • Clear Their Name: Mikey and Bunsen have to prove Commander Cone's innocence in "The Case of the Cold Case", when Amanda frames him for stealing her phone case.
  • Company Cross References: "Beast Halloween Ever" shows Sweet Teeth flipping through channels on his television, one of the shows glimpsed being a parody of fellow Butch Hartman-created Nicktoon T.U.F.F. Puppy titled Fudge Puppy, the main character of which bears a strong resemblance to Dudley Puppy.
  • Continuity Nod: "Commander Cone, remember us?" In Astro-Nuts. They had met him in a previous episode.
  • Crossover:
    • Not long after the show premiered, Bunsen appeared at the end of the promotional short Fairly Odd Phantom, a crossover with the other Nicktoons created by Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents!, Danny Phantom and T.U.F.F. Puppy).
    • Another crossover with The Fairly OddParents occurs in the episode "Beast of Friends", where the main characters of the two respective series visit each other's universes due to Bunsen recently becoming friends with Cosmo.
  • Dartboard of Hate: Amanda throws a sharpened pencil at Bunsen's picture taped to a dartboard in "Happy Beastgiving".
  • Delivery Stork: "Adventures in Beastysitting" establishes that baby beasts are delivered to their parents by Monstorks.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: "Wilda Beast" has the beasts at Beastville Middle School dancing to an instrumental version of the show's theme song.
  • Digging to China: Mikey and Bunsen dig their way to China in "By Hook or By Schnook".
  • Dirty Kid: 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.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Bunsen does not like frozen yogurt which elicits a bad reaction from him. He also isn't terribly fond of tangelos.
  • 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, as the last line of the theme song is sung.
  • 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: There is a holiday that is part of beast culture called Beastgiving. While the name is similar to Thanksgiving, in practice the holiday is more like Christmas, as Bunsen celebrates the holiday by breaking into people's houses and leaving them the gifts he knows they've always wanted.
  • 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.
    • 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:
    Sophie: Okay, Brandon's great and all, but enough is enough! You're going to have to choose between him and me.
    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]
  • Fun with Acronyms: "Amanda Gets Schooled" has the plot revolve around a test called Preparatory Overview Of Pupils, with the episode milking the obvious joke for all its worth.
  • General Ripper: General Lance Justice. Though unlike Amanda, he wants to fight a giant, vicious beast. Not a fuzzy ball of cute like Bunsen.
  • Goo Goo Get Up:
    • "Hug it Out-ch" has Bunsen's dad mistaken by Darcy for a giant doll at Bunsen's yard sale. At the end of the episode, he is seen running from Darcy while wearing a bonnet.
    Bunsen's Dad: Stop trying to burp me, weird little girl!
    • "Beast Halloween Ever" has Bunsen go as a baby for Halloween.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Amanda Killman is sometimes subjected to disgusting close-ups.
    • "Bromeo and Juliet" shows a disturbingly detailed close-up of Amanda's puckered up lips when Mikey freaks out at almost kissing her while he was fantasizing about kissing Sophie.
    • "Bunsen Saves Christmas" features another unsettling close-up of Amanda Killman's lips when she tries to kiss Mikey under the mistletoe.
    • "Beastie Besties" shows a close-up of Amanda's bloodshot eye when she complains about her chronic dry eye syndrome.
    • Yet another grotesquely detailed close-up of Amanda's lips is shown near the end of "Wilda Beast".
  • Halloween Episode: "Beast Halloween Ever", where it is Bunsen's first Halloween, Mikey tries to keep his winning streak for getting the most candy, Amanda and her unwilling sidekick Beverly 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 in hopes of getting the Gnome King to make it rain candy.
  • 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 is home-schooled and frequently tags along with Bunsen and Mikey due to her form of education depriving her of opportunities to make friends. Funnily enough, her entire house appears to be a school.
  • Humanity Ensues: Bunsen becomes human in the episode "Handsome Beast" after he eats a can of fancy body spray.
  • Interspecies Romance: "Guinea Some Lovin'" has Bunsen fall in love with a guinea pig, which Darcy shows her approval of by showing photographs of other interspecies couples on her phone (a rooster playing guitar for a horse, a fish and a tiger sharing a spaghetti dinner and a macaroni penguin marrying a monitor lizard).
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Relies on this trope all the time.
  • Joke of the Butt:
    • During the ritual to make her nicer in "Beastie Besties", Amanda comments that her tushy is feeling less clenched.
    • "By Hook or By Schnook" has some jokes about the double meaning of "booty". Bunsen initially takes the claim of Captain Schnook burying his booty to mean he buried his butt, afterwards Amanda yells at him that pirate booty means treasure. Later, Bunsen sings a brief ditty where he talks about the distinction between the homonyms and we see a close-up of his derriere.
    • "Remote Outta Control" has the home security system Darcy sells Amanda come with a fanny scan, which determines whether or not to allow a person in after scanning their rear end.
  • Left the Background Music On: "Bad Chair Day" has a gag where a somber violin theme turns out to be Darcy playing the violin while near the separate buses Mikey and Bunsen are riding on.
  • Manchild:
    • Lance Justice behaves like a child a lot of the time.
    • Commander Cone comes off as immature due to not handling his breakup well.
    • Muckledunk's newscasters Bob and Ken are frequently shown to be childlike, to the point that the Christmas Episode has the head elf stress the importance of giving presents to them as well as the children of Muckledunk (and their respective presents asked for are a monkey and a flashlight so that Ken can stay up past his bedtime reading comics under the covers).
  • Merit Badges for Everything: Mikey mentions in "Amanda Gets Schooled" that he got a merit badge for helping his grandmother get out of the bathtub.
  • Mirror-Cracking Ugly: Amanda Killman demonstrates the gag of a mirror cracking after she looks at her reflection in "Amanda Gets Schooled".
  • Multiple Head Case: "Wilda Beast" features a two-headed beast arguing with himself at the Beastville Middle School dance.
  • Non Sequitur Causality: In "Beastern Standard Time", Mikey finds out that fiddling with Bunsen's internal clock will enable them to go back in time, so they scheme to use time travel so they'd be at school before the bell rings and Bunsen would therefore be at school on time and not have a third strike in tardiness prevent him from getting to enjoy Donut Day. They go a little too far back and find themselves in prehistoric times, where Mikey's donut gets the attention of a caveboy and Mikey has to give his donut to the little troglodyte to get him off his back. After returning to the present, they discover that Muckledunk has become a donut-themed town called Donut Dunk, a change they approve of until they learn that their meddling with the past has also resulted in Amanda becoming ruler of the town. This prompts them to go back to the prehistoric era once more and fix the timeline by replacing the donut that was given to the caveboy with an apple.
  • 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.
  • One-Steve Limit: The show has two characters named Bob, one of the recurring pair of Muckledunk newscasters and Bunsen's cousin from the Christmas Episode (who is the Abominable Snowman).
  • One-Word Vocabulary: Sweet Teeth in "Beast Halloween Ever" is unable to say anything besides "candy". Somehow, this doesn't prevent the other characters from understanding him.
  • Organ Autonomy: Beast teeth are animate and each have their own personalities when they fall out.
  • Painted Tunnel, Real Train: "Hall of Justice" has Amanda try to create a trap by painting a wall to look like a staircase leading to free tacos. Her assistant Beverly and the teacher Miss Flap manage to go down the stairs and get tacos as if it was real, but Amanda's attempts to go down only result in her hurting herself by running into a wall.
  • Parodies for Dummies:
    • "Braces for Disaster" has Mikey and Bunsen consult a book titled Minks for Morons.
    • "Beast Halloween Ever" shows Amanda and Beverly consulting the book Dummies' Guide to Beasts, which has a cover designed similarly to the For Dummies books.
  • 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.
  • Rake Take: Amanda hurts herself by stepping on rakes in "Beastern Standard Time".
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: "Astro-Nots" has Commander Cone make this mistake when reading the script Mikey and Bunsen wrote for their staged alien fight.
    Commander Cone: Commander Cone moves off-camera!
    Mikey: That's a stage direction!
  • Real Men Wear Pink: General Justice of all people collects glass baby unicorns.
  • The Real Spoofbusters: "Beast Busters" has Bunsen and Mikey don sub-atomic backpacks to rescue Amanda from Bunsen's sneeze beasts. They even ride scooters emblazoned with the image of a sneeze beast with a prohibited symbol over it.
  • Rip Van Tinkle: "Fright at the Museum" has Bunsen's uncle rush to the bathroom shortly after waking up due to holding it in for ten years.
  • Rule of Three: Students who ditch school three times get expelled, as proven in “Bunsen Screams For Ice Cream”.
  • Running Gag: Amanda has a tendency to announce her intention to use a specific item in her plans, which she then brings up was purchased from a store with a Punny Name related to the object she bought.
  • Saving Christmas: The plot of "Bunsen Saves Christmas", where the threat is Amanda taking over the North Pole and coercing the elves into removing her from the naughty list.
  • 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!.
  • Status Quo Is God: Mikey will always be a somewhat over-excited Keet who learns the lesson, but forgets it, and Bunsen will never grow up, and even if somewhere is blown up or badly damaged, by the next episode, everything's back to normal. Nothing sticks, and the only consistent things are Mikey, Bunsen and Amanda's personalities.
  • 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".
  • Toilet Humour:
    • In "Beastern Standard Time", Bunsen and Mikey both complain about the Do-Not leaving behind "Do-Not droppings".
    • "Amanda Gets Schooled" has a lot of jokes revolve around the fact that the test Amanda has to take is called an acronym that spells "poop" (Preparatory Overview Of Pupils), with some examples including Miss Flap stating that it's a good idea to have the window open when you're taking a P.O.O.P. and the episode ending with Darcy singing that Amanda passed her P.O.O.P.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Whenever Amanda is arrested, she lustfully admits she likes it.
  • Tooth Fairy: The half-hour episode "Tooth or Consequences" revolves around Mikey and Bunsen getting money from the Tooth Fairy by leaving her Bunsen's endless supply of loose teeth, plus Darcy hopes to find a way to get the Tooth Fairy to visit her in spite of never having lost any teeth due to being born with adult teeth.
  • 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.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: "Beast in Show" reveals Miss Flap to own a poodle who resembles her and has Amanda's plan involve competing in the dog show with a robotic dog resembling her named Buttercup.
  • Usurping Santa: Amanda's plan in "Bunsen Saves Christmas" is to incapacitate Santa by trapping him in a present and taking his place at the North Pole.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: "Beastie Besties" has Mikey and Bunsen perform a ritual to make Amanda nicer, only to find that they prefer when she hated them.
  • Whoopee Cushion: "Beast Busters" has Amanda land butt-first onto a whoopee cushion she had lying on the floor.
  • Wimp Fight: Amanada and a security guard with braces ineffectually slap each other repeatedly in "Fright at the Museum".
  • Writing Lines: In "The Case of the Cold Case", Commander Cone is forced to write "I am quite sorry for stealing" 100 times in cursive after Amanda frames him for stealing her phone case. At the end of the episode, Amanda is punished by having to write "I am super sorry for selfishly setting up the ice cream man".
  • You Need a Breath Mint: "Boodle Loo" has Amanda comment on the halitosis of Bunsen's invisible dog Boodle by asking if he ever heard of a dog breath mint.

Bunsen Is a Beast!