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Wham Episode / BoJack Horseman

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Exactly the kind of reaction one makes whenever watching these bombs...note 
While Wham Episodes are standard for every show to have at the very least once in their lifespan, BoJack Horseman stands out among them since, unlike most who have two or three tops per season, at least half of the episodes every season (mostly in the second half) happen to be Wham Episodes incarnate, back-to-back.
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There are massive unmarked spoilers. Don't read this page unless you're willing to have entire plotlines ruined for you.


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     Season 1 
  • The first Wham Episode of the series was "Zoes And Zeldas". To elaborate, for the first time in the series and as a sign of things to come, BoJack deliberately sabotages someone's dreams for his own sake, in this case, his friend Todd's Rock Opera and stops him from succeeding because of a deep fear of being left alone. Unlike many of the bad actions BoJack has done up until now, this one isn't Played for Laughs: just a pure punch to the gut that shows BoJack as a toxic, yet needy individual and showcases how low he can sink to get someone's attention. Coupled along with Waynenote 's speech about how people can't change and this comes off as the tipping point in which BoJack Horseman jumped from being a run-of-the-mill show into a dark and complex portrayal of human unhappiness.
  • The episode following it, "Live Fast, Diane Nguyen", goes into detail about Diane's horrible home life, which wasn't too dissimilar from BoJack's and reveals that Diane has been lying to BoJack in order to get him to open up, including the heartfelt stuff like her Daddy's Girl trait, when in reality he despised her. This episode's revelations also brings BoJack and Diane closer.
  • Then there's the next episode, "Our A-Story Is A D-Story", in which after an escalating war between BoJack and Mr. Peanutbutter for the affection of Diane, the horse steals the "D" of the Hollywood sign as a Grand Romantic Gesture for her. Fearing unwanted attention, BoJack arranges for Mr. Peanutbutter to return it to its place, only for the Labrador to betray him and use it to propose to Diane. Also, the "D" ends up destroyed in an accident, resulting in the place being renamed "Hollywoo".
  • And then, there's "Say Anything", in which the focus of the episode is not BoJack, but his agent, Princess Carolyn herself. To resume, BoJack has been going in and out of a funk since Diane got engaged and Princess Carolyn bring him out by getting him some job opportunities. This causes BoJack to believe again that he and Princess Carolyn are actually meant for each other, eventually making Carolyn believe it after some disastrous problems at work with her rival, Vanessa Gecko. This leads to disaster when they both get faced with realitynote  and Princess Carolyn returns to work to best Vanessa Gecko and recover her Golden status in the agency. Exhilarated, she calls BoJack, only to find him out even more depressed after a disastrous reunion with Herb. As Princess Carolyn looks into the distance of her office, her phone rings, announcing her birthday with no one around to care. Lonely at the Top, indeed.
  • Reaching the climax of the season, "The Telescope" delivers some of the most devastating moments in the seasonnote , finally shifting the tone from a simple Sitcom into a full blown Dramedy. As it turns out, the calls that BoJack has been trying to make and has received are from his former comedy partner and friend, Herb Kazzaz, whom he fell out of touch when taping Horsin' Around. Herb is dying of cancer and the horse wants to mend the fences, so he goes alongside Diane to Herb's house. After a rough start, the two pick back from where they left off and seem to eventually leave on better terms. However, when BoJack insists on Herb to forgive him, he refuses. Eventually, it escalates into a fight in which Herb calls out BoJack on not even caring about what happened to him in 20 yearsnote  As Herb tells him, it's not the fact that he was fired, it's the fact that BoJack never visited or cared about him afterwards. Two very brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech later and on their way Diane and BoJack go. After a badly timed comment from Diane, BoJack nearly breaks down at the side of the road. Diane consoles him, leading the horse to kiss her. She returns speechless to the car, leaving BoJack alone again. Roll credits.
  • While not on the same level as the episodes preceding them, the ones leading to the 11th and 12th episode are also whammies on themselves:
    • "Horse Majeure": Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter finally get married and BoJack, after trying to sabotage the event, finally decides to step aside after being talked some sense by Todd. Speaking of which, Todd finally comes to the realization that Bojack sabotaged his rock opera. Also, Princess Carolyn meets Ensemble Dark Horse Vincent Adultman when trying to make BoJack jealous.
    • "One Trick Pony": A movie involving the heist of the Hollywoo's sign starts production and BoJack's cast as Mr. Peanutbutter, something that only hurts his ego even more. He eventually starts a casual relationship with Naomi Watts herself, who's playing Diane in The Movie, in an attempt to make a dream version of a relationship with Diane come true. Although, the episode does end with the movie being canceled and Naomi Watts leaving. Even more, the biography Diane has been writing about BoJack is finally given an early release and it's a success because it shows every single facet of BoJack's life without any exceptionsnote . This causes him no end of embarrassment and puts a bigger strain in their relationship, as he fires her as his ghostwriter, not wanting the rest of the book to go public.
  • And finally, there's "Downer Ending" - there's a reason almost all of the plot is summarized on the Tearjerker page.

     Season 2 
  • This season wastes no time getting to real whammies. The first episode, "Brand New Couch", is proof of that. First, a Flashback reveals that Butterscotch and Beatrice were not shy about fighting within earshot of child!Bojack. Second, Beatrice was there with BoJack the entire time he rose through stardom and was one of the main culprits of making BoJack as spotlight-stealing and alcoholic as he's now. And third, and most important, Beatrice is still alive and has been trying to reach out to BoJack to apologize for how she treated him when he was a kid. Through her apology, BoJack gets confirmation on something he has feared for a long time: He was born broken.
    • The episode raises the possibility that BoJack isn't a real actor and his only real achievement, Horsin' Around, was only reached by virtue of being a bad actor.
  • While "Yesterdayland", for the most part, is a Breather Episode full of silly absurdistic humor, there's one thing that stands out: BoJack has entered an actual relationship with an executive owl named Wanda Pierce, someone who is the completely opposite of him. BoJack also seems to be trying to be more honest about himself. Meanwhile, Diane is starting to notice a routine in her marriage towards Mr. Peanutbutter.
  • After a slight detour into more uplifting territory, "Still Broken" starts delivering the gut punches: Herb has died, despite indications in the 1st season finale that he may be doing better, not because of cancer, but because of having crashed into a truck full of peanuts. After briefly reuniting with Charlotte, BoJack and the rest of the cast of Horsin' Around find out clues directing to Herb's "gold": a novel and pet project that he desperately wanted to publish to leave a better legacy than a hacked out Sitcom. Eventually, it's revealed that Herb's friend, Henry Winkler, and caretaker, Tina, stole the novel to keep it from being published since it was really bad and would have made him a laughingstock. Ultimately, Herb's life was a true Shoot The Shaggy Dog Story, despite BoJack's wishes.
  • Again, as it would happen frequently in the 2nd season, a Breather Episode like "After The Party" is smashed by two events: Princess Carolyn, seeing the kid at the top of the trench coat, thinks Vincent is cheating on her and after a long discussion, breaks up with him and Diane expressing her dissatisfaction with their marriage to Mr. Peanutbutter, which leads to him supporting her trip to Cordovia.
  • Then, there's the now infamous "Chickens". Fun stuff. Ever wonder how a world that has anthropomorphic animals and humans coexisting together can also afford to have cooked meat, cold cuts, steaks and other products? Good question! The animals that are born in this world are separated into two categories: "friend" and "food". The former gets to live a normal life, being educated and treated as an actual citizen. The other is raised to become fat, basically dumbed down to its basic functions and becomes something of a walking animal without any conscience. Then, it's turned into processed meat that is served to humans and animals alike. There are two businesses in Hollywoo that are considered experts in such things: Chicken 4 Dayz, who gets away with its horrible actions by appealing to their legal nature. The other venture, Gentle Farms, while at first glance better turns out to be just as bad if not more sadistic in its methods. The main character in this one is a runaway chicken who is only spared by BoJack's connections and Diane, Todd and Irving's intervention. Meanwhile, the cycle moves on, with everyone accepting this status quo.
  • And now, the final Breather Episode before the roller coaster downhill: "Higher Love". For the most part just pure BoJack Horseman silliness, there are a few hits that indicate darker things to come: first, Mr. Peanutbutter's company PB Living goes bankrupt after investing on really stupid things and is forced to find a job, one which ends up being the brand new show of MBN "Hollywoo Celebrities And Stars: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things? Let's Find Out!", courtesy of his brand new reluctant agent Princess Carolyn and his new bosses, Wanda Pierce and J. D. Salinger. Meanwhile, BoJack accidentally spills the "L" word to Wanda and ends up going through a lot of trouble to avoid confronting her, including some business with Erotic Asphyxiation. The end of the episode is the accidental suicide of one of the stars of the Secretariat movie from Erotic Asphyxiation, a recovering addict who ended up back in the saddle per BoJack's accidental encouragement.
  • Hoo boy, and the start of the final turn of the the screw: "Hank After Dark", a no-holds-barred beatdown of every possible Karma Houdini that Hollywoo has enabled: One of the most famous celebrities, Hank Hippopopalous, is revealed to have been brought on over charges of sexual harassment from his secretaries. He's been doing it for a very long time and most of the people in the industry are unwilling to accept it, going as far to cover it up. Diane initiates a crusade against him, only to be roadblocked by BoJack's pessimismnote , Mr. Peanutbutter's desire for it to not meddle with his career at MBNnote  and the constant pussyfooting every media connected to the grand circle does to anything related to the incident. Ultimately, Diane gives up after several death threats and refusal of help from everyone and leaves for Cordovia to help out Sebastian St. Claire, effectively proving that if there's a reason these people constantly get away with the actions is because their status won't allow it without others falling as well.
  • "Let's Find Out": While starting as a Lighter and Softer episode intended to riff on the absurdity of game shows and the setting of BoJack and Mr. Peanutbutter being at their vitriolic best in here elicits some laughs, everything changes as soon as the insults go too far. For starters, Mr. Peanutbutter actually lashes out at BoJack for his constant abuse, proving to him that he does notice and prefers not to; likewise, his comments and subsequent actions imply that his intentions towards the horse may be more than platonic, especially demanding a kiss from him per Daniel Radcliffe's encouragement. IN LIVE TELEVISION. This ultimately results in BoJack intentionally bombing the $1,000,000 question out of spite of Daniel Radcliffe not remembering his name. It's worth mentioning that this game show was for charity. In a sideplot, Wanda starts to show a darker side of hers: first, by subtly threatening Mr. Peanutbutter with something bad happening when he tries to back off from sealing with a happy ending and then, by overhearing the incident between Diane and BoJack when returning from Malibu, triggering an increasingly different response in later episodes.
  • "The Shot" gives the coup de grace to both BoJack and Diane's dreams: Diane discovers that her biography's subject, Sebastian St. Claire, who is supposedly helping out Cordovia out of a war-riddled situation, is more of a Nominal Hero with some sociopathic tendencies towards the refugees with her biography helping his foundations rather than people itself. She eventually returns to Hollywoo defeated (without Mr. Peanutbutter's knowledge) and crashes with BoJack, who, for his part is having his own problems: after the studio decides to go for a more family-friendly route in the Secretariat biopic, he convinces Kelsey to film a controversial scene involving Richard Nixon and Secretariat, which causes her dismissal of the film, failing to save his lifelong dream.
  • "Yes And" has even more changes for the main characters. BoJack becomes dissatisfied with the Tone Shift Secretariat is having and eventually tells so to the new director, which makes him prolong the filming schedule just out of spite, impeding BoJack from taking any further jobs. Diane continues her further decay by drinking and wasting away in the sofa rather than trying to move on, causing problems between BoJack and Wanda which leads to their breakup. Todd finds a possible solution to his life crisis by entering a possible cult and after being disappointed in BoJack one too many times, submerges himself completely in it. The ending sees BoJack escaping all of his previous responsibilities and problems in L.A. and driving to Tesuque looking for Charlotte.
  • And then...DEAR LORD...so we come to the infamous 11th episode per the norm, "Escape From L.A". This is a heavy one, guys, not lying in the least. Upon visiting, BoJack discovers Charlotte has a family now, yet still insists on staying there. While Charlotte is happy to welcome him for the time being, her daughter Penny is less than enthusiastic about it, until a heart-to-heart talk leads to both becoming quite close. Eventually, BoJack ingratiates himself with the whole family...AND THEN HE COMPLETELY FUCKS IT UP. How? He stays for more than two months and eventually starts to corrupt Penny without intending to: After escorting a date with Penny, Charlotte's daughter, and her friends for the school prom, he gets them a better quality booze than Red Bull & Vodka, which causes one of them to have alcohol poisoning, requiring a trip to the hospital. Being the responsible adult in charge, BoJack panics and instead of leading her to the emergency room and taking responsibility for his actions, leaves the poor girl at the entrance along with her date with instructions to not incriminate him. Then, when he and Penny arrive at her home, he kisses Charlotte and tries to subtly coerce her into eloping with him, her family not withstanding. When she refuses, BoJack, at the end of his rope, accepts the request of sex he had rejected previously from Penny, ''a 17 year-old legal girl'' in Tesuque. When Charlotte finds this out, she warns him not to come back here again. And you thought the previous 11th episode, "Downer Ending" was a bummer.

     Season 3 
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     Season 4 
  • "The Old Sugarman Place" is the first episode of the season to feature Bojack and gives us a lot of background for Beatrice. We see flashbacks of her and her family in their summer house, where her mother Honey goes mad with grief after Crackerjack is killed in World War II, resulting in a lobotomy and Honey telling Beatrice to never love anyone the way Honey loved her son, giving some obvious insight onto why Beatrice treated Bojack so coldly. Bojack also seems to be trying to reform again, befriending a troubled dragonfly and acknowledging that wallowing in self-pity would be pathetic and unhelpful. Bojack finally decides to just destroy the summer home and go back to L.A.
  • "Ruthie", being A Day in the Limelight episode for Princess Carolyn, drops a few whammies surrounding her. Her treasured necklace is revealed to be a cheap costume piece, she has another miscarriage (which she later tells Ralph is her fifth one), breaks up with Ralph during a drunken bender, and learns of Judah's visit with Charlie Witherspoon from "Old Acquaintance", firing him for going behind her back. And to top it all off, you know that Framing Device used throughout the whole episode? Where Princess Carolyn's great-great-great granddaughter was giving a report on her? Turns out it was all a figment of Carolyn's imagination, because she likes to pretend she has a distant relative from the future to talk abut her when she's gone.
  • "lovin that cali lifestyle!!" has a couple of wham moments. The very beginning of the episode glitches out a bit, as Hollyhock collapses in Bojack's bathroom. It's only towards the end of the episode that we learn the aftermath: Hollyhock has overdosed, and her eight dads lay the blame squarely at Bojack's feet. After he suffers a panic attack and flushes his pills down the toilet, we learn the real reason behind the overdose: a dementia-ridden Beatrice has been lacing Hollyhock's coffee with amphetamines for some time, in an attempt to make her skinnier. Infuriated, Bojack drags her to the worst nursing home he can find. The episode ends with Beatrice snapping out of her dementia long enough to finally recognize Bojack, just before the credits roll.
  • Episode 11, "Time's Arrow", seems to continue the tradition of providing a doozy of an example. The episode takes place from Beatrice's point-of-view, who had developed a form of dementia or Alzheimer's since she last spoke with Bojack. As such, we don't see what's actually happening to her, but rather flashbacks to her early life, mostly young adulthood. The faces of all but a few characters in these flashbacks are gone. Written words during the flashbacks are misspelled. The cuts between the flashbacks are like glitchy, with random cuts to a fire. In one instance, a character just appears out of thin air. And rarely, the reality that Bojack is dumping his mother into an even worse home than the one she was kicked out of seeps in, confusing flashback!Beatrice. And the not-so-pretty story told through flashbacks shows how Beatrice became the person she is: her father was planning on marrying her off to the heir of the Creamerman ice cream forutne. She instead runs off with a party-crasher named Butterscotch Horseman. She gets pregnant with Bojack, they run off to California to get married, Bojack's shitty childhood ensues, and Butterscotch gets their maid Henrietta (a name Beatrice had been calling Bojack all season) pregnant. Two reveals happen: first, the fire was Beatrice's father burning all her childhood books and toys to try to reign in his young daughter's scarlet fever, then second: Henrietta is Hollyhock's mother. Then Beatrice takes Hollyhock away to put her up for adoption. It does end on a slightly more positive note, though. When we return to the present and Beatrice begins to wonder how they got to where Bojack took her, she recognizes Bojack. And instead of telling his mother to fuck off like he planned to, Bojack takes the high road and reminds her of better times.
    • Even worse is how callous her father is about burning Beatrice's possessions. There's no attempt at explaining the situation, no sympathy for the confused, scared girl - just an Implied Death Threat where he reminds her what happened when her mother was unable to keep her emotions in check.
  • While the final episode ended on a hopeful note for Todd, Princess Carolyn, and BoJack himself, Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter have reached the breaking point in their relationship after PB tries fulfilling Diane's childhood dream of having a "Belle Room" built in their new home, and she responds in anger.

     Season 5 
  • Episode 4, "Bojack the Feminist". With a title like that, it's obviously a politically-themed episode with little to no bearing on the Plot like "Brrap Brrap Pew Pew" or "Thoughts and Prayers," right? Wrong. Not only does this episode see the return of Ana Spanakopita, but she gives the tape of Bojack talking about New Mexico to Diane, setting up conflict between Bojack and Diane. On a lighter note, this is also the episode in which Mr. Peanutbutter is cast in Philbert.
  • Episode 7, "INT. SUB". After the funny narrative structure of the aliases is dropped in the final portion of the episode, Diane storms into the writer's room and writes BoJack's recorded confession of what happened with Penny into the episode of Philbert. The actors have no time to rehearse because of how far behind schedule the show is, so BoJack's realization of what he's saying only comes after he's already read the words from a cue card.
    BoJack: I'll never forget that night on the... U.S.S. New Mexico.
  • Episode 10, "Head in the Clouds". Diane and BoJack have a serious falling out after BoJack claims Philbert is meant to legitimize bad behavior. Diane calls him out on his repetitive abusive behavior, and when Bojack tells Diane that he's his own biggest victim, she reminds him of Sara Lynn. They continue to fight until BoJack confesses to the whole truth of Penny incident, as well as other incidents, and while trying to explain himself he grabs Diane by the arm and hurts her.
  • Episode 11, "The Showstopper", carries the eleventh episode tradition further. Addicted to opiates and constantly paranoid, BoJack has completely lost the ability to differentiate between reality and his television show, desperately trying to figure out who sent a note threatening to tell about a "bad thing" BoJack did. At the end of the episode, Gina confronts him, and we learn that the note was part of a promotional stunt for Philbert that BoJack completely forgot about. The line between reality and fiction becomes so blurred that BoJack loses control and nearly chokes Gina to death.

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