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YMMV / Mr. Bean

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The Series:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Views are divided on Mr. Bean's exact nature. While most people seem to view him simply as a Cloudcuckoolander living in his own mad little world, others, notably Roger Ebert in his review of Bean, believe him to be a malevolent individual who delights in causing madness and devastation wherever he goes. And then some think that he's a humanoid alien from a planet that is completely unfamiliar with Earth society and technology, due to the opening and closing (this is made canon in the Animated Adaptation).
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    • The malevolent theory holds even more water even to the audience. While some of his actions are indeed innocent interpretations gone wrong, in other cases he seems to actually enjoy doing "evil" things, like throwing the door in someone's nose and laughing after, showing no empathy whatsoever.
    • This was also explored in the "Mr. Psycho Bean" sketch on Harry and Paul.
    • Bean falling out of a beam of light during the opening credits, to the musical accompaniment of soft Latin chanting, hymn-like. One suggestion is that he is a Fallen Angel who was so clumsy and troublesome that he was dismissed from heaven, or more humorously literally stumbled out of heaven, or even an Angel Unaware, perhaps?
    • It's been theorized by a few people that Bean is autistic, given the No Social Skills, Manchild persona and his difficulty having a sense of perspective for his actions.
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    • Him being autistic would also explain his lack of empathy, his complex and intricate solutions to mundane problems and difficulties with everyday situation. If the Alien explanation wasn't canon, this would probably be it.
    • Some fans also suspect that Teddy is actually alive and has some kind of superpowers, given how he bounces back from being decapitated or shrunk.
    • Then there is Irma, Bean's girlfriend. Viewers have long asked the reasonable question as to what she saw in him, but given how her vocal skills seem to be just as limited as his is, did she perhaps see a kindred spirit in him? After all, she certainly wasn't put off by his immaturity despite her actions in The Curse of Mr Bean and Mr Bean Goes To Town as she forgave him to the point of hoping that he would marry her (and in the same episode could be seen to pet Teddy implying a certain childish streak to her too.) Perhaps she was far closer to being his Distaff Counterpart than she ever was to being his bride.
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  • Awesome Art: While most agree that Bean's antics are a lot funnier when they're happening to a real person, the Animated Adaptation still has some hugely appealing designs, especially Bean himself, whose animation is a spot-on caricature of how Atkinson performs him thanks to his generous amount of live reference he gave the animators.
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • It seems most Americans find Mr. Bean alienating and bizarre, and can't quite understand why this series is as popular as it is. This is very much not the stereotype in Britain, where instead it is widely believed that Mr. Bean is insanely popular in both the United States and Germany, largely as a disparaging comment on those countries have simplistic senses of humour (as the humour in Mr. Bean is visual rather than verbal).
    • In one episode of Quite Interesting, Bill Bailey says he heard a sharp criticism of the series while in Australia, by a man whose objection was that Bean "wouldn't last ten minutes in the bush."
  • Crazy Awesome: When he buys household appliances and furniture, he puts everything in and on his car, including his couch on the roof. He made some wires to control the car from the roof!
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Bean making fun of a woman covered in bandages and casts in "Goodnight, Mr. Bean." And then taking advantage of her being paralyzed in order to get further ahead in the hospital queue. However, he does eventually get his comeuppance.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The remix of the theme song that plays when he rushes to his dentist appointment in "The Trouble with Mr. Bean".
  • Ear Worm: The theme song to the Animated Adaptation, courtesy of frequent Rowan Atkinson collaborator Howard Goodall.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show is widely popular around the world due to its physical, non-verbal comedy being easily able to transcend language barriers:
    • There is a rumor that a crowd of fans in Japan nearly tore Rowan Atkinson to bits when he visited their country. An episode of the animated series referenced his popularity there by having Bean befriend a Japanese boy.
    • People in the Philippines have been known to call awkward or funny individuals "Mr. Bean". The country also produced a comedy series featuring "Ogag" (which is an Unfortunate Name in the country when spelled backwards), a character very similar to Mr. Bean.
    • Malaysia also created their own knock-off named "Bendul", as well as having a thriving industry of Mr. Bean impersonators. The show's popularity is such that Mars Foods Malaysia imported the Chinese assassin Snickers ad from the U.K. in 2016 despite hefty restrictions on imported ads — seems that the appearance of Atkinson in-character alone outweighed the massive cost and red tape that was presumably involved.
    • For many former Communist countries, the show was one of the first British shows the population got to see following the fall of the curtain, which may have contributed to its popularity there.
    • One of Mr. Bean's earliest appearances (before the TV show) was at the Montreal comedy festival "Just for Laughs" in 1987. Rowan Atkinson insisted that he perform on the French-speaking bill as a way of testing if Bean's physical comedy would appeal to a non-English speaking audience; needless to say, it paid off tremendously.
    • In the case of France, it certainly helps that the country was once infamous for loving Jerry Lewis (who did a lot of physical comedy) and already had something of its own Mr. Bean in the form of Jacques Tati's Monsieur Hulot (which Atkinson admitted as being an influence on Bean).
    • Other places that love Mr. Bean include Germany (see Americans Hate Tingle above) and Scandinavia (where reruns sill air from time to time).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: While playing with a nativity scene, Bean brings in several other figures, including a Dalek. Rowan Atkinson later played the Doctor in Steven Moffat's spoof "Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death".
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mr Bean, of course.
  • Memetic Mutation: Magic. *snort, snort*
    • "Adding 'if you know what I mean' to the end of a statement can make it sound suggestive... If you know what I mean."
  • Nausea Fuel: Occasionally.
    • The dirty nappy in "Mind the Baby, Mr. Bean", for example.
    • The bad oysters from "Mr. Bean in Room 426". Gets even worse in Mr Beans nightmare in that same episode where the oysters are red and oozing.
    • While not overwhelmingly gross, the sandwich Mr Bean assembles in one episode from ingredients kept all over his person, including his socks. When Mr Bean accidentally drops the sandwich when he sneezes, the man sitting next to him on the park bench just offers him half his sandwich just so he wont have to watch Mr Bean put together another one.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In "Mr. Bean Rides Again," a man standing next to Mr. Bean at the bus stop suddenly collapses. Bean's attempts to revive him are actually funny, but that's still a horrifying moment.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Roger Lloyd Packnote  portrayed the waiter in the second episode, "Return of Mr. Bean".


Example of: