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YMMV / Mr. Bean

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The Series:

  • Acceptable Religious Targets: Rowan Atkinson has gone on record saying that he considers organised religion an Acceptable Target.
    • In the first episode alone, you'd realize that the vicar is actually speaking complete gibberish in a satire of boring and barely coherent sermons. And that's even before the infamous Chorus-Only Song where Mr. Bean doesn't know any of the "All Creatures of Our God and King" lyrics save for the repeated "Alleluia" chorus, which he happily sings at the top of his lungs.
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    • The scene where Mr Bean plays with a nativity set is hilariously sacrilegious.
  • Accidental Innuendo: Irma's reactions to the horror movie could easily be mistaken for arousal.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Opinions are divided on Mr. Bean's personality.
      • While most people simply view him as a happy-go-lucky Cloudcuckoolander living in his own crazy little world, others (notably Roger Ebert in his review of Bean) believe him to be an evil-minded sociopath who delights in causing madness and devastation wherever he goes.
      • Some also think that he's actually a humanoid alien who is completely unfamiliar with Earth society and technology (the Animated Adaptation heavily implies that this theory is true with the episode "Double Trouble").
      • Due to the opening credits (Bean falling from the sky in a beam of light, accompanied by soft, hymn-like Latin chanting), some theories state that he is a Fallen Angel who was so clumsy and troublesome that he was dismissed from heaven, or perhaps an Angel Unaware.
      • Many have suggested that Bean is autistic, given his difficulty with social interactions, his eccentric ways of solving mundane problems and his childlike persona.
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    • Then there's Irma, Bean's girlfriend. For a long time, viewers have asked the reasonable question as to what she saw in him, but given that her speech patterns seem to be as meager as his, did she perhaps sense a kindred spirit in him? After all, she certainly didn't seem too upset by his actions in "The Curse of Mr. Bean" and "Mr. Bean Goes To Town," and actually expected him to propose to her (although she does leave him forever when he fails to do so). Perhaps she was far closer to being his Distaff Counterpart than she was to actually being his bride.
  • 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).
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    • 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."
  • Awesome Art: While most agree that the live-action series is a lot more humorous, the Animated Adaptation still has some hugely appealing designs, especially Bean himself, whose animation is a spot-on caricature of how Atkinson plays him, thanks to the generous amount of live reference he gave the animators.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Bean making fun of a woman covered in bandages and casts in "Goodnight, Mr. Bean." Then taking advantage of her being paralyzed in order to get further ahead in the hospital queue. However, he does eventually get his comeuppance.
    • In the animated series' episode "Bean and Nurse", Bean steals some grapes from the patient next to him. What brings it into this is that the patient seems to be dead.
    • Bean trimming a Buckingham guard's moustache to make him look like Adolf Hitler. (He probably thought it made him look like Charlie Chaplin)
  • 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".
  • Epileptic Trees: Some fans suspect that Teddy is actually alive and has superpowers, given how he bounces back from being decapitated and shrunk.
  • Fridge Logic: "Mr. Bean in Room 426" opens with Mr Bean driving up to the hotel's entrance, opening the boot of the car and taking his suitcase out. The next scene has valet come up to Bean and ask for help moving his car. Mr Bean then opens his suitcase and takes out the car's steering wheel. How did he manage to drive to a hotel without access to his steering wheel?
  • 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, when spelled backwards, means "silly" or "foolish"), 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 to the point where BBC Asia will occasionally hold official Mr. Bean impersonation contests. Also, any Austin or Clubman Minis (of which there are plenty in the country owing to being part of the British Commonwealth and a former British colony) are nicknamed “Mr. Bean cars”. 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 placed on imported ads by the local broadcasting bodies — 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 his pantomime skills were good enough to appeal to a non English-speaking audience. Needless to say, it paid off tremendously, and Canada became yet another country who loves the character.
    • As for France, being a country which loves its physical comedy, such as Jerry Lewis and Jacques Tati's Monsieur Hulot (which Atkinson admitted as being an influence on Bean), ensured that Bean would be popular there as well.
    • Other places that love Mr. Bean include Germany (see Americans Hate Tingle above) and Scandinavia (where reruns still 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 "The Curse of Fatal Death".
    • In "Back to School Mr. Bean", the judo teacher is portrayed by actor David Schneider, who a few years later produced a children's comedy similar to Mr Bean titled Uncle Max.
    • Mr. Bean put a turkey on his head years before Joey and Monica did.
    • One of the skits in "The trouble with Mr. Bean" has the titular character battling a bee who disturbs his picnic time. Fast forward years later and Rowan Atkinson decide to make a series out of it.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mr Bean, of course. You can't blame anyone for avoiding him, yet it's still quite sad seeing him all alone at times. His reaction to his beloved car getting destroyed will really tug at your heartstrings.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Adding 'if you know what I mean' to the end of a statement can make it sound suggestive... If you know what I mean."
    • The fact that the show consists of only 14 episodes despite feeling much longer has gained a lot of traction on social media as a Mandela Effect-type Logic Bomb.
    • The image of Mr. Bean copying off of another man's test in an examination they're both taking is this to mock those who get "inspiration" from other people's work.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Recognized and averted by the show's production staff in the case of a skit where Mr. Bean tricks a blind man into walking in front of a bus. While most of his antics can be either mischievous or insensitive, nearly harming a disabled person is just straight-up malicious. As a result, the staff sensibly chose to cut the bit from the episode it was taped for.
    • The broadcast of the episode "Mind the Baby, Mr Bean" where Mr Bean accidentally kidnaps a baby was delayed by a year, because of the abduction of James Bulger. Sure, he tries to return the baby to his mother and succeeds, but still.
  • Nausea Fuel: Occasionally.
    • The dirty nappy in "Mind the Baby, Mr. Bean", for example. Worse, there's even a scene where it falls onto a man's candy apple and he just knocks it away, intent on still eating the apple (thankfully, this made it fall off too).
    • The bad oysters from "Mr. Bean in Room 426". Gets even worse in Mr Bean's nightmare in that same episode where the oysters are yellow 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 offers him half his sandwich just so he won't have to watch Mr Bean put together another one.

    • The Restaurant Sketch might qualify depending on how you feel about dishes such as steak tartare.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Not as extreme as most instances of Nightmare Fuel, but the opening sequence itself is pretty unsettling at first, with an ominous deserted London street set at night. A spotlight then appears from the sky, and Mr. Bean plummets to the ground from the light in a jarring way that startles viewers. The early version in the second and third episodes does not help either, as the environment is completely pitch-black.
    • 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".
  • Signature Scene: Mr Bean riding his car home - while sitting on an armchair tied to the roof - is seen as the moment that succinctly encapulates his Crazy Is Cool nature.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • "Goodnight Mr. Bean" features Mr. Bean using a handgun to shoot out the light in his bedroom instead of simply flicking the light switch. The show ended just months before the Dunblane Massacre, which resulted in the UK's already strict gun laws becoming even more rigid, outlawing private ownership of most handguns like that depicted in the episode.
    • The royal in the receiving line sketch is supposed to be the Queen Mother. More recently, audiences have started to think that she's supposed to be HM the Queen, who passed away in 2022.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Mr Bean's take on the nativity has a few moments that could be seen as a stealthy jab at Christianity. First there`s a bunch of sheep flocking to see the baby Jesus (a metaphor for religion demanding conformity?), then a T-rex crashes the scene (science and natural history contradicting religious scripture?), finally some tanks and a Dalek wage war with the T-rex (militant fundamentalism?). Rowan Atkinson has gone on record saying that he considers organised religion an Acceptable Target.