|“||I don't wanna fight you, BoJack. I just wanted to tell you I know. I know you wanna be happy, but you won't be, and—-I'm sorry—It's not just you, you know. Your father and I, we—Well, you come by it honestly, the ugliness inside you. You were born broken, that's your birthright. And now you can fill your life with projects, your books, and your movies and your little girlfriends, but it won't make you whole. You're BoJack Horseman. There's no cure for that.||”|
—Beatrice Horseman, Brand New Couch
Beatrice Elizabeth Horseman (née Sugarman; 1938 - October 2018) was the neglectful and verbally abusive mother of BoJack Horseman, the widow of Butterscotch Horseman, and the heiress to the Sugarman Sugar Cube Company. She was also the daughter of Joseph and Honey Sugarman, and the younger sister of Crackerjack.
Beatrice was a thoroughbred palomino female horse, who was described to be beautiful in her youth. She had a curled blonde mane, a tan-colored coat, and a white diamond marking between her eyes. She also had a gap in her two front teeth. According to model sheets, she was about 6’0 in heels. Her head appears to be shaped like an Arabian horse's.
In flashbacks to BoJack's childhood and teen years in the 1970s, she wears a purple button-down long-sleeved sweater with a mint green collar, a pale yellow apron with pink pockets, belt and stripe along the bottom, a mint green skirt, and brown heels. She had bags under her eyes and wore purple eye-shadow and light red lipstick.
In the present day, Beatrice, now an elderly woman, has more wrinkles, her hair has gone grey, and she seems to have developed cataracts, a common trait in old horses, as her eyes are now an opaque green color.
Her fur is also much paler, most likely due to her old age, and she now wears pink eyeshadow and magenta lipstick, with her having a bit of lipstick on her two front teeth.
In Brand New Couch, which is set in 2015 and is Beatrice's first appearance in the present day, she wears a lavender coat over a mint green top, a small purple turban around her head, two beaded necklaces, and white wrist gloves. Her coat has a red, blue, and yellow flower pin.
In her present-day appearances (2017-early 2018) in Season 4, Beatrice now has dementia, and as a result, is wheelchair-bound. She has the same physical features as her previous appearance although now some of the curls have come out of the bottom half of her hair, and it appears shorter and thinner.
She still wears the purple turban and the same makeup from her previous appearance, and she now wears an over-sized purple sweater, which is only buttoned at the top, over a dress with a teal top and a long light purple skirt, grey leggings, and pink and white shoes.
In the '80s, '90s and early 2000s, Beatrice appears a bit older from how she appeared in the 70s, having wrinkles around her mouth, dark circles under her eyes, and slightly paler fur and hair. She wore an indigo sweater with pink trim, a matching indigo skirt with pink trim, dark gray leggings, dark purple and yellow heels, and a pink pillbox hat with small green and pink flowers and feathers on one section.
As a young adult in the 1960s, Beatrice has slightly larger oval-shaped eyes, slightly different features on her face and head, her hair appears slightly different in the back, and she has a slightly smaller, skinnier figure compared to how she looks in the years following after she has BoJack. She wore light blue eyeliner and light pink lipstick.
This point of her life was her prime in terms of her looks. Her normal outfit consisted of a light blue dress with white dots and a pencil skirt, a small pale blue sweater, a white belt, navy blue high heels, white wrist gloves, and a pearl necklace.
As a child in the 40s, she wore a blue and white gingham dress in the summertime that had a pink ruffle collar and big pink pockets in the front, along with white socks, red Mary-Janes, and a red hair ribbon tied in a bow.
Her school uniform consisted of a dark green button-down cardigan with white buttons, a white collared dress shirt, a plaid red skirt, brown loafers, and white socks and the same red ribbon in her mane.
She wore a light pink short nightgown with white lace trim and white socks for sleepwear.
Throughout BoJack's flashbacks, Beatrice was passive-aggressive, sardonic, neglectful, cynical, bitter, and verbally abusive. She was an overall atrocious mother.
She turned to smoking and drinking heavily to cope with her misery, as in flashbacks after BoJack is born, she is rarely seen without a cigarette in her mouth.
She would even get violent with BoJack, as she forced him to finish a cigarette when she caught him stealing one, saying she didn't want to be the mother of a quitter and was punishing him for "being alive."
Beatrice made it very clear to BoJack that he was an embarrassment to her, and that he ruined her life, to the point where it could be said she hated him, and she made him feel like nothing he ever did would be good enough for her or would make up for "ruining her" with the mere fact of his birth. She would constantly put him down and discouraged him for any endeavor he tried out, despite the fact she pushed him to succeed in order to compensate for what he "did" to her.
She still apparently thought she was a “great mom," as she called herself this right after verbally abusing her son. She also tells him as an adult that he doesn't know how lucky he is to have her, and that she hopes he dies before she does so he'll never have to know "what it's like to lose a mother."
Along with Butterscotch, her addictions and abuse are a large reason for how BoJack ended up the way he did, adopting the same addictions and bitterness as his mother. BoJack became severely depressed, along with having intrusive thoughts, constantly putting himself down and tell himself how worthless he is—as seen in Stupid Piece of Sh*t. Other characters have even agreed on this, with Herb telling BoJack she's a bitch and Princess Carolyn referring to her and Butterscotch as BoJack's “asshole parents."
However, much like with her son, she slowly developed this personality from her difficult life.
As a child, she was sweet and happy, but she was deeply traumatized by the death of her older brother Crackerjack and especially her once sassy and lively mother, Honey, becoming hysteric and depressed—eventually going mad with grief. This then led her to neglect Beatrice and eventually endangered her life by making her drive home after she got drunk during an emotional breakdown at a party.
This led to Honey being lobotomized, which made her a dazed and an empty shell of her former self, and before she went catatonic told Beatrice to never love anyone as much as she loved Crackerjack. This is one of the reasons why Beatrice was so cruel to BoJack and never showed any love for him.
Beatrice was left in the care of her cheery but deeply misogynistic father, Joseph, who seemingly lacked empathy, and filled her young mind with misogynistic ideas about a woman's role and opportunities in the world, as he discouraged her from reading, and only sent her to Barnard to find a husband. He was disappointed she got a bachelor's degree. Her own body image was affected when Joseph and her school bully Clemelia Bloodsworth made comments on her weight. Joseph saw her swollen throat from scarlet fever as an opportunity to lose weight.
This explains why Beatrice would later claim that pregnancy ruined her beauty and figure. Aside from the fact she never looked that terrible, and it can be implied her smoking and alcoholism most likely contributed to this even more. It is learned she grew up in a society where she was taught (especially by her father) a woman's looks and body was very important and her only value. She is also seen taking a weight loss pill after her maid tries to close her corset when she is getting dressed for her debutante ball, with the implication she takes them regularly to stay thin.
Her father also forbid her from eating ice cream, with her mother, pre-lobotomy, telling her it was a boys food. Joseph said, to suck on a lemon wedge with sugar sprinkled on it, as it was a good healthy girls snack.
Joseph callously burned her beloved baby doll, along with her other possessions, when she caught scarlet fever and, with his typical calm, cheerful demeanor—told her to stop crying and not let her "womanly emotions" consume her, or she'd end up like her mother. This led to her being traumatized into being unable to abort BoJack, and furthered her distant and unloving nature towards him and others.
Beatrice grew up into a very intelligent woman, earning a bachelor's degree at Barnard, and cared about poor people, welfare, injustice, and civil rights, as she mentions the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, and hopes no one else will be assassinated that year, 1963. She also was seen reading a lot.
She is shown to have a snarky and sardonic personality with a sharp tongue and a mouth full of sass, which was aided by her keen intelligence and would use against others. Much like her own son, this was likely developed from her father's abuse traumatizing her and making her feel self-conscious and inadequate, which she compensated into meanness and sarcasm.
She openly showed resentment towards her father, going so far as to groan and roll her eyes and detract her father's backward and old-fashioned thinking. Joseph was angered and disappointed with these traits due to his misogyny, and at that point in her life was only focused on marrying her off. He even admits he doesn't "give a damn what she feels and he would marry her off to literally anyone." He ironically wanted to marry her off to Corbin Creamerman, the son of a creamery owner, despite forbidding her from eating ice cream, even as an adult.
Beatrice also showed dissatisfaction with her high-class lifestyle, calling lavish parties like debutantes “self-serving, garish wastes of money,” and felt it discouraged her educational interests, ideals, and the social issues she cared about.
The only aspect of Beatrice her father and peers would positively comment on were her looks. At that point in her life, apart from being careful with watching her weight, Beatrice seemed to value her intelligence and interests more, as she would roll her eyes when one of her suitors would only think to compliment her appearance—or when her father shot down or looked down upon her love of reading, her interest in current events or global problems, or her high education.
Part of the reason she was attracted to Butterscotch was that he was an aspiring author and admired the beatniks, as she obviously had a love for reading, and they both shared mutual spite for the world around them. Beatrice ditches her own party to have sex with Butterscotch as a way to rebel against her father and her stuffy high society life.
Her and Butterscotch's idealism comes into front after he gets her pregnant. When she miserably declares herself a "ruined woman," he insists she isn't, and tells her a "story" of a couple who moved to California and lived happily together with their child, which wins over Beatrice and convinces her to accept his marriage proposal, citing "Isn’t that how the story goes?"
However, Butterscotch ended up failing to help her escape from her old life of living in her father's shadow, as he found no success as a writer, as he was delusional about his talent and anything he wrote was rejected. He emotionally abused her, had multiple extramarital affairs, was misogynistic, and would berate her for doing a poor job with her "wifely duties." He also refused to take a well-paying job for her father, as he thought living in the working-class would make his writing better and he, in general, resented the upper classes, comparing higher-wage jobs to "slavery."
Beatrice also regretted not marrying her debutante suitor, Corbin Creamerman, as the two began to share a connection on a date two weeks after her debutante, due to their shared resentment against their fathers shooting down their ideas and aspirations and feeling as if they had no escape from it.
All of this led her to take her anger out on a young BoJack, frequently putting him down, never being satisfied or supportive with anything he tried or accomplished including his show, and telling him he ruined her beauty and her life.
Despite not being impressed with the upper-class lifestyle that her father was forcing her into before she had BoJack, she had actually become accustomed and dependent on it, as when she leaves that lifestyle to marry Butterscotch. She complains that he can't afford them a nanny or a maid to help her, and is miserable living a middle-class life with the low salary Butterscotch made at the fish cannery. She even calls him a “peasant” during an argument and having to do household chores and take care of her child all by herself. She appears happy when he finally agrees to get a high paying job for her father's company.
Her only escapism from her miserable life and personality, according to BoJack, were her Sunday supper club parties, where she would perform a dance in front of everyone in a beautiful dress that captivated everyone, even Butterscotch. BoJack notes that he and his parents both knew they were drowning, and they all knew they were doing it together. However, in this instance is an example of these moments when you realize you can swim, but they were usually drowning.
In Brand New Couch, it seems Beatrice had a moment of clarity of how she affected her son, as she read about herself in BoJack's book and tells her son, "You must think I'm a real monster." However, she cannot make a straightforward apology for her abuse, rather she apologizes for BoJack being "born broken." This indirectly mentions the generations of trauma and abuse that had been passed down ever since Crackerjack died, as Beatrice is seemingly unwilling to deal with it directly.
Overall, Beatrice was a woman who'd been disgraced for her entire life and was a victim of circumstances. She couldn't let go of her past or her father's toxic influence and was forever resentful of her ultimately bad decisions she made as an adult, all of which mirrors her son BoJack's situation. She also ended up living her worst fears: she became an abusive tyrant like her father (in fact, even worse than him), and she lost her mind like her mother due to her dementia.
Season 4 shows her in the present day with an early onslaught of dementia as she does not recognize her son BoJack and for some bizarre reason thinks he is the Horseman Household's former maid Henrietta Platchkey. Although she still insults “Henrietta," she is also somewhat kinder, especially to Hollyhock.
Although she criticized her weight, and secretly put weight loss pills in her coffee. Which she eventually overdosed on and was sent to the hospital after passing out, although this came from Beatrice taking weight loss pills when she was younger due to being criticized for being “fat” as a little girl by both Clemelia Bloodsworth and her father.
She also openly enjoys Horsin' Around, despite criticizing it before. This shows she had lied, most likely due to her believing her high standards shouldn't allow her to like it—or the fact that she was still unwilling to show love towards her son due to what happened to her mother. Beatrice also gets attached to a baby doll that Hollyhock gets her and acts like a loving mother towards it, much to BoJack's annoyance, and possibly hinting at the mother she could have been if it had not been for the aforementioned circumstances that seemingly prevented her to.
Beatrice was born in 1938 to Joseph and Honey Sugarman. Her family founded the Sugarman Sugar Cube Company and was very wealthy.
The family lived in Michigan and had a yearly tradition of staying at their summer home, a lakefront cabin, in Harper's Landing, Michigan. She had an older brother, Crackerjack, who, in 1944, was shot and killed while fighting in World War II.
In either August or September 1945, when World War II ended—the US bombed Japan thus ending the war, Beatrice and her mother, who were still in Harper's Landing at this time, went to a celebration nearby. Honey had been depressed and mentally unstable since the death of her son. After singing her and Crackerjack's favorite song, I Will Always Think of You, she ended up getting drunk. She also kisses one of Crackerjack's war friends. She then asked Beatrice to recklessly drive them both home saying, "I want to feel alive again! I'd do anything to feel alive!" This results in them getting in a car crash and leaves them both seriously injured.
Joseph was enraged that Honey put Beatrice in jeopardy, and Honey pleads for help for her hysteria. Honey was lobotomized to Beatrice's horror, after which Honey, before apparently going catatonic, tells Beatrice "Love does things to a person, terrible things. Beatrice, promise me you'll never love anyone as much as I loved Crackerjack."
Not long after, Beatrice caught scarlet fever and her father ordered the help to burn all her infected belongings—including Beatrice's prized possession, a baby doll. When she starts crying, her father says she shouldn't let her "womanly emotions" get the better of her or she'll end up like her mother.
At school, she was picked on by Clemelia Bloodsworth, calling her "fat," with her father even somewhat agreeing, since after getting scarlet fever he said her throat was very swollen, which could help her lose some weight.
She went to Barnard College and got a bachelor's degree, although her father only sent her there to find a husband.
While her mother, pre-lobotomy, was a kind, spirited, and sassy woman, her father, despite his cheery demeanor, seemed devoid of empathy, to the point of being a sociopath. He was also very misogynistic, even for the time period, at one point even saying when his wife was depressed as a modern American man he was uneducated about and unwilling to deal with a woman's emotions.
He was averse to the idea of women doing anything that wasn't conducive to baby-making or home-keeping, let alone being educated, all of which clashed with Beatrice's interest in literature and education, her well-read and snarky personality, and her interest in current events or global problems.
Beatrice's débutante ball was held around June 14 or 15, 1963. She was expected to marry Corbin Creamerman, also an heir to a wealthy agricultural family, his father Mort Creamerman owned Creamerman's Creamy Cream-Based Commodities.
However, it was there that she first met Butterscotch Horseman, a rebellious young horse and aspiring author who admired the beatniks, and she ditched her own party to have sex with Butterscotch, seeing him as a breath of fresh air from a stuffy high-society world and household.
Her father forced her to agree to a date with Corbin two weeks later, and they did develop a deep sympathy and understanding for each other before Beatrice ruined the date by vomiting on him due to morning sickness.
She then went to Butterscotch to tell him she was pregnant with his child. He initially urged her to get an abortion, but she insisted on keeping the baby, her first thought being of her trauma from her burnt baby doll. They agreed to move to San Francisco together and get married. Their son, BoJack F. Horseman, is born on January 2, 1964.
At first, during their honeymoon phase and Beatrice's pregnancy, they were a happy couple. However, shortly after BoJack is born their relationship begins to fall apart. Butterscotch was working at a fish cannery for little income. He had refused multiple offers of a cushy desk job from Beatrice's father and still hadn't finished his novel, and had even turned against the beatniks that he had once admired due to whatever he had written being rejected.
He resented Beatrice's family's wealth, although it is later learned he would blow through whatever was left of it), his inability to provide for her, and the fact she wanted to keep the baby telling her, "You wanted that baby. Never forget that." Beatrice resented Butterscotch for not accepting her father's job offer, making little money at the job he had, and his treatment of her. The baby also proves to be stressful for both of them, especially when he cries during the middle of the night.
This caused their marriage to become highly dysfunctional. The two gradually began to despise each other more and more, which affected how they treated BoJack during his formative years. They also became alcoholics and heavy smokers.
When BoJack was six, in 1970, Butterscotch finally agreed to work for Beatrice's father, and they became wealthier, but not happier, as Beatrice and Butterscotch merely came together because of the mutual disdain of the world around them.
Beatrice, along with her husband, first appears in a flashback in BoJack Hates the Troops. She makes her husband an omelet and implies that he is having an affair with his secretary.
Butterscotch himself implies that the only reason he married Beatrice was that she got pregnant and wouldn't get an abortion. After this exchange, young BoJack asks if he can have an omelet too, to which Beatrice replies "You're the birthday boy."
In Downer Ending, Diane Nguyen says in her book One Trick Pony, BoJack's autobiography/biography, that BoJack always felt like he had to impress her with material items, and she believes this need may have come from his parents. She describes Beatrice as the heiress to the Sugarman Sugar Cube fortune and being used to certain comforts, and Butterscotch as BoJack's working-class father who struggled, and often failed, to provide those comforts.
Later, in BoJack's drug hallucination, a flashback to him as a child shows him crying under the kitchen table because his mother is forcing him to sing the Lollipop Song in front of her supper club. She says he has to do it for her to love him, and nobody gives a damn about how he feels.
It is later learned in Free Churro that BoJack would perform this for all of his mother's supper clubs, along with the other members who would also perform other skits and acts. The grand finale was always a dance Beatrice did in a beautiful dress that she only brought out for occasions like this.
BoJack remarks it was beautiful and sad, even Butterscotch, who hated these parties and would lock himself in his study and bang on the wall to tell them to keep it down, would linger in the doorway and watch his cynical, miserable wife take flight.
In a flashback to June 1973, at the beginning of Brand New Couch, Beatrice gets into a fight with her husband, claiming that he was out with other women, and during the argument, the two smash plates, and Butterscotch ends up leaving.
While this happens, BoJack, who is nine years old at the time, is trying to listen to Dick Cavett's interview with Secretariat. During the interview, they read a letter that BoJack sent in asking him, "What to do when you feel sad?" However, his parents' yelling prevents BoJack from hearing Secretariat's answer to the letter.
Beatrice comes into the living room and tells BoJack to not sit so close to the TV because it'll make him cruel. She then tells BoJack that she was beautiful before she got pregnant, he ruined her and that he better become successful to make up for the damage he's caused. BoJack timidly replies to these statements as "I know" and "I will." After this, she says, "enough of me being a great mom," and that she's going to hide Butterscotch's heart medication. As she leaves she tells BoJack to "enjoy his dumb little TV show."
In the beginning of The Shot, a flashback to 1972 shows young BoJack takes a cigarette from Beatrice's purse and tries to smoke it, due to seeing Secretariat do it. She catches him and forces him to finish it, saying she won't be the mother of a quitter. BoJack starts crying as he tries to smoke it, and she tells him he doesn't deserve to cry because he wanted this. When BoJack asks if she's punishing him for smoking or for stealing she says, "I'm punishing you for being alive."
A flashback at the beginning of Free Churro shows that BoJack's parents have failed to pick him up from soccer practice. BoJack sits on a bench shivering as it gets later and colder out.
Butterscotch eventually pulls up and begrudgingly tells his son to get in. On the drive home, Butterscotch tells BoJack his mother is having another episode, as she saw A Doll's House with her girlfriends the other night and she got "ideas." She locked herself in the bedroom to weep.
Butterscotch rants how because of this he had to make himself a sandwich. He also states how he had a good run on his novel—where he was writing a sentence that went on for several pages when he realized Beatrice didn't pick their son. This leaves him to have to do "her job" again, and pick BoJack up for soccer practice. He tells BoJack to not this incident gives him "mixed-up ideas about gender."
He says Sundays are his writing days and tells BoJack he and his mother ruined the day for him. He then apologizes for Beatrice, saying she's trying her best, "but you still can't depend on women or anyone in that matter." He tells BoJack he's lucky that he has a good mother to teach him that. BoJack for the entire time sits in terrified silence and doesn't respond to this. Butterscotch is offended thinking he is showing his son kindness, and obnoxiously shouts in his face "THANNNK YOOOUUUU?"
A flashback in Thoughts and Prayers shows BoJack as a teenager. He has joined the football team, but Beatrice tells him he doesn't have the haunches for it, and he'll only embarrass himself like every other endeavor he tries out. BoJack tries to protest, but Beatrice interrupts and says if he wants to get knocked around for an afternoon he should read one of his father's manuscripts and call his prose pedestrian and derivative because it works for her every time. This hints that Butterscotch may have also been physically abusive to Beatrice.
In the same episode, BoJack in the present says he once had a shaky choir solo in the 8th grade, so his mother pretended not to know him. He had to get a ride from the pianist who “liked to tickle more than the ivories.” When BoJack made it home safe, Beatrice said “Huh. I guess no one wants you.”
BoJack left home in the mid-1980s to be a comedian in Los Angeles, eventually making it big as the star of Horsin' Around starting in 1987. He invited Beatrice to a live taping in 1988 and they ate at a restaurant afterward shown during a flashback in Brand New Couch.
Despite all of BoJack's success, she was extremely critical and condescending towards him, Horsin' Around and Los Angeles' culture in general, saying the town was full of AIDS and how she was offended by a man in the theater wearing a t-shirt saying "Just do it."
She said his show "certainly wasn't Ibsen," that he was a clown, and that she hopes he dies before she does so he'll never have to know what it's like to lose a mother. BoJack responds to these criticisms by repeatedly requesting alcohol from the waiters, eventually shouting "Can we please get some alcohol into my mouth!?"
A scene in Time's Arrow shows Beatrice visiting BoJack in 1999 three years after Horsin' Around has ended to give him a painting she got from her father, who recently passed away. BoJack questions why she and Butterscotch won't get a divorce, Beatrice says that's the "Hollywood way" and then says "Well who else would have me now? After what you did to my body?"
She continues to criticize him, saying all he does is take and that it depresses her that she had to make all these sacrifices just so he could do "silly stories" on a TV Show.
Similar to the restaurant scene in Brand New Couch, BoJack defends himself and uses sarcasm with his comebacks. However, he is still somewhat nice to her. BoJack pours her a glass of wine and even saying despite people liking his show, it wasn't Ibsen, referencing what his mother told him eleven years prior.
In December 1999, Butterscotch had an affair with their housekeeper Henrietta Platchkey, getting her pregnant with a baby horse girl. Beatrice fired Henrietta but agreed to pay her nursing school tuition if she gave the baby up for adoption. She sharply told Henrietta “you don’t want this,” and pleaded Henrietta to not do what she did, give up her life and dreams for the baby and let Butterscotch poison her life. Henrietta agrees.
Beatrice was with Henrietta when she gave birth, on September 24, 2000, holding her hand all the way through. However, she refused to let Henrietta hold her baby before taking it away, saying she shouldn't grow attached and that it's for her own good. A frightened Henrietta screams out and sobs for her child proving she wanted the baby all along. Beatrice again thought back to her baby doll being burned, and it becomes yet another metaphor for something being "taken away" from her, especially when her father told her "Your sickness has infected everything. It all must be destroyed for your own good."
The baby was eventually adopted by eight gay men and named Hollyhock Manheim-Mannheim-Guerrero-Robinson-Zilberschlag-Hsung-Fonzerelli-McQuack. BoJack knew nothing of his half-sister until Hollyhock contacted him in 2017, thinking BoJack was her biological father instead, due to their strong resemblance.
On October 31, 2009, Butterscotch passed away after tripping and hitting his head on a rock during a duel, which happened after Butterscotch wrote to a newspaper challenging anyone who didn't like his book to one, and somebody from Montana responded. Beatrice calls BoJack and tells him this news during his Halloween party.
BoJack and Beatrice are seen in a flashback riding in a limo together on the way to his funeral in Thoughts and Prayers. She says they were playing his "dumb show" in his hospital room, it was the episode where The Horse walked in on his daughter in the shower. Beatrice says he always knew how to play the fool. BoJack angrily asks if they have to have this conversation, and he then sadly says there was so much more he wanted to say to his father. Beatrice says he can forget it now.
Beatrice gave the eulogy at Butterscotch's funeral. She said "My husband is dead, and everything is worse now," which surprised BoJack since the two had despised each other for their entire marriage.
Although at that point, Butterscotch had frittered away whatever was left of Beatrice’s family inheritance and had left them in debt. As a result, Beatrice had to sell the house, and all of her fancy jewelry, according to BoJack. BoJack and his agent Princess Carolyn put her in Walnut Springs Nursing Home in Santa Barbara.
In Brand New Couch, in the present, she calls BoJack, who was currently filming the Secretariat movie, on his cell phone while he is in his trailer, listening to his inspirational audiobook. He inhales and asks her what she wants. She says, "Look who finally decided to pick up the phone. This is due to the fact she tried to call him twice before in the episode, but he ignored both of them. This also implies that BoJack rarely speaks to his mother anymore.
She tells him that she read his autobiography, especially the parts about her and what she has said to him in the past and that he must think of her as a "real monster." She says that she knows he wants to be happy, but he won't be, and she "apologizes," saying that he was born "broken," and nothing he tries to fill his life with will ever make him whole.
Two years after this, in the episode Thoughts and Prayers, BoJack takes Hollyhock, who he initially thinks is his daughter, to meet Beatrice, who has been living at Walnut Springs, a nursing home in Santa Barbara.
She is now in a wheelchair, does not recognize BoJack and keeps calling him "Henrietta." BoJack at first believes she is being passive-aggressive towards him but learns from a doctor she has dementia, and will not live for another ten years.
Hollyhock wants her and BoJack to visit Beatrice every week because dementia is hereditary and one day they might have it and they would want someone to take care of them.
BoJack reluctantly agrees. He shows frustration over her not being able to recognize him. One day while she is showing them a photo album she mistakes a picture of BoJack as a child for her brother Crackerjack. When BoJack tries to deny this, she just ignores him and refers to him as Henrietta.
Beatrice in general has mellowed out in terms of her personality, despite that she insults “Henrietta," she is still somewhat kinder, especially to Hollyhock. She does criticize Hollyhock for her weight, giving her advice on how she can be thin too after Hollyhock sees a beautiful picture of her from her debutante.
Later BoJack and Hollyhock put on an episode of Horsin’ Around called I'm Ready For My Closeup, Mr. Dementia so that he can figure out how to deal with Beatrice. Here, Beatrice recognizes BoJack on the TV, and, to BoJack's surprise, laughs at the episode.
Later, as the three watch another episode, BoJack, after remembering the car ride with his mother to his father's funeral and how he regretted having so much more to say to him, goes outside.
Hollyhock follows and he laments to her about the situation. Hollyhock wonders how they can get Beatrice to connect the BoJack from the show to the BoJack who visits her every week. BoJack then gets the idea to put on a live episode of Horsin’ Around in the nursing home. When they're finished he'll introduce himself to her and she'll say “BoJack? Is that You?” When her eyes sparkle with recognition, he'll sit down next to her, squeeze her hand and get real close, and say “Fuck You, Mom!”
Despite Hollyhock thinking this is a terrible plan, the two still do this, but Beatrice becomes scared and confused and starts having a physical meltdown where she even shoves another elder. The nurses put her back in her wheelchair and push her out of the room as she screams. She is kicked out for being violent, and due to her rapid deterioration, the male nurse tells BoJack she should stay with him and Hollyhock.
BoJack reluctantly agrees. While Beatrice is being moved in, now with Tina as her nurse and caretaker, BoJack goes onto his deck, telling Hollyhock that his mother is going to die—she'll never know how much he hates her. Hollyhock said she probably did know, she read his book. BoJack says he still wishes he could say it to her face. Hollyhock assures him Beatrice will have bad days and good days, and maybe one day she will recognize him.
In Stupid Piece of Sh*t, Hollyhock gets Beatrice a baby horse doll after she keeps asking where the baby is. Hollyhock also tells BoJack it was getting depressing to look at her. Beatrice treats the doll like a real baby and is loving towards and is constantly cooing over it. She is even happy enough to make eggs. She also makes coffee for Hollyhock, to which the latter thinks is amazing. Beatrice comments on how well behaved her baby is. Hollyhock says it's because she's a good mother, BoJack tells her to not say that, and she's not really like this.
Beatrice's treatment of the doll annoys and angers BoJack, due to her being a better parent to a doll than she was to him. Hollyhock tells him to get over the beef he has with his mother because now she's just a sweet confused old lady.
BoJack, frustrated that no one knows what's she's really like and certain that the real her is in there somewhere, takes the doll from her and drops it and starts tossing it around, sarcastically asking if leaving the baby alone and not feeding it or changing it would make him a good mother, or if telling it for eighteen years how it embarrasses him and his life would have been better if it wasn't born, releasing his resentment towards his mother's lifelong abuse towards him.
Beatrice demands he give the doll back to her and calls him a “worthless waste of my husband’s jizzim.” At first, this is interpreted to be referring to her son, but it actually relates to Beatrice thinking BoJack is Henrietta, Butterscotch’s mistress, and Hollyhock’s father. BoJack then throws the doll over his deck. Beatrice screams in agony and falls to her knees and sobs, as this moment (unknown to BoJack, and the audience at this point) makes her relive her childhood trauma of her father callously burning her beloved baby doll after she caught scarlet fever.
Hollyhock shows disappointment in BoJack‘s actions. He feels guilty right afterward and gets Mr. Peanutbutter’s help to track down the doll, which ended up in Felicity Huffman’s yard. He returns the doll to her after getting drunk at a bar. She responds with, “About time, Henrietta."
In The Judge, Beatrice is seen still cooing over her baby doll. BoJack tells her she got a package, one that would eventually leads him to finding out about Hollyhock’s true parentage. She asks if she got any “gentleman callers.” Beatrice says she’s expecting a visit from Corbin Creamerman. After Hollyhock arrives home from her night with Miles, Beatrice announces she’ll make coffee. Before Hollyhock leaves for her date with Miles, BoJack asks if she wants breakfast, but Hollyhock rejects, saying she’s good with her coffee.
In Lovin that cali lifestyle!!, she is playing Uno with BoJack, Tina, and Hollyhock. However, events are shown from Hollyhock's point of view, and she appears dizzy. She has also lost a lot of weight, as her clothes are now loose around her. She gets up to get a glass of water, but she loses grip of the glass and it falls on her, giving her a cut on her forehead. BoJack tells her he has band-aids in his bathroom.
After she leaves, Beatrice lays down her second to last card and says “one.” She told “Henrietta” earlier that “she” shouldn't use a foreign language in front of the child, because then she'll get “ideas.” Hollyhock's dizziness gets worse as she enters BoJack's bathroom, knocking over multiple prescription pills he had in his medicine cabinet. After texting one of her father's that's she's OK (saying “Lovin that Cali lifestyle!!”), she passes out. BoJack hears from downstairs, and she is taken to the hospital by ambulance.
Unable to prove he's her legal guardian, BoJack stays in the waiting room until he wakes up to discover Hollyhock's fathers have arrived. They reveal she overdosed on amphetamines. BoJack tries to explain he had no idea, and one of the dads' questions how he couldn't because she's now as thin as a pole. They blame him and forbid him from seeing Hollyhock ever again.
BoJack rushes home, ignoring Beatrice asking if he wants one of her grapefruits, and finds his opened and spilled medications in his bathroom. Thinking Hollyhock took them, he flushes them all down the toilet and lays on the floor as he has a panic attack.
Later, as BoJack stares out the window, Beatrice asks where the girl is. BoJack says that she's gone, to which Beatrice replies “Oh yes, I took her didn’t I?” Which is actually true, as she did take Hollyhock away from her mother, this perhaps implies she knew Hollyhock was that same baby. She then draws her attention to one of BoJack's paintings and asks “her” to help her pack it, as she wants to give it to her son. This parrots a conversation she had with the real Henrietta years ago.
BoJack tells her he always thought she was a terrible parent, and she was, but he blew it even worse, and being a parent is impossible, so he can't be that mad at her. Beatrice laughs and says “she” shouldn't be mad at her, because it's the right thing. BoJack wonders if maybe they deserve each other.
Beatrice gasps and asks again where the girl is, because she made the girl coffee. BoJack questions what is up with them and coffee. BoJack suddenly realizes something to his horror, and runs into the kitchen, shoving past his mother. He questions Beatrice what she put in the coffee, to which she replies with a bit of a devilish look ”That’s an old family secret!”
He goes under the cabinet and inside the bag with the coffee beans he finds a bottle of “Chubb-B-Gone," weight loss supplements, revealing that Beatrice had been drugging Hollyhock with them to make her loose weight. Beatrice says she was doing it only until she learned to take them herself. This also stems from her father's and bully's criticisms about her weight in her youth.
BoJack is enraged, which frightens Beatrice, and tells her whole “not knowing where she is or who her son is” thing is not cute anymore, once again convinced she is faking her dementia. He says she ruined the one good thing he had and didn't ruin by himself, but was ruined because he decided to give her another chance. Beatrice asks where Crackerjack is. BoJack angrily tells her she's out of chances.
In a rage, he drives her to another nursing home and demands they put her in their worst possible room. We see the room is dimly lit, there are stains on the walls, and the window looks out to a dumpster. After the nurse leaves, BoJack coldly tells his mother this is what her life has added up to, her by herself in this room. He says “Best of luck, see you never.” and begins to leave. Beatrice asks who he is, and BoJack ignores her and says “Ugh, bye Mom." There, Beatrice finally recognizes her son again, calling him by his actual name.
The following episode, Time's Arrow, shows what happens in between BoJack finding out about the coffee and Beatrice recognizing BoJack. On the car ride BoJack, once again, angrily tries to convince her he’s her son, to no success. When she asks if they’re going to the lake house, he sarcastically retorts by saying they’re going to a "magical place where they’ll lock her up and she’ll never hurt anymore ever again."
She tells “her” to speed up and repeats her father’s old saying, “time’s arrow neither stands still nor reverses," and asks, “Isn’t that right, Henrietta?," and in place of BoJack the real Henrietta is shown, although her face is scribbled out, and Beatrice now looks like her beautiful young self.
Throughout the episode, the audience sees Beatrice's backstory through her own mind, although as a result of her dementia, certain details are messed up, as most background characters have no faces, a few people have their faces scribbled out, and signs and scenes glitch and change.
Everything that has led up to this moment in Beatrice's life are all juxtaposed together; her being bullied and called fat, catching scarlet fever, her father further revealing himself as the horrible man he really was, her mother being represented only as a shadow, her debutante, meeting and getting impregnated by Butterscotch, giving birth to BoJack, and her and Butterscotch's honeymoon romance becoming a dysfunctional and abusive one, becoming an abusive parent to BoJack along with Butterscotch, a montage of the family becoming wealthier from Butterscotch's new job that ends in 1999.
We also see Henrietta the maid getting pregnant by Butterscotch, and Beatrice convincing her to give up the baby for adoption and to not do what she did, which leads to a scene where we see both Henrietta and young Beatrice giving birth. Along with these, we also cut to the scene of child Beatrice's belongings, and her baby doll, being burned due to her scarlet fever.
At the same time, we see Beatrice in 1999 taking Hollyhock away from Henrietta, as the mother screams and cries from being denied to hold her baby, which ends and cuts to child Beatrice—with her mind making the fire surrounding her and her father, crying for her baby as well, with her father using her lobotomized mother who appears behind him as a shadow with her scar highlighted, and with his ears resembling devil horns as a threat. Beatrice's flashbacks end with her father telling her one-day this will all be a pleasant memory.
After seeing all of this, we pick up where the last episode left off, with Beatrice finally recognizing BoJack. She is scared and confused by her surroundings, despite BoJack bluntly telling her where she is, and she questions again where she is. BoJack then begins as if he's going to give her his “Fuck You!” speech he planned episodes earlier, but he hesitates, and instead, he tells her she's in Michigan at the lake house.
He then narrates to her a story about where she is, saying it's a warm summer night, and she's with her family including Crackerjack, and they're telling her everything is going to be alright, which visually pleases Beatrice, as she agrees and remembers all these details.
In a rare tender moment between mother and son, BoJack also says they're eating vanilla ice cream, and asks if she can taste it. Beatrice begins to respond positively, but she hesitates, as she remembers she never got to taste ice cream—so she lies and says, "Oh, BoJack, it's so....delicious."
Beatrice Horseman died in October of 2018, very likely due to complications of her dementia, as revealed in Free Churro. BoJack stayed with her in the hospital during her final moments, which were filled with nonsensical screams and cries.
However, there was an instant of calm, where she looked in his direction and uttered her final words: "I see you." No criticism or insults, just the simple recognition that he was a person in the same room as her, and she could see him. BoJack feels weird that it was the first time that his mother saw him, the thing he's been missing and what he's ever wanted, but it's not a relief since it came on her deathbed.
BoJack was prepared for cruelty in her final moments, to insult him and put him down like all she's done to him for his entire life, but he wasn't prepared for "I see you." He thinks he might be giving her too much credit, maybe it wasn't a connection at all, or maybe she did just mean that she could actually see him. She was senile in end, so it's hard to tell.
He gave the eulogy at her funeral. Before he did, he went to a Jack in the Box, and he got a free churro when he told the girl behind the counter his mother died.
BoJack apologizes for the closed casket. Beatrice wanted an open casket, but he thought she looked pretty bad dead since the coroner couldn't get her eyes closed so her face is forever frozen in horror and anguish.
During the rest of BoJack's eulogy, he talks about life and his relationship with his parents and their abuse and tries to interpret her final words, but towards the end he realizes his mother was probably reading the hospital sign "ICU", and that he was in the wrong funeral room the whole time.BoJack constantly brings up to others, especially Diane, that his mom died in the following episode, INT. SUB Although when she asks him if he wants to talk about it, he insists he doesn't and asks why she keeps bringing his mom up. He also abruptly leaves his therapy session with Dr. Indira when she asks him about his mom.
In The Showstopper, during Don't Stop Dancing 'Til The Curtains Fall, a musical number sung by Gina in a hallucination dream due to BoJack's opioid addiction, a woman dressed as Beatrice tap dances around him. This references how she would always perform a dance at her supper clubs before she moves backward and curtsies, as she's enclosed in a coffin.
In A Horse Walks into a Rehab, she appears in a flashback. Beatrice and Butterscotch are passed out in the living room, presumably intoxicated, and there are party streamers and decorations everywhere. BoJack as a child sees a bottle of vodka on the ottoman picks it up and takes a drink. He then crawls into his mother's lap and falls asleep.
In The View from Halfway Down, she is among one of the dead party guests, including Herb, Sarah Lynn, Crackerjack, Corduroy, and Zach Braff, in the dream BoJack is having while in reality he is drowning in the pool of his old house. She is shown wearing the same outfit from her debutante ball. She then sarcastically thanks BoJack for bringing her a hydrangea plant.
The party guests are served their last meals, and hers is hospital food on a plastic plate, along with a small cup of Jell-O and a Styrofoam cup of water with a bendy straw, as she died in the ICU. When the guests are discussing "The Best Part/The Worst Part" of their life at dinner, there is a point Beatrice scoffs at Sarah Lynn claiming she sacrificed everything to make her fans and public happy (likely due to her belief that she had to sacrifice everything for BoJack who ended up as a disappointment for her no matter what he did). She also shuts down Corduroy’s mention of religion at one point, not wanting it in her home. During dinner, a hybrid version of BoJack’s dad shows up, presented in Secretariat's body along with having both of their memories, and he and Beatrice briefly bicker.
The party guests all perform in front of each other, with their acts tying into/being metaphors for their lives/how they died, and after their act is up they disappear through a door frame that leads into a black abyss. As the show goes on the tar in the abyss becomes more apparent. As BoJack starts to figure out he’s dying and begins to panic, at one point Beatrice’s head transforms into her elderly self, along with Crackerjack having a hole in his head dripping with blood.
Beatrice and Crackerjack perform second to last together—Crackerjack plays I Will Always Think Of You on the trumpet while Beatrice does an interpretative ribbon dance. BoJack had previously mentioned in Free Churro the only time she ever looked happy was when she put in a beautiful dress and danced for her supper club. During her performance she even cartwheels and flips through the air, and at one point leaps off the stage and performs around BoJack, possibly representing her influence on him. She stops and tells him with a smile "This is the hard part," before leaping up and suspending herself in the air as she spins with the growing ribbon around her, which may represent how difficult her life was.
Crackerjack stops playing the trumpet, although the music continues and the trumpet remains suspended in the air. She then says "And now, the easy part," as her body is wrapped up in the ribbon. Crackerjack ties the end around his waist and leaps into the abyss. The tar crawls out of the door frame and reaches Beatrice, now cocooned in the ribbon and still spinning in mid air. It consumes her and leaves nothing but her now black ribbon, which along with the trumpet falls to the ground, and the music stops.This likely represents how Crackerjack’s death poisoned Beatrice’s family and led to her becoming a bitter person, and Beatrice being cocooned in the ribbon unaware of the tar reaching her is due to having dementia in her final years and not being aware of her surroundings a majority of the time.
- The Old Sugarman Place
- Thoughts and Prayers
- Stupid Piece of Sh*t
- The Judge
- lovin that cali lifestyle!!
- Time's Arrow (final present-day appearance)
- Free Churro (mentioned)
- "Here's your omelet. I'm sorry it's not as good as the omelets your secretary makes, but then you're not married to your secretary, are you?"
- "Nobody gives a damn what you feel! You've got an audience out there and they want to hear you sing! Now you want your mommy to love you? You go out there and you do the only thing you're good for which is singing the god damn lollipop song!
- "You know, I was beautiful, before I got pregnant."
- "You ruined me, BoJack."
- “You better grow up to be something great, to make up for all the damage you’ve done.”
- “Okay, enough me being a great mom. I’m gonna go hide your father’s heart medication. Enjoy your dumb little TV show.”
- "You know, the man sitting next to me was wearing a t-shirt, a t-shirt BoJack, in the theater!"
- "The t-shirt told me to "Just Do It." I don't know to what 'It' the t-shirt referred, but I will not be spoken to in that tone by an article of clothing!"
- “You don’t know how lucky you are to have me. I hope you die before I do so you’ll never have to know what it’s like to lose a mother!”'
- "It takes a real narcissist to think that anyone wants to buy a book about them. You know how I feel about Anne Frank."
- "I read the parts about me...the things I’ve said to you. You must think I’m a real monster."
- "I don't wanna fight you, BoJack. I just wanted to tell you I know. I know you wanna be happy, but you won't be, and—I'm sorry....It's not just you, you know. Your father and I, we— Well, you come by it honestly, the ugliness inside you. You were born broken, that's your birthright. And now you can fill your life with projects, your books, and your movies and your little girlfriends, but it won't make you whole. You're BoJack Horseman. There's no cure for that."
- "Don't you dare cry! Don't you ever cry! You wanted this."
- "I'm punishing you for being alive."
- "Let go of me! I am the heiress to the Sugarman Sugarcube Company! You can’t do this to me!"
- "Give me the baby you worthless waste of my husband’s jism!"
- "Time's arrow neither stands still nor reverses after all, it merely marches foreword. Isn't that right, Henrietta?"
- "You think you want this but you don’t. Not like this...Don't throw away your dreams for this child. Don't let that man poison your life the way he did mine. You are going to finish your schooling and become a nurse. You'll meet a man, a good man, and you'll have a family, but please believe me, you don't want this."
- "Oh, BoJack, it’s so...delicious."
- In Fish Out Of Water BoJack says she tried to drown him in a bathtub when he was twenty-two.
- BoJack has had to give blood to her in the past, as revealed in Brand New Couch when he says "Do you need more blood?" when they are talking on the phone.
- The image of Beatrice as a child is on the wrappers of Sugarman's Sugar Cubes.
- Thoughts and Prayers reveals she has dementia, and will not live for very long.
- She died at the age of eighty in Free Churro.
- Her death makes BoJack and Hollyhock the only two living members of the Horseman family left.
- Her death also makes BoJack Joseph Sugarman's last remaining descendant, due to being his only grandchild.
- Her last words were "I See You," although she was in the intensive care unit and may have been reading the hospital sign "ICU."
- She died at the age of eighty in Free Churro.
- Lisa Hanawalt states that when they designed Beatrice getting older, they made her eyes smaller because in animation it's a way of showing age, and to show she's closing off from the world and becoming more bitter and harder.
- Beatrice was a part of a supper club, during which they would put on skits and other performances.
- Beatrice would perform a dance routine while wearing a beautiful dress she only wore on special occasions, and she was so talented even Butterscotch, who hated her parties and being married to her, would even leave his study to see her dance.
- Beatrice also made BoJack perform The Lollipop Song, which introduced him to performing in front of other people.
- The View from Halfway Down implies she wore the same dress she wore at her debutante.
- Beatrice was never allowed to eat ice cream by her parents, instead, she had to have sugar-coated lemon wedges which were considered to be a "healthy girl's snack," and her father was obsessed with keeping her thin.
- The only time she did have some was at the end of the war celebration, by her mother who had her meltdown that led to her lobotomy. Beatrice got an orange freezy pop and she only got two licks out of it, and she dropped it once her mother started having her meltdown.
- Thoughts and Prayers and Time's Arrow show that to the present day she has still never had any, since when BoJack mentions ice cream in the former episode she says no ice cream for her because she's watching her figure, and in the latter episode when BoJack says they're at the lake house, and says at the end they're eating ice cream, and asks her if she can taste it she pauses for a bit and lies and says it's delicious.
- She took weight loss pills when she was younger to stay skinny and pretty (she referred to them as "pretty pills"), due to being made insecure about her weight as a child by her school bullies and her father.
- This led to her putting weight loss pills in Hollyhock's coffee
- As an elderly woman, Beatrice has appeared to developed cataracts, as her eyes have gone from black to an opaque green color, which is a real condition in older horses.
- In Time's Arrow Beatrice's dementia is portrayed in her memories through disturbing details such as exit signs and hotel names glitching into an illegible bunch of letters, several characters faces left blank or people she's trying to forget having their faces scribbled over (such as Henrietta).
- Beatrice could not abort BoJack due to the trauma of her babydoll being burned as a child when she had scarlet fever
- Due to how her life ended up after marrying Butterscotch, she convinces Henrietta, the housemaid Butterscotch gets pregnant, to give her baby up for adoption,
- Beatrice's father tells her not to cry and let her womanly emotions consume her when she is a child, and in The Shot she tells BoJack "Don't you ever cry" when he cries when smoking the cigarette he took from her purse and she makes him finish, leaving him unable to cry in front of others as an adult. She also gets annoyed when Henrietta starts crying when she talks with her about Butterscotch getting her pregnant, saying "Well, don’t do that, what does that solve?"
- It is unknown and never revealed why she and Butterscotch kept Hollyhock a secret from BoJack.
- Beatrice admits of regretting not marrying Corbin Creamerman saying he would have been kind to her.
- Despite her advanced age and primarily needing a wheelchair, Beatrice was shown to be in better shape than BoJack. In The Judge, while BoJack struggled to do a single push up, she was able to do over forty push-ups.
- Although it's possible she only did a few push-ups and started counting at a high number like 40 (intentionally or otherwise).
- Beatrice has been implied to be a bad cook, as in a flashback in BoJack Hates the Troops she mentions Butterscotch likes his secretary's omelettes better, in Thoughts and Prayers she mentions a woman named Beth in her supper club refusing to eat her casserole, and in a flashback in Time's Arrow she announces to Butterscotch when he comes home that she burned dinner again.
- In The View from Halfway Down, Beatrice reveals that she is not religious; in fact, she appears to dislike it rather strongly, as she is quick to shut down any mentions of it during the dinner scene.
- In The View From Halfway Down, during the dinner, Zach Braff serves Beatrice some nursing home food. Since everyone's meals are what they ate or encountered right before they died, Beatrice's dinner is the cheap plastic food she was served in the nursing home before she died.