BoJack's Theme is the instrumental theme score for BoJack Horseman.
Patrick created the score while testing out his equipment by starting with a click track on a Roland Jupiter-4 keyboard, and he layered in sound from an arpeggiator and drums. He then sent it to Ralph, who added tenor sax and fleshed out the rest of the sound.
The musical score was not originally intended for BoJack Horseman.
However, Noel Bright, one of the executive producers in the show, contacted Patrick Carney, as he was a Black Keys fan. Bright asked Patrick if he would be interested in composing an opening theme for the show. Patrick sent Bright the track he and Ralph had composed together. Bright liked it, stating in an interview “we knew it was right when we heard it.” Netflix approved of the track, and it became the opening theme of BoJack Horseman.
Theme Sequence Visuals
BoJack’s Theme is the opening theme music for each episode, with the exception of Escape from L.A., The Showstopper, A Horse Walks into a Rehab, and Sabrina's Christmas Wish. There is an alternate version that plays near the end of Escape from L.A while BoJack Horseman returns to Hollywoo from Tesuque.
BoJack's actions, the background and its characters may change episodically and seasonally during the theme sequence, according to the development of the show's story. Characters may or may not be around, depending on how involved are they with BoJack's life.
1st Scene: Morning in the House
The theme sequence begins with a shot of BoJack's House at sunrise, and it zooms from the bottom of the cliff onto BoJack's deck. It cuts to BoJack lying in his bed when his eyes spring open from sleep.
Much of the remaining sequence shows BoJack's face in a locked perspective in the center of the screen as he transitions to different scenes.
BoJack leaves his bedroom where two framed magazines featuring him from his Horsin' Around years are outside.
He then passes through his living room while Horsin' Around plays on his TV (in The Light Bulb Scene, the first episode of Season 5, it changes to a tribute to Ralph Carney, who died December 16, 2017. After that, it plays Philbert). BoJack has put on a bathrobe and he drifts past his kitchen as he takes a sip from a mug.
In the beginning of the series, the main characters Princess Carolyn, Diane Nguyen and Todd Chavez hang around in his living room. Todd is living in his house; Princess Carolyn is his on-and-off girlfriend; and Diane is the ghost writer of his autobiography. They all left BoJack during Season 3. Diane is last seen there in Stop the Presses as she accompanies Mr. Peanutbutter to Labrador Peninsula in the next episode, and later has a falling-out with BoJack in It's You. Princess Carolyn is last seen in BoJack's place in Best Thing That Ever Happened in which she gets fired by BoJack. BoJack lets Todd use his living room as Cabracadabra's headquarter from Old Acquaintance onward. Todd is last seen in It's You in which he moves out of BoJack's house after learning BoJack had sex with Emily.
In Season 2, starting from Still Broken, Wanda Pierce appears in BoJack's living room as she has moved in with him. She sits on the couch and then flies away from the deck in the scene. She is last seen in Yes And, in which the two break up.
The huge glass panel in the living room has been shattered near the end of Season 3 in That's Too Much, Man! as BoJack drove his new Tesla through it in the previous episode. The room remains without any visitor and littered with garbage from the party for his fake Oscar nomination up to Season 4's Hooray! Todd Episode!, in which Todd gets the place fixed, and Hollyhock moves in. So, she starts appearing in the theme sequence from Commence Fracking onward.
After Beatrice Horseman moves into the house at the end of Thoughts and Prayers, she and her possessions appear starting in Underground; she last appears in Lovin that cali lifestyle!! as BoJack puts her in a home at the end of that episode. Her possessions remain in the house for the remainder of the season.
In Season 5, Gina Cazador appears in the house, standing in the living room and then eating an apple in the kitchen, from BoJack the Feminist until Head in the Clouds (as the following episode uses the Philbert theme song instead and ends BoJack's relationship with Gina). From Ancient History onwards, BoJack wears his Philbert costume rather than his robe during this sequence, reflecting how he wears his suit even when not filming and is becoming one with the character.
In INT. SUB, BoJack is reskinned with a zebra pattern throughout the entire sequence, matching the alias Dr. Indira uses for him, "BoBo the Angsty Zebra." However, the other characters are not changed. The title of the series is also changed to BoBo the Angsty Zebra for this episode.
2nd Scene: New Places
The second scene varies for each season.
In Season 1, BoJack is seen drinking a Frappuccino as he glides through a grocery store. Behind him, Princess Carolyn takes a call on her Bluetooth cellphone. Todd seems to have caused a large pile of fruit to collapse by picking out an apple. Mr. Peanutbutter and Diane are looking at their phones. The paparazzi birds then start taking pictures of BoJack, to his annoyance.
In Season 2, BoJack again drinks a Frappuccino as he glides through the set of Secretariat, and he is wearing Secretariat's blue and white tank top. Princess Carolyn texts on her phone. Todd, not looking where he's going, topples a light over and breaks it, much to Princess Carolyn's disapproval. Mr. Peanutbutter brings Diane food in a bag with her name on it (they disappear after Diane has gone to Cordovia at the end of Hank After Dark). Lenny Turteltaub is seen talking with the director Kelsey Jannings (Abe D'Catfish replaces her after The Shot).
Season 3 shows BoJack in a tuxedo at night time, in front of a theater showing Secretariat. The press are behind him taking pictures. Princess Carolyn and Ana Spanakopita are behind him on their phones, Princess Carolyn looks annoyed by Ana. Diane pulls Mr. Peanutbutter away from A Ryan Seacrest Type while Todd gets blinded by camera flashings and topples on a queue stand.
Season 4 shows kaleidoscope imagery behind BoJack that includes events and people from his past, including Princess Carolyn, Todd, cotton candy, Herb Kazzaz and the Horsin' Around cast, Kelsey, and his parents Beatrice and Butterscotch from Downer Ending, where he made up a story of them being nice to him and giving him ice cream.
In Season 5, a thunderstorm's lightning flashes bring the background from BoJack's house to the set of Philbert. The two places look strikingly alike. BoJack is wearing his costume. He eyes the set suspiciously as he seems to glide through the same place a second time. A crew member is moving a large container (Mr. Peanutbutter, Diane, and more crew members show up from The Amelia Earhart Story onward after the former has joined the cast of Philbert). Flip McVicker is finger framing the set, and Gina Cazador is looking around. Todd and Princess Carolyn are in the kitchen; the former signing a contract (except in The Light Bulb Scene where he simply stands around scratching his head, as he joins the team later in that episode), the latter on her phone. In The Stopped Show, due to the former quitting production and the latter focusing on her personal life, Diane and Princess Carolyn are no longer present in the sequence.
3rd Scene: Party at Night
The third scene of the opening theme returns to BoJack's house at night where he is having a party with a lot of people. He's in a tux and drinks alcohol from a shot glass. Todd, Lenny and Sarah Lynn are there. Sarah Lynn disappears after she dies at the end of That's Too Much, Man! Her spot is filled by Katrina in Season 4 and Pickles Aplenty in Season 5 and Season 6.
The show on the television changes each season. In Season 1, it's Sarah Lynn's music video of Prickly Muffin; Season 2, Tom Jumbo-Grumbo talking to Sebastian St. Clair; Season 3, Jumbo-Grumbo talking to Sextina Aquafina; Season 4, Woodchuck Coodchuck-Berkowitz speaking; and Season 5, A Ryan Seacrest Type talking about Philbert.
BoJack drifts through this scene backward to the left, looking disoriented. His hair becomes somewhat disheveled, tie undone, and eyes bloodshot as he gets drunk. He glides out to the deck and falls over the rail. Strangely he falls back into his own swimming pool, where two women swim under and above him. BoJack sees Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter looking down into the pool concerned. In Season 5 beginning in The Dog Days Are Over, and in Season 6 from A Quick One, While He's Away onwards, Diane's physical appearance changes and as such is reflected here—in the former she cuts her hair into a short bob style, and in the latter her hair has grown out a bit, she has a new outfit, and she has gained a significant amount of weight due to beginning to take antidepressants.
The two palm trees on BoJack's deck can be seen behind them. A helicopter flies near and beams its light at BoJack. BoJack holds up his hand to block out the bright light.
4th Scene: Sunbathing
This scene transitions to BoJack holding his hand over his face with sunglasses on. It is a sunny day, and he is lying and sunbathing on an inflatable pool bed in his swimming pool. The camera zooms out from BoJack and cuts to a shot of his house on top of the valley with the show's title BoJack Horseman, which concludes the theme sequence.
Season 6: The Haunting Past
In Season 6's first episode, A Horse Walks into a Rehab, the intro starts normally, but rapidly becomes distorted lasting only a few seconds. The music dies down, and a film burn effect cuts the intro short, starting the episode immediately.
Starting in the second episode, The New Client, the opening theme plays at its full length again. It is stylistically different from the previous seasons. In the first shot, the sunrise in the background has been replaced by the galaxy image from the planetarium on the night Sarah Lynn died. Instead of flying towards BoJack's bedroom window, the camera flies past his house, and cuts to a younger BoJack in his prime opening his eyes in his Horsin' Around dressing room, with his back turned to the mirror. From this point on, the intro replays important moments from BoJack's life in the series, with film burn effects cutting in-between.
While BoJack stays in the center of the screen and faces the camera like in previous intros, his facial expressions are noticeably different this time: in the previous seasons, BoJack's expression stayed mostly blank, and sometimes looked annoyed; in this season, however, BoJack's face cycles among expressions of fear, guilt, shame, and shock, as he is finally sober, which is reflected by not showing him drinking at all. His eyes no longer get bloodshot preceding falling into the pool.
The places seen in the intro are as follows:
From the Horsin' Around era:
- The Horsin' Around kitchen set, where a young Sarah Lynn, as her character Sabrina, sits behind the table (from Prickly-Muffin). It zooms out to the sound stage where Herb Kazzaz stands up from his director's chair (from The Telescope).
From Season 1:
- Herb's bedroom, with a cancer-ridden Herb (from The Telescope).
From Season 2:
- The desert and water tower outside Tesuque, with balloons with glow sticks attached to them flying across (from Escape from L.A.).
From Season 3:
- The hallway at Whale World with the words "BoJack Kills" written on the wall (from BoJack Kills).
- The forest of seaweed outside Pacific Ocean City (from Fish Out Of Water).
From Season 4:
- The interior of the dilapidated Sugarman Summer Home (from The Old Sugarman Place).
- Beatrice's room at her last nursing home, with a wheelchair-bound Beatrice staring blankly (from Time's Arrow).
From Season 5:
- The funeral which BoJack mistook as Beatrice's (from Free Churro).
- The Philbert premiere party, with Gina Cazador, Todd Chavez and Princess Carolyn seen on the red carpet (from Head in the Clouds). Gina's head turns ever so slightly in BoJack's direction as he goes by.
Then the intro takes BoJack to the planetarium where Sarah Lynn died, with the galaxy image as the night sky. BoJack falls from a balcony there into darkness, with only the whites of his eyes visible. BoJack ends up falling into a swimming pool, and the remaining part of the intro is mostly similar to those in the previous seasons.
When Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter gather by the pool above BoJack, Mr. Peanutbutter has a different, more concerned, facial expression. And later in A Quick One, While He's Away, again by the pool's edge, Diane's hair has grown longer and the shaved undercut is gone. She is in a new jacket and has visibly gained weight, as seen at the end of the previous episode. Mr. Peanutbutter's facial expression has reverted to the more relaxed one seen in previous seasons.