|“||Love does things to a person. Terrible things. Beatrice, promise me you will never love anyone as much as I loved Crackerjack.||”|
—Honey Sugarman, The Old Sugarman Place
She was a housewife with a "sweet face" and a "smart mouth," and who dearly loved her family. But after the death of her son Crackerjack in World War II, she became depressed and emotionally unstable, and after one incident is given a lobotomy.
Honey had brown fur and a long, curled reddish-brown mane. She wore grey eye-shadow and dark red lipstick, and she had black eyebrows. Like her daughter, she had a gap in her front teeth, and she appeared to have the head shape of an Arabian horse.
She wore a white shirt with round puffy sleeves and a red collar and sleeve cuffs, a dark blue skirt with a black belt and light blue, navy blue, and red pattern on the bottom, and green strappy wedge sandals.
After undergoing a lobotomy, she was left with a scar on her forehead that was surrounded by bare skin. She also had dark circles around her eyes with bags under them.
Her mane after the procedure was messier and undone, although at other times (such as when Joseph is seen yelling and shaking her, and when Joseph burns Beatrice's belongings) it appeared normal.
At Beatrice's debutante ball in 1963, she wears a white top identical to the one she normally wears, and a wide white skirt similar to the one on Beatrice's dress. Her hair is also messy and undone again.
Honey was shown to be a kind spirit, full of life, and had a bit of a "sassy attitude and a smart mouth."
Honey had somewhat sexist views similar to her husband, although, not nearly as bad as his, telling Beatrice that ice cream is a "boy's food," instead she should suck on a lemon wedge with sugar sprinkled on it. She later also tells Beatrice to not lift a heavy suitcase because she will rupture her uterus. However, she was still a kind and caring woman nonetheless.
She appeared to be closest with her son, Crackerjack; as mentioned before the two had a special song they played together on the piano.
However, after Crackerjack was shot and killed while fighting in World War II, Honey became depressed and emotionally unstable. Crying fits were not uncommon for her—and she even blamed herself at one point for his death, saying "I failed him" and "I should never have let him go."
She even made Joseph and Beatrice go back to their summer home in the middle of winter in a frantic search for Crackerjack's old baby blanket, where Beatrice had left there for safe keeping.
She attempts to cheer herself up by taking herself and Beatrice to a party celebrating the end of the war at a local barn. However, after seeing a piano she begins singing parts of I Will Always Think of You to herself (while in the present day Eddie sings the other parts and the audience views both of them having a "duet.")
Afterwards she spirals into a full on breakdown where she drinks heavily, hysterically begging Crackerjack's war friend Sal to tell her about what happened when he got shot, and even kisses him. After breaking down crying and being asked to leave, Honey makes Beatrice drive them home—which results in a car accident, injuring both of them.
When Joseph angrily confronts her back home she admits she can’t stop thinking about Crackerjack, and she can’t be with people and she can’t be alone.
Honey is given a lobotomy shortly after, leaving her a dazed and empty shell of her former self, speaking in a dead, monotone voice and losing her ability to play the piano. However, she assures a tearful Beatrice she’s "better now," but love does "terrible things" to a person—and she makes Beatrice promise to never love anyone as much as she loved Crackerjack.
In the summer of 1944, while the Sugarmans are staying at their summer home in Michigan, Crackerjack is preparing to leave to fight in World War II, and the family is getting ready to take a family portrait together.
After he arrives home, he and Honey begin to perform their favorite song, I Will Always Think of You, on the piano. However, Joseph interrupts them, telling them "Time's arrow neither stands still nor reverses, it merely marches forward." Honey then makes a joke about not knowing arrows had legs.
Honey and the rest of her family take a family portrait together while looking “far away sad” for posterity, and she begs Crackerjack to take his old baby blanket, “Blinky," with him. He decides to give it to Beatrice for safe keeping.
Months later, in the winter, Crackerjack was shot and killed in World War II. This leads Honey to sink into a deep depression and began having fits of hysteria.
In the middle of winter she, along with Beatrice and Joseph return to the lake house in a frantic search for Crackerjack's blanket. She believes he should have had it with him and that she failed him and she starts crying. Joseph assures her she is not to blame for this and tells her they should leave.
Honey and her family return to the lake house in the summer of 1945, and she is still depressed. Joseph attempt to cheer her up, although her playing a few notes of her and Crackerjack's song is enough to make her start crying.
Joseph leaves her and Beatrice alone after this, saying as a "modern American man" he's not prepared, or willing, to deal with a woman's emotions.
A short time later, in either August or September, the war ends, as the US has bombed Japan. Honey decides to try to cheer herself up and go to a celebration for the end of the war being held at a local barn/restaurant with Beatrice.
Honey appears to be feeling better at first, even letting Beatrice get a Popsicle, but she sees a piano and starts singing parts of I Will Always Think of You to herself with everyone watches her. Meanwhile in the present Eddie sings the rest of the song and the two have a “duet” in the juxtaposed past/present style episode The Old Sugarman Place.
She ends up having a meltdown, drinking heavily, crying hysterically, and even kissing one of Crackerjack's soldier friends, desperate to feel "alive" again. A waiter at the party advised her to leave after having another drink to steady her nerves.
Honey made Beatrice drive them home despite the latter being underage, wanting her to drive faster and faster in order to combat her grief—even slamming her other foot on the gas pedal to do so. This resulted in them crashing into a gas station and getting hurt.
Angry that she put Beatrice in danger, unwilling to support her emotionally and being begged to "fix" her after admitting she can't stop thinking about Crackerjack and doesn't know how to be better. Joseph had Honey lobotomized in order to control her "womanly emotions," leaving her a dazed and empty shell of her former self. This, along with having a large scar on her forehead, much to the horror of Beatrice—who begins crying in her mother's lap.
The now dazed Honey says she's better now and asks Beatrice to never love someone the same way she loved Crackerjack, as love does terrible things to a person, and a tearful Beatrice promises. Honey then says, "Why I have half a mind!..." as her voice trails off.
In her second appearance, Time's Arrow, Honey is either obscured by darkness or presented only in silhouette, sometimes with her lobotomy scar highlighted in white—suggesting that as a consequence of dementia, Beatrice remembers her mother as merely a shadow. Beatrice may possibly have trauma as a reminder of what would happen, if she would let her emotions consume her, or let her love someone.
Honey does not respond to Joseph's yelling and shaking when he berates her for failing at her motherly duties and blames her for not noticing Beatrice's scarlet fever. She shows no reaction upon being pulled by Joseph towards his side at Beatrice's debutante. This implies that following the lobotomy, she mentally deteriorated to the point of becoming catatonic.
When Joseph had all of Beatrice's possessions burnt—due to scarlet fever, he used Honey as an illustration of what he would do to her if she acted emotionally and if she continued crying over the baby doll. Joseph says to Beatrice, “You don’t want to end up like your mother now, do you?”
Honey Sugarman later passed away at an unknown time. Although Honey was seen alive in 1963, she most likely died before Joseph did the same in the year 1999.
Honey is shown in a photograph with Joseph in Beatrice’s photo album in Thoughts and Prayers.
- Brand New Couch (alluded to)
- The Old Sugarman Place (first appearance)
- Thoughts and Prayers (photographed)
- Time's Arrow (non-speaking)
- In a flashback to 1988 in Brand New Couch, Beatrice tells BoJack she hopes for him to die before her, so that he will never have to know what it feels like to lose a mother. In retrospect, this can be interpreted as Beatrice referencing Honey's lobotomy leaving her practically brain dead.
- Honey only appears in shadow in Time's Arrow, in reference to how she became a shadow of her former self.
- Honey's fate is foreshadowed by her catchphrase "I've got half a mind to...," especially when she tells Joseph she has half a mind to kiss him, to which he replies "Well, that half you can keep!"