BoJack Horseman Wiki
Alright you two, believe it or not time's arrow neither stands still nor reverses. It merely marches forward.

—Joseph Sugarman, The Old Sugarman Place

Joseph Sugarman was the maternal grandfather of BoJack, the husband of Honey, and the father of Beatrice and Crackerjack. He was the owner of the Sugarman Sugar Cube Company.

Physical Appearance

Joseph was a male buckskin horse with dark yellow fur, a short dark olive brown mane, pale brown spots on his eyes, ears, and muzzle, black eyebrows, and a white diamond-shaped mark between his eyes.

He wore a white suit with a light blue shirt, a dark blue bow-tie, and black, blue, and white shoes.

In the 1960s, when he is shown at an older age, there are wrinkles under his eyes and the hairline on his mane has receded. He also appears to have gained a bit of weight.

When he is seen deceased, he has more wrinkles, white stubble on his mouth, and a white mane with a bald spot on top. His corpse wears a black suit with a white shirt and grey and green striped tie.



"You don't want to end up like your mother now, do you?"

Despite his cheery demeanor, Joseph had a weak conscience, almost to the point of sociopathy. He invariably prioritized the success of his business and his public image of a successful polite family man over the welfare of his family and would do anything but provide emotional support for them.

Joseph was deeply misogynistic even by 1940s standards; he was averse to the idea of women doing anything that was not conducive to domestic tasks such as baby-making or home-keeping.

He frequently berated both Beatrice and Honey for falling prey to what he called their "womanly emotions." He said that as "a modern American man" he was not prepared to deal with a woman's emotions, and would never learn how to do so.

After Honey has a greif-stricken meltdown at a party, due to her ongoing depression over the death of her eldest son Crackerjack during World War II, and has Beatrice drive them home, resulting in a car crash, Joseph was furious with his wife over her reckless (albeit desperate) conduct and took the drastic decision to have her lobotomized.

Though lobotomy was a relatively common surgery in the 40s, and Honey begged on her knees for her husband to “fix” her, however, Joseph showed astounding coldness and selfishness. He angrily tells Honey he could not possibly run his company, or properly flirt with his secretary if his wife kept having fits of hysteria.

He even would hang this over young Beatrice's head, as an example of what would happen to her if she, a woman, would act out and let her emotions consume her.

On one hand, Joseph was upset with Honey for putting Beatrice in danger, and he hadn’t considered lobotomy until that point. He stated if he had known Honey would become in her current state after the lobotomy, he would have never had it done in the first place—perhaps a tiny possible ounce of regret in him.

He appeared sad when telling Beatrice that Honey was healed after her lobotomy, possibly due to the fact it had to get to that point, and also shortly after the news of Crackerjack's death when he and Beatrice accompany Honey to the lakehouse in the winter as she frantically searches for Crackerjack's baby blanket, solemnly saying "Even Blinky couldn't have stopped that Nazi's bullet" and "That's just war Honey."

He also made a few attempts to comfort Honey when she started crying over Crackerjack's death upon both times they returned to their summer home, assuring her it wasn't her fault he died, and attempting to cheer her up by repeating a joke she made over "marching arrows" a year prior.

Despite his misogyny and what he would end up doing to her, and ignoring the fact he would “compliment [his] secretary on her tight sweaters," before Crackerjack's death he and Honey seemed to genuinely love each other, flirting with each other and sharing a kiss before having a family photograph taken.

He was also horrified by Beatrice's scarlet fever to the point of taking her to the doctor.

On the other hand, Joseph did not pay attention to Beatrice's symptoms until she collapsed, believing initially she just wanted to skip school to avoid her bully Clemilia Bloodsworth, an issue which he apparently didn’t care about, and then blamed Honey for not noticing the illness in spite of his own mistakes, and the fact that Honey was practically brain-dead from her lobotomy, even to the point of violently shaking her when she showed no response.

After this, he told Honey if he knew this would happen to her after the procedure he wouldn't have bothered—seemingly implying he regretted his wife's lobotomy mostly because it prohibited her from taking care of Beatrice, and less the fact he reduced his once lively sassy wife to an empty shell. This also implies he may not have known the full consequences of a lobotomy, and ignoring the fact it was one of the very few ways to treat mental illness at the time, may have chosen it because it was the quickest way to stop Honey's reckless behavior. This even brings into question if he truly loved Honey, or only saw her as an object and didn’t actually respect or care about her as a person.  

He also made no attempt to console Beatrice or even try to explain the situation to her when she was visibly upset and traumatized at seeing her own possessions burnt, including her favorite baby doll, instead he didn't tell her it was going to happen beforehand and does it while she's asleep, telling her cheerfully "crying is stupid" and telling her her sickness infected everything and it all had to be destroyed for her own good.

Despite the fact, similar to how lobotomies were a somewhat common surgery at that point in time, burning possessions was a very common thing to do for individuals infected with scarlet fever, as it was very contagious and potentially deadly, Joseph, once again, could have handled it much more empathetically for young Beatrice.

Additionally, alongside her high society peers, Joseph pressured Beatrice to be skinny, making asides about her weight as a little girl and forbidding her from eating any sweets, particularly ice cream. He even cheerfully tells her that her throat being almost swollen shut from her scarlet fever can help her lose weight after she was even teased about it by her school bully. This gives Beatrice body image issues for the rest of her life.

Joseph disapproved of Beatrice's interests in educating herself, literature, and social issues such as poverty and civil rights—only sending her to Barnard to find a husband, but to his disappointment she returned with a bachelors degree "and a mouth full of sass". He especially disliked her rebellious and open-minded attitude in her young adult years, and at one point snapping that he didn't care about her personal preferences, or what she thought she wanted for herself in life. 

He wanted to marry her off to her debutante chaperone Corbin Creamerman mainly for profit, as Corbin's father was the owner of a creamery—which is ironic as Joseph forbid Beatrice from having ice cream, as it was "a boys food" and because he wanted her to stay thin. Her debutante ball was only held because it was a tradition of high society women and for Beatrice to be introduced to Corbin so she can land a husband. He was so anxious to marry her off he at one point angrily told Beatrice, who tried to insist she wasn't interested in Corbin, he'd marry her off to literally anyone at that point.

Hence, his motives for trying to keep Beatrice alive and healthy are questionable, as it seems, like Honey, he saw her only as an object, as his only concern was that she was raised suitable enough, both in terms of their high society's standards in looks and personality, to be married off, especially for his own benefit in terms of profits and having a suitable heir for his company.

Therefore, it is difficult to tell whether or not Joseph truly cared for his family, particularly the female members.

He would always be on top of schedules and time, and would frequently mention having to get back to work, showing he was very busy running the company as it was a top priority for him, which may have further contributed to the emotional neglect of his family.

These actions all contributed to how Beatrice became as an adult, which led her to make her own choices that further sabotaged her life and made her more bitter and abusive, a similar fate that happens to her son, BoJack.

All of these factors combined, alongside the fact that next to nothing is known of the generations preceding Joseph, easily make Joseph one of if not the most toxic and despicable members of BoJack's family. He may quite possibly the source reason for why BoJack became the way he is. Joseph groomed Beatrice into being what she is and said actions bled into how Beatrice brought up BoJack.


Joseph Sugarman was born sometime in either the late 1890s or the early 1900s. He was the owner of the Sugarman Sugar Cube Company, which was founded around 1916, and thus was very wealthy. It is unknown if Joseph himself founded the company or inherited it from his relatives. He was married to Honey Sugarman, and they had two children; the eldest son Crackerjack, born either during or before 1923, and younger daughter Beatrice, born in 1938. They all lived in Indianapolis and would stay at a lakefront cabin in Harper's Landing, Michigan during the summer.

He, Honey, and Crackerjack first appeared in flashbacks to 1944-1945 in The Old Sugarman Place. He wonders where Crackerjack is—as they are going to take a family portrait, and he has to go back to Indianapolis for work.

Honey wishes he could be able to cut back on work since the government rationing sugar due to the war, and it is summer. Joseph wishes he could, but no one else but him will make sure "the numbers add up and compliment his secretary on her tight sweaters." Honey admits they do appreciate the sacrifices he makes for them.

After Crackerjack arrives he and his mother begin playing their special song, I Will Always Think of You—but Joseph has to cut them off and says, "time's arrow neither stays still or reverses, it merely marches forward." Honey then makes a joke about arrows having legs, Joseph then kisses her after she says she has "half a mind to kiss him with her smart mouth," to which he replies that half she can keep.

After Crackerjack was shot and killed in World War II, Honey fell into a depression. They go to the summer home in the winter with Honey frantically looking for Crackerjack's baby blanket, and Joseph solemnly tells her even that couldn't have stopped the Nazi's bullet and "that's just war". Honey starts crying and thinks she's failed him, but Joseph assures her its not her fault and that if anyone's to blame it's the "Jews for peeving off Hitler so bad."

Months later they return to their summer home for their yearly tradition. Joseph tries to cheer her up by mentioning her time's arrow joke, but Honey begins crying after she plays a few notes on the piano. Joseph announces he'd love to stay, but he must be going - as a "modern American man" he's "woefully unprepared to manage a woman's emotions." He was never taught—and he will not learn. He then runs out the door and drives off.

On the night of the end of the war, in an attempt to cheer herself up,Honey and Beatrice go to a celebration at a local barn, where she ends up having a meltdown after seeing a piano and singing I Will Always Think of You by herself (as Eddie sings and plays the piano in 2017 and the two have a "duet").She gets drunk and kisses one of Crackerjack's war friends, and acts hysterically. She has young Beatrice drive the car, and they end up crashing into a gas station shed, and getting hurt.

Back at the cabin, Joseph is furious Honey acted that way and put Beatrice in danger, saying "she’s all we’ve got", and says he can't run his company and keep his secretary's self-esteem afloat when she's having fits of hysteria. Honey admits she can't stop thinking about Crackerjack and doesn't know how to be better, and she tearfully begs her husband to fix her.

The next morning, Joseph, appearing a little sad, goes outside to the back porch where Beatrice is. When she asks if her mother is ok, he says “she is now", and that Honey just let her "womanly emotions" get the better of her, which could be fixed with a little operation. He says that a broken heart can never be "fixed," but that there is a lot of science that can help "fix" the brain. Joseph tells his daughter that her mother is a "brand-new woman" and would like to meet her. To Beatrice's horror, Honey was lobotomized, and she is now a dazed and empty shell of her former self. She tells Beatrice to never love anyone as much as she loved Crackerjack.

On one morning some time later, Beatrice tries to tell Joseph she doesn’t feel good and that her throat hurts, while also having a cough, when he tells her to get ready for school. He believes she is just trying to skip school to avoid her bully Clemelia Bloodsworth and her gaggle, who the day earlier pushed her off a slide and teased her about her weight, and he demands she put on her uniform and to stop making books her friends, because reading builds young women’s brains which takes away from their breasts and hips.

However, as Beatrice starts to get ready she faints and Joseph catches her and realizes she feels hot. He pulls down a bit of her nightgown to find a red rash on her chest, to his horror, and he quickly picks her up and rushes her to the doctor.

Beatrice is later woken up by hearing Joseph scold Honey for failing to do a mother's job of keeping her children alive and not noticing Beatrice has scarlet fever. However, due to her lobotomy—Honey appears to have gone catatonic as she does not respond at all, even when Joseph violently shakes her.

Joseph then says if he had known she would act like this after they severed the connections to her prefrontal cortex, he wouldn't have bothered. He then goes to check on Beatrice after she calls him.

She asks if she's going to die, to which her father replies that one day she will, but for now she is fine. He even says since her throat is swollen shut, she could lose some weight.

Later, Beatrice wakes up and cannot find her "baby," her horse doll, which is her prized possession.

She finds it, but to her horror, the maids and servants are burning her belongings in her fireplace. Beatrice begins crying and begging them to stop. Joseph then comes up to her and says "Beatrice remember what we say about crying...crying is stupid!"

Joseph calmly explains to her that her sickness has infected everything and it all must be destroyed for her own good, especially her baby. He then picks up her doll and throws it into the fireplace. This traumatizes Beatrice, as she screams and cries for her baby.

Joseph tells her she must be strong and not let her womanly emotions consume her, or she'll end up like her mother. A shadow of Honey with her lobotomy scar highlighted appears behind him as his ears somewhat resemble devil horns. Joseph then assures Beatrice that one day this will "all be a pleasant memory."

He later sent Beatrice to Barnard so that she could get her "MRS” and find a husband, but instead, she got a bachelor's degree, much to his disappointment.

When Beatrice is a young adult, he throws her a debutante ball in June 1963, as he hopes he can marry her off to her chaperone, Corbin Creamerman—a sweet but awkward and dull goat. His father, Mort Creamerman, is the owner of Creamerman's Creamy Cream-Based Commodities. Joseph hopes to create an alliance with him and expand both their products into ice cream—which ironically he forbids Beatrice from having, in order to encourage her to stay thin.

Beatrice now rolls her eyes and scoffs at her father's outdated views on women, even for the time period, and openly expresses this to him. Joseph in return expresses frustration and disappointment in her attitude and the fact he sent her to Barnard College to find a husband but she returned "with a bachelor's degree and a mouth full of sass." Also, she worries about social issues like poverty and the civil rights movement. Being pressured about her weight at a young age has stuck with her, however, as she now takes what she calls "pretty pills" to help her stay thin.

This pressure, combined with Beatrice's resentment toward her father after years of his emotional abuse, and the fact her date Corbin was boring to her—ultimately causing her to run away with Butterscotch Horseman, a rebellious young horse who crashed her party. Butterscotch is presented as an aspiring author who admired the beatniks. After the two spend time talking to each other at the bar, and when Butterscotch tells her to leave with him on a dare because "Daddy wouldn’t like that—would he?" Beatrice leaves her own party to have sex with Butterscotch.

Two weeks later, her father comes into her room and announces that Corbin Creamerman is here to take her on a Sunday stroll. An annoyed Beatrice affirms that she is not interested in Corbin.

Joseph angrily slams the door and admits to not caring about what she wants, and that after her ditching her own party, she is lucky he doesn't put jellied beans in a jar and marry her off to the man who can provide the most accurate estimate of the number. He tells her Corbin is waiting and that she will be civil to him.

Beatrice is forced to agree, and she does actually find a connection with him, but she ruins the date by throwing up on him due to morning sickness. She is pregnant with BoJack and finds Butterscotch to tell him. Butterscotch tells her to get an abortion, but she can not due to the trauma from the childhood of her baby doll being burned.

The two agree to move to San Francisco where Butterscotch can finish his novel. Their son, BoJack F. Horseman, is born January 2, 1964. Butterscotch finds work at a fish cannery, despite Joseph giving him multiple offers to work for Sugarman West for high pay and benefits. Butterscotch compares it to slavery and thinks his book will be bad if he can't live in the struggles of the working-class. However, in the year 1970, he agrees to work for Joseph's company after an argument with Beatrice to make more money.

Joseph passed away in 1999, leaving Beatrice a painting that she later passed down to BoJack, but it is unknown exactly how he passed. He most likely died of old age, as he was either in his nineties or hundreds when he passed.

Sugarman's Sugar was sold to a Japanese conglomerate, and while Beatrice did have an inheritance from him, Butterscotch would fritter all of it away and leave her in debt at the time of his death.

Honey presumably died some time before Joseph did, as she was present at Beatrice's debutante, and Beatrice died in October 2018, leaving BoJack as potentially the last descendant of the Sugarman lineage.

BoJack mentions his grandfather in The Old Sugarman Place, saying he used to come to the family's lake house in the summers during his childhood, and as mentioned Beatrice gave BoJack a painting from Joseph after the latter died, but the full extent of his relationship with either of his grandparents is never mentioned. Unlike Crackerjack neither him or Honey appear in The View From Halfway Down, the former does due to Beatrice always comparing BoJack to his late uncle. This may imply BoJack had little to no relationship or strong feelings otherwise to either of his grandparents, other than the fact he stayed at their lake house during his childhood summers.

Episode Appearances

Season 4

(A painting of Joseph can be seen in the opening from Stupid Piece of Sh*t to Lovin that cali lifestyle!!)

Season 6

Joseph Sugarman

Joseph Sugarman


  • Joseph is very similar in terms of misogynistic personality and voice to Wilbur Nelson of Duckman fame.
  • Beatrice has a painting of him that can be seen in the openings from Stupid Piece of Sh*t to Lovin that cali lifestyle!!.
  • Similar to Butterscotch, it is hinted that he flirted with his secretary.
    • He was also apparently antisemitic like Butterscotch, as he blamed World War II on the Jewish people for (in his words) "peeving off Hitler so badly."
    • Joseph is something of a foil to BoJack. Both are incredibly destructive people—but whereas Joseph is nearly psychopathic in how chipper and positive he remains despite doing so, on the other hand BoJack is constantly grief-stricken and crushed by self-hatred as he realizes his actions harm others.
  • He owned the Sugarman Sugar Cube Company and horses are known to love sugar cubes.
    • Ironically, he, and Honey, discouraged Beatrice from eating sweets, especially ice cream, the latter of which is also ironic as he tried to marry her off to the heir of a creamery.
  • He shares a lot of traits with Joseph Kennedy, who was the patriarch of the Kennedy family. He was a successful businessman who was antisemitic, lost a son to World War II, and who had his daughter, Rosemary, lobotomized due to having violent mood swings.