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Pa Nguyen is a minor, recurring character in BoJack Horseman. He is first seen in Live Fast, Diane Nguyen in Season 1.

Physical Appearance

Pa Nguyen was an overweight human Vietnamese man with receding grey hair.

He wore a red shirt that had white sleeve cuffs and a blue collar with three blue stripes on each sleeve, and it read "Go Team" in white letters. He also wore blue jeans and grey sneakers.

He is first seen as a corpse in his debut. His skin is a pale yellow-grey, he has wrinkles under his eyes and lines around his mouth. He had crude drawings on his face courtesy of his son's, including a penis, a mustache, and the words "Jeter sucks!"

In The BoJack Horseman Show, he is seen for the first time, alive in 2007. He was shown to have had yellow-ish skin, he has slightly fewer wrinkles, from the time of his death.

In a flashback to Diane's teen years; his first speaking role in the 90s shows him with thinning, shaggy dark brown hair, and had a normal skin tone. He wore a green t-shirt with white trim that read "BOSTON ATHLETICS" in white letters on the front, and dark blue jeans.

Background

History

Pa Nguyen was a Vietnamese man, the verbally abusive father of Diane Nguyen, and the head of the Nguyen family. In his daughter Diane's words he was a "mean, sadistic alcoholic who never supported anything [she] did and actively delighted on seeing [her] fail."

Nobody in his family seemed particularly grieved by his loss and just wanted his body out of the family home.

He died in his sleep in 2014. His sons made the discovery, after playing a prank of doodling his face before they realized he was dead. As a result, his body rotted for hours.

Diane organizes, what turns out to be a pointless funeral, as her mother and brothers had his body chummed to be thrown at Derek Jeter (much to Diane's shock and horror). He was Pa's alleged rival, though it is doubtful Derek Jeter was aware of Pa's existence, therefore an entirely one-sided rivalry.

In his chummed state, he rolls towards Derek Jeter who is aiding an old lady cross the street, practically knocking them over. The container is then lost somewhere in Boston.

Season 1

In Live Fast, Diane Nguyen, BoJack, and Diane travel to New York to meet with Pinky Penguin, where he has relocated to avoid creditors while waiting for BoJack to finish his book.

Diane leaves the room to answer her phone BoJack tells Pinky she's not working out for him because he believes she's too functional and not damaged enough to tell his story.

Pinky then frantically asks him what he's talking about and tells him his book needs to be on shelves and making money by October.

Diane then comes back into the room and says she received a call from her brother Tommy about their father's passing. BoJack and Pinky give their condolences and say they are sorry. Diane says her father was old and also the worst. She is unfazed, much to BoJack's surprise, and she asks BoJack to come with her to Boston to pay respects before heading back to Los Angeles.

Diane admits to BoJack she was pretty lonely growing up too saying her family made her life miserable and then they never forgave her for leaving on their way to the Nguyen family home. BoJack then questions if Diane is like the black sheep and she tells him that her brother Gary is the black sheep and he was adopted. Diane then says she's just the member of the family that nobody likes and her dad was the worst of them all.

BoJack then questions this, saying Diane previously told him she and her father used to sit on the roof and look at stars together. Diane then explains that was an old writers' trick she used simply to get him to open up. BoJack then tells her that hurts his feelings. Diane then says the truth is that she used to go down by the city dump and dream she was Chelsea Clinton but with her hair.

They then reach the Nguyen home and Diane hands BoJack a kaleidoscope to play with and he tells her he's not five, however, he quickly gets mesmerized by the bright shapes and colors.

When Diane arrives at her family's home in Boston, her family is revealed to be crass, rude, and obsessed with sports. She walks in the door and her brother Tommy comes running out from the kitchen announcing she's home and calling the rest of her brothers. Her brother Marty is way too distracted to acknowledge Diane's presence in the house and he tells her he is watching the game. Diane then tells him it's the game from '86 and he's seen it a hundred times.

Diane's brothers Artie and Tommy tell her their father is "wicked departed." Diane's mother then comes out from the kitchen and starts berating her daughter as soon as she sees her. Diane explains she is only there to give her condolences and her mother says it's convenient that she is "in and out like a Protestant on Christmas." Marty then tells the family to stop fighting during the game as it is "bad juju."

Diane's mother then says Diane then says she thinks she is too good for the family as she now lives in fancy California. Diane's mother then tries to make her feel guilty for leaving and Diane says this was a huge mistake as she heads for the door. Tommy convinces her to stay as they need help with the funeral arrangements.

To Diane's shock and horror, the brothers then reveal their father's corpse is on a chair with ice and they explain to Diane they didn't know he was dead and just thought he was hungover.

BoJack finally gets bored with the kaleidoscope and calls out for Diane. Inside, Diane and the family are arguing. BoJack then decides to get out of the car and go inside the house. BoJack then asks if anyone can speak Engish and the brothers get excited over having a famous TV star in their home.

In Boston, BoJack manages to bond with the brothers and Diane calls a funeral service to pick up the body of their father. BoJack asks them if they want to play touch football later which they enthusiastically agree to. They then tell BoJack about the "Cryanne video" where they wrote letters to Diane from an imaginary pen pal named Leo and then hired a hobo to take Diane to homecoming and got Diane's reaction on tape.

BoJack remarks that's a good prank and Diane says she was humiliated. Tommy then says it's nice they can all laugh about this and Diane says her therapist thinks the same thing. Diane then tells them she's going to the funeral home and asks the brothers if they want to come and they refuse. Diane then takes BoJack with her to the funeral home.

Diane and BoJack then go to Maggot & Sons Funeral Home where Diane explains to Bob Maggot that her father was "a mean, sadistic alcoholic who actively delighted in seeing [her] fail." Bob then offers her the "Piece of Shit Dad" package, which Diane responds would be too good for her father. Bob then offers her the "Piece of Shit Dad package would be too good for him package." Diane then agrees that's the one.

Once they are alone BoJack advises Diane she could loosen up a little and maybe she could learn a thing or to from her brothers. Diane then tells him if she was like her brothers she'd never get anything done.

After Diane makes arrangements to throw her father a funeral, none of her family shows up, and her father's corpse is absent. It turns out her family is lounging at a bar and had chummed their father's corpse with the intent to throw his remains in the face of their hated baseball rival team's star, Derek Jeter.

Calling Diane a big shot for getting upset at their low expectations, BoJack tactlessly defends Diane by bluntly describing her career and living situation, saying she is not a big shot. Diane then flies into a rage and drives off with the truck holding her father's chummed remains.

BoJack finds Diane at the city dump, where he consoles her by telling her the ways he appreciates her. He also apologizes to her for what he said about her to her family at the bar. She responds with "Well, it's all true isn't it?" He then hands her a letter from "Leo" the same penpal her brothers made up to play a cruel prank on her when she was a teenager, claiming he found it at the bar. In it, "Leo" tells Diane he appreciates how she's always organized to go places, chews gum on airplanes so that her ears don't pop, and brings her own bags to the grocery store.

BoJack then reassures Diane that she does not need to find closure or appreciation from her family since they are horrible to her and that she should concentrate on moving forward and focusing her life on where she's living and simply not come back to her family.

He ends by saying her father can no longer hurt anyone and proceeds to knock the barrel of Diane's father's chummed remains out of the truck and tumbling into the city. The barrel narrowly collides with Derek Jeter himself but instead knocks out an old lady Derek Jeter was helping across the street.

Season 3

Pa is also seen in the background when Diane is talking to her mom, Ma Nguyen; in a flashback from 2007 in the episode The BoJack Horseman Show.

Season 5

He is seen talking to a teenage Diane, in a flashback from The Dog Days Are Over when she is questioning their family's cultural roots.
Young diane

A young Diane questions her father about their family heritage.

Season 6

Pa shows up in Diane's crude sketches in Good Damage when she is trying to recall him being abusive towards her while she was growing up.

Diane mainly talks about how he was abusive and mean to her, but the version of him shown in her imagination makes Diane question if it was her fault.

Trivia

  • Like his wife, his real first name is never revealed.
  • He and his wife are similar to Butterscotch and Beatrice Horseman in that they are verbally abusive toward their children.
  • Despite the abuse he gave Diane, she lied to BoJack to get him to open up while writing their book, she claimed she once sat on a roof and looked at the stars with her father.
  • The Dog Days Are Over, reveals he was a tenure professor of Vietnamese History, at Tuffts University.
  • In Good Damage, it's revealed he made Diane lose in a game of Boggle against her brothers so they could think they were "wicked smarter than a girl."
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