BoJack Horseman is hilarious, depressing, and philosophical. The brainchild of Raphael Bob-Waksberg, it features stellar voiceover work by Will Arnett, Aaron Paul, Alison Brie, Amy Sedaris, and more.
Not only did BoJack Horseman win all kinds of awards over its six year span, it also helped adult cartoons to gain legitimacy in the eyes of many.
This isn't just a goofy show—it's an entire palette of human emotions and experiences, ranging across loss and union, growth and regression, loneliness and harmony, resentment and forgiveness.
The eclectic BoJack Horseman couples sophisticated humor with juvenile delinquency, and while the show mainly focuses on BoJack's journey, we get to know a wide range of characters in detail.
Featuring some of the best writing of any television program out there, BoJack Horseman had terrific, sad, funny, and clever moments. Here are the best scenes from this fantastic Netflix Original series.
7. What Do You Do When You Get Sad?
This scene is particularly heartbreaking, but it won't be the last one on this list that makes you tear up.
As Secretariat is being investigated for rigging his own races, he assures the viewers of Dick Cavett's show that he's innocent of all charges. Then, a letter is read to him—one written by none other than BoJack himself.
The nine-year-old BoJack clumsily tells a joke in his letter, only to follow it up with the statement: "Sometimes, I get sad. What do you do when you get sad? How do you not be sad?"
It's a question that BoJack will struggle to answer for the rest of his life. Secretariat assures his nine-year-old listener that the best thing he can do is to keep running, to keep moving forward.
However, as we see at the end of this scene, one can only run away from their problems for so long. That a question this viscerally gut-wrenching could come from the mouth of a child is deeply upsetting.
6. Nice While It Lasted
BoJack Horseman is a masterclass on how to end seasons. Each season was capped by layers of meaning, character development, and symbolism—and the sixth season was arguably the best of them.
BoJack and Todd have always had a challenging relationship. But in this scene, we see them at their most harmonious. There's no bickering or teasing—it's just two old friends catching up.
We've seen them grow over the course of the show, both individually and as a duo. Here, we see that they will be friends for the rest of their lives, both offering pseudo-philosophical life advice and an ear to listen to the other for the remainder of their days.
5. I Cared
Speaking of challenging relationships, few of BoJack's relationships were as traumatizing as the one he had with his father (with the exception of the one he had with his mother).
In this alcohol-induced vision, BoJack gets the chance to speak with his father—who is also Secretariat—candidly. Now that they're both adults, they speak with mutual understanding.
In a devastating confession, Butterscotch Horseman tells BoJack that he really did care, but found it too difficult to show it.
It's hard to witness the pain and confusion on BoJack's face, as it's the conversation he always wanted to have but never could.
4. That Went Well
This scene is so magnificent for its inscrutability. Was this a suicide attempt? Was he finding peace? Ultimately, it's unclear.
But one thing is clear: in this moment, BoJack is willing to let go of everything, even if it's only for a second. The constant anxiety he finds in trying to control his life is momentarily forgotten.
Then, he stops the car. A team of horses—wild and free—run across the desert as BoJack looks on, completely stunned. While Nina Simone sings in the background, we see BoJack realize something... and we're sure that Secretariat's words were reverberating in his head.
3. Planned Obsolescence
All of his drinking and drugging aside, BoJack and Gina would never have worked out. They're simply too similar.
After BoJack encourages her to audition for a singing role, Gina crashes and burns and decides she never wants to do it again. More than that, she decides she wants to avoid intimacy altogether—and her indifference to BoJack's attempts at connection render him speechless.
That's what the ending of this episode is all about: connection. We see other characters in the show struggle with loneliness, like Todd's issues with Yolanda and Mr. Peanutbutter's struggle with divorce.
Some find happiness, others don't. It's a harsh but realistic depiction of the complexities that present themselves in human relationships—even if you're actually an animated horse.
2. The Planetarium
Most will never forgive BoJack for his treatment of Sarah Lynn. While we only learn the depths of his selfishness later on in the sixth season, it all happens in this scene in the planetarium.
After cajoling Sarah Lynn to join him on a self-destructive drug-fueled bender, the pair finally end up at the planetarium. There, Neil deGrasse Tyson's voice talks them through the immensity of the universe.
BoJack finds solace in this:
"See Sarah Lynn! We're not doomed. In the great, grand scheme of things, we're just tiny specks that will one day be forgotten.
So it doesn't matter what we did in the past or how we'll be remembered. The only thing that matters is right now. This moment. This one spectacular moment we are sharing together."
In a way, these are the quintessential themes that pervade BoJack Horseman: finding inner peace when confronted by the great, cosmic randomness of our universe.
However, in the midst of all this, Sarah Lynn's life has been extinguished. While BoJack wants to find comfort in the nihilistic worldview that nothing matters, he's immediately presented with the horrifying consequences of his actions.
1. It Gets Easier
Why not end this list on a more positive note? While there are plenty of heartbreaking moments throughout BoJack Horseman, there are also an equal number of hopeful ones.
At the end of the second season, BoJack wants to get in shape. He jogs up the hill beside his house, only to fall to the ground in total defeat. Then, a shadow appears and approaches him:
"Every day, it gets easier. But you got to do it every day—that's the hard part. But it does get easier."
Not only is this advice shrewd, it encapsulates the philosophy of the entire show. BoJack tries several times to find redemption in one swift act, and each time he's disappointed by the reality that it's never so easy.
However, at the end of season two, he's shown the answer—if he's strong enough to try it. The writers of this show are brilliant, and we end the show still wondering if he will be. Yet, it's resoundingly hopeful.