Warning: Contains spoilers for Bojack Horseman‘s final season.
Bojack Horseman is a show that goes all in on the details.
Each frame is packed full of so many tiny in-jokes and background puns that it feels like you could watch the entire series several times over, and still keep seeing things you missed.
The Season 6 whiteboard sequence is the perfect example of this.
To recap, in Season 6, Episode 11, Diane, Todd, and Princess Carolyn attempt to work out why Bojack is being investigated by two reporters. Their method? Writing down every bad thing he’s done on a huge whiteboard.
Because it’s Bojack, they end up needing two whiteboards.
This is Bojack Horseman we’re talking about here, so those whiteboard stories aren’t just throwaway lines. The majority are actually callbacks to random storylines and jokes — some of which you may have completely forgotten about — from the show’s previous seasons.
Starting with the first whiteboard, we’ve broken each of them down below. It’s not a pretty picture.
Bad Professor Horseman Stories
– Penny (from Season 2, Episode 11)
Penny Carson (the 17-year-old daughter of Bojack’s old friend, Charlotte Carson) is right at the top of the list. And it’s not hard to see why. While visiting Charlotte and her family in Season 2, Bojack accompanies Penny and her friends to their prom. The night ends with Penny trying to kiss and proposition him. Bojack initially says no, but after Charlotte rejects him, he goes back to his boat and leaves the door open. Charlotte then walks in on Bojack and her daughter sitting on the bed together, with Penny beginning to take off his tie.
“I don’t know what to do, Charlotte, I keep making these bad decisions and hurting people,” Bojack had said just before the incident.
– Abandoned/wrestled Herb (from Season 1, Episode 8)
Remember Herb Kazzaz? The former Horsin’ Around showrunner used to be Bojack’s best friend back in the ’90s. But Bojack ultimately betrayed Herb to keep his spot on the show, in a move never to be forgiven. His final meeting with Herb, who is now terminally ill, in Season 1 leads to the two of them fighting, and Herb telling Bojack he’ll never give him the closure he wants.
“You abandoned me,” Herb tells Bojack. “And I will never forgive you for that.”
– Stole Hollywood “D” (from Season 1, Episode 6)
Bojack steals the “D” from the Hollywood sign as part of a drunken attempt to win Diane over in Season 1. This marks the start of one of the show’s longest-running gags: as the “D” is never replaced, Hollywood gets referred to as “Hollywoo” from then on.
– Closed all-you-can-eat fro yo place
Although we don’t actually see this happening, we do see Bojack eating and/or talking about frozen yogurt at various points in the show. This is likely a joke about his insatiable equine appetite.
– Didn’t act in Secretariat (from Season 2, Episode 12)
Bojack’s Season 3 involvement in the Secretariat movie is a disaster from start to finish, ending with Bojack being cut entirely and replaced with a CGI version of himself.
– Tanked Ethan around (twice) (from Season 3, Episode 12)
After blowing hot and cold on the Horsin’ Around revival show Ethan Around, Bojack finally agrees to do it — only to walk off set at the end Season 3, haunted by the memory of his former Horsin’ Around co-starSarah Lynn.
– Blew up a taffy factory (Season 3, Episode 4)
Remember that famous Bojack episode that takes place almost entirely underwater, and with basically no dialogue?
Well, that’s also the episode where Bojack blows up the taffy factory (it happens by accident, in his defence, while he’s attempting to rescue a baby seahorse).
– Got Doctor Champ fired (from Season 6, Episode 6)
Doctor Champ is the therapy horse Bojack has sessions with in rehab during Season 6. Before Bojack leaves for good, Doctor Champ relapses after drinking Bojack’s plastic bottle of vodka, which he mistakes for water. When Bojack tries to help him by checking him into another facility, Doctor Champ says he’ll never be able to go back to his old job.
“I want you to remember this, Bojack,” Doctor Champ says as his former patient walks away. “I want you to remember what you did to me.”
“I remember everything,” Bojack responds. “I’m sober now.”
– Ruined lizard funeral (from Season 5, Episode 6)
Season 5, Episode 6 is another Bojack Horseman classic. Pretty much the entire episode consists of Bojack giving an emotional eulogy at what he thinks is his mother’s funeral. The final twist? He’s in the wrong funeral parlour, and he’s just delivered his entire monologue to an audience of very confused lizards.
– Made fun of Katy from Spanish 1 (from Season 6, Episode 1)
Poor Katy. In a flashback to Bojack’s high school days, we see an awkward Bojack at a house party, chatting to Katy from Spanish class before finally giving in and accepting a beer from another guest. In the next flashback, a drunk and newly-confident Bojack is making people laugh by doing impressions of his classmates. When Katy looks shocked, he turns his comedic attention on her — and she runs out in tears.
– Lied about “getting” Radiohead
This one’s probably a joke about a band that often seems to divide people, rather than a specific in-show reference.
– Pretended giant Todd head was passenger for carpool lane (from Season 3, Episode 7)
This one’s a reference to the “giant Todd head” Todd makes back in Season 3 to scare off intruders.
– Took muffins from navy seal (from Season 1, Episode 2)
Early on in the show’s first Season, Bojack gets into an argument with a seal over a box of muffins. Bojack ends up taking the muffins, which backfires horribly after the seal — actually a Navy SEAL returning from service in Afghanistan — goes on TV to tell the world about this behavior.
– Slept with Emily (from Season 3, Episode 7)
Emily is Todd’s high school girlfriend who Bojack sleeps with after a night of drinking in Season 3. “I was lonely, she was there,” Bojack explains in a phone call. “Why does anyone have sex with anyone?”
His flippancy ultimately comes back to haunt him when Todd finds out, though, resulting in Todd moving out and the two not speaking for a year.
– Destroyed rock opera (from Season 1, Episode 4)
The first big betrayal. After Todd’s rock opera, Newtopia Rising, Book I: The Search for a New Utopia, is close to taking off in Season 1, Bojack conspires to get Todd re-hooked on Decapathon, the video game series he was obsessed with when he was younger — purely so Bojack can sabotage his roommate’s success.
– Left me in prison (from Season 1, Episode 6)
Bojack refuses to pay $50 to bail Todd out of prison because he’s so caught up in planning how to return the “D” to the Hollywood sign with Mr Peanutbutter.
More bad stories
– Slept with ___ and ghosted her
Rather than specific reference, this one likely refers to Bojack’s general behaviour towards women throughout the show.
– Hit deer with car (from Season 2, Episode 4)
After leaving Diane’s surprise birthday party, Bojack is driving home with his at-the-time-partner Wanda when he hits a deer with his car. Bojack tries to pass it off as nothing, but Wanda insists they find the deer and get him to a hospital.
– Broke into Nixon library (from Season 2, Episode 9)
Bojack breaks into the Nixon library with his director Kelsey Jannings while filming Secretariat in Season 2, so they can use the Oval Office set to shoot a key scene (they pull off the plan, but it results in Kelsey getting fired).
– Ruined integrity of Booty Academy (from Season 4, Episode 8)
Bojack is a judge on Booty Academy (which is exactly what it sounds like) for one episode in Season 4. He’s eventually fired after encouraging a contestant to seduce the production assistant (who he thinks is his sister Hollyhock’s new boyfriend, Miles), in order to catch Miles on tape doing something bad (Miles turns out to be the intern and not the PA, though, and Bojack ends up getting fired).
“We make a show about empowering women and lifting them up,” fellow judge Sir Mix-a-Lot scolds Bojack before sacking him. “And you cheapen it with this course vulgarity.”
– Threw up on Elle Fanning in bounce house (from Season 3, Episode 9)
We don’t actually see this one; it’s mentioned in passing by Princess Carolyn, when the two are having an argument in the Season 3 episode where Bojack tries to fire her.
“You have never not been asking me to rescue you!” Princess Carolyn yells at Bojack, before launching into an impression of him. “‘Princess Carolyn, help me, I slept with the gaffer’s wife and now he’s not lighting me properly! Princess Carolyn, I threw up on Elle Fanning in a bounce house! Princess Carolyn, why am I such a big, stupid asshole?!'”
– Stole Daniel Radcliffe’s fruit basket (from Season 2, Episode 8)
Daniel Radcliffe faces off against Bojack during the first episode of Mr Peanutbutter’s show, Hollywoo stars and celebrities! What do they know? Do they know things? Let’s find out! The fruit basket isn’t mentioned explicitly, but there is a montage shot which shows the two of them wearing fruit on their heads (and Daniel’s basket does look somewhat depleted).
– Habitual bad tipper
Another comment on Bojack’s general behaviour, rather than a specific reference.
– Lied about dating Natalie Portman
Not something that happens in the show, but most likely a reference to this IRL news story about Moby.
– Scott Wolf vendetta (from Season 2, Episode 7)
Scott Wolf has a brief cameo appearance as a host of the 1994 Animal Choice Awards, during which he presents the prize for Male Animal in a Comedy, Drama or Variety Show. Bojack is up for the award, but loses out to Wolf’s “personal favorite” Hank Hippopopalous. Although Bojack and Scott don’t interact directly in the flashback, the vendetta is presumably something that builds from this moment.
– Sneezed on Marisa Tomei (from Season 1, Episode 2)
Bojack once sneezed on actor Marisa Tomei at a Christmas party — we don’t know exactly when it happened in Bojack’s timeline, but the moment gets referenced multiple times in the series as a running joke.
– Keyed Kenan Thompson’s Kia/Fobbed Elon Muskrat’s Tesla
Rather than references to things that have actually happened in the show, these two are likely meant to be taken together as a joke about Teslas not having keys.
– Gina (from Season 5, Episode 11)
Gina is Bojack’s co-star in the detective drama Philbert, which they film together during Season 5. Bojack has a relationship with Gina, but becomes increasingly erratic as his addiction to pain medication grows worse (culminating in a drug-addled Bojack choking Gina while shooting a scene for Philbert).
– Fired me while writing your book (from Season 1, Episode 10)
Bojack fires Diane towards the end of Season 1, after he reads a sample of One Trick Pony, the biography she’s writing about him, and hates it (he does later go back on this and allow her to publish it, though).
– Broke into my house and made a mess and stole my favourite jacket (from Season 3, Episode 11)
This happens towards the end of Season 3, during the episode where Bojack and Sarah Lynn go on a bender together. They actually visit Diane and Mr Peanutbutter’s house with the intention of Bojack making amends with them, but only succeed in breaking a window and trashing the kitchen.
– Also took my scarf (from Season 6, Episode 7)
Bojack takes Diane’s scarf after visiting her in Chicago, after he gets out of rehab in Season 6.
– Told Mr. Peanutbutter about “Cry-Anne” (from Season 1, Episode 5)
“Cry-Anne” is a nickname Diane’s (deeply unpleasant) brothers give her when she’s a child, which Bojack learns about when the two visit Diane’s family home in Season 1.
So there you have it, all the bad things Bojack has done. Well, at least those publicly declared the whiteboard. But amongst all the terrible, rude, obnoxious, selfish, and generally awful things Bojack’s put us through, there are some truly poignant, emotional moments dotted in there too.