5 Lessons Bojack Horseman Taught Me

BoJack Horseman shows us a world where humans and talking animals co-exist and go through the familiar rollercoaster we all are currently experiencing called life. It's possibly the saddest animated comedy I've come across while binge-watching show. The show deals with BoJack’s journey to find meaning in his life after the cancellation of his popular tv show than ran in the '90s. The show displays issues concerning mental health, eating disorders, miscarriages, depression, relationships, addiction, and more. The show feels incredibly real because of how relatable every issue is and how well written all the characters are. The viewer is taken on an emotional ride where they’ll see themselves get angry, cry, and laugh. So many lessons are taught through the show that I think everyone should take in and reflect on. 

Warning: Tiny spoilers!

We’re All Responsible 

" You can't keep doing shitty things, and then feel bad about yourself like that makes it okay! You need to be better!" - Todd Chavez

We’re all trying so hard to be better people. Some more than others. But apologizing without any real change just melts with time. You can’t be forced to be better. You have to want to be better. We all have to remember that we can’t continue to hurt the ones we love just because we can’t be responsible for our faults. Yeah, we all do bad things sometimes, but what matters is the remorse you feel and the actions you decide to take after recognizing that there needs to be a change. Bojack has ruined many relationships and in the end, he always sulks about how he’s a terrible person, but never makes an attempt to change his behavior which is the main cause of most of his doomed relationships. You can’t just wallow in self-pity and say; “Boo hoo! I’m a bad person”. Take responsibility and make no excuses. 

It Gets Better

"Every day, it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day. That’s the hard part. But it does get easier"- Jogging Baboon 

The jogging baboon was onto something. If you want to get better or just do better in general, you have to try every day and continue to try no matter what obstacles you face. Bojack tries to gain this new attitude and let go of the burdens in his life by listening to positive audiobooks and jogging. During the end of the season finale, Bojack is jogging up a hill and begins to complain about how running is terrible and everything is the worst. After seeing Bojack give up and collapse, the jogging baboon hits him with that line of wisdom. Life may sometimes feel like you’re jogging up a steep hill every day and your legs are constantly on fire, but it’s worth it because it'll always get better even if it feels like it's getting worse.  

Letting Go

" You know, sometimes I feel like our marriage is like a magic eye poster. And it's messy. And at first glance, it doesn't make any sense, and it's hard to figure out. If you squint at it just right, everything lines up and it's the most perfect... beautiful, amazing thing. [voice breaks] I'm so tired of squinting"- Diane Nguyen  

Sometimes you have to know when to let go of something that no longer makes you happy or feel the same way you did in the beginning. It’s healthy to let go. Otherwise, you continue to be unhappy and will probably cause someone else’s unhappiness. It’s hard to see yourself as the cause of someone else unhappiness which is why leaving is hard for everyone in different ways. Diane and Mr.Peanutbutter might love each other a lot but they were too different to work which was the downfall of their marriage. When they have a deep conversation about their marriage Diane breaks down because she’s tired of pretending that her relationship is perfect and all she needed to do was change her expectations. This doesn’t have to only apply to romantic relationships. Sometimes friendships can make you feel the same way. I know we all say we’ll be there for the good and the bad, but sometimes the bad isn’t worth sticking around for. 

Not Everyone Deserves Closure

" I'm not gonna give you closure. You don't get that. You have to live with the sh**ty thing you did for the rest of your life. You have to know that it's never ever going to be okay... I'm not going to be your prop so you can feel better"

After Bojack completely abandoned his good friend Herb Kazzaz years ago when they worked together, he attempts to apologize once he learns that Herb has terminal cancer. Even after saying he was happy to see Bojack despite their bitter ending, Herb didn’t accept Bojack’s apology and tells him that he doesn’t deserve closer. He wants Bojack to live with the fact that what he did to Herb will never be okay.  “I won’t be your prop so you can feel better.” that line actually shook me. Why should we have to accept apologies from people who’ve caused us undeniable pain? Ask yourself; Have I ever felt better after accepting anyone's apology?  Not everyone deserves closure and you shouldn’t give it to those who don’t deserve it.

Not Every Important Person Stays

"I think there are people that help you become the person that you end up being, and you can be grateful for them even if they were never meant to be in your life forever. I'm glad I knew you too" - Diane Nguyen 

Throughout the series, we see how Bojack constantly is seeking stability but always find the people in his life leaving him. Diane became a very important person in Bojack’s life as she’s constantly helping him in his time of need and was always supporting him in trying to be a better person, but even she sought stability in her life but in a relationship that wasn't meant to work. Both characters want to hold onto those relationships so badly because it meant stability and function to them. Something that seems so foreign but desirable. There was even a scene later in the series where Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter are catching up on the phone and she mentions that things could have been different if they both met each other as the people they are now. Mr. Peanutbutter agrees but then says if they hadn't met each other until now, they wouldn't be the people that they are now. Sometimes people are only meant to be with you for a certain amount of time and all you can really do is appreciate the time you had together and how they influenced you- if they did at all.