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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

Confession: I have rewatched Bojack Horseman an embarrassing number of times.

Following the misadventures of a washed-up ‘90s sitcom star, Bojack Horseman has garnered a reputation of packing a heavy psychological punch along with its zany anthropomorphic animation. The show’s unfeigned portrayal of self-destruction is masterful and incredibly absorbing. Along with clever writing, Bojack Horseman features a vast array of nuanced, compelling characters. It’s an absolutely addicting watch that will have you hooked from start to finish.

If I were to list each and every amazing episode of Bojack Horseman, we’d be here for days. So, for your sanity, dear reader, I narrowed this list down to five of my favorites. I tried to include episodes that aren’t frequently mentioned by fans. There are a lot of other episodes that I would consider part of my “favorites,” but I believe that these five do a good job at capturing the core strengths of Bojack Horseman.

#1 “Fish Out Of Water”

Right out of the gate, I’m violating my rule of avoiding episodes that are general fan favorites. It is genuinely impossible; however, to not make an exception for “Fish Out Of Water.” What makes this episode so beloved is its unconventional nature. “Fish Out Of Water” presents almost zero dialogue and is told mostly in silence, forcing both Bojack and the audience into a state of contemplation. 

In order to promote his movie Secretariat, Bojack must attend an underwater film festival. He is surprised to run into Kelsey Jannings, a director who was fired due to a stunt she pulled with Bojack. Per usual, Bojack attempts to avoid an awkward confrontation at all costs, effectively leading him to an even more ludicrous and inconvenient situation.

Reflecting elements of Sofia Coppola’s “Lost In Translation,” the lack of communication in “Fish Out Of Water” evokes an isolated, melancholic tone. Bojack spends the entire episode believing that he cannot speak underwater, only to discover in the end that a convenient button on his helmet enables him to do just that. It’s an ironic twist of events that parallels his struggle to extend an apology towards Kelsey and all the other people in his life that he has hurt over the years. The needle drop to “Sea of Dreams” by Oberhofer provides an absolutely unforgettable ending. “Fish Out Of Water” also includes one of my favorite quotes from the show, written by Bojack: “Kelsey, in this terrifying world, all we have are the connections that we make.”

#2 “Hank After Dark”

“Hank After Dark” offers a scathing critique of Hollywood, specifically how poorly it handled the “MeToo Movement.” At a promotional event for Bojack’s memoir, Diane accidentally brings up talk show host Hank Hippopopalous and his sexual assault allegations. This triggers outrage from the public, as they are unable to come to terms with their beloved icon committing any form of misdoing. Diane begins to receive a surge of death threats from his fans and is accused of “lying for attention.” She decides to push back and sets out to write a takedown piece on Hank. Due to the magnitude of his power, forces are stacked unfairly against Diane and her attempt at justice comes to no avail. 

“Hank After Dark” is a harrowing reminder of how often society will ignore and even ostracize women who speak out against sexual harassment. Hank Hippopopalous is a stand-in for all male celebrities who are able to get away with misconduct because of their status. I like this episode because of just how real Diane’s increasing frustration and crushing defeat felt. Furthermore, this episode features one of my favorite moments between Bojack and Diane where the pair promise to remain in each other’s corners. The platonic relationship between Bojack and Diane remains the beating heart of Bojack Horseman.

#3 “Underground”

Keeping in theme with politically relevant episodes that feature Bojack and Diane’s dynamic at its center, “Underground” is highly underrated amongst fans. While hosting a campaign event, Mr. Peanutbutter’s mansion collapses as a result of the fracking he approved in his backyard. Mr. Peanutbutter and his vapid donors become trapped underground, causing anarchy to ensue. Bojack and Diane escape the chaos by holing up in a room together. The pair binge drink for a week and subsequently hash out their problems. “I’m a pit that good things fall into,” Diane wails.

If there’s an episode that showcases how brilliantly Bojack Horseman can balance serious topics and hilarity, it’s “Underground.” The insanity that occurs whilst the celebrities attempt to survive underground is utterly priceless (at one point, Zach Braff is set on fire by Jessica Biel). Additionally, Bojack and Diane’s conversations in this episode are unforgettable. The vulnerable moments between those two undoubtedly comprise my favorite moments in the show. The way in which Bojack and Diane operate as two very different sides of the same coin is fascinating to me. They’re really the only two people who can understand each other, which makes their interactions all the more important.

#4 “Let’s Find Out”

In “Let’s Find Out,” Bojack Horseman stars in Mr. Peanutbutter’s new game show entitled “Hollywoo Stars and Celebrities: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things? Let’s Find Out!” (yes, that is the actual title). To Bojack’s outrage, he is labeled as the “little celebrity,” and must compete against Daniel Radcliffe, the “big celebrity.” The premise of this episode along with Bojack’s increasing frustration towards his belittlement is incredibly amusing. As the episode continues, the sheer absurdity of the game show heightens. Insecurity is Bojack’s ultimate weakness, so “Let’s Find Out” basically presents his nightmarish situation. This episode also features one of Bojack’s most candid moments in the show’s entire run. As Mr. Peanutbutter hounds him over the root of his jealousy and disdain for the golden retriever, Bojack admits: “I want to feel good about myself the way you do, and I don’t know how. I don’t know if I can.” The ending of “Let’s Find Out” is astonishing and completely caught me off guard the first time I watched it. To spite Daniel, Bojack incorrectly answers the gameshow’s final question of who played the titular role in “Harry Potter.” The swelling of the music along with the rest of the room’s shock at Bojack’s conscious pause makes his delivery of “Elijah Wood” even funnier. As a result, the money that would have gone to charity is burned right on the stage. It’s such a petty decision, yet one that perfectly encapsulates who Bojack is at his core. 

#5 “The Dog Days are Over”

What makes “The Dog Days are Over” so special is that it is a Diane-centric episode. Diane is my personal favorite Bojack Horseman character, so I’m over the moon anytime the spotlight is on her. In the midst of her divorce with Mr. Peanutbutter, Diane travels to Vietnam. On paper, she is there to complete an article for “Girl Croosh” entitled: “10 Reasons to go to Vietnam: A Girl Croosh Personal Travel Guide.” It becomes abundantly clear to both Diane and the audience; though, that she is primarily there to distract herself from crushing heartbreak.

While Vietnam is supposed to be the source of Diane’s “ancestral roots,” she feels like a complete stranger there. For anyone with immigrant parents, the alienation and overall lack of connection that Diane experiences in her family’s home country is painfully familiar. “The Dog Days are Over” functions as a captivating character study of Diane and offers a deeper look into her mind. It mirrors “Fish Out Of Water,” in that a harrowing sense of isolation permeates the entire episode. As she comes to terms with her grief, Diane delivers a powerful monologue: “In fact, you feel even more alone than you were before you left. But… you survive. You learn that you can survive being alone.”

Aytek is a freshman journalism major at the University of Florida. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in newsmagazine writing. When she isn't penning articles, Aytek could talk your ear off about her favorite television shows, movies, albums, and books. She has an interest in analyzing media and providing cultural commentary. Aytek also enjoys visiting book stores, art museums, record stores, and coffee shops.