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Quote1 I'm not the Mighty B yet, Ben, I still have 4,584 badges to go! Quote2
---Bessie to Ben in "So Happy Together"


Bessie Kajolica Higgenbottom[4] is the main protagonist of The Mighty B!. Her lifetime goal is to collect every Honeybee badge to become her alter-ego superhero known as The Mighty B![5] She has total devotion to the Honeybees (a girl scout troop),[6] having already earned the most badges in its history.[7]

Ambitious and tenacious, Bessie is dedicated to accomplishing her goals, both within the troop and in her everyday life. Her happy-go-lucky personality can irritate those around her, most often Portia.

She lives in an apartment above her mom Hilary's cafe in San Francisco with her younger brother Ben and her dog and best friend Happy.[8] Bessie has a speech impediment, namely a lisp,[9] with a slight nasal in her voice.[10] She is voiced by Saturday Night Live alumnus Amy Poehler.[11]

Personality

Bessie is often portrayed as a enthusiastic, hyperactive,[12] clever,[13] feisty,[14] imaginative, ambitious, confident, friendly, naive, spunky, nerdy,[15] and optimistic young Honeybee scout. Her voice actress, Amy Poehler, described Bessie as such: "She’s like part Animal from ‘The Muppets,’ part Daffy Duck, part Jimmy Stewart and part Gilda Radner."[16] The New York Post stated Bessie was a "sweet girl tornado."[17]

She is a devoted member of the Honeybees and already has the most badges in Honeybee history. In the episode "Bee Nice", Bessie says her policy is to give kindness, and courtesy to everyone she knows. Bessie can also be naive and sometimes has no backbone until she is driven to the edge.

Bessie is shown to be a bit mature for her age, reading age-inappropriate books like Atlas Shrugged ("Body Rockers"), able to capably build both an atom smasher and robot ("Artificial Unintelligence") and is shown to have good business skills in "The Apprentice." She can be prone to jealousy as seen in "Boston Beean", where her pen pal Sissy Sullivan displayed more creative talents than her. Her passion for being a Honeybee is best seen during taffy-selling season (selling the most boxes and breaking her own record) and her admiration of Miriam Breedlove, the Honeybee's founder.

Bessie always is a strict follower of rules and regulations, especially when she carries the Honeybee handbooks. However, she can be overbearing and rude without realizing it, as seen when she was hired to be the apprentice of Mary Frances in "The Apprentice", she never gave her privacy or the chance to relax, and while she was serving Portia and Mary Frances food, she chewed up their food and spat it out, claiming it was "pre-chewed" and served it (with the disgusted faces of Mary Frances and Portia respectively). She is also very organized, one example being the fact she color-coded Happy's training schedule for the dog show ("So Happy Together"). Due to her strict rules and neatness, Bessie has acknowledged she can be "a little bossy,"[18] per "Beenedict Arnold."

Her overzealous nature has a tendency to annoy others,[19] such as Portia or adults like Anton St. Germain. She also has a complex where she believes she is superior to others, frequently seen on the show overdoing her achievements just to get a badge, or when she shows a competitive spirit to defeat her bestie, Penny. There were several times she even forces her brother Ben and her dog Happy to do insane things (at the cost of their health and physical form) just for a badge.

However, when Bessie realizes the error of her ways, she is remorseful and tries to set things right, often with the (sometimes reluctant) assistance of Happy and/or Ben.

Appearance

She is a young girl with light yellow hair in pigtails, pale skin and wears round glasses. In closeups, such as in "To Bee or Not To Bee," Bessie's eye color is shown to be blue. Her Honeybee uniform consists of a golden dress under a white shirt with a peter pan collar, a brown sash with badges, white socks and black shoes; her dedication to the troop is shown by the fact she wears this every day.[20] She lacks two front teeth as seen in "Irritable Bowling Syndrome". In Season 2, her appearance is different as her skin is tanner and her hair is bright orange.

Likes

  • Bobby socks
  • Cute animals, especially Unicorns
  • Rainbows
  • Glamorous glitters
  • Cherries
  • Macramé
  • SeaCucumber Colony
  • Talking
  • Ice Cream
  • Babies
  • Raspberry Shortcake Space Attack games

Dislikes

  • Scary things
  • Not getting the badge she desires
  • Getting kicked out of the Honeybees
  • Taffies made of 91% Pure Fake Honey from Concentrate at the taffy factory
  • Finguere, Finger's cousin and enemy
  • The Beavers (including Ronnie)
  • Digit, Ronnie's friend and Finger's enemy
  • The Dragonflies
  • Her middle name Kajolica
  • Scary stories
  • Anyone who overachieves her and/or defeats her
  • Perfect anything, and perfect dog ears.

Relationships

Happy

Happy is Bessie's pet dog and her best friend. Despite their first meeting not going smoothly in the pilot episode, he and Bessie become best friends. As best friends, they stick together, but also criticize their flaws (ex. Bessie criticizes Happy for being filthy and Happy criticizing her for having him "volunteer" for her badge quests).

Penny Lefkowitz

Penny is Bessie's best human friend; she states in "Ten Little Honeybees" they've known each other since "the sandbox." Throughout the show, she mostly goes with Bessie on so many adventures, such as crashing several Bat Mitzvahs in "Bat Mitzvah Crashers" and returning Joey to Jump'n Joey's ("Penny Hearts Joey"). However, due to peer pressure, Penny sometimes joins in with Portia and Gwen when they decide to mess with Bessie.

Ben Higgenbottom

Ben is Bessie's little brother[22] who hopes that he will become her sidekick when she becomes the Mighty B. So, much to Bessie's dismay, Ben usually tags along with her adventures, but the majority of the time, gets his ideas taken without credit or psychically hurt or ill during Bessie's journey to gain her badges. Although he dismays Bessie for her outrageous ideas and obsession of becoming the Mighty B, he still puts up with her shenanigans and loves his sister.

Portia Gibbons

Bessie usually proclaims Portia as a friend when in reality, Portia usually messes with Bessie. However, Bessie would be too naive to know that Portia is messing with her and seems unaware of Portia's dislike of her. It's likely she has known Portia the longest out of all the Honeybees, as Bessie claims in "Thanksgiving Beenactment" the two have known each other for seven years.

Sissy Sullivan

Although the two have a good friendship and have very similar qualities, Sissy has proven to be "superior" to Bessie in terms of her Honeybee hideout, badges, and many other talents. Bessie is actually very envious of Sissy and feels less confident when Sissy is around her fellow Honeybees. Despite Bessie's jealousy, Sissy still helps her with the taffy sales with just her Bostonian accent. She seems to be unaware of Bessie's envy towards her.

Quotes

Quote1 (in Mighty B form) Prepare to face the awesome sting of the Mighty B! Quote2


Quote1 Hey you guys! Are you ready to rock this bad boy? Quote2


Quote1 Pen, we're done. We're hanging up our tights. Quote2


Quote1 Sisterhood, Sisterhood, the most important thing! We've got the honey and the sting! Quote2
---Bessie and Penny in "Bat Mitzvah Crashers"



Trivia

  • In her Mighty Bee form, her shape and characteristics looked pretty much similar to the Wasp from the Marvel comics and Maya the Bee.
  • Bessie's birth certificate, shown in "Name Shame," reveals her first name is simply Bessie rather than a nickname for Elizabeth.
    • it also reveals she was born on March 26 at 2:26 PM at "Nickelodeon Memorial Cartoon Center".
    • March 26 was one month before The Mighty B! debuted
    • Erik Wiese signed the certificate
    • the year appears to be either "006" or "008". The latter would make more sense since that's the year the series debuted
  • It is known Bessie and Ben spent their early childhood in Berlin, Germany, as revealed in "Apoxalypse Now."
  • Bessie is the only character in the series who has a speaking role in all episodes and segments.
  • Bessie wakes up every day at 6:00 AM to do hand calisthenics with Finger, per "We Got the Bee."
  • She had perfect attendance at the Honeybee meetings until "Bat Mitzvah Crashers."
  • In the aforementioned episode, Hilary states Bessie's "Honeybee big sister" is Sarah Sivowitz.
  • Has a teddy bear, per "Super Secret Weakness."
  • Bessie claims to be lactose intolerant in "Toot Toot."
  • According to "Hive Jacked," Bessie built The Hive with macaroni and popcorn.
  • Owns a ham radio and maintains a fossil collection, revealed in "Hive Jacked."
  • In "Name Shame", Bessie's address is revealed: 231 West Olive Avenue. It would be shown again in "Catatonic."
  • Bessie has drawn her superhero form ("To Bee or Not To Bee").
  • It is revealed in "Blindsided" that Bessie has very poor eyesight without her glasses, unable to tell the difference between objects and people.
  • "Ben Appetit" reveals she is claustrophobic, afraid of being in a small space and unable to escape from it.
  • Bessie's opening quote from the show's website, which is now defunct: "Ask me anything! I know something about everything!"
  • According to The Elizabethton Star, Bessie's special skill is being able to knot a 60 foot lanyard within 20 seconds.[23]
  • She is inspired by Kaitlin from Saturday Night Live and Cassie McMadison from Upright Citizens Brigade,[24][25] the two characters Amy Poehler plays, which her personality and appearance is patterned after. All three of them have lisps and wear glasses.
    • Cassie and Bessie are both girl scouts.
  • There is a character with a similar name, Betsy Higginbottom, introduced 22 February 2020 in the PBS series "Molly of Denali".
    • The only difference between their surnames is the first portion is spelled "Higgin" (no E) instead of "Higgen".
    • Betsy is short for Elizabeth, just like Bessie commonly is, even though that isn't in the case of The Mighty B!.
  • Early on in the show's development, Bessie was a girl scout "who skateboards through San Francisco solving crimes," quoting Poehler.[26] The crime aspect was dropped, and her ability to skateboard was very rarely shown in the finished series.

Gallery

Main article: Bessie Higgenbottom/Gallery

References

  1. TV review: 'Mighty B!' gets a badge for spunk. April 25, 2008. San Francisco Gate. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  2. Moody, Annemarie (February 23, 2009). Akira, Samurai 7 on Blu-ray, Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder & The Mighty B. Animation World Network. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  3. Perlmutter, David (March 13, 2014). America Toons In: A History of Television Animation. Page 328. McFarland & Company. International standard book number 9781476614885.
  4. Revealed in "Name Shame"
  5. Lowry, Brian (April 23, 2008). The Mighty B!. Variety. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  6. Kaplan, Arie (August 1, 2014). Saturday Night Live: Shaping TV Comedy and American Culture. Page 44. Twenty-First Century Books. International standard book number 9781467710862.
  7. DeMott, Rick (December 12, 2006). Nickelodeon Gives SNL's Poehler Animated Series. Animation World Network. Retrieved May 6, 2020. An article about the show in the Poughkeepsie Journal states she has earned "thousands" of badges.
  8. Cutler, Jacqueline (April 26, 2008). Actress Amy Poehler creates a buzz in ‘The Mighty B!'. The Oklahoman. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  9. Weiss, Joanna (April 26, 2008). Cartoon kids are capable of anything. Boston.com. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  10. Amy Poehler Busy As A "Mighty B". April 25, 2008. CBS News. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  11. McNamara, Mary (April 25, 2008). With ‘Mighty B!’ the eyes (and the lisp) have it. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  12. DoWitt, Reese (April 25, 2008). Amy Poehler: From “Saturday Night Live” to Saturday morning. After Ellen. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  13. Lopez, Molly (May 5, 2008). Amy Poehler. People. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  14. Parsley, Aaron (October 24, 2009). Amy Poehler Can't Believe Her Son Is Turning 1. People. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  15. Long, Mary C. (May 8, 2013). Who Would YOU Like To Stalk On Twitter?. Adweek. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  16. Television: Optimistic ‘Mighty B!’ revels in joys of childhood. April 30, 2008. The Mercury News. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  17. Stasi, Linda (April 21, 2008). ‘TOON IN BESSIE. The New York Post. Retrieved July 10, 2020. Quote: "Bessie is a 9-year-old hilariously annoying “sweet girl-tornado”"
  18. Thomas, Jeff (April 25, 2008). The Star Report: Wild Amy Winehouse puts U.S. ‘troubled starlets’ to shame. The Mercury News. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  19. Hinckley, David (April 23, 2008). New Poehler expedition: 'Mighty B' is a real honey. New York Daily News. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  20. Stewart, Susan (April 25, 2008). Animated Look at the Virtue of Keeping on Keeping On. The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  21. Larsen, Peter (April 24, 2008). Amy Poehler unleashes her inner scout in a new cartoon. The Orange County Register. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  22. Terrace, Vincent (January 10, 2014). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010. Page 688. McFarland & Company. Second edition. International standard book number 9780786486410.
  23. Cutler, Jacqueline (April 25, 2008). Cartoonprofile: Bessie Higgenbottom. The Elizabethton Star. Page 25. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  24. Baldwin, Kristen (April 27, 2008). Amy Poehler: my crazy characters. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  25. Martin, Denise (February 15, 2006). Poehler scouting Nick gig. Variety. Retrieved May 3, 2020. Quote: "Bessie is loosely based on a character Poehler says she’s been performing over the past several years at Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade."
  26. Boston College Magazine. Volume 66. Summer 2006. Accessible online here. Quote: "It's about a Girl Scout "who skateboards through San Francisco solving crimes. ... I wanted to do a show for girls where they're not mean to each other [and] they're not boy crazy."

External links

See also

The Mighty B! Characters
Main Bessie HiggenbottomBenjamin HiggenbottomFingerGwen WuHappy HiggenbottomPenny LefkowitzPortia Gibbons
Secondary Hilary HiggenbottomThe HippieMary Frances GibbonsMr. WuRocky Rhodes
Minor Anton St. GermainChai GallagherChelsea GibbonsChester TurtletonDoctor/VetDonaldFritzIntegritone 2HalK.G. BiancaLola MillersonMillie MillersonMiriam BreedloveMr. LefkowitzMr. PantsRainbowRichard and Dick GibbonsRonnieTate
One-shots BugEmilyFinguereHarris DayeIntegritone 1MaudeMonaMorly RooberMr GriffMurdockNorman MorrisonPrecious GibbonsRoxxySissy Sullivan
Groups Honeybee ScoutsThe BeaversThe DragonfliesGwen's BrothersThe IntegritonesThe Pretty Pretty PrincessesSugar Boys
Background Honeybees Jean ParklandsMarie G. MalarkeyMolly O'ConnellNisaSatha ThomasTigerlily Roberts
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