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I'm not the Mighty B yet, Ben, I still have 4,584 badges to go!

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. Quoting Nickelodeon's website for the show from 2008: "Every year when the Honeybees are selling taffy, Bessie beats her own sales record." 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.

She is a very imaginative girl, often pretending that she is The Mighty B, a superhero who Bessie believes she will become once earning every single badge. Mr. Wu often plays along whenever Bessie is engaging in flights of fancy. During these daydreams, Bessie often indirectly interacts with her current problem, such as trying to stop bears from weakening her with zucchini in "Super Secret Weakness." Although these fantasies happen less frequently as the show goes on (particularly in season 2), it still remains Bessie's overall goal to become The Mighty B.

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.

Bessie as a little girl.

"Dang It Feels Good to Be a Gamester" reveals Bessie has a talent for playing video games, in particular Raspberry Shortcake Space Attack V. In that episode, she beats Ronnie and the other Beavers at the game to reclaim the Bee-athlon trophy. Later, in "Finger Pickin' Bad," she knew a secret move that proved useful shown when teamed up with Ronnie at Raspberry Shortcake Space Attack VI, defeating an enemy ship that had been bothering them both separately.

Bessie as a baby.

In "Ben Appetit," it is revealed Bessie used to force feed Ben food when they were younger, which ultimately caused his fear of foods touching. Later, in "Irritable Bowling Syndrome," Bessie learns through her dreams and repressed memories that she lost her two front teeth as a baby when a bowler mistook her for a bowling ball.

Physical 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 puppies and Unicorns
  • Rainbows
  • Glamorous glitters
  • Cherries
  • Macramé
  • SeaCucumber Colony
  • Talking
  • Tacos
  • Ice Cream
  • Babies
  • Raspberry Shortcake Space Attack games
  • Caterpillar balloon animals
  • Snake balloon animals
  • Lemon rosemary cake
  • Sixth century Turkish tapestries

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.
  • Postmodernism

Relationships

Happy Higgenbottom

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 physically 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.

Hilary Higgenbottom

Bessie has a good mother-daughter relationship with her mother, whom she calls mom. Although Hilary can get overwhelmed by her daughter's zealousness and doesn't quite understand Bessie's affinity for the Honeybees, she supports her daughter's interests and loves her very much. Their relationship is the focal point of "Little Womyn," wherein the two have differing views over the Honeybee Handbook and eventually accept they express their femininity in different ways.

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 is hinted in some episodes that Bessie believes Portia being mean to her is simply Portia's sense of humor, claiming Portia is "a regular Don Rickles" in "Dragonflies." 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.

Gwen Wu

Despite Gwen usually joining in with Portia by messing with Bessie, Bessie considers Gwen to be a friend. Their first major interactions are in "Apoxalypse Now," when Bessie tries to get in close contact with Gwen in order to get the chicken pox. Later, in "Bee Plus One," Gwen vies to be Bessie's plus one at a Sugar Boys concert alongside other San Franciscans. The two work together in "Children of the Unicorn," forming a bond over their shared appreciation of unicorns and attempting to prove to the others they really do exist. However, their relationship reverts to normal in episodes after it.

The Hippie

The Hippie is easily Bessie's closest adult friend, often visiting his magic/pawn establishment and going to him for some much-needed advice. A good example is in "Macro Mayhem," where he tells Bessie wool comes from sheep and her excessive macrame making is causing them to be cold during winter months. However, in "Hen and Bappy," she expresses frustration with him after learning his magicquitos caused Ben and Happy to switch bodies.

Mary Frances Gibbons

Mary Frances is not fond of Bessie, though Bessie appears to be oblivious of this fact. Mary Frances often relies on Bessie to make sure routine tasks are in order at the Recreation Center. In "The Apprentice," she appoints Bessie as her cosmetics apprentice, though Bessie's overzealous nature drives Mary Frances crazy. When Bessie is kicked out of the Honeybees for farting in "Toot Toot," she and the other Honeybees quickly learn the troop is hopeless without her. Bessie being a stickler for the rules only serves to annoy Mary Frances further.

Mr. Wu

She and Mr. Wu have a good friendship, with Mr. Wu more than happy to join in with Bessie's Mighty B daydreams even while working. Bessie is a frequent customer at his restaurant, which Mr. Wu is thankful for. However, Bessie's excitable nature can get the best of him, as he escorted Bessie out when she accidentally threw chopsticks at customers while practicing the drums inside his restaurant.

Rocky Rhodes

Rocky is a close friend of Bessie's, somewhat of an older brother figure. In "We Got the Bee," Rocky helps train Bessie so she can learn to play the drums and have a shot at getting into Portia's band, The Pretty Pretty Princesses. This results in her joining Rocky's band, The Integritones, though she proves to be a nuisance to the teenage boys. Rocky later helps Bessie be reinstated into the Honeybees in "Toot Toot" and tells the girl her macrame making has gone out of hand in "Macro Mayhem."

Anton St. Germain

Bessie is friendly towards Anton, though the same can not be said for Anton. He finds Bessie to be an annoyance, perhaps moreso than Mary Frances. Her incorrectly pronouncing his surname repeatedly proves this. In some appearances, he reluctantly gives Bessie her well-earned badges. He reprimands her and Penny for poor sportsmanship in "Eye of the Honeybee." However, Anton was shown to be impressed with Bessie's macrame skills in "Macro Mayhem," stating her creation was "the most beautiful thing [he'd] ever seen."

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

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

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

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

Sisterhood, Sisterhood, the most important thing! We've got the honey and the sting!

Appearances

Bessie is the only character in the series who appears in all episodes and segments. She is also present in every online game, with the exception of Juggling. This is notable for being her only absence in the entire franchise.

Gallery

Main article: Bessie Higgenbottom/Gallery

Trivia

  • In her Mighty B 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.
    • While the year appears to be either "006" or "008", the latter would make more sense since that's the year the series debuted.
  • Her last name is spelled as "Higginbottom" on a newspaper in "Stuffed Happens," however in other episodes with her name spelled Higgenbottom is used. The credits use the latter spelling as well.
  • It is known Bessie and Ben spent their early childhood in Berlin, Germany, as revealed in "Apoxalypse Now."
  • In the above episode, it's shown Bessie prefers to eat her sandwiches without crust, in addition to liking "melon balls" (seedless watermelon cut into the shape of balls).
  • Bessie's father is never seen or vocally mentioned; however, a brief scene from "Super Secret Weakness" shows her father (listed as "Dad") on the allergy list, indicating he is alive.
  • "Sweet Sixteenth" reveals in a closeup Bessie has freckles.
  • 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."
  • She has been expelled from the Honeybees on two occasions: "Toot Toot," after she had farted during a meeting, and in "Stuffed Happens" when Millie did terrible things and framed her for it.
  • 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 claims to have a semi-photographic memory in "Ben Screams For Ice Cream."
  • In "Dirty Happy," it is revealed Bessie can recite passages from the Honeybee Handbook backwards.
  • Received her first Bee-merit in "Bad to the Bee."
  • Bessie claims to dislike postmodernism in "Rinx!"
  • She wears a nasal strip to bed, as revealed in "Sleepless in San Francisco". In other episodes, she doesn't wear any.
  • She said 28 is her lucky number in "Higgenbottom's 7."
  • "Finger Pickin' Bad" reveals that:
    • Bessie likes superhero comic books.
    • She goes four leaf clover hunting with Finger.
    • Bessie loves romantic comedies starring werewolves, views steel-toed boots as "the best footwear in the business", wants an egg white omelet with arugula as her last meal, enjoys roller skating and cites Mount Sinai as her favorite emergency room.
  • "It's B's Party" reveals Bessie wants a theremin kit, which she probably received from The Hippie.
    • The aforementioned episode shows her favorite balloon animals are caterpillars and snakes. Additionally, her favorite flavor of cake is lemon rosemary.
  • Has an interest in sixth century Turkish tapestries ("B-Chip").
  • "Old Bee and the Sea" reveals that:
    • Bessie gets seasick while on boats.
    • She believes that werewolves are real.
  • Bessie has a scar resembling a winking penny, seen in "Grumpy Old Bees." The same episode shows Bessie having a Pretty Pretty Princesses sticker on her bedroom wall and that she has a medical condition called "dancing feet" which enabled her to earn the Sock Hop Badge.
  • In "O Brother, What Art Thou?," it's revealed Bessie likes her orange juice without pulp and that her closet contains 14 uniforms, 28 socks, 3 wet suits and a tuxedo.
  • Mrs. Gibbons claims that Bessie offers analysis on taffy selling yearly in "Gorillas in the Midst."
  • 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's a character who’s similar to Bessie named Riko from the anime, Made In Abyss. Both characters are willing to achieve their goals (The Mighty B/White Whistle), both owned dogs (Happy/Reg), both have pigtails, and both wear glasses,
  • 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.

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/VetThe Dog BartenderDonald the PostmanFritzHal the Ice Cream ManIntegritone 1Integritone 2Janet BarleyK.G. BiancaLola MillersonMadam ValeskaMillie MillersonMiriam BreedloveMr. LefkowitzMr. PantsNurseOld Timey BankerRainbowRonnieTateTruck Driver
One-shots Artie the BossBarri's grandfatherBibiBill the BearBugCaptain StonewallCha-ChaCherryElder BaggEmilyFactory ManagerFinancial GuruFinguereFlossieGeoffreyGoody BaggHarris DayeIl BaccalaJaneaneJoeyKrazy DJLaurieMaudeMonaMorly RooberMurdockNorman MorrisonPrecious GibbonsReceptionistRide GuyRoseRoxySeymourSissy SullivanSplint GruntlerVirginia SullivanZanni
Groups Bears in CapesThe BeaversBlack Widow SpidersThe DragonfliesThe GorillasGwen's BrothersHoneybee ScoutsThe IntegritonesMcGee and DoogleThe Pretty Pretty PrincessesRichard and Dick GibbonsSugar BoysTwin Hillbillies
Background Honeybees NisaTatumTigerlilyOther Honeybees
Mentioned Chelsea's motherMillie's grandmother