Happy Walter Higgenbottom is Bessie's pet dog and best friend. Bessie adopts him in the show's first episode ("So Happy Together"), having found him at a nearby wharf. Although Happy was not a fan of being a member of the Higgenbottoms at first, he grew to love his new family.
Happy is anthropomorphic, able to walk on his hind legs, drive a car and interacts frequently with the human characters; however, he can only speak through barks, growls and whimpers that are understood by the characters within the show.
Happy is often portrayed as egotistical and self-serving, but his guilty conscience reveals his true colors: as a loyal and lovable dog. An example of this is in the show's pilot episode, "So Happy Together," wherein Happy abandons Bessie at the dog show, but returns after feeling remorseful. He is described as a curmudgeon by The Elizabethton Star and "surly" from The Clearfield Progress.
Very crafty and sly, Happy often has a few tricks up his sleeve, helping out Bessie (whether willingly or reluctantly) when she finds herself in serious trouble. He is shown to have eclectic interests and tastes, from gambling at a private casino reserved for dogs ("Night Howl"), to practicing meditation and tai chi in "O Say Can Bess See."
Described as "talented" on the Nickelodeon Animation website, Happy is a jack-of-all-trades, knowing how to play two instruments, serving as a newspaper editor and is capable of twisting balloons to create animals. He was shown to be an excellent brick mason in "Stuffed Happens." In "Higgenbottom's 7," Happy is revealed to be a "master of disguise," capable of convincingly masquerading as a safe, S.W.A.T. officer and even as Bessie. "YiPs" utilizes this talent of his as well.
In several episodes, Happy often plays with Bessie, good examples include the two being pirates in "A Pirate's Life for B" and in "Space Evaders" the duo pretended they were in outer space. The first and final episodes of the series ("So Happy Together" and "C'mon Get Happy!", respectively) revolve around the two's friendship.
Happy eats both human and dog food, his favorites being biscuits, bacon and the canned dog food Dumpster Delight. Despite having anthropomorphic traits, he is still a dog and will give in to his urges, such as chasing cats around town. As revealed in "Bee Patients," Happy greatly dislikes going to the vet, made worse by the fact Doctor/Vet is rather incompetent at his job.
He is not fond of bathing either, which is the central plot of "Dirty Happy." One of Happy's favorite things to do is dumpster diving, as Ben mentions Happy eats garbage in "Artificial Unintelligence" and Happy just came back from a dumper diving session in "B-Chip."
He can be vengeful, such as trading Bessie's glasses in so he could get a large dog bone Bessie refused to buy for him ("Blindsided"). Other times he acts on his own desires without thinking about the consequences, an example being "Beenedict Arnold" where he leaves Bessie for Portia but soon regrets this decision. However, Happy ultimately does the right thing in the end, sacrificing his bone so a blind Bessie wouldn't be hit by a bus in the former episode and returning to Bessie after she helped him escape Portia's house in "Beenedict Arnold."
Whenever Bessie accepts defeat or is upset, Happy will always help her achieve the goal in question; examples include threatening to tell Ride Guy's boss so Bessie can go on The Punisher in "Sweet Sixteenth" or reluctantly posing for a picture at Fritz's Photo Studio in "Portrait of a Happy" after Bessie had cried for days over being rejected for a photo, as Happy had felt sorry for her.
Happy speaks, however he is only usually understood by the characters within the series and not the viewing audience. His lip movements and closed captioning interpret what he's saying. He is capable of saying simple words (albeit in a rough, dog-like voice), such as "Yeah!" and his owner's name, Bessie.
Happy is a sky blue dog (changed to a dark navy blue hue in season 2) with light blue spots, a red collar, and a round purplish nose. He has yellow sclera with black pupils (his eye color is shown to be green in closeups for "Portrait of a Happy," though they are brown in "Dogcatcher in the Rye"), in addition to black ears (one of which is torn).
His tongue is pale pink (changed to a lavender pink hue in season 2) when he extends it. Being a dog, he typically does not wear clothes aside from his collar, but he will on special occasions.
Happy was separated from his mother (notable for having a heart-shaped birthmark) when he was a puppy, as revealed in "Li'l Orphan Happy"; how this came to be is not touched upon, but for this reason Happy associates Mother's Day with their separation and consequently does not like the holiday. For much of season 1, Happy's background is very rarely brought up, though Bessie states in "Ten Little Honeybees" she was aware "he had a past" when interrogating him during the party.
More of his past is revealed in the second season: he was originally a secret agent (known as Agent Stray) for the attack dog organization known as Seriously Hardcore Attack Dogs Operating Worldwide, known by the acronym "S.H.A.D.O.W." His owner at this time was the founder of S.H.A.D.O.W., K.G. Bianca. He learned twelve languages and bit multiple humans while a member, being considered the best in his field.
However, on his last assignment, Happy was given orders to bite his future owner Bessie (the two had not met each other at this time) as a warning to the Honeybees from the Nougat Lobby because Bessie’s sales crushed the nougat sales. However, Happy is against biting women and children, and so he concocted a way to fake his own death. To make the theatrics seem more realistic, he ripped some of his right ear off, explaining how his ear became torn.
Thereafter, he decides to live the life of a stray. Until, of course, Bessie, coincidentally the very girl who he had once been assigned to bite, finds him at the wharf and takes him to her house for a dog show in order to get the Animal Appreciation badge. Happy doesn't seem so happy with that idea and even leaves once at the show. However, when leaving, he begins to feel sorry for Bessie and decides to come back just in time. Thus, Happy became Bessie's pet dog and best friend.
Powers and abilities
Due to Happy's past as a secret agent, he is capable of defending himself and utilizing several tricks up his sleeve when he, Bessie or both are in a jam.
- Sense of smell: Bessie mentions Happy being capable of tracking scents in "Li'l Orphan Happy." Indeed, Happy often uses this to his advantage, examples being: "Artificial Unintelligence," "Dragonflies", "Awww-esome" and "O Brother, What Art Thou?"
- Lock picking: Thanks to having razor sharp claws, Happy can use them to open locks, such as in "Beenedict Arnold" when he was trying to escape Portia's house.
- Balloon modelling: A trait first revealed in "Super Secret Weakness," Happy knows how to twist balloons into shapes, such as animals. It is later utilized in "The Bone Identity" after Happy tricks K.G. Bianca into thinking he bit Bessie, using balloon decoys that resemble the two.
- Master of disguise: Happy can impersonate objects (such as a safe) or other people (like Bessie) without anyone being none the wiser. He can even replicate Bessie's voice perfectly. This trait is most prominent in "Higgenbottom's 7" and "YiPs."
- Parkour: In "The Bone Identity," Happy is shown to be proficient in parkour, using it in order to quickly escape from Bessie and later K.G. Bianca.
- Self defense: K.G. Bianca mentions in "The Bone Identity" that Happy is a black belt in jujitsu and Krav Maga.
- Polyglot: Happy can speak at least eight languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, Swahili and Pomeranian, all of which are revealed in "The Bone Identity." Later, in "Stuffed Happens," it's shown he can speak Mandarin as well.
- Biting: According to K.G. Bianca, Happy was highly revered as a biter, being assigned to bite anyone Bianca instructed him to. However, he refuses to bite women or children on moral grounds.
- Bessie Higgenbottom (most times)
- Blowing raspberries
- Ice Cream
- Roxxy (formerly)
- Being dirty
- Being off-leash
- Hilary Higgenbottom
- Penny Lefkowitz
- Cha-Cha (Dragonflies' dog)
- Rocky Rhodes
- Ben Higgenbottom (at times)
Happy is Bessie's pet and best friend in the whole world. Bessie often calls Happy his "senior adviser". They often go on several adventures together, whether that be at the Hive, the Recreation Center or downtown San Francisco. There are times when the two argue and separate, but they always make up.
Happy and Ben have an adversarial relationship, often fighting for Bessie's attention. They also occasionally snipe at each other, such as Ben calling him simply "dog." However, they will work together if it means helping Bessie out. Happy gave Mr. Pants CPR in "Hive of Darkness," showing he does care for Ben to an extent. The two become closer than imagined in "Hen and Bappy" after switching bodies.
Interaction between Happy and Hilary is not often seen. Hilary shows annoyance towards him whenever he eats food meant for her customers at the cafe ("Hen and Bappy"). However, Hilary states in "Li'l Orphan Happy" that she views him as a member of the family, showing she loves him just as much as the kids.
A dog in the episode, "Lil' Orphan Happy", who claimed to be Happy's mother and lived in the Higgenbottom residence. She proves to be a negative influence on Happy, encouraging him to steal food and impersonate Hilary so the two dogs can have as many steaks as they desire. Happy eventually sides with the Higgenbottoms, which leads to the reveal Rose is not his mother after all.
In "C'mon, Get Happy!", K.G. Bianca sent a girl dog named Roxy to lure Happy to her plane. Happy was madly in love with Roxy even to the point of moving out of the house to be with her. However, he found out that K.G. Bianca was using Roxy to lure him back to her. Bessie then saves Happy and the two have a quicky "friendship ceremony" at Las Vegas.
Although not very close, he and Penny are on friendly terms. He reluctantly serves as Penny's "pony" when a re-do of her birthday party is held in "An I See Bee." He expresses the same shock as Bessie when the two discover Penny kidnapped Joey and believes they are meant for each other ("Penny Hearts Joey"), and in "Tour D'Alcatraz" is impressed by Penny's escape route while in prison.
In "Beenedict Arnold," Happy temporarily becomes Portia's dog after he grows tired of being on a diet. However, he begins to regret leaving Bessie for Portia due to the latter's prissy and arrogant nature, and tries in vain to escape her house. His distaste for Portia is evident in episodes afterward, often giving her an annoyed expression after Portia makes a self-centered comment.
Happy and Gwen are rarely seen interacting with each other. It's Gwen's comment that Bessie "found him in a dumpster" that angers Happy and causes him to run away from the dog show. However, the two will work together to achieve a common goal, as seen in "Dragonflies."
He and The Hippie are shown to be very close friends, as revealed in "Hen and Bappy." The two are seen feeding pigeons at the park in "Bee Nice" and fooling around with balloons in "It's B's Party," causing Happy and Hippie to have high-pitched voices. In "Bang the Drum Timely," Hippie entrusts his magic/pawn shop to Happy, showing he has great trust and respect for him.
- Main article: Happy Higgenbottom/Appearances
- Main article: Happy Higgenbottom/Gallery
- Happy's breed is uncertain; he is referred to as a "mutt" both within the series and in articles about the show.
- Some sources incorrectly state he was a shelter dog prior to Bessie adopting him.
- A press release for the show claims Happy "has the biggest appetite in San Francisco."
- In some promotional art, Happy's left ear is torn when it should be his right.
- Happy has at least two tattoos: one on his left shoulder, a heart (possibly a tribute to his mother) and another on his butt, for a girl named "Jessica."
- He has been arrested twice in the series: "B-Chip" and "Public Enembee."
- Happy's name is present in five episode titles, more than any other character.
- "Artificial Unintelligence" reveals Happy can draw well.
- Happy enjoys playing video games, per "Li'l Orphan Happy." He is later shown to play Raspberry Shortcake Space Attack VI, under the names "War Dog" and "Bluedog79" ("Finger Pickin' Bad").
- He serves as editor-in-chief of The Hive Herald and has won a "Poochlitzer Prize," per "Woodward and Beesting."
- Happy seems to suffer from back problems, as Bessie mentions him having low back pain in "Little Womyn" and Ben criticizes Happy for whining about his herniated disc in "Hat Trick." Per "O Say Can Bess See," he owns a back and lumbar massager.
- Bessie states in "Night Howl" that Sea Cucumber Colony is one of Happy's favorite programs.
- Maintains a subscription to Bacon of the Month Club ("Hive Jacked"). It is later revealed he subscribes to 12 bacon publications, including blogs ("B-Chip").
- "Something's Wrong With This Taffy" shows he owns a Bonsai tree and partakes in feng shui.
- Has his own "secret serenity garden," as shown in "O Say Can Bess See."
- Happy is musically talented, knowing how to play the flute ("O Say Can Bess See") and synthesizer ("Ben Screams For Ice Cream").
- In "Dirty Happy," it is revealed Bessie doesn't let Happy go off leash at the dog park due to his poor hygiene.
- Bessie claims in "Tour D'Alcatraz" that Happy enjoys musical theater.
- "Awww-esome" shows he owns a velour tracksuit.
- Bessie mentions Happy having took Argentine tango classes in "Dogcatcher in the Rye."
- Happy's identification number is 4829TB4A0, as revealed in "Rinx!"
- Bessie claims Happy smells like beans in "B-Chip."
- "The Bone Identity" reveals the following:
- That he was trained by K.G. Bianca for "48 dog years."
- He claims to be allergic to kiwis, but Bessie doesn't believe that and thinks he simply dislikes the fruit.
- It is revealed in "O Brother, What Art Thou?" that Happy has his initials (HWH) tattooed on his right fingers.
- Has had the Higgenbottom household under surveillance, as revealed in "Stuffed Happens."
- In "YiPs," Bessie mentions Happy has been to a food counselor.
- Happy claims to have gone to online medical school in "Public Enembee," but Bessie says this isn't true.
- Happy is the second animal secret agent Dee Bradley Baker has voiced; he concurrently provided secret agent Perry the Platypus' voice in Phineas and Ferb.
- He was named after a pet co-creator Cynthia True had in the past.
- During the design stage, different species for Happy were considered, including ferret and fish, before his design was finalized.
- Happy is co-creator Erik Wiese's favorite character.
- On storyboards, Happy's barking and other sounds were translated to indicate what he was saying, presumably for his voice actor's benefit.
- Revealed in "Awww-esome"
- Revealed in "Li'l Orphan Happy"
- Terrace, Vincent (January 10, 2014). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010. Page 688. McFarland & Company. Second edition. International standard book number 9780786486410.
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- Family Fun. April 25, 2008. The Clearfield Progress. Page 27. Retrieved July 10, 2020. Quote: "she adopts a surly mutt from the streets and names him Happy"
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- The Mighty B!. Nickelodeon Animation. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
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- TV review: 'Mighty B!' gets a badge for spunk. April 25, 2008. San Francisco Gate. Retrieved June 26, 2020. Quote: "...given a shelter dog named Happy"
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- Liu, Ed (April 21, 2008). NYCC 2008: Bouncing Off the Walls at "The Mighty B!" Panel. Anime Super Hero. Retrieved May 23, 2019. Quote: "Happy, on the other hand, is a rescue dog (named after a pet True had when she was younger)..."
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- Happy's profile on Nicktoons.com, archived via the Wayback Machine
- Hilary's Café, where Happy resides
- Category:Episodes focused on Happy, episodes featuring Happy as the main character