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Quote1 Pardon my French girls, but this is bananas! You are not 'little ladies.' You are human beings with your own ideas and interests. Blossoming flowers, not flower arrangers. Whatever happened to self-expression, progress, keeping an open mind? Quote2
--- Hilary addressing Honeybee Troop 828, "Little Womyn"


Hilary Higgenbottom[2] is the single mother of Bessie and Ben. She owns and operates a coffee shop and eatery[3] called Hilary's Café,[4] which sells cupcakes, cookies and other baked goods in addition to the caffeinated beverages. Hilary is voiced by Megan Cavanagh.[5]

Hilary takes a laid-back approach with her children, usually letting them do as they please. She is a loving mother and cares deeply for Bessie and Ben. However, Bessie's excitable nature and Ben's need for attention can overwhelm her on occasion.

Little is known of Hilary's past, except for the fact that she is a longtime motorcycle rider ("Boston Beean"), was a goat herder in Berlin ("Apoxalypse Now") and that in "Name Shame" she recounts how Bessie's middle name became Kajolica: she met a medicine man from Santa Fe while pregnant with her daughter, and he wrote it in the sand for her to see. She states it has a "magical" meaning, but has since forgotten what it is.

Personality

Hilary is a hippie,[6] a big believer in karma and exhibiting positive energy. She has a lenient, free spirited parenting style, allowing her children to express their creativity in whatever way they find appropriate.[7] With that being said, she is more down to earth than fellow hippies The Hippie and Rainbow, and will put her foot down if Bessie and/or Ben disobey her or put themselves in danger.

She can be bowled over by Bessie just as much as everyone else is,[8] as exemplified in "So Happy Together" when she finally allows her daughter to have a dog after Bessie kept rattling off pros about having one.[9] Overall, she loves her children very much, stating in "Li'l Orphan Happy": "I have the best kids in the world!"

Hilary also has a tendency to be forgetful, as shown in “Apoxalypse Now,” where she forgot it was Ben who’s never had the chicken pox, not Bessie. It seems Bessie's intelligence may in part have come from Hilary, as in "Artificial Unintelligence" she takes apart Bessie's atom smasher with ease.

Her largest role in an episode was "Little Womyn," where Bessie begs her mother to temporarily lead the Troop 828 meetings in Mrs. Gibbons' absence. Hilary obliges, but views much of what the Honeybees have to do as archaic and stifling their imaginations, resulting in Bessie's fellow Honeybees to make paintings and other activities. Bessie, preferring the original Honeybee method, does not take kindly to these changes, coming to a point where Bessie calls her own mother by her name as an act of defiance. After Bessie dresses like a hippie and Hilary as an authoritarian, mother and daughter realize they express themselves in different ways and make up.

Frequently appearing in the first season, Hilary appears less often in the second, having a speaking role in only three of the season's episodes ("Catatonic", "Bee Nice" and "Sleepless in San Francisco"). However, she is still shown operating her coffee shop in "Awww-esome." Her last appearance is in the series finale "C'mon Get Happy!," attending Bessie and Happy's botched friendship anniversary ceremony.

Appearance

Hilary has red hair, which is braided into dreadlocks and held together with rope.[5] She wears a dark green dress, a black bracelet with silver spikes and brown biker boots. Additionally, Hilary has silver earrings on her ears and a red heart-shaped tattoo with a bow and arrow through it on her shoulder (this switches from left to right).

Speaking appearances

Gallery

     Main article: Hilary Higgenbottom/Gallery

Trivia

  • She apparently needs peacock feathers periodically to help her through "spiritual emergencies," as revealed by Ben and Bessie in "It's B's Party".
  • Has an allergy to cats, as revealed in "Catatonic."
  • Although Hilary usually takes public transportation such as buses, she is shown to own a red car in "Bee Afraid."
  • As temporary troop leader in "Little Womyn," her favorite topic from the Honeybee Handbook was "A Meditation of Open-Mindedness," written by Miriam Breedlove.
  • Per "Little Womyn," Hilary knows how to sew. This was later utilized as a minigame in Nicktoons Superstuffed: Mini Game Mania 2.
  • Is the only person who can say Bessie's middle name (Kajolica) without anything horrible happening, as shown in "Name Shame"; it is assumed as Bessie's mother she is immune to its bad luck.
  • Member of the Macrame Circle, as shown in "Macro Mayhem."
  • According to a 2006 Variety article on the show's pilot (Super Scout), Hilary had a wildly different occupation: a singer at the local bar.[10]

References

  1. Although this is not formally addressed within the series, a gag in "Super Secret Weakness" shows Bessie's father is alive, thus he and Hilary must be divorced. When Amy Poehler was asked about his absence, she gave a tongue-in-cheek answer.
  2. Revealed in "Little Womyn"; some sources spell the name Hillary (for example, David Perlmutter's America Toons In: A History of Television Animation) but the closing credits spell her first name with one L.
  3. Perlmutter, David (March 13, 2014). America Toons In: A History of Television Animation. Page 328. McFarland & Company. International standard book number 9781476614885.
  4. Moody, Annemarie (September 17, 2008). Nickelodeon Picks Up Two New Series, Renews Mighty B. Animation World Network. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dodds, Richard (March 10, 2009). Medium in the middle. Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved May 13, 2020. Quote: "I play Amy Poehler's mom, a woman named Hillary[sic] Higgenbottom, and she's this fantastic, boot-wearing, dreadlocked, tattooed, Harley-riding mama"
  6. Weintraub, Steve (March 26, 2007). AMY POEHLER and WILL ARNETT Interviewed – BLADES OF GLORY. Collider. Retrieved July 7, 2020. Quote: "It’s about a little skateboarding girl in San Francisco and she’s a Girl Scout and she lives with her hippie single mom."
  7. McNamara, Mary (April 25, 2008). With 'Mighty B!' the eyes (and the lisp) have it. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  8. Television: Optimistic ‘Mighty B!’ revels in joys of childhood. April 30, 2008. The Mercury News. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  9. Weiss, Joanna (April 26, 2008). Cartoon kids are capable of anything. Boston.com. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  10. Martin, Denise (February 15, 2006). Poehler scouting Nick gig. Variety. Retrieved May 23, 2019. Quote: "Her single mom sings at the local bar..."
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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