In a particularly forlorn notion, the words “adult” and “animated” wouldn’t causally go along, simply because there still are a lot of people who equate cartoons with strictly kiddie content. I kid you not, out of all the shows that I have watched, among the most real, hard-hitting sermons on life was given to me by an anthropomorphic talking horse. The notion is forlorn in terms of today, especially when some of the best TV shows, recurring or otherwise, out there are adult-rated animated sitcoms. Netflix especially has proved to be a hotbed for several adult animated shows, and one among those fine gems is this raunchy and frantic little show about the journey to adulthood through the bumpy road that is puberty and adolescence.
The high heavens have been witnesses to the fact that puberty has been a hard time in every kid’s life save a few lucky exceptions. What this uniquely funny animated Netflix show does is while it brings about all the memories about that time gushing in, unpleasant or otherwise, it will leave you LOLing at the sheer audacity, and sometimes relatability of what the characters go through as their sexual urges take grip. It also helps that the show is smartly written yet uproariously gross at times which is all part of the infamous ‘Big Mouth’ experience.
A big reason, as with any show, of why ‘Big Mouth’ works are its characters. Most of them unlikeable, but the situations they get themselves into are funny all the same, because believe it or not, you’ve mostly been there too. With that said, here is the list of 15 best Big Mouth characters. Read on.
15. Ghost of Duke Ellington
That’s how you introduce fictional characterisations of real life characters into your show, no questions asked. Appearing as the animated ghost of the legendary Jazz singer and composer, Ghost of Duke Ellington dwells in the attic above Nick’s room, apparently having died there. His breaking into song to give Nick some advice, however terrible, and that intermittent laugh are simply spot on. What’s more is that he is voiced by none other than Jordan Peele. That opening song, “Changes”? Yeah, that’s him.
I never thought I’d say this, but he is perhaps the most adorable hormone monster on the show, and boy, they ARE really monsters. Appearing temporarily as Nick’s hormone monster in the second season of the show, Tyler is somewhat of a Dobby situation from the Harry Potter films, albeit complete with a filthy mouth spewing everything that you’d expect a hormone monster from this show to. However, the real reason you love this hormone monster is that he is pretty bad at his job, and you’d do nothing but laugh at the predicament he lands the kids he is supposed to guide through puberty in.
13. Shame Wizard
The concept behind Shame Wizard is what amazes me. It’s little personifications like these (and the show personifies everything, from pillows, to socks to even pubes) that make this show really stand out. The shame wizard exists to judge and guilt-ride perverted teens: in this case, Andrew, who confesses to masturbating to anything. Of course, David Thewlis’ sharp British accent as he condescendingly looks down on Andrew after he is caught masturbating, making him stand trial for the same, is just one of the many reasons to love this character.
One of the non-canonical characters from the show seeing as though we hardly have any major story arc dedicated to him. Even though he is slightly rooted in stereotype, more or less, what with all the mannerisms and being the gossip broadcaster at the school, he is the only openly gay character on the show, and his inclusion in a show about puberty and adolescence means only good things for people who can relate his high school experience with him. His arc with Jay leading the latter to possibly realise his sexuality is one of the most endearing bits of the show. One of the underrated ones, we could do with a little more of him in the upcoming seasons.
Chances are that her voice, particularly the way she says “Oh My God Andrew” echoed in your head right as you read her name on this list. If anyone actually comes close to Connie the hormone monstress’ sass on the show, it is Lola. Attention is her middle name and her arc with Andrew wherein she almost forcibly becomes his girlfriend is equally gross yet rivetingly hilarious. Love her or hate her, you simply cannot ignore her. That’s just who she is. What’s even more hilarious is that she too is voiced by Nick Kroll, which is pretty obvious when you hear it, and the show doesn’t appear to be giving two damns to that fact.
10. Elliot and Diane Birch
Parents who just want to be supportive to their kids in all the wrong ways, including openly discussing their sex lives, in a coming of age movie or TV show can never not be hilarious. History is full of irreverent parents with transparent fetishes, but ‘Big Mouth’ introduces the all too cringe-y Birch parents, the reason for Nick’s embarrassing escapades half of the time. Remember the time when Nick was pantsed on a zipline in front of everybody and his father ended up publicly exposing himself too as a sign of solidarity? 10/10 for effort in support, but he ended up being in jail for that. His mother was still supportive though.
You won’t need to look twice to claim the word “disgusting” after looking at Rick, and that’s completely okay. I’d be judging you if you didn’t. The character has been designed to look old and baggy, with scraggly body hair, a gargling voice, has pus coming own his neck, and so on. You get the drill. He is meant to be all that, since one look at him is supposed to tell you that whoever has him as his hormone monster is going to have a doomed sex life or puberty, just as Coach Steve, or Nick for some time. All hormone monsters have some terrible sex advice to lend, but Rick; his are downright spelling disaster. His failed movie references coupled with triumphant music over fourth wall breaking are some of the funniest moments from each episode he is in. But, on the plus side, he is also the one standing by his humans invariably. I mean, it would take real loyalty to say “you’re the man, baby” to Coach Steve every 15 minutes or so.
8. Coach Steve
There is only one of two ways this goes. You either absolutely deplore him and winch your facial expressions every time he is on screen, or be laughing-out-loud at how absolutely miserable the seminal “40 (or 50?) year old virgin” is. What’s winning about this character is that despite the fact that you would find yourself feeling sorry for Coach Steve for his lack of love, friends, and more importantly sex, you would also laugh at mostly all the pitiful predicaments he finds himself in. Together with his deformed hormone monster Rick, the two are behind some of the most cringe-worthy yet completely random humour on the show. What’s even funnier is that he is the sex-ed teacher for these kids.
Andrew is the protagonist we love to hate. From having some of the best bits on the show, courtesy of his interaction with his hormone monster being the first one to have hit puberty rather than the other way around, to being simply deplorable yet funny in his escapades to discover his raging sexuality leading him to masturbate anywhere and everywhere, landing him in particularly sticky (no pun intended) situations, Andrew Glouberman suffices well as a character with roughly 50% of the story arcs directly related to him. Despite all this, he is still shy and awkward which ensure that the character is not a total jerk owing to his sexual encounters.
The late bloomer of the group, and also certainly adorable especially during his moments of insecurity regarding the same. His moments of overt sexual discourse with his parents are howl-worthy, as are his interactions with Andrew, his best friend and his search for a hormone monster to have puberty finally hit him, which leads him to crossing paths with Rick and Connie, both as potential hormone monsters. He is confident in his skin despite the insecurities and somewhat smart, despite being the bucktoothed short kid in class. Almost all of us have been Nicks at some point in our lives, adding to the all too relatable arcs of the character.
When we talk about character development over seasons, there is perhaps none that would come close to Jessie. She has some of the most mature story arcs on the show dedicated to her, including her puberty, her parents’ divorce, her mom coming out as a lesbian, and the onslaught of a depression, all at once, something that she has no idea how to deal with, at all. Even when her hormone monstress Connie comes to her rescue and the two indulge in some sneaky behaviour, some of the best parts about the show, her emotional outbursts, hilarious as they are, must seem all too relatable to hormone filled teenagers.
For a ton of people out there, the geek in Missy only looking for acceptance but later coming onto her own is relatability max. Her awkward demeanour and declaring facts in every argument are facets that add to the overall charm of the character, while also maintaining why she would stand out among a crowd of high schoolers. While her storyline with Andrew was one of the less involving ones from the show, the one where she masturbates, and the “confidence” she embodies after it is chuckle-worthy. Now, with the introduction of her own hormone monster in Season 3, I expected to see a whole lot more of Missy and character development, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Singularly, the best voice casting on the entire show. The sass that Maya Rudolph brings to Connie, Jessie’s crazed hormone monster is currently unparalleled on the show. She appears at a time on the show when Jessie is going through some severe ups and downs due to her parents’ divorce, and while her advice in getting her out of it involves shoplifting, taking her father’s edible weed and burst out at her mom, it’s never not funny. She is the one behind Jessie’s completely radical transformation from one of the most sorted characters on the show in Season 1 to a hormonal-rampage-filled girl in Season 2. She might be the most efficient hormone monster, but can we expect her to raise hell if tingled in the wrong places? Absolutely yes.
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Jason Mantzoukas is absolutely explosive as the frantic, sex crazed kid that is Jay. That right there is half the reason I love this kid. Every adolescent kid has their urges and bouts of sexual energy when puberty hits, but not for Jay – since that is his default state of operation. He humps everything in sight, especially his pillow that he is in a relationship with, literally, and is grossly unapologetic about it. However, apart from him being an unruly wretched kid, there is much more to his story than what appears at the surface. The scenes where Jay reels from his family perpetually neglecting him, and the journey of discovering his sexuality through the second season of the show add a lot of layers to an otherwise straight up raunchy character.
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My favourite character from the show, and by extension, the best hormone monster out there too. The show may be overrun with hormone monsters by now; heck, they even introduced a whole ministry full of them in Season 2. But Maury will always be the OG hormone monster for me. Yes, he might be terrible at guiding Andrew through his puberty, and he is outwardly foul mouthed and sex crazed, but that’s part of his job. Remember when he shaved his entire body when poor Andrew had his puberty moustache waxed off by his terrible father? That’s what I am talking about. His chemistry and relation with Andrew is singularly more entertaining than Andrew’s chemistry with Nick. The jokes he lands are seldom not funny. The voice acting by Nick Kroll is on point. What’s not to like?
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