Butt-head explained

Butt-Head
Portrayer:Mike Judge (voice)
Creator:Mike Judge
Gender:Male
First:Frog Baseball (1992)
Last:Beavis and Butt-head Are Dead (1997)
Current Age:15
Occupation:Freshman at Highland High School, Cashier at Burger World
Family:Beavis

Butt-Head (July 29,1979[1] in Highland, Texas) is a fictional character from the MTV animated series Beavis and Butt-Head. He was voiced by the show's creator, Mike Judge.

Mike Judge got the name Butt-Head from his university days, when he knew a couple of kids who had the nicknames 'Iron Butt' and 'Butt-Head'.[2] Some of the mispronunciations of Butt-Head's name by adults include Buffcoat, Headbutt, Butthole, Butter-head, Buttbrain, Tangpode, Nuthead, Bob-head, and Butter (Wall Of Youth). Senator Ernest Hollings actually first used the name 'Buffcoat' on the floor of the U.S. Senate — an incident believed to have inspired incidents of mispronunciation of the title characters' names.[3]

Characteristics

Of the title characters, Butt-Head appears to be the leader of the two. He is calmer, cockier, and marginally more "intelligent" than Beavis, but is oblivious to subtleties and still significantly less intelligent than the other characters in the show. Regardless, as the 'leader', he is usually 100% confident in everything he says and does — no matter how ridiculous or frivolous it is. Dan Tobin of The Boston Phoenix described Butt-Head as "ringleader, the devious visionary."[4]

Butt-Head seems to be the lazier of the two. He never seems react to things unless they catch his attention, in which case he describes them as 'cool'. Beavis, on the other hand, always has some kind of reaction, although his actions predictably end with bad results.

Butt-Head wears dental braces and has squinted eyes. His top gums are often exposed and he speaks nasally with a deep voice and a slight lisp, repeatedly punctuating his speech with his trademark laugh (Uh huh huh huh). He is usually shown wearing an AC/DC t-shirt. However, he is seen wearing a Metallica shirt for a few seconds in Crisis Line. In merchandising appearances, his shirt displays the word 'Skull', to avoid licensing issues. He is also known to fashion his hair with his own phlegm as if it were hair gel as seen in rare footage during the music video segments.

Though Butt-Head is physically weak to the point of being unable to lift a bar without weights (Buff n' Stuff), he is still somewhat stronger than Beavis. He wins the majority of fights they are involved in. In some episodes such as TV Violence and Special Delivery Beavis does fight back against him.

Butt-Head's parents are not seen, except for in Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. His dad is shown as a former Mötley Crüe roadie voiced by David Letterman. The two part company before they make the rather obvious connection. It is implied that Butt-Head's parents are divorced (or perhaps never married); in True Crime the two were watching the music video for Grace Jones's "Demolition Man". Beavis claimed the video was scary and asked Butt-Head if he could spend the night at his house, to which he answered "I'll ask my mom's boyfriend when he gets home." However, because the two have already practically lived together for the entirety of the show without any parents being seen, how seriously this should be taken is debatable.

Relationship with Beavis

The series appears to show both title characters living in the same house. It is uncertain whether Beavis and Butt-head are related. The movie Beavis and Butt-head Do America gives a quick glimpse of their fathers telling the boys how their mothers got pregnant (however, both groups failed to make the connection of their kinship). Judge calls the two men 'their dads' on the DVD commentary. The one who looks like an older obese Butt-Head claims that he is the only one who 'scored'. If it is true, it would make the duo half-brothers. However, there is a scene later in the movie in which FBI agents claim that both men are genetic matches for fathers, meaning that they do not share the same dad. Butt-head's father most likely just scorned Beavis' father just for the sake of it.

On many occasions, Butt-head is depicted as being abusive towards Beavis, usually slapping or insulting him. Most of the time, he receives no retaliation, with some exceptions (Murder Site, Nose Bleed, Prank Call, and some music videos when Beavis kicks him in the testicles). In several episodes Butt-Head shows no concern for Beavis, whether Beavis is being severely beaten (Teen Talk, Tired and Do America), abandoned (B&B vs The Vending Machine) or deported to Mexico (Vaya Con Cornholio). The feeling appears to be mutual, as seen in Water Safety when Butt-head nearly drowns in a pool and Beavis remains indifferent to Butt-Head's near-death experience, and in Choke when Butt-head chokes on a chicken nugget and Beavis takes his time attempting to help him as if it were nothing serious. Beavis tells the 9-1-1 operator "He's not really my friend". When Butt-head is in a situation when he may need Beavis' help, Beavis' reluctance to help him may be due to a failure to realize that Butt-head needs help. In Choke, when Butt-head tries to demonstrate that he is choking Beavis says "I hate this stupid game", as if Butt-head were playing a game of charades. When Beavis gets a nosebleed (caused by Butt-head punching him in the face), Butt-Head "tries" to help him, resulting in Beavis losing a great deal of blood (Nosebleed). In The Final Judgement of Beavis, after Beavis knocks himself out by crashing into a wall of the house (imitating a maneuver by Robocop on television), Butt-Head revives him by dumping a bucket of cold water on him.

The two characters spend most of their time with each other. They share the same occupation, and usually compliment each other when one makes any sort of endeavor, especially if it involves their life-long goal to 'score with chicks'. It can be inferred that, despite their abusive relationship, the duo are still friends, considering their shared activities, residency, and interests.

Relationship with other characters

Butt-Head is especially scornful of Stewart Stevenson, a nice if nerdy overweight kid who for some reason wants to be friends with the duo. He greatly admires Todd, an older bully who takes advantage of and pushes around the duo. He and Beavis aspire to be in Todd's gang, sometimes subjecting themselves to considerable abuse in vain attempts to be accepted. Although he pretends to dislike Daria at times (derisively calling her "Diarrhea"), Butt-head appears to respect her intelligence. Perhaps on some level he is jealous of it, precipitating his lame attempts to put her down. He is generally a thorn in the side of both the Maxi Mart owner and his neighbor Tom Anderson. The duo spend a lot of time loitering in and around Maxi Mart, annoying both the owner and the customers (especially females, with their weak pick-up lines). Mr. Anderson continually hires the two to do chores and asks favors of them, despite disastrous results each time. He does not seem to recall who they are from one encounter to the next, apparently due to poor sight and/or senility.

Mr. Van Driessen is alone among teachers at Highland High in that he sees potential in the duo and he tries to reach out to them and encourage them. He makes several attempts to teach them life lessons, to no avail. Conversely, Coach Buzzcut takes every opportunity to embarrass them, exposing both their stupidity and their lack of masculinity. Principal McVicker has no idea what to do with them, as every attempt he makes to instill discipline in them fails miserably.

Spoofs

In the 1996 Paramount and MTV movie, Beavis & Butthead Do America, at the beginning during the King-Kong/Godzilla-like scene, Butt-Head is known as Butt-Kong, but when Beavis appears, they are referred to by their real names. In the Christmas episode buh huh humbug there is a sequence in which Beavis explains the future to Coach Buzzcut (cast as the Ghost of Christmas Future in the episode). Butt-head is working at the counter of a fast food restaurant, with both him and the customers wearing uniforms reminiscent of Star Trek. A mechanical Beavis walks in, saying "I'm back", then starts blasting holes in the walls with a futuristic weapon. There is some similarity to the Terminator series.

References

  1. It is implied in 'Beavis and Butt-Head Do America' that Beavis and Butt-Head were conceived on the same night; therefore, Butt-Head's date of birth must be within a few weeks of October 28, 1979, Beavis' date of birth as established in 'The Final Judgment of Beavis'. In the 1994 episode 'Safe Driving', Butt-Head presents a birth certificate with the birth year crudely altered to 1978, trying to pass himself off as 16, which would be old enough to take driver's training.
  2. Web site: Mike Judge Interviewed by John Kricfalusi. Wild Cartoon Kingdom. 1994.
  3. Web site: Dude... This Sucks - We mourn the loss of fresh Beavis and Butt-Head episodes. EW.com Television News. August 15, 1997.
  4. "Butting out," The Boston Phoenix