Is Mr. Bean An Alien? One Popular Fan Theory Says Yes

There’s no denying that Mr. Bean is a weird dude. But could that be because he’s only just learning the ways of life on Earth?

Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean.
Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean. / Comic Relief/GettyImages

Mr. Bean is an international entertainment phenomenon. His largely wordless, rubber-faced escapades made him a language-transcending icon in the 1990s, when it was difficult to go anywhere without encountering a bulky television broadcasting his slapstick antics.

Yet, throughout the show’s five-year, 14-episode run, we learn very little about Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) himself. We don’t meet any of his family, it’s incredibly unclear how he pays for his London apartment, and his first name is never revealed.

His enigmatic nature and consistently unusual behavior have led some people to speculate that Mr. Bean might not be of this Earth. Could he, in fact, be an alien?

The Bean-is-an-extraterrestrial theory dates from the pre-internet days of the show’s first broadcast, and stem in part from the opening credits, which feature him falling from the sky. An alternate theory bandied about was that he was an angel banished from heaven—the choral music accompanying the sequence was said to back this up. (In fact, the Latin sung by the choir is “Ecce homo qui est faba,” which translates as “Behold, the man who is a bean”.)

The idea that he’s an alien—while less likely than the notion that he’s just a very strange man—seems, to some people at least, to hold a lot of water: being a non-human would explain why he seemingly fails to understand so many basic concepts, always behaves in such peculiar ways, and struggles to connect with other people. Wearing the same clothes all the time, fitting a barn-style deadbolt to a car door, operating outside of most human logic, lacking adult empathy—it all kind of adds up, at least if you want it to.

The theory was kind of, but not really, confirmed by—of all things—the cartoon spinoff Mr Bean: The Animated Series, In one episode, Mr. Bean encounters a doppelgänger of himself, who is revealed to be an alien—one of many Bean-alikes in a UFO. The canonical or non-canonical status of the animated series, though, is probably up for debate (although it does feature the vocal talents of Atkinson, and all the producers of the original series are involved to some extent).

However, it’s probably fair to say that the lore of Mr. Bean doesn’t run enormously deep. While Atkinson himself has acknowledged that the character has “an alien aspect to him,” the character was much more inspired by Atkinson’s comedy hero Jacques Tati and his character Monsieur Hulot— an odd man, certainly, but a human one.

Like his inspiration, Mr. Bean is also probably just a bizarre guy, who has been perfectly tailored by his creators (Atkinson and Love Actually director Richard Curtis) to suit and complement Atkinson’s unparalleled physical comedy skills.

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