Beetlejuice (prototype as Betelgeuse) is a trickster and mischievous ghost. He is the titular antagonist of the movie. The animated version of Beetlejuice is quite different from his live-action film counterpart. Among the first notable changes is the spelling of his name, from Betelgeuse to the title name of Beetlejuice.
In early drafts of the script, Betelgeuse was supposed to assume a variety of forms, with his true form being that of a winged demon (the filthy pale man wearing black and white stripes was originally going to be one of the many forms he assumed). Instead of being stuck in a waiting room, Betelgeuse was going to be destroyed at first.
Actors and Voices
Betelgeuse's name is often spelled phonetically as "Beetlejuice", as in the title. However, during the film his name spelled Betelgeuse (like the star of Orion, Betelgeuse) during his ad on TV, and everywhere in the grave scene.
There has been great debate over which spelling of his name is correct. Some say that because his name is the same as the introduction, this is proof that they meant it as Beetlejuice while others claim that was an error as the credits of the film spell his name "Betelgeuse". Nowhere during the film is his name spelled "Beetlejuice", unless watched with subtitles on, in which it is said from Lydia's interpretation from playing charades with him. Yes there is spelling of "Beetlejuice" in the film. The begining credits title the film "Beetlejuice". The Maitlands used the astrological spelling... after several mispronunciations.
Some also argue that he may not have been permitted to write his name the way it should, much like he can't say his own name. However, it is just as likely that he cannot misspell his own name any more than a mispronunciation of it can summon him, a condition which compounds his curse since his name is not spelled phonetically. It is also worth noting that there are hints of a greater meaning in several of the names in the movie, since Betelgeuse means "the hand of Orion" and Betelgeuse's former master was named Juno, a character clearly named after the Queen of the Roman gods, protector and special councilor of the state.
Betelgeuse is a very rude, crude and perverted ghost. He also gets a little crazy at times. Though he seems fun on screen, it's clear he's not a pleasant person to have around in real life, as he constantly invades people's personal space (even to the point of sexual harassment), does disgusting things like spitting in his own coat and makes rather rude gestures. Not only that, he seems to love to scare people out of their pants and pull pranks on them. He also seems to be quite selfish, as his main goal in the movie is to lift his curse and escape no matter who gets hurt in the process. He has the attitude of a sleazy used car salesman. Ironically, he is a corpse who eats insects, including flies and beetles.
He shows an interest in Lydia during most of the movie, and at nearly the end of this movie, he tries to force her into marrying him to fulfill a contract. He almost succeeds until he is stopped by Adam and Barbara Maitland, as well as a sandworm.
Beetlejuice differs from his film counterpart, as he is more of an anti-hero, but still retains much of his dishonest ways. Actually, this is the least of his problems; according to Lydia , he "hasn't changed" since the day he met her, as made obvious by how filthy he tends to get (and prefers to be), and how annoyed he gets with the fact he has the same problem as he did in the film: when he wants to leave the Neitherworld, he can only enter the Outerworld partially, unless someone calls him there by saying his name 3 times. Unfortunately for him, sending him back is done in the same fashion. He really likes to eat bugs (especially beetles, which may be why his name is Beetlejuice).
His favorite activities include pulling pranks and scamming people, though as the series goes on, we learn that his most frequent prank victims - his neighbors and Lydia's parents - are individuals of whom he's secretly rather fond of. He rarely pranks Lydia herself; he cares for her above any other person, and will often go to great lengths to ensure her safety, well-being, and happiness. (This contrasts with Beetlejuice's interactions with Lydia in the movie, in which he forces Lydia to marry him as a condition for agreeing to help the Maitlands regain their non-exorcised, non-decaying forms.)
Powers and abilities
Reality warping and manipulation
Can conjure/summon objects
Can mimic people's voices
According to Betelgeuse, he attended Julliard, is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, traveled quite extensively, lived through the Black Plague (and had a pretty good time during that), and has seen "The Exorcist" about 167 times (and it keeps getting funnier every single time he's seen it, not to mention the fact they're talking to the dead guy), but this may all be fabricated, as he was clearly not taking the interview seriously when revealing this information.
What is known for certain, per Juno's warning to the Maitlands, is that Betelgeuse was once Juno's assistant (which could imply he committed suicide in life since working for her could count as being a civil servant) but he was a troublemaker. He went out on his own as a freelance bio-exorcist, claiming he could get rid of the living, and got into more trouble. Also ironically, he is "Living-Buster"--a ghost who exterminates the living by scaring them away.
Betelgeuse used advertisements (such as flyers, business cards and a commercial, where he said some questionable things about chewing and swallowing) to get the Maitlands to hire him as a "bio-exorcist" to rid their house of the Deetzes.
The Maitlands summon him when they learn that he can be summoned if his name is said 3 times in a row. Things go bad when Betelgeuse starts scaring the Deetzes in ways that seriously harm them, and even worse, plans to marry Lydia as his way of "escaping" the Neitherworld so he can wreak further havoc. Fortunately, saying his name 3 times can also be used to get rid of him.
In the end, Betelgeuse ends up in the waiting room for the deceased, where he is last in a long line. Betelgeuse gets his comeuppance when he steals the Witch Doctor's ticket, then makes a boastful remark. The Witch Doctor sprinkles some powder on Betelgeuse, which causes his head to shrink. However, Betelgeuse, with his higher voice on account of this, remarks this may look good for him in a supposed underwear modeling gig.
- Betelgeuse had his own attraction at the Universal Studios theme park called Betelgeuse's Rock 'n' Roll Graveyard Revue. The attraction was eventually shut down, but it has been recently revived. It was permanently closed in early 2016. There were also some skits where Betelgeuse met the Ghostbusters, most of which had him possess the boys in gray and humiliate them by singing songs, such as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "I'm Too Sexy." Some of these skits ended with the Ghostbusters busting Betelgeuse.
- Originally it was going to be mentioned that Betelgeuse committed suicide when he hung himself over a woman when he was drunk - and that he botched the job and ended up suffocating painfully instead of a quick snapped neck. There's not much time for it.
- It's implied he was involved before as there's a severed finger with a ring in his pocket. He remarks, "I'm tellin' ya', honey! She meant nothing to me! Nothing at all!" We understand that those who commit suicide are civil-servants in the afterlife. In an earlier draft, we hear Betelgeuse committed suicide over losing a woman he loved. And he was a civil-servant--Juno's assistant. Until he caused trouble and was exiled into a model town in one of the graves to scale with his powers greatly reduced.
- The black-and-white striped suit he wears is meant to resemble a two-bit hustler/salesman's wardrobe and to represent that he is a prisoner.
- Beetlejuice's parents refer to their son as Junior, even though he is not named after his father. Possibly he is named after a older male relative.
- Oddly enough, Beetlejuice's parents and his brother Donny are never seen together in the same episode.
- Though he is afraid of Sandworms, there have been times where he managed to defeat a Sandworm without panicking.
- Almost every time Beetlejuice eats a bug, we never actually see him eat it. Instead, we see the reactions of whoever happens to be watching him eat the bug at the time (if not cutting to the next part of the plot).
- He eats 200 bugs in the whole animation, and according to Lydia on the first episode, he knows 101 ways to eat them; this would suggest that each way must have been shown at least once, though usually he eats them raw while they're still able to crawl. He even saves some for later.
- Beetlejuice is Ablutophobic (meaning he has the fear/dispute of cleanliness/bathing), which is no surprise since his neat-freak mother gets carried away. Whenever he's forced to take a bath/shower, especially the kind with hot-and-soapy water, he goes berserk. When in buildings that are spotless, he claims it's his idea of disgusting.
- Due to his father's workaholic behavior, Beetlejuice also has issues with the mere idea of getting (and keeping) a job, as he would rather have fun and spend time with Lydia than be a member of the "bored." However, on many occasions he's seen using his multiple talents and his con-artist charm to set himself up with some part-time freelances.
- In the episode "The Wizard of Ooze," Beetlejuice actually says his own name for the first time. According to his curse, he is unable to do so. However, the episode is revealed to have been a dream sequence, which likely accounts for the discrepancy.
- Beetlejuice is shown crying (as an adult) several times during the course of the series - Out of my mind and Poe Pourri are all three instances are related to the prospect of permanent separation from Lydia. But he always does the same thing on a few more episodes.
- Beetlejuice is actually Born a Ghost since his family originates in the Neitherworld similar to Casper the friendly ghost from cartoons,It the source of all things spooky so not everything that lives there was once a human.
- According to a 90s Beetlejuice stickerbook (published by "Panini"), the house the Deetzes live in is Beetlejuice's, but was considered abandoned by the outside world. Beetlejuice used to try and scare the family away at first, and eventually found himself liking and befriending Lydia.