Mr Bean seems to be merely a child trapped inside a man’s body, looking at the world with a bright awe in his face, constantly doing silly things. Bean is never seen to question his actions, but accepts everything he does. What is going on behind that innocent grin and wide-eyed expression?
“Phil, you’re just an eight-year-old trapped inside a twelve-year-old’s body.” – Glen Cullen, The Thick Of It
Throughout the entire original series Mr Bean mostly speaks with mumbles, or one word responses like “Bean”. Monosyllabic word choice could link to possible autism, Asperger Syndrome, or possible Savant Syndrome as all of these are usually accompanied by lexical hindrances. Bean is Socially Awkward. His life-long friend is a Teddy bear and his closest human relationship is Irma Gobb, which is frosty at best. This furthers the theory of Bean registering somewhere on the Autism Spectrum, as he either struggles to form social relationships, or chooses not to. Mr Bean possesses an apparent vulnerability, he is innocent and sweetly naive yet selfish and highly vindictive when he wants to be. He switches between these two modes like a child in his pre-teens. And, like any child, his first duty to himself is look out for himself – scratch the surface and you will discover that Bean is a highly selfish character.
“I think Mr Bean is a very uncynical character, he is actually very open and entirely self-centred and a highly vindictive character when he wants to be. Not at all pleasant, but at the same time I do not think he has any malice in him.” – Rowan Atkinson
Whenever Bean encounters the blue Reliant Robin (a three-wheeled car) he has to damage it, overtake it, or even try to knock it over. This behaviour could be an example of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Bean often gets himself into all manner of scrapes. Now, while it is true that a lot of the time the problems he creates for himself are completely his own fault, he does manage to come up with spectacular solutions time and time again. His original thinking and problem solving abilities do certainly point to some sort sort of above-average intelligence. All things taken into account, Mr Bean’s main disorder – if you can call it that – is probably High Functioning Autism.