'Big Mouth' Season 4: Zach Galifianakis' Gratitoad is a breath of fresh air after a series of bad monsters
The Gratitoad marks the first time a monster has appeared on the series with the singular purpose of helping the kids cope
Spoilers for 'Big Mouth' Season 4
The kids of Bridgeton have been through a lot. Hormone Monsters jumpstarting their puberty, Shame Wizards humiliating them at every turn, Depression Cats, Anxiety Mosquitoes - it's been a veritable Pandora's Box of bad spirits plaguing the kids, and it's about time they got a break. Fortunately for them, nothing as cheesy as Hope lies at the bottom of the box. Instead the kids get their hopes up from something much simpler, the Gratitoad (Zach Galifianakis), helping to reduce their stress one Anxiety Mosquito at a time.
The toad was first introduced via Jessi Klein (Jessi Glaser), whose parents finally sent her to therapy for her depression. Jessi's therapist recommended expressing gratitude as a way to counter her Depression and Anxiety - both of which were working together to make Jessie feel as bad as possible - but Jessi was too hesitant to allow herself to feel that kind of optimism. It took a drug-induced fever dream from a sorority Halloween House to finally get Jessi to a safe place, where she first met the Gratitoad, and start to slowly list out the things she was grateful for.
The Gratitoad stuck around after the fever dream, helping Jessi express gratitude not just to herself, but to her friends, even hopping in to help Nick Birch (Nick Kroll) to fight the nightmare of this future self, and his own anxiety, which had grown to a humongous size. The Gratitoad is a laid back, positive force for good, allowing Jessi to be just a bit silly when she needs to be, giving her the kind of positivity she sorely needed in her life.
Though the Hormone Monsters have taken on a sort of guardian angel role for the kids they're helping to grow up, they also tend to cause about as many problems as they help with - hormones just can't help themselves. The other personifications throughout the series have definitely been out to harm the kids. The Gratitoad marks the first time that an embodiement of something exists purely to help the kids out, and after several seasons of the kids dealing with the worst their own feelings had to offer, it's about time they had an emotional monster that is on their side.
All episodes of 'Big Mouth' Season 4 are now available to stream on Netflix.