Nonverbal Communication in Mr. Bean

Nonverbal Communication in Mr. Bean


Successful communication is critical in fostering well-formed relationships both professionally and successfully. Thus, to send strong messages, individuals need to realize that they communicate with more than words. Over the past few years, several television shows and movies have shown the significance of nonverbal communication through their characters. One of these television shows is Mr. Bean. Through the famous character Mr. Bean played by Rowan Atkinson, the show remains one of the most undisputed masters of nonverbal communication. In most of the broadcast episodes, Mr. Bean does not speak except for the occasional vocalization or monosyllabic answers. Played by Rowan Atkinson, Mr. Bean is a famous character in the sitcom Mr. Bean who utilizes different non-verbal communication styles, including gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and body posture, to convey messages across different audiences effectively.

Part One

I chose Mr. Bean, a British Sitcom produced by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson. The sitcom centers on Mr. Bean, who is described as a man who thinks like a child. This is because he solves different problems while disrupting the process. Bean’s comedy is universal and transcends cultural boundaries. Individuals do not need to have a good grasp of English or know the British way of life to laugh at Mr. Bean’s jokes, which is why it has received worldwide acclaim (Atkinson, 2021). Nonetheless, the main reason for Mr. Bean’s popularity is that the series is, despite being very British, also universal. The viewers do not need the translation to understand his murmurs, unarticulated sounds, or body language. The lack of dialogue makes it unique in today’s world of comedies packed with (too much) dialogue and witty one-liners. Many episodes of today’s average comedic series become repetitive very soon because the verbal jokes start to be so predictable.

The character of Mr. Bean is not one-dimensional and easy to comprehend. He is childish, lonely, clumsy, awkward, but sometimes even cruel. However, the character may not be to everyone’s taste, particularly because of his silliness and awkwardness. He is hilarious, but there is also something melancholy about him. Choosing the most stupid solution to his problems is his trademark. He portrays a weird kid trapped in a man’s body or a clown making fun of everything and everyone and a crazy man playing games with the most common British stereotypes. Rowan Atkinson was a perfect choice for the role. If anyone else had to pull it off, the character would have easily become too ridiculous, pitiful, or very pathetic. Atkinson has never crossed the line of becoming non-appealing.

Part Two

I tracked down several nonverbal behaviors portrayed by Mr. Bean, including facial expressions, gestures, paralinguistic, body language, and proxemics. I found many facial expressions in most video clips displayed by how the character converses with other people.  In the video “The Exam,” Mr. Bean begins an examination with his facial expression showing a lot of eagerness and confidence (Atkinson, 2021). After he opens the envelop revealing the exam questions; his expression quickly changes to a state of panic and concern. To comprehend this paper, individuals need to understand that Mr. Bean mostly uses nonverbal communication to communicate and his actions effectively show the kind of person he is. I chose Mr. Bean because he is a good communicator, and his acting evokes laughter. It is always difficult to make someone laugh, but Mr. Bean made billions of people laugh harder throughout his show. Laughter is always the best dose at any age. Without saying a word, he delivers a laughter overdose. His on-screen presence makes most people forget their sorrows and just enjoy the next half an hour.

Part Three

Nonverbal communication involves the use of signs when sending information from one person to another. There are many forms of nonverbal communication, each with different functions.

Facial Expressions

This is the most common aspect of nonverbal communication that consists of numerous expressions, including frowning, smiling, eye-rolling, blinking, and many more. Each expression often indicates the volume of information with ease. Facial expressions are important in showing people’s impressions. For example, a smile shows warmth, happiness while a frown sends a negative message (Chapter 1). Facial expression is the core of communication itself. For instance, if an individual wants to speak to an audience where there is a need to break sad news and smile on the face. It will look odd and awkward. The right body language and facial expressions are needed to support what the speaker is speaking is show sadness through frowning.

Eye Contact

The best of building rapport during conversations is through eye contact. Eye contact often indicates attention, involvement, and interest. According to research, many individuals rely on eye contact to decide on attending to a specific message (Gorawara-Bhat et. information between individuals is regulated through eye signals. The eyes indicate happiness, fear, interest, anxiety, or confusion. For instance, people can be trusted when they look directly into other people’s eyes. Communication among people happens in different forms, which are sounds, body language, and eye contact (Chapter 2). Eye contact, in particular, is very important as it generally means someone is paying attention and is in agreement with you. There is a saying, “The eyes are the windows to the soul,” which means that eye contact is a sign of being vulnerable, not hiding any ulterior motives with someone, and being open to them. It creates trust among people.


Posture is an aspect of nonverbal communication that involves maintaining a body position when walking, standing, or sitting. People’s postures and gestures have a positive impact on their communication, but not always. Most people understand that sitting up straight provides a respectable impression to become they are conversing with (Chapter 3). However, posture can significantly impact how people perceive themselves. For example, people should stand with an erect posture to show competence and confidence.


Gestures are non-facial movements that help in expressing meanings. For

example, gestures can be expressed through the arms, hands, head movements, nodding, and winking. Most people heavily rely on motions to converse with others (Gorawara-Bhat et al.,

2017). Gestures are very important in conversations, both in interpersonal and public conversations. They enable the speakers to gain the attention of their audiences. Gestures are a sign of communication both on a subconscious and a conscious level. This enables one to relay information to the receiver. Gestures also enable one to detect if either party is lying or not “to buy” the ideas. Gestures are classified into identifiers, illustrators, and many more. These enable one to get about 87% of what the speaker is trying to conceal

Part Four

For my selected character, I chose four nonverbal behaviors, including facial expressions, gestures, proxemics, and paralinguistic. Effective use of facial expressions can significantly enhance understanding of messages. However, inappropriate use of facial expressions can hinder successful communication. In the episode “Taking the Stairs,” Mr. Bean shows his frustration with a gritted teeth and forcefully knitting the brows after recognizing that the elevator that broken down (Atkinson, 2021). Nonetheless, he showed dismay narrowed eyes, downturned lip corners, and slightly tilted rows peaking towards his face’s center after realizing that he was stuck in between two older adults. Mr. Bean’s facial expressions are socially predefined as the universal language because they portray the same meaning to people from different cultures.

Gestures are deliberate movements and signals that are used for communicating the meaning of words. In the episode “Checking in,” the hotel guest tries to fill out Mr. Bean’s check-in paper while glancing over at him (Chapter 1). Incorrectly taking that as a cue, Mr. Bean thinks that the hotel guest is looking at his personal information and use his left hand to cover his check-in care. This shows that he is communicating to the hotel guest to avoid looking through gestures. In another episode, “The exam,” Mr. Bean tries to copy his colleagues (Atkinson, 2021). After catching a glance at his colleagues’ work, he gives him a thumbs up to show that he got it and everything is okay. Nonetheless, Mr. Bean uses exaggerated gestures such as rustling his pares, pulling his hair in frustration, and crawling on the floor as a way of eliciting desperation to copy. His colleague also uses gestures by slamming his papers with annoyance and covering them from Mr. Bean’s view.

Another nonverbal communication portrayed by Mr. Bean is proxemics. In the episode “Taking the Stairs,” Mr. Bean is initially caught mimicking the movement as he shifts the old lady away from the handrail without any physical touch. After some time, he gets irritated and goes on and mimic the action of trouncing her head (Atkinson, 2021). He then proceeds to feign the motion of helping the old lady walk. This results from the aide that touch is an invasion of personal distance in their culture. Mr. Bean reacted to that scenario as a result of his fear of intrusion.

The last nonverbal behavior portrayed by Mr. Bean is paralinguistic. Paralinguistic is when people react to unspoken words. It is the reason why people tend to allocate connotations to diverse vocalizations as a way of making sense of what they hear. In reference to Mr. Bean’s video clip “Taking the Stairs,” Mr. Bean shows his annoyance due to being blocked by the old lady. He does this through verbalization of the sound “tsk” continuously (Atkinson, 2021). By voicing out “grr,” he expresses his frustration towards the end of the set. These are clear signals that are more effective than the spoken and cannot be misinterpreted. People can significantly benefit by learning different types of paralinguistic since they are good at showing elusive dynamics in diverse situations.


Mr. Bean is entirely a physical comedy that is universally accessible and one of the few British comedies that do not include much swearing. Through the character Mr. Bean, the sitcom portrays different nonverbal behaviors, including facial expressions, gestures, proxemics, and paralinguistic.  Even due to his Stammering problem, he still managed to make the whole world laugh without uttering a word. He became the motivation for all those around the world that even if a person has any kind of weakness, they can use that weakness as his strength.




Atkinson, R. (Director). (2021). Mr. Bean [Video file]. In YouTube. Retrieved from

Chapter 1 Part I: Introduction to Nonverbal communication & Research foundations- Class Lecture

Chapter 2: part I- Understanding Kinesics: Using Gestures & Posture to Communicate- Class Lecture

Chapter 3: part I- Proxemics & Territory- Class Lecture

communication. Patient education and counseling, 100(11), 1979-1989.

Gorawara-Bhat, R., Hafskjold, L., Gulbrandsen, P., & Eide, H. (2017). Exploring physicians’ verbal and nonverbal responses to cues/concerns: learning from incongruent

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