Prior to Beaker's debut, Dr. Honeydew appeared in Muppet Labs segments by himself, but the timid assistant added a new level of comedy to the sketches. Dr. Honeydew's experiments and inventions always seem to go awry, and Beaker is their perpetual victim. He has been shrunk, cloned, deflated, turned invisible, and blown up, but he always comes back for more.
Beaker normally communicates through a series of high-pitched "mee-mee-mee" noises. (In books and merchandise, it's often spelled as "Meep".) In some of his earlier appearances, Beaker's language sounded more like that of someone who was too terrified to get any real words out of his mouth. His "meeping" language began in episode 219. He did manage to muster "Bye Bye" in the Banana Sharpener Muppet Labs segment. In The Muppet Movie, his words were the closest they ever got to being real words, as his line "Sadly temporary" (echoing Bunsen) was quite clear, as well as his line "Make-up ready!" and his "Radiant Wonderfulness" line from The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. He re-used the "Sadly temporary" line in Muppets from Space.
One key element to Beaker's development was that, unlike Bunsen, who was rarely seen outside the Labs, Beaker took more of an involvement in the show. He was often seen backstage, and had cameo bits in other numbers and sketches. He also served as an assistant stagehand to Beauregard, as well as an assistant video DJ to Dr. Teeth on the compilation video "Rock Music".
Some of Beaker's more memorable roles in the specials have been in The Muppets Go To the Movies, in which Beaker plays the role of "The Angel of Death" in a foreign film, and in The Muppets at Walt Disney World, where he gets a bucket stuck on his head throughout the special.
In a 2004 Internet poll sponsored by the BBC and the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew were voted Britain's favorite cinematic scientists. They beat Star Trek's Mr. Spock, their closest rival, by a margin of 2 to 1 and won 33 percent of the 43,000 votes cast.