Tina Belcher has emerged as the relatable breakout star of Bob’s Burgers. But there are plenty of other lovable characters on this hit animated show.
Although it wasn’t appreciated in its initial couple of seasons, Bob’s Burgers has come to be appreciated as the masterpiece of animated TV comedy that it is in more recent years. From its refreshingly wholesome sense of humor to its colorful cast of characters, Bob’s Burgers is one of the smartest and funniest shows on the air.
The series’ breakout character has been Tina Belcher, the eldest child of the family and one of the 21st century’s most beloved animated icons. But while Tina is undeniably the best character on Bob’s Burgers, she has plenty of stiff competition from her cartoon co-stars.
Why Tina Is The Best: She’s Universally Relatable
You don’t have to be a teenage girl who’s obsessed with butts and horses to relate to Tina. There’s a universally identifiable quality about her. Everyone’s been in her shoes at some point or another.
Everyone has their own insecurities. They might not be the exact same insecurities that Tina has, but the fact that she’s insecure at all makes her easy to relate to.
Closest Contender: Bob
Homer Simpson set the benchmark for animated TV dads. Since Homer became an icon, characters like Peter Griffin have emulated his limited intellect, terrible parenting, and hard drinking.
Bob Belcher is an interesting contrast to his contemporaries. He’s a great father, heavily involved in raising his kids and taking care of the household, and indulges in niche interests like gardening and talking to food. He’s the voice of reason amid the unbridled craziness of the rest of his family, and H. Jon Benjamin’s deadpan line delivery does wonders.
Why Tina Is The Best: She’s An Outsider
Everybody feels like an outsider in some capacity, and Tina is the quintessential outsider. The fact that she writes “friend fiction” and has sex dreams about zombies makes fans of the show feel better about their own quirks.
No character in Bob’s Burgers is particularly normal — that’s what makes them so lovable — but Tina’s desperate attempts to fit in with popular kids like Tammy, paired with her niche interests, make her the biggest outsider of them all.
Closest Contender: Louise
Played hilariously by Kristen Schaal, the Belchers’ youngest child is delightfully reckless. Despite her age, she constantly manages to outsmart her parents and she can always be counted on for a biting insult.
Louise is encased in a hard shell, which makes storylines where she opens up — like when she developed a crush on Boyz 4 Now’s Boo Boo, or when she worried she and Bob would drift apart — even more heartwarming.
Why Tina Is The Best: Dan Mintz’s Vocal Performance Pairs Perfectly With The Character
The voice of every cast member in Bob’s Burgers is perfectly matched to the character they play — particularly H. Jon Benjamin as Bob — but there’s something special about Dan Mintz’s vocal performance as Tina.
The character was originally male in the pilot, and Mintz did nothing to change his voice from the male character when he began playing Tina. For whatever reason, that deep, monotonous voice works beautifully.
Closest Contender: Gene
Gene may be the middle child of the Belcher family, but he hasn’t lost an ounce of confidence as a result. He’s enthusiastic about everything and embraces his creative side at every turn; he’s a kid we can all look up to.
Gene’s spirit is encapsulated in the episode in which he tries to take piano lessons and finds the theory and the need to learn scales to be soul-crushing. Instead, he returns to doing music on his fart keyboard purely for fun.
Why Tina Is The Best: She’s A Feminist Icon
In the male-dominated television industry, it’s tough to find female characters who are genuinely empowered and inspirational. Rare examples include The Simpsons’ Lisa, Broad City’s Abbi and Ilana, Parks and Rec’s Leslie Knope, and Better Call Saul’s Kim Wexler.
Another strong addition to that list is Tina Belcher, who has the perfect combination of optimism, confidence, courage, intelligence, and independence to make her a feminist icon.
Closest Contender: Linda
“Mommy doesn’t get drunk, she just has fun.” Linda Belcher is recognizable as everybody’s mom. Her optimism is often misplaced, but it’s always infectious.
The thick New Jersey accent that John Roberts brings to the character makes every line hysterical, while her undying support for her kids, no matter how ambitious they are or how much they ask for, is inspiring.
Why Tina Is The Best: She’s Totally Lovable
Tina’s adorkableness makes her the most lovable character on the show. Her obsession with boys’ butts occasionally borders on the creepy, but she’s never anything less than lovable.
Lovability is a key component of any TV show’s breakout character, from Family Guy’s Stewie Griffin to South Park’s Butters Stotch, and Tina certainly fits the bill.
Closest Contender: Teddy
Bob doesn’t have a lot of regular customers, and his most regular one has become a close family friend over the years. It’s always great to see Teddy, especially if he’s involved in a storyline like helping out Bob at the restaurant or starting a cell phone repair business.
Sometimes, Teddy loses his cool (like throwing Jonas’ moped in the ocean: “Tell you what, instant regret…”), but he has a heart of gold. A lot of Teddy’s greatest moments seem improvised — or at least semi-improvised — by voice actor Larry Murphy, like when he thought Bob’s last name was “Burgers.”
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