Although the Belchers are one of the best families on TV, there have been times where Bob, Linda, Tina, Louise, and Gene have let each other down.
A good family requires a lot of give and take; and for the most part, Bob’s Burgers’ central Belchers have become masters of that. On par with some of the greatest TV families of the ’80s, the Belchers have one of the closest and most sincere dynamics, accepting each other for who they are. When the going gets tough, they can often be trusted to help each other (though the value of that help can be inconsistent). Still, no family is perfect.
There have been plenty of times where Bob was kind of a bad husband and father, and plenty of other times where the family didn’t have Bob’s best interests in mind. It’s all about give and take; and as much as they’ve given, there’s no denying that the Belchers can take a lot out of each other.
Family: Making People Think He Sold Human Meat
The series doesn’t waste any time establishing the kids’ quirks, as the pilot episode shows Louise nearly ruin the family restaurant. As part of her class’ Show-and-Tell, Louise plays one of her classic pranks and makes the kids think that her family’s burgers are made out of human meat.
Rumors tend to spread fast in and from a school, and Bob immediately has to deal with Hugo, the infamous health inspector, who has plenty of reason to hate him. It could have backfired, but luckily, everything worked out in the end.
Bob: Trapping Himself In A Crawl Space
For the most part, Linda and the kids are not trying to ruin Bob’s life but just inadvertently let their eccentricities inconvenience him. Bob, on the other hand, is fully at the whim of his weaknesses, knowing full well that some of the things he does are either wrong, obsessive, or cowardly.
One of the best examples of Bob just falling into his own weaknesses is the episode “Crawl Space.” Here, Bob tries to get away from spending time with Linda’s parents by lying about being trapped in the house’s crawl space before inevitably getting actually stuck. This not only humiliates Linda but further concerns the kids’ school counselor, Mr. Frond, who has plenty of reasons to be suspicious of the Belchers.
Family: Pretending To Be Mr. Fischoeder’s Family
In one of Bob’s Burgers’ funniest holiday episodes, “An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal,” Mr. Fischoeder hires the Belcher family to pose as his own (except for Bob, who will remain his caterer).
Bob is hesitant since Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday, but the rest of the family jumps at the opportunity to play different characters. The kids in particular enjoyed competing for prizes from Mr. Fischoeder. However, Bob feels robbed of their attention and progressively gets lonely and drunk as the episode goes on.
Bob: Sacrificing Their Thanksgiving To Cook A Turkey
Almost as revenge for abandoning him during “An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal,” Bob drags the family along his excessive plot to cook a fancy turkey. In “Now We’re Not Cooking With Gas,” Bob’s big plan for Thanksgiving is to cook a heritage farm turkey, but he’s surprised to learn that the gas for his entire block has been knocked off.
Since this is his dream turkey and only a fool in his mind would dare try to freeze it for later, he has his family build and watch over a makeshift rotisserie in the middle of their freezing alleyway. Gene and Louise almost get hurt trying to collect firewood for him, while Tina feels that her recent class project is getting neglected.
Family: Forgetting His Birthday
In “Are You There Bob? It’s Me, Birthday,” the Belchers (and even Teddy) collectively forget Bob’s birthday. This is far from the worst thing that any of them has done.
But given that Bob does a lot for the family, such as work as a taxi driver to give Tina a birthday party or plan out a surprise part for Linda, this does make fans think of how often the Belchers spend more time apologizing to Bob than actually giving back to him. They forget his birthday and spend the entirety of this episode trying to make up for it, while they have Hugo, Bob’s worst enemy, try to distract him.
Bob: Taking The Family Out Of The Restaurant’s Commercial
Bob often has to balance keep his restaurant afloat and supporting his family’s creativity, and those two entities once again are at odds when Bob tries to capitalize on Super Bowl weekend with a new commercial. Initially, he makes a fun, quirky commercial that features a bundle of ideas from his family.
However, when Bob manages to gain the sponsorship of an ex-football star, Sandy Frye, he quickly changes his plans and dedicates his entire commercial to Sandy just saying one catch phrase: “Burgers go great with Frye.” While utilizing a celebrity face isn’t a bad idea, it’s not great that Bob essentially chose a cheap catchphrase over his entire family.
Family: Lying To People At A Food Truck Park
After seeing that he’s losing customers to a bunch of food trucks, Bob is convinced to buy one for his own in “Food Truckin.” However, when he finds that customers aren’t willing to come to him, he and the family trek to the customers when they discover a food truck festival.
The Belchers immediately don’t make a great impression when Linda’s hectic driving destroys a bunch of side mirrors on other food trucks. The kids give their own brand of help later when they lie to a bunch of people at the festival to help garner customers. All of this quickly blows back against Bob, as the end of this episode sees an angry mob destroy his food truck and chase the family off of the park.
Bob: Teaching Gene More About Obsession Than Principles
It’s not inherently bad for a father figure to have principles. In “L’il Hard Dad,” Bob inspires Gene after he saves Tina from a falling shoe while Gene was frozen at the side.
Gene’s sudden interest came at both the best and worst time, as Bob has recently gotten into a customer service kerfuffle with someone who sold him a faulty RC helicopter. What ensues is some of the pettiest and most expensive in-fighting that even a kid like Gene has ever seen. As Bob put it: “It’s about the principle!”
Family: Gluing Him To A Toilet
While there’s no linear plot to Bob’s Burgers, the greater conceit of Bob’s life is to one day make it as a burger restauranteur. All of his hard work does eventually open up the opportunity of a lifetime in “Glued, Where’s My Bob?” when a famous, food magazine decides to do an article on him.
However, just as the interviewer is about to arrive, the kid’s recent prank warfare with sticky things gets Bob stuck on his toilet. This gives the town and restaurant a lot of attention when news crews begin covering his incident. Things do work out in the end, though far from what Bob had likely imagined or wanted.
Bob: Selling Out The Family To Use A Garden
In one of Bob’s worst outings yet, “Late Afternoon in the Garden of Bob and Louise” has Linda and Louise at odds with their archnemeses. After Bob is rejected from the local, community garden, the gardenmaster, Cynthia, offers him a plot if he gives her son Logan a job at his restaurant so that Logan can pad out his college resume.
Bob gladly and obliges while Linda and Louise are constantly fighting with Cynthia and Logan. Despite his family being clearly upset with the situation, Bob keeps telling them to think of the “greater good” and persevere. However, given that the greater good just meant Bob getting to grow a pot of beans, Louise quickly takes matters into her own hands.
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Bob'S Burgers Complete Series