Butt Monkey: By season 3, this borders on Born Unlucky. With constant money problems and multiple people eager to sabotage his life at any opportunity, Bob just can't win.
Subverted with "Bob and Deliver," where even though he's unjustly fired from his substitute teaching job, Bob and the class are able to pull off a final Home Ec-staurant for the school in defiance to Mr. Frond and Caf-Co. The episode ends with Bob and Tina enjoying lunch together.
Fat Bastard: Averted. Bob is usually a very calm, nice guy.
Fat Idiot: Also averted, Bob is usually more on the ball than people think. And for all his somewhat old school mentality, he doesn't believe old school is always the best way and he's perfectly comfortable and accepting of unusual things and people. He makes fast friends with Marshmallow for instance despite the fact that Marshmallow is a person of the night in a body thong of ambigious gender.
Fatal Flaw: His hatred of Jimmy Pesto always brings out the worst in Bob.
Bob in general tends to have a vindictive streak as well as a desire to prove himself right. Part of this stems from his Only Sane Man mentality where he just doesn't want to deal with crazy ideas.
Good Parents: As awkward as his kids are, he still loves them and tries to do the best he can.
Knight in Sour Armor: Despite the hardships he faces running his restaurant, Bob still maintains a strong sense of integrity
Only Sane Man: To his family, and often to the rest of the cast as well. As Alasdair Wilkins notes in an AV Club episode review, "Bob’s place on his show has often been to be the one character who will respond to the latest over-the-top mess like an actual person would."
Open Minded Parent: Is pretty supportive of his kids. Gene becoming a cheerleader? He hates cheerleading, but fine. Tina writing erotic friend-fiction? He doesn't judge her, but only moves to stop her from revealing it to less tolerant peers. Louise wanting to sneak off on a school trip? He's easily convinced into joining her. Also, quite notably, Bob is one of the few sitcom dads to never, for example, go through Gay Panic.
Out of Focus: He's still a main character, but as of the latest seasons, the kids are the stars now.
The restaurant has been Out of Focus too. Most episodes now focus on the Belchers doing various other things in their everyday life.
Papa Wolf: When a competitor insults Bob's establishment and food he gets angry enough, but when he calls Bob's kids "crazy..."
Straight Man: Bob himself, so far, plays the straight man to his somewhat crazy family and guest characters. Although cynically pragmatic, he still retains much of his family's quirkiness. However this is still a very unusual role for a sitcom patriarch to play these days note In a lot of American sitcoms (particularly The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Married... with Children), fathers have often been depicted as bumbling simpletons who get into wacky schemes, only to have their loving, sane wives, sane friends, or wiser-than-their-years children bail them out.
Which can make it that much funnier when he does lose his shit.
Supreme Chef: As mentioned below, he can cook pretty great burgers.
Took a Level in Jerkass: In the season 3 finale, "The Unnatural", where Bob tries desperately to get his espresso machine back, even to the point of openly rooting for Gene to strike out at baseball camp. Linda even points this out.
Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Linda tends to attract most of the admirers while Bob is designed to somewhat ugly in his middle age.
When All You Have Is a Hammer: Bob's not particularly outstanding in most areas of his business but his skill at making burgers makes up for it. In several instances, his burger making skills have either saved the restaurant or given him catering opportunities.
Bob's wife. Voiced by John RobertsTropes associated with Linda:
Fatal Flaw: In general, Linda tends to have the overly strong desire to get her talents appreciated whether it be in running a Bed-and-Breakfast or working at a supermarket.
Foil: To Louise, especially in the episodes "Slumber Party" and "Mother Daughter Lazer Razor".
Innocent Fanservice Girl: In-show example. Linda gets herself into a lot of fanservicey situations without trying to be Ms. Fanservice. To date, she's been seen in swimsuits, in her underwear, in the shower and on a nude beach (no actual nudity is shown, though).
It's All About Me: If she's being a jerk, this is largely her central motivation (see also: Purple-Rain Union).
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: During the first season there was more emphasis on the "jerk" part. Linda came across as very self-absorbed and apathetic towards other people's emotions in a few episodes.
Jewish Mother: In voice and behavior, even if she's ambiguously Catholic.
The Music Meister: Lampshaded throughout the show in which she has a habit of breaking into song at impromptu moments.
My Beloved Smother: She has shades of this with Louise. Whenever the two of them are the focus of a plot it usually deals with Linda trying to force Louise into bonding with her or into some activity that Louise wants nothing to do with.
Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Had one in Colleen Caviello, who apparently would not shut up about the baked ziti dinner she made for a school function a year ago. This is not helped by Linda's memories of said event, where she had to listen to people gush about how great it was with their mouths full.
Super OCD: Bob notes that whenever Linda tries to entertain she goes completely overboard and then acts hostile when people aren't appreciative enough. Case in point, when she tries hosting a bed and breakfast and the three people staying at the Belcher home are put off by Linda's embarrassing over exuberance, she resorts to locking them in their rooms to get them to stay.
Teens Are Short: Tina's thirteen and is just slightly higher then Bob's waist.
Will Not Tell a Lie: Tina is a very honest person, and it's difficult for her to lie. When she's in a situation where she has to, such as in "Tina-Rannosaurus Wrecks," she feels incredibly guilty about it. Also, she is clearly hesitant to sell their newly-discovered ambergris on the black market in "Ambergris".
Depending on the Writer: Tina has committed her share of dishonest behavior. She lies to people without a second thought in "Food Truckin'", brokers her way out of school in "Synchronized Swimming", and in "My Fuzzy Valentine", and coolly lies to her mother about a sailing lesson in "Burgerboss."
Yaoi Fan Girl: Tina has fantasies about two male zombies making out in front of her.
She won the bet when Mr. Fischoeder asked who predicted that Bob and Jimmy Pesto will end up falling asleep on each other if no one wins the fight.
Middle child and their only son. Voiced by Eugene MirmanTropes associated with Gene:
Ambiguously Bi: Fantasised about having a man draw him naked (a la Titanic) in "Mutiny on the Windbreaker".
There was also this:
Louise: What ever happened to Roberto? Did you try showering with him again?
Never Bareheaded: Louise never takes off her pink bunny ears hat. She refuses to take it off during gym class. When she was a baby she wore a pink beanie. When her hat was taken away in "Ear-sy Rider," she wore a hoodie to cover her head.
Nightmare Fetishist: Whenever anything terrible is happening or seems likely to happen, odds are Louise will be rooting for it.
Not Me This Time: "Turkey in a Can" where she isn't the one putting Bob's turkey's in the toilet despite being the obvious choice. She spends the rest of the episode trying to figure out who did it, and even puts on a presentation just to highlight that she had no motive while everyone else did.
Ping Pong Naïveté: She seems to know a lot of things a 9-year-old shouldn't know, yet she still believes in Santa.
Worthy Opponent: Bonds with Jessica during "Slumber Party" after she proves to be a worthy competitor.
Jimmy Pesto Jr.
Jimmy Pesto's oldest son, referred to as Jimmy Jr. and Tina's crush, first appearing in the season 1 episode "Sheesh! Cab Bob?" Since then he has appeared in several episodes and is often seen at the kids' school. Voiced by H. Jon Benjamin.Tropes associated with Jimmy Jr.:
Jimmy Jr's friend and one of the Belchers' schoolmates. He likes to wrestle and is seen as gross by Tina. Initially it seemed like he might become a rival or antagonist to the kids but he has evolved into a companion in their hijinks when a fourth is needed. In those situations, he often serves as the muscle. Voiced by Bobby Tisdale.Tropes associated with Zeke:
Potty Failure: He is revealed to be the Mad Pooper (or the Butt-ler) in "Broadcast Wagstaff School News" - the first time was accident, the second time was for fun, then it was an accident again, and so on, but after that he did it for Tina.
Remember the New Guy: In his first appearance, Tina is surprised to see him even though viewers have never seen him before.
A sweet, dorky boy who goes to school with Louise, frequently in trouble due to his awkward combination of thrill-seeking tendencies and severe asthma. He originally appeared as Louise's field trip buddy in "Carpe Museum" and snuck into a closed rainforest exhibit with her. Voiced by Brian Huskey.Tropes associated with Rudy:
Challenge Seeker: Regularly participates in activities far too strenuous or risky for a child with asthma, apparently specifically because someone told him not to. This includes tree-climbing, baseball, sneaking off during field trips and train robbing. He’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
Non-Action Guy: Emphasized in “The Unnatural”, when he takes the baseball scam class and falls down gasping from hitting an imaginary ball.
Rimshot: Supplies Louise with a cymbals-only sting after she insults Mr. Frond.
A boy that Tina searches for in Lindapendent Woman. She met him behind the milk fridge. Not being able to see his face, the only way to recognize him is by a turtle bite on his index finger that was covered by a bandage. In the end he meets Tina face to face, kisses her, and receives Tina's phone number. Like Jimmy, he's also a dancer, focusing on ballet.Tropes associated with Josh:
One of the kids' classmates. He first appears helping Bob get better at Burgerboss in exchange for Bob protecting him from bullies. He later works with the kids on a number of their schemes. Voiced by Aziz Ansari
Disproportionate Retribution: In “Bad Tina”, she blackmails Tina into spending time with her by threatening to give Jimmy, Jr. an erotic story Tina wrote about him. Then when Tina fails to show up for a double date (because Tina got grounded for calling Linda a boob punch), she decides to read the story to the entire school at lunch.
Friendly Enemy: Tina is still very cordial with her, which angers Tammy.
A girl in Gene's grade who like likes him. To spare her feelings, Gene agrees to go out with her, to all three kids, and Bob's once he meets her, annoyance. She has a heart condition that requires medication every day. Voiced by David Wain.
Jerkass Has a Point: When Gene finds out Courtney's dad works in advertisement, he continues seeing her because he thinks he can get a jingle used in a commercial. He then tries to use her birthday party to pitch something and gets so mad at Courtney his screaming causes her to have a heart attack. She gets back at Gene by having her dad and doctor pretend that she dies. From that point the two seem amicable after Gene apologizes for using her even though Gene has to help set her up with another kid.
Evil Counterpart: She's Louise without her manipulative prowess or slight sense of right and wrong.
To drive the point home, when we first met Millie she is dressed in a bunny costume with ears that won't stand upright. Contrast this to Louise who wears normal clothes and a bunny ears hat which are always upright.
For the Evulz: What she does to the kids inside their box fort, including making them believe she's dumping spiders in and taunting them with Halloween candy.
Lack of Empathy: When she thinks she accidentally killed the kids she's more concerned with how much trouble she's gonna be in.
Woman Scorned: When Louise finally has enough and tells Millie exactly what she thinks of her, Millie decides to leave Louise and the others trapped in their box fort while routinely coming back just to torture them.
Expy: Whether this was intentional or not, Teddy bears a lot of similarities to Bill Dauterive from King of the Hill. Bald, out of shape, lots of body hair, used to have a great life before one thing shoved it all down the tube, questionable intellect, emotionally needy, and not very trustworthy.
Only Friend: The most loyal friend of the Belcher Family
Papa Wolf: After he found out that a teenage boy named Jonas abandoned Tina to save his own hide an enraged Terry responded by throwing his moped into the ocean.
Stepford Smiler: A look at Teddy's adult life is actually kind of depressing. He says he likes letting the Belcher kids keep their bikes in his garage because it lets him pretend he has kids of his own. Specifically, he's got an older kid and a pair of twins.
The Thing That Would Not Leave: He seems to have nowhere else to go but Bob's Burgers. At one point Mort has to restrain him from breaking in during "Food Truckin'".
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Or those theme park employees in full-body animal suits, in Teddy's case. He describes their dead eyes as the only things that get to him. He works it out.
Jimmy Pesto (Poplopovich)
Owner of Pesto's Pizza, rival to Bob. Voiced by Jay Johnston
Tropes associated with Jimmy:
Abusive Parents: When Andy and Ollie are happy to see him after almost dying, he expresses indifference (didn't even notice they were missing) and tells them not to wrinkle his belt.
He later tried to sign the twins up for baseball lessons and told them "Last chance to win my love, guys." The twins assume that's a joke he likes to make on a regular basis.
He also attempts to prohibit Jimmy Jr. from dancing.
Karma Houdini: Doesn't get punished for cheating on "Family Fracas". He was originally going to be, according to Loren Bouchard, but he had second thoughts about the original ending (which saw Bob spray Jimmy Pesto with Silly String) and decided to scrap it because he felt if Bob did get his revenge on Jimmy Pesto, then fans would complain that Bob was acting petty and out of character.
Laser-Guided Karma: In the first two seasons at least, he ends up getting his just desserts. In "Sheesh! Cab, Bob?" Bob foils Pesto's attempts to keep Jimmy Jr. from attending Tina's party with some help from his "night-friends." In "Burger Wars," Pesto tries to sabotage Bob's attempts to save his restaurant, but fails.
In season 2, Linda accuses Jimmy Pesto of having "peeing races," with Bob. Pesto's boating friends overhear this and misinterpret "peeing races," as something sexual (instead of "pissing contests," which is what Linda meant) and it ends up possibly costing him a prestigious boating club membership.
Lethal Chef: Initially, his food is bad enough to give two people food poisoning and his pizza is considered bad by Mickey the bank robber's standards. However, by season 4, his food is at least good enough to make a repeat customer out of Sandy "Can-Can" Fry.
Shadow Archetype: He's everything that Bob is not. While he's successful, he's also divorced, petty, disconnected from his kids, a sexual deviant, and a lousy cook. The few things he has in common with Bob is a penchant for puns and the fact that they both run restaurants and have kids.
Sanity Ball: She holds this in "The Kids Run Away" when she manages to truly relate to Louise on her level regarding her fear of getting her cavity fixed, and convinces her to see it as a game of make believe. This works.
City health inspector, Linda's former fiance, and constant thorn in Bob's side. Voiced by Sam SederTropes associated with Hugo:
Dirty Coward: Refuses to help Bob, Mort, and Teddy deal with the mechanical shark in the basement, despite being more than willing to mock them for incompetence. He is more than willing to help with "crowd control", though.
Even Evil Has Standards: As mentioned below, no matter how much he hates Bob and would relish in seeing his restaurant shut down, even he wouldn't stoop to sabotage.
Evil Is Petty: Almost rarely misses an opportunity to make Bob's life difficult
His replacement, Tommy, is even worse, stooping to immediately strew rat turds on the floor and shut Bob down when he was snubbed for performing at the restaurant.
Foil: As noted in one of the episodes, his job is pretty much the antithesis to Bob's(Health Inspector vs Burger Joint). In terms of personality, he tends to be the uptight inspector compared to the more laid back Bob.
You Need to Get Laid: Possibly. Bob's attempt of setting him up with another woman eventually failed. And in a later episode, it's been strongly implied that he and Linda never came to that stage of their relationship, despite being engaged.
Hugo's partner and only friend. Voiced by Ronald LynchTropes associated with Ron:
"If you show me a sweet potato pie, I am on top of it."
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Normally, a person in a monokini would attract some attention, but Bob usually just responds when with "Oh, hey, Marshmallow". Part of it is because Bob is an accepting person, part of it is because his family's eccentricities are much stranger.
A guidance counselor at Wagstaff Junior High whom most of the Belchers, especially Bob and Louise, consider either annoying or pathetic. Voiced by David Herman (from MADtv, King of the Hill, Futurama, The Goode Family, and Brickleberry)Tropes associated with Mr. Frond:
Butt Monkey: The Belcher kids love to screw him over and prank him (cf. "The Frond Files")
Designated Villain: Invoked in-universe in The Frond Files. He is not happy to be the villain in all three of the Belcher kids' stories about Wagstaff and almost breaks down in tears because Tina's story had him locking himself in a room while the students were being attacked by zombies. It's also because he finally realizes they don't like him.
It's All About Me: "Synchronized Swimming" is a prime example of all his negative traits. He initially lets the Belcher kids get away with their "independent study" after they tell him they don't like the competitive nature or being judged in gym. Then it becomes obvious he's just using the synchronized swimming class to make a name for himself with the school board, ordering the kids that they have to take a final exam in front of said school board and that "You are judged from the day you're born to the day you die!" He then threatens the kids with summer school if they don't go along with it.
The Scrappy: In-universe, few people actually like him.
Straw Loser: He's a guidance counselor even though it's pointed out that he's not married and he doesn't have kids of his own.
Would Hit a Girl: When Bob asks if they're supposed to be challenging the kids in school during his substitute teaching stint, Frond assumes he means challenging them to a fight. Frond is horrified at the notion but says he'd consider it if he was fighting the girls, and even then, his tone seemed to say he wouldn't fight the kids because he knows they could wipe the floor with him.
The family's dentist, a rather insane and pathetic man. Voiced by Ken Jeong.Tropes associated with Doctor Yap:
Abhorrent Admirer: To Gale originally, using "The Prince of Persuasia's" sexually harassing pick-up techniques. One involved making sure Gale couldn't get away from him by physically cornering her in a room.
Moral Guardian: During "Art Crawl" Edith tries to censor Gayle's animal anus paintings because she thinks they're inappropriate. Bob initially hated them too and thought they were bad for business, but shifted priorities because he didn't like that Edith was trying to tell him what he could and couldn't hang up in his own establishment.
Punch Clock Villain: Edith let Gene and Tina take her art class despite her feud with Bob simply because her class is open to anyone interested in art, but they either left or she kicked them out when Bob destroyed nearly $1000 in merchandise.
Eye Scream: Is offhandedly revealed to have stabbed out his brother's eye.
Heel-Face Turn: Has second thoughts about leaving Bob and Calvin to drown and goes back to save them.
Manipulative Bastard: Uses Bob's desire for a nice burger joint to manipulate him into trying to get Calvin to sell Wonder Wharf
Sanity Slippage: Granted he wasn't really sane to begin with, but Bob convincing Mr. Fischoder not to sell Wonder Wharf causes him to hold them both at gunpoint and tie them under the pier to be drowned by the tide.