Western Animation: Bob's Burgers
is an American animated sitcom created by Loren Bouchard for the Fox
Broadcasting Company, starring H. Jon Benjamin
. The show, according to Fox's publicity Web site, is about "a man, his family and their floundering burger joint. Despite the greasy counters, lousy location and occasionally spotty service, Bob and his lovable and quirky family are convinced their burgers are their ticket to success".
Loren Bouchard stated that Bob's Burgers
came out of the fact that Fox's animation brand centers mostly on family, but that he also wanted to dabble in workplace comedy
The series has become surprisingly popular on the block, which had previously been dominated by Seth Mac Farlane
's animated shows and The Simpsons
. It might end up replacing one of the shows on the block, considering that it managed to take The Cleveland Show
's spot for awhile now — and was also partly the reason why the cartoon version of Napoleon Dynamite
was canceled as FOX wanted more episodes of Bob's Burgers
In comparison to the other shows on the Sunday Animation Domination line-up, Bob's Burgers
isn't overly vulgar and mean-spirited (like Family Guy
), nor is it flooded with pop culture references and/or celebrity guest stars playing themselves (like Family Guy
and latter-day Simpsons
), or surreal and vaguely satirical (like American Dad!
and the Golden Age
of The Simpsons
). It's like King of the Hill
and Bouchard's first series, Home Movies
, in that it's more mellow, and gains most of its humor through quirky, yet realistic characters and situations (like the kids exploring an abandoned taffy factory, the restaurant nearly getting shut down over accusations that the burgers are made of human flesh, Bob dueling with a capoeira
fighter for his daughter's attention, Bob and the kids "rescuing" a crazy man's mannequin wife from a sex toy store, among others).
As of June 2013, Bob's Burgers
is now rerunning seasons one to four on Cartoon Network
's [adult swim]
- 555: The number of Bob's cab.
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: Lampshaded in "Synchronized Swimming":
Mr. Frond: You'll need an AH-dult to supervise you...
Louise: We know an AH-dult...
Gene: We definitely know an uh-dult.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Linda after Bob calls her "The Secretary of Nagriculture".
- Despite warning Linda not to start singing all week again, when she belts out a musical Big "NO!", spins around, and falls on the bed, Bob lets out a chuckle.
- Heh, "dudereses".
- In "The Frond Files", Bob and Linda actually enjoy their children's stories that Mr. Frond found objectionable.
- Adam and Eve Plot: Linda almost insinuates that the kids will have to do this once the hurricane is over in Lobsterfest, until she clarifies that they will have to mate with other children in basements. Tina is suddenly interested.
- Adorkable: Tina, taken up a notch in "Hamburger Dinner Theatre".
- Louise - of all people - falls into this category any time she dances. A special mention goes to the clenched-fist jump-and-flail in the end credits of "Purple Rain-Union".
- Jimmy Jr.'s "T.I.N.A song" while he and Gene are in the horse costume.
- Affably Evil: The robber from "Hamburger Dinner Theatre", who robs the restaurant and then sings a duet with Linda before leaving. Then he comes over the next day and is almost requested to do the same thing again for a second time by Linda before he runs away from the cops.
- Mickey, the bank robber from "Bob Day Afternoon", turned out to be a pretty nice guy as well.
- Affectionate Parody: Of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom, called "bronies," in "The Equestranauts." Adult male fans of Equestranauts are called "Equesticles," love to cosplay as their favorite characters, and a few even engage in some fetishistic activity involving stuff relating to the show. Unlike most brony parodies found around places like the Internet, however, none of the jokes come of as malicious "Look at these freaks" kind of jokes, but rather just affectionate ribbing at how a select few fans do seem a little bit obsessive, but for the most part are actually nice people who do like follow the show's message of friendship and tolerance. Tina even defends the fetishistic behavior by mentioning how she's into some "weird stuff" of her own. The only exception of course being Bronconius, who's portrayed more as being a burn against some of the darker parts of the brony fandom.
- Afraid of Blood: A few drops of his own blood from a shallow cut are enough to make Bob faint.
- All Bikers Are Hells Angels: The bikers in the episode "Ear-sy Rider".
- All Gays Love Theater: Discussed by Chet in "Bob Rest Ye Gentle-Mannequins."
Chet: (to Bob) That's very theatrical, are you gay?
Louise: We wish.
- All Girls Like Ponies: Tina. She has a porcelain horse named Horcelain ("Bad Tina") and loves the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic expy show The Equestrinauts.
- All Part of the Show: Initially averted then played straight in "Hamburger Dinner Theater". The over-the-top murder scene the first night caused someone to call the police, while the real robbery on the second night gave them a popularity boost.
- Almost Kiss: Bob and Linda in "Lindapendant Woman", thanks to Louise. Also a Moment Killer.
- Ambiguously Brown: Bob and his family. In-Universe too, since in the "Torpedo" episode he's asked if he's an immigrant, though, judging by their appearance, they could be Greek or of Mediterrenean descent.
- "Darryl, you're something, right? Black?"
- According to the show creator (Loren Bouchard), the last name "Belcher" is French-Canadian, but the family is said to be a mix of Jewish, Greek, Italian, German, and Armenian (with Bob as the one with Greek and Armenian roots while Linda is Italian, German, and Jewish).
- Ambiguously Jewish
- Ambiguously Bi: Not a strong example but whenever a man shows interest in Bob, Bob's reactions range from flattered to mild interest. He's open-minded at least.
- Ambiguous Syntax:
Chet: As summer turned to fall casuals, our relationship became anything but.
Chet: Yes, casual.
- Another from an exchange in "I Get a Psy-Chic Out of You".
Louise: It involves horses and money and us getting some.
Louise: Some MONEY!
- Analogy Backfire: Bob's family is not quite sure the circumstances that would account for hitting candy from a baby's hand....with a bat.
- And This Is for...: When Louise is shooting Linda in the laser tag arena.
- Animal Wrongs Group: Two in "Sacred Cow", the film documentary group that glued a wig to a castrated steer and the discount petting zoo that stole the cow from the restaurant and looks like it abuses its animals.
- Artistic License - Law: On the episode, "Bob Fires the Kids," Mickey (the bank robber from "Bob Day Afternoon" played by Bill Hader) is released from prison on a technicality (his lawyer was on meth and not fit to defend him in court), and believes he can rob the same bank as last time and not get arrested due to double jeopardy. Bob tells him that double jeopardy doesn't work that way.
- Art Evolution: A bit subtle. The first season was animated in Adobe Flash, but starting with season 2 the show became traditionally animated.
- Bad Boss: When Louise assumes her management position in "Art Crawl", she falls into this immediately, crossing over with Drill Sergeant Nasty.
- Badly Battered Babysitter: Happens pretty much anytime that Tina is assigned as a babysitter for Gene and Louise.
- Bait-and-Switch Comparison: "Who was Tina really gonna choose, a broken-down wreck with the dead eyes, or a fake shark?"
- Baseball Episode: "Torpedo" and "The Unnatural".
- Bears Are Bad News: Does a man in a bear suit count?
- Berserk Button: Thinking of insulting Bob's kids, perhaps by calling them freaky? Probably not a good idea. Also, try to avoid talking about Lobsterfest.
- Don't even think about taking Louise's bunny ears. Also, if you mess up Critter the biker's vest, there will be hell to pay.
- Truth in Television: The sorts of "colors" that Critter wears are not given, they're earned, and still technically property of the motorcycle club. Touching them is generally considered disrespectful enough to warrant violence. There's a rule against allowing them to touch the floor, as well, which is also seen as disrespectful. So not only are we on two strikes, there, the colors in question were owned by a popular and well respected member of the club. Bob was quite right to urge the people in question to apologize sincerely and leave immediately.
- During the Halloween party, Linda says to not even think of buying Bob a V-Neck shirt.
- Big "NO!": In Linda's butt dream.
- When Louise believes her bunny ears were incinerated in "Ear-sy Rider."
- During Tina's Imagine Spot of her in Hell in "Tina-rannosaurus Wrecks":
Tina: What's for lunch today?
Demon: Your lies!
Tina: NOOO! That's what I had yesterday!
- Big "OMG!": Bob's reaction to seeing paintings of anuses hanging on his restaurant's walls.
- Big "Shut Up!": Bob yells this at a new customer in "Synchronized Swimming".
- Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: In "The Unbearable Like-Likness of Gene" when Gene tells his girlfriend Courtney that he was just being her boyfriend so he could have access to her dad's music studio.
Courtney: You were using me?
Gene: I prefer the term "networking."
- Bland-Name Product:
- Bob becomes obsessed with a video game expy of Burgertime.
- Apparently the ubiquitous search engine in this show is neither Google nor Yahoo!, but Yoohoogle.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Bob does a Tina-moan during his nightmare in "Friends with Burger-fits".
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Gene remarking on Tina's "End of the world mating list".
Gene: Gay... gay... mythical creature... gay mythical creature...
- From "Tina-rannosaurus Wrecks":
Tina: I'm going to jail, or hell, or Hell Jail.
- From "Sexy Dance Fighting":
Gene: At first, we thought it was a breakdancing class, and then we thought it was a special needs class.
Louise: Now we think it might be a special needs breakdancing class.
- As of this point in the series it's practically become the family's Catchphrase.
- Brick Joke: In "The Belchies", Teddy invites Bob to watch a game and have a make your own three bean salad meal and Bob had to bring his own beans. Later a construction worker says he went to a make your own three bean salad meal and he didn't bring any beans.
- In "Lindapendant Woman", Louise ties balloons to shrimp and sends them floating into the heavens. Towards the end of the episode, right as Linda and Bob are about to kiss and make up, a shrimp on a balloon lands between their lips. Dozens of other balloon shrimp soon follow.
Louise: Yes! It's happening!
Linda: Wha-? Louise, What'd you do?
Louise: I MADE IT RAIN SHRIMP! What did you ever do?
- In "Human Flesh" after the "May contain human flesh" notice is put up an old lady says she might still try it. At the end of the episode she shows up again along with her adventurous eaters group.
- Broken Pedestal: Poor Bob. His idol is a cheater complete with a Secret Other Family...actually, three of them.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A very rare literal example. In "Sacred Cow," Bob has a dream with a courtroom sequence. In it, Louise acts as his attorney, complete with three-piece-suit...And her ever-present bunny ears.
- Bumbling Dad: Subverted, which is wonderfully uncommon for an animated cartoon dad.
- Bob commonly acts as the sensible one in the family, in contrast to the rest of the Belchers. (See: son Gene, daughter Louise.)
- According to Loren Bouchard, the Burgers of the Day mean Bob's not just phoning his cooking in, but thinks of the restaurant as his own 'food laboratory'.
- Not to mention 'Bob and Deliver', which shows his skill not just as a Home Ec teacher, but as the boss of a packed, student-run restaurant.
- Butt Monkey / The Chew Toy: The Fuzzy Buddies.
- In one episode there's also a literal butt monkey.
- Bob seems to be this for the whole town- in almost every episode Bob ends up being humiliated in some fashion.
- Bystander Syndrome: In "Burgerboss" after Bob chases Darryl's bullies outside, the Family Funtime security guard just stays where he is, glad that it's no longer his problem.
- Cain and Abel: Linda and her sister Gayle. Gayle is the Cain, with a compulsion to steal any guy Linda likes just because Linda likes them. Linda is fine with this and uses it to set her up with Dr. Yap.
- Call Back: Tina moans on the floor in "Sheesh! Cab, Bob?" like in "Sexy Dance Fighting".
- Tina's zombie fantasy comes back at the end of episode 6 with angel wings and her unicorn poster comes to life in her Imagine Spot.
- One of the flyers Bob's kids hand out in "Burger Wars" flies past in a scene in the next episode.
- In the pilot episode, Linda calls Hugo while he's crying in a bathroom stall at the "Falafel Waffle" restaurant. Later, in "Nude Beach", Bob calls Hugo an 'awful man' for shutting him down after failing a health inspection. Hugo corrects Bob, saying "Uh, wr-r-rong Bob! I'm a 'lawful' man." Gene and Louise then tease him with "Falafel Man." and "Waffle Man." respectively. Tina belatedly yells "Omelets! Am I doing it right?"
- Linda says she's going to Pickles, a strip club, in "Hamburger Dinner Theater" when she's actually going to a dinner theater. Bob and the kids enter Pickles in "My Fuzzy Valentine" on a mission to get the Love Test-o-meter for Linda.
- Camp Gay: The Fuzzy Buddies (again).
- Capoeira: Tina takes a Capoeira class in one episode because she has a crush on the instructor.
- Cassandra Truth: In the first episode when Bob admits to Linda he forgot their anniversary, but she thinks he's actually planning a surprise party.
Linda: I can see you smiling.
Bob: I'm not smiling!
Linda: You're smiling with your eyes.
- Celebrity Lie: Courtney's dad claims to know Carly Simon but keeps making excuses for why she hasn't shown up yet.
- Cell Phones Are Useless: In "World Wharf II: The Wharfening", Bob is tied up with Mr. Fischoder and tries to use his cell phone to call Linda, but can't put it to his ear and the call is drowned out by ambient noise. He next tires sending a photo, but can't get a good angle and sends only a picture of Mr. Fischoder's butt. Finally, he tries texting, but auto-correct garbles it and it takes a while for the others to decipher it.
- Character Tic: Linda and Louise twitch their eyes.
- Characterization Marches On: Tina was first playing along fully with her siblings in a prank for the pilot, but by episode 4 she developed into a daughter that respects Bob much more.
- Chekhov's Gun: Linda's prenatal yoga tape from "Synchronized Swimming."
- The ice cream machine in "The Deepening."
- Gene's "Super Bowel" in "Easy Commercial, Easy Gommercial."
- The Chessmaster: Henry in "The Millie-churian Candidate." It's even foreshadowed by his campaign slogan: "Chess I can"
- Christmas Episode: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins" (season 3), "Christmas in the Car" (season 4), "Father of the Bob" (season 5)
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Officers Julia and Cliffany both vanished without explanation after season 1, when one of their voice actors left to pursue other projects. Both cops would later appear as background characters in these following episodes:
- They both appeared in various background scenes in "Bob Day Afternoon".
- Julia made a cameo in "The Deepening".
- Both cops re-appeared in the Season 4 finale, arresting Fanny.
- Chromatic Arrangement: The Belcher women.
- Linda = Red
- Louise = Green
- Tina = Blue
- Cloudcuckoolander: Good luck trying to name a character who isn't one.
- City with No Name: The name of the city they live in is never mentioned, but it resembles Brooklyn because of the architecture and the amusement park on the beach.
- Word of God states that the architecture is borrowed from San Francisco, but the show itself is set on the northern New Jersey shore, due to the voice actors having prominent east coast accents.
- Although no one has ever referred to the town by name, there are several businesses named "Oceanside", possibly indicating that that is the name of the town.
- The voice actors informally call it "Seymour's Bay" behind the scenes because the editor's name is Mark Seymour and they all spend so much time in his editing bay.
- Comic Sutra: In "Bob Day Afternoon", Linda offers Bob some extra incentive to get out alive by offering to do "anything"... except that thing.
- Comic Trio: Again, the Belcher children.
- Companion Cube: Bob with his Keanu Reeves model from the movie "Speed". He even argues with it. This only lasts one episode, though. In "Crawl Space", he has Louise's Kuchi Kopi nightlight.
- Also Louise with the taffy booby trap dummy....thing, "Taff".
- Tina with Jeff, the "ghost" trapped in a shoe box in "Tina and the Real Ghost". At one point she even wonders if he is just a box.
- Lance the turkey in "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal".
- Bob's tendency towards this was explained in "Bob Fires The Kids"; a bar of soap and a scrubbing pad were his only toys, and since Bob had no friends...
- Comedic Sociopathy: Louise is this.
- Completely Missing the Point: Bob tells his kids it's not good to cheat at sports in the episode "Torpedo". Tina then immediately asks if he and their mother are getting a divorce. Cue the Flat "What." from Bob. Further point missing ensues.
Gene: "I call Mom!"
Louise: "I call Dad!"
Tina: "You took both of them."
- As the show has continued, this tends to sum up Tina's jokes.
- In the first episode, taffy company owner Mr. Caffrey is being buried (in a candy box coffin) out of Mort's funeral home. In the season two premiere, the taffy factory is about to be torn down.
- The out-of-place bathroom designed by Felix F. remains in Wonderwarf (and gets pointed out) instead of just disappearing (like Bob wishes it would).
- "Speakeasy Rider" features Mudflap and Critter (last seen in "Ear-sy Rider"), Gus (the elderly docks man in "Seaplane!"), and Bryce (the leader of the Hell Hunt in "Full Bars"). The episode also mentions Tina's fender bender from "Tina-Rannosaurus Wrecks."
- Contrived Coincidence: In "Ear-sy Rider"; had Logan's dad's doctoring skills not turned up when Mudflap was giving labor, bad things would have happened.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: For being disruptive during counselling, Louise and Logan are locked in a room containing a television that is showing Freaky Friday on a loop.
- Couch Gag: The business to the right of Bob's Burgers is different in every opening. In the episode proper, it is always shown as being "For Rent", except in "Burger Wars" where the raccoon sanctuary shown in the opening is apparently still there.
- Also, as of the second season, the ending credits are different for each episode.
- It's easy to miss, but in the opening, the name of the pest control firm that shows up to exterminate the rats is different from episode to episode from the second season onward. (In the Halloween episode, they were bat exterminators.)
- Crash Course Landing: In "Seaplane!", Linda has to use what little she learned during her one flying class to land the seaplane safely after it becomes airborne as it's being towed to shore.
- Credits Gag: The scene in the credits with Bob and his kids working in the kitchen is changed to relate to the episode, even being in 8-bit style in the episode where Bob becomes addicted to an arcade game. This was occasionally done in season 1, but starting in season 2, it applied to every episode.
- Creepy Child: Louise is more cheerful than most examples, but that doesn't exactly help, given how disturbing her behavior can get.
- Creepy Twins: The Pesto Twins, who are called this in "Broadcast Wagstaff School News".
- Cross Over: The first episode of the fourth season of Archer opens with that show's Sterling Archer suffering from amnesia and thinking he is Bob Belcher (both characters are voiced by H. Jon Benjamin), though the Bob's Burgers characters with the much more detailed Archer art style leads into Uncanny Valley.
- Crowd Chant: Gene starts a "fight" chant and gets a crowd going in "Sexy Dance Fighting".
- Daddy's Girl: Louise seems to be the only one of the Belcher children who is closer to Bob than to Linda.
- Dark Reprise: The song "Oh, Bad Things are Bad" from the episode, World Wharf II: The Wharfening is this to the song "Oh, Nice Things are Nice" from the previous episode Wharf Horse.
- Debate and Switch: The entire conflict in "Sacred Cow" was solved by said cow almost getting hit by a car and then dying of a cow heart attack.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Most of the Burgers of the Day fall into this, as even when the pun is obvious there's still a little "served with" parenthetical underneath. "New Bacon-ings (served with bacon)", "She's a Super-Leek Burger (Comes with braised leeks)", etc.
- Mort's line, "I've been murdered... to DEATH!" in "Hamburger Dinner Theater".
- Linda says she has "'90s Cosmopolitan magazines from the '90s" in one episode.
- Designated Villain: Invoked with Mr. Frond in "The Frond Files" wherein he serves as the villain or just an obstacle to overcome in each of the Belcher kids' creative writing work. Deconstructed however with Frond breaking down in tears after reading how Tina's zombie story had him hiding like a coward as his students were getting killed by zombies.
- Different in Every Episode: The Burger of the Day that is posted on the wall changes every episode. It will also change during episodes that take place over multiple days.
- Distant Duet: Bob and Linda get a sweet one in "Lindapendant Woman".
- The Ditz: Gene, full stop.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- In "Mother Daughter Laser Razor", Louise talks to her mother about their relationship as if they were a couple.
- "Bobsterfest" - The kids act like Lobsterfest is a religious holiday they are forbidden from celebrating. Later they describe what they want Their First Time eating lobster to be like, with Tina planning to save lobster for her wedding, Gene hoping to eat lobster in a hot tub, and Louise wanting to order lobster as her last meal on the electric chair, then use it to stab the executioner's eyes out and escape. Also, its obvious the woman hitting on Hugo wasn't really talking about his badge (it's his penis).
- Bob got addicted to "caking" (extreme patty cake) and it's portrayed as if its some weird sex act.
- Don't Explain the Joke: A Burger of the Day named "Child Molester" (it comes with a side order of candy) is disturbing enough without Louise trying to explain the name.
- Double Entendre: In "Bobsterfest," Louise tells Tina, "When you get married, just pretend it's your first time eating lobster."
- Downer Ending: "Family Fracas" is a mild example. See Karma Houdini for more details.
- Drag Queen: When Bob starts driving a taxi he befriends three of them, and they're portrayed fairly sympathetically. Despite being called transvestites, one of them seems to be a pre-op trans woman who hasn't been able to get surgery.
- Drawing Straws: Squickified in Speakeasy Rider, when the kids turn to plucking the hairs on Gene's back mole.
- Drowning Pit: In "World Wharf II: The Wharfening", Felix ties Bob and Mr. Fischoder under the pier to let them drown in the rising tide.
- Dumb Blonde: Invoked in "Tina, Tailor, Soldier, Spy". When Linda gets her hair dyed blonde, she starts screwing up orders and her intelligence drops. She goes back to normal once she returns to her black hair color again.
- Ear Ache: In "Ear-sy Rider", the One-Eyed Snakes threaten to cut off the ear of a bully named Logan if he didn't return Louise's bunny ears (which he had stolen).
- Early Installment Weirdness: And that's just putting it lightly. Just see their pilot demo.
- Epic Fail: Gene being assigned (and dropping) multiple babies in "The Outside Toilet".
- When Tina took the car for a spin in a massive parking lot, while driving very very slowly, there was only one parked car there. She managed to crash into it.
- Elephant in the Living Room: Tina having a sad look on her face.
- Establishing Series Moment: Bob's monologue in the first episode and Linda's subsequent reassurance establishes the series and characters as always persistent despite the failures in their lives.
- Even Evil Has Standards/The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: A new health inspector dumps rat feces in the restaurant and shuts it down after Bob refuses to allow him to play his disturbing music (one of his songs is called "Elderly Prostitute") in the place. This prompts Hugo (who had taken a leave of absence) to return to duty, as he should be the one to take down Bob, and do it fair and square.
- Gene and Louise might be absolutely horrible to Tina, but they are the only ones allowed to do it. Ever.
- Everything's Better with Cows: Moo-lissa.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: At the end of Linda's butt dream.
- Expy: Bob has a similar personality to Tom from Tom Goes To The Mayor as well as Chris from Dan Vs..
- Louise is Bob's Heloise.
- Ollie and Andy Pesto are really into each other. Like, a lot. Like Walter and Perry in Home Movies.
- Tina's very similar to the animated Karl Pilkington with a similar mouth to Beeker.
- Dr. Yap is very similar to Ben Chang from Community. They're even played by the same actor.
- Boo Boo the singer to Justin Bieber and Boyz 4 Now to most boy bands.
- Bob Odenkirk's sleazy insurance agent Chase is essentially Saul from Breaking Bad
- Fan Community Nickname: Apparently, in-universe, fans of a pattycake performance group are referred to as "Patty Daddies".
- Also, fans of Boyz 4 Now members Allen and Boo-Boo are referred to as Allencoholics and Boo-Boo Boosters, respectively.
- And, of course, there are the "Equesticals" for adult male fans of The Equestrinauts.
- Fanfiction: Tina likes to write "Erotic Friendfiction". This is after she's written erotic fanfic about every other bit of media she can probably think of.
- Flat Joy: Tina is naturally timid, so even at her most excitable, it comes off like this.
- Flight of Romance: In "Seaplane!" Linda's flight instructor is famous for seducing women while in the air, earning the nickname "Upskirt Kurt". However, Linda isn't as susceptible to Kurt's charms.
- Food Songs Are Funny: Gravy Boat!
- Foot Popping: Tina while stuck in the milk fridge.
- Fragile Flower: Aunt Gayle.
- Framing Device: Bob and Linda's visit to Wagstaff School during "The Frond Files".
- Forgotten Anniversary/Forgotten Birthday: Bob is apparently such a dedicated worker that he not only forgets his and Linda's anniversary, but also Linda's birthday, his own birthday and the birth of his first child!
- Forgot to Pay the Bill: Or, rather, deliberately didn't pay the bill but at the wrong time when the power goes out in "Lindapendent Woman".
- Freudian Excuse: Parodied by Mr. Frond, though not in the typical psychatrist role, and more as a jab at bad school counselors.
Mr. Frond: Alright...well this is the part where I blame the parents.
- Full Moon Silhouette: Gene does this with a wagon and a hi-tech talking toilet.
- The Fun in Funeral: Mort is this.
- Funny Background Event: Happens occasionally, like in the pilot.
- "Sheesh! Cab, Bob?" has Tina and Gene getting slapped by Louise repeatedly.
- "Bob Day Afternoon" has a cop who removes his headphones every time Louise screams into the phone.
- Game Show Appearance: The plot of "Family Fracas".
- Gasshole: Gene. Almost every other scene with him will contain a fart joke.
- Genius Ditz: Bob and Teddy for cooking and mechanics/home repair, respectively.
- Gentle Giant: Teddy.
- Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Louise snaps Linda out of her panic attack like this.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: In "Dr. Yap", Gayle aggressively pursues a squicked-out Bob, mostly because she's not attracted to a man unless Linda falls in love with him first. As noted, Linda resolves this by pretending to fall in love with her dentist, which sends Gayle after him—All According to Plan.
- A God Am I:
Louise: "Voodoo works! I'm a god!"
- Gonk: The guy in the pelican suit and the guy in the cotton candy suit.
- Good-Looking Privates: Gretchen is attracted to men in uniform with power positions. And Hugo's got a thermometer.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck!: In "Beefsquatch", Linda tries to stop a live show by swearing on camera, but none of her "swear words" are anything close to offensive. She then resorts to flashing her breasts.
- Halloween Episode: "Full Bars" (season 3), "Fort Night" (season 4), "Tina and the Real Ghost" (season 5)
- Happily Married: At the end of the day, Bob and Linda are this.
- Hash House Lingo: The episode "Bob and Deliver" has the following exchange:
Gene: Give me a bald Kelly Ripa and a canoe with a brick!
Zeke: Chicken taco, no sour cream, plus a brownie — you got it.
Gene: Really? I didn't even know what I meant.
- Heart Symbol: Tina in "My Fuzzy Valentine" in a flash back gets a bad case of these floating around her head.
- Helium Speech: In "The Unbearable Like-Likeness of Gene", Tina and Louise start doing this with the balloons at Courtney's birthday party. Tina sneaks one out with her, and Bob asks for a hit of it.
- Historical In-Joke: The Edison-centric "Topsy" features a scowling Nikola Tesla as a Funny Background Event during the end credits. Tesla and Edison had a very public rivalry during their lifetimes.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: near the end of "Bad Tina", Tammy was defeated by farting too much.
- In "Art Crawl", to Dumbo's Pink Elephants on Parade with "BUTTS, BUTTS, BUTTS, BUTTS..."
- Bob's dream in "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal" spoofs My Neighbor Totoro.
- "Full Bars" features a few nods to The Warriors, including lawyer-friendly musical quotes, and a "come out to playy-aayy!" delivered by the "Hell Hunt" teens.
- The last act of "Moody Foodie" ably apes Reservoir Dogs.
- A Spaghetti Western with a banjo-wielding gunfighter? It's been done.
- The three stories in "The Frond Files" parody The Terminator, Rock 'n' Roll High School and zombie movies in general, respectively.
- "The Belchies" was inspired by The Goonies complete with a theme song performed by none other than Cyndi Lauper herself.
- In "The Unnatural", Tina goes through caffeine withdrawal and hallucinates a porcelain baby with Jimmy Jr.'s face crawling on the walls, a la Trainspotting.
- In "Mazel Tina", Tammy's video introduction at her Bat Mitzvah was an homage to the opening titles and theme song to the TV show Blossom.
- The final number of "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl" looks just like "Seasons of Love"
- A graphic with some cinematic allusions in the show can be found here.◊
- Hollywood Density: Somehow characters managed to carry a taffy dummy around and not notice that it was stuffed with gold bars.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: The transvestites in episode six.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Tina lusts for everything from Jimmy Pesto's son to zombies.
- "Is it possible to be in love with twenty-five people at once?"
- Human Shield: Discussed by Tina when she and Gene are both used as them in "Slumber Party".
Tina: Gene, is this your first time as a human shield?
Tina: It's my third time. You're doing great.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: A police officer admits to doing this during Linda's impromptu speed dating.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: In "Bad Tina", Gene and Louise blackmail Tina into doing their chores. Then they find out her school frenemy is blackmailing her into getting into trouble. Suffice it to say that Tammy now has them to contend with.
- Hypocritical Humor: In "The Belchies", after Tina invites Jimmy Jr. without asking, Jimmy Jr. brings his friend Zeke, leading to this exchange.
Tina: Zeke?! Jimmy Jr., you don't just invite someone without asking!
- Tina has another hypocritical moment in "Carpe Museum" where she criticizes her field trip partner's robot graphic novel he's writing saying it's dorky yet she is an avid writer of erotic fanfiction.
Tina: (thinking) Robots? That does give me an idea for my next erotic fanfiction: "Ro-Butts!"
- I Am Not Shazam: Happens in-universe in "O.T. The Outside Toilet", Teddy thinks Bob's surname is "Burgers" because of the name of his restaurant.
- Iconic Item: Louise is never seen without her pink bunny ears hat.
- When they get taken from her by a bully in "Ear-sy Rider," she wears a hoodie until she gets them back.
- Idiot Ball: Frequently with Linda and the kids.
- I Drank What?: In "The Kids Rob a Train", Bob and Linda win a wine tasting contest against a pretentious wine enthusiast by having him taste wine from the spit bucket.
- Imaginary Friend: Gene's "friend" Ken, a 28 year old albino who does improvised hip-hop (who has yet to be confirmed to be imaginary). Linda also states that she used to have an imaginary friend who stole all her make-up from her. It's not clear if this is a case of a Not-So-Imaginary Friend or she just misplaced her make-up a lot.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The restaurant doesn't actually serve human flesh, of course. But rumors that it does, attract the attention of a club for "adventurous eaters".
- Incredibly Lame Pun: If the burger of the day ideas we see are anything to go by, Bob is prone to these.
- The shops and the exterminator van in the title sequence always have a different pun to their names in every episode.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Gene bears a strong resemblance to his voice actor Eugene Mirman.
- Tina somewhat resembles Dan Mintz, and even more so in the original proof of concept where she was a boy named Daniel.
- Mr. Frond looks very much like David Herman, especially when he's wearing glasses.
- Josh, Tina's temporary love interest in season 3, looks like a Ben Schwartz with lighter brown hair.
- Fred Stroller's inksuit guest character, the Sex Shop Owner, in "Bob Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins"
- Instrument of Murder: Banjo from the Spaghetti Western that Bob and Gene watch has an instrument (guess which one) that shoots bullets.
- Intercourse with You: In "Food Truckin'", there's a hippie singer who claims to be singing about oil spills, but she's really singing about her vagina. It's not subtle. The fact that she seems to be orgasming while singing doesn't help.
Oh it's hot and wet and slick / And it's making a everybody sick / Oil spill / Oil spill / Oil spill
Bob: Euch, you were right. It's not subtle.
- Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Louise's fan/stalker Millie Frock.
- Is That the Best You Can Do?: After a tree branch and powerline fall in Lobsterfest, Bob shouts, "Is that all you got, storm?" He is then hit in the face with wind chimes.
- It Amused Me: Many of Louise's antics stem from this. As Linda says "She likes to play tricks on people she thinks are stupider than her".
- It's All About Me: Linda in the last act of "Hamburger Dinner Theatre", towards Bob.
- Jaws Attack Parody: In "The Deepening". A movie with a similar plot was filmed in town years ago, and Mr. Fischoder buys the mechanical shark from the movie as a parkside attraction. The Belcher kids play with it and it turns on and falls on its side, sending it wriggling across the block. The residents treat is as if it were a real shark attacking, and it's up to Bob to stop it.
- Jerk Ass: Hugo the Health Inspector, Jimmy Pesto Senior. Linda was a naggy jerk in most of season one but stopped for the most part in seasons 2 onward.
- Jewish Mother: While her religion is apparently Catholic (she takes Eucharist), Linda has a lot of traits of this trope. This could also apply to Linda's mother.
- Jump Scare: The intro to "Fort Night".
- Just One More Level: Bob goes through this when they buy a "Burger Boss" arcade game, but mainly because he was trying to beat Jimmy Pesto's high score, after gaining which he used the initials "BOB SUX". When Linda takes it away, he has to go with his kids to an old-fashioned arcade to beat the score.
- Karma Houdini: In "Family Fracas", Jimmy Pesto, Chuck and the Channel 13 station owner conspire to keep the Belchers from winning the Game Show, complete with the station owner destroying evidence of their scheming on camera. The only comeuppance for any of them is when Bob makes fun of Jimmy for not knowing how to change a tire on his new minivan (which the Belchers should have won). Originally, the Belchers were supposed to spray Jimmy Pesto with Silly String as revenge, but Loren Bouchard thought it would come off as petty and out of character, so he dropped it. Either way, both endings would have had their share of irate fans.
- Overall, as the seasons go on, antagonists tend to get away with tormenting/screwing with the Belchers without comeuppance.
- Kitsch Collection: Linda's porcelain babies.
- Kitschy Local Commercial: Bob makes one to air during the Super Bowl in "Easy Commercial, Easy Gomercial".
- Laughing Mad: Louise in "Ear-sy Rider" when she's told that her bunny ears have been incinerated and it is too late to save them.
- Limited Wardrobe: The Belchers seem to always be wearing the same outfits...though Bob states in "Wonderwarf II" that his usual white shirt is his favorite one (so he would wear it the most often).
- Line-of-Sight Name: In Syncronized Swimming. Louise came up with Independant Study...
- Little Girls Kick Shins: In "Bob Day Afternoon", Louise does this to the hostage negotiator when they're fighting over the phone. He kicks back.
- The Load: In "The Belchies," Louise declares that Tina and Gene are this when they explore an abandoned taffy factory.
Louise: "You guys are a burden...you are dead weight!"
- Subverted at the end of the episode, when Louise admits that they were useful and resourceful after all.
- Look Both Ways: Double subverted. The cow is about to get hit by a van when Bob and Andy are arguing, but the van stops just short. Then the cow dies of a heart attack.
- Make-Out Point: In "Seaplane!", "Upskirt Kurt" takes Linda to an island frequently used for making out, earning it the nickname "Quickie Kiss-it Island".
- Manchild: Jimmy Pesto's insults towards Bob are first grade level (In fact most first graders could more than likely think up more mature insults than him)
- Metaphorgotten: Louise has gotten a couple in so far.
- She says she's "...just gonna make like a tree and go to my room" in Slumber Party.
- "Tina flew too close to the floor...and hit her face on it."
- Mistaken for Gay: In "Turkey in a Can", the clerk at the supermarket thinks Bob is trying to ask him out after Bob is forced to return to the store twice. While Bob tries to deny this, the clerk says he's in a relationship, but flattered.
- Mooning: Bob at Hugo and Ron as petty payback for forcing Lobsterfest on his restaurant. Normally childish for Bob, but it IS Lobsterfest...
- Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls: Tina writes a lot of it, more specifically "Erotic Friend Fiction", mostly involving her love interest Jimmy Pesto, Jr. However, she started writing those because she had already written erotic fanfiction of every TV show, movie and book series she could think of note
- MST: Bob and Louise apparently do this regularly and call themselves "The Burn Unit". Also, Bob and the kids do this with the art in the "Art Crawl" episode.
- Momma's Boy: Gene is a rare example that isn't played for laughs. His relationship with Linda is strong enough that he "claims her" when he and Louise are debating who gets which parent if they get divorced, but their relationship doesn't often follow any of the stereotypes usually associated with this trope.
- Motor Mouth: Harley, a guest of Louise's (mom) in Slumber Party.
- Musical Episode: This show's getting more and more of these.
- Musicalis Interruptus: Tina twice. She only gets one line in before Gene cuts her off the third time.
Gene: Ok, here's a funny story, you cannot sing.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Patty Cake.
- Must Not Die a Virgin: From Food Truckin' :
Tina: I don't wanna die a virgin!
- My Little Phony: The titular Show Within a Show in "Equestrianauts".
- Never Trust a Trailer: The promotional images for "The Kids Run Away" made it look like Dr. Yap was going to be an antagonist again.
- Nice Hat: Louise is strange, therefore she wears the strange hat.
- Part of what convinces Bob to take a second job driving a cab at night is that he likes the hat he gets to wear.
- Nightmare Fuel: An In-Universe example in "Hamburger Dinner Theater" where Mort's gory death scene put some people into shock.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Gene's picture in "Art Crawl" is described as a ninja robot fighting a vampire tape recorder at Stonehenge. Featuring Ken, his albino friend who does improvised hip-hop.
- No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Uttered by Linda upon the many more customers they were receiving thanks to Moo-Lissa the cow standing outside next to the restaurant, who was due to be slaughtered by a documentarian.
- Not-So-Phony Psychic: Linda in "I Get Psychic Out Of You". After hitting her head and making a few coincidental predictions, she thinks she's gotten psychic powers, and Detective Bosco asks her to help him catch a burglar. Eventually, Linda discovers that she wasn't psychic after all when many of the people she made predictions to come back disappointed, but she does help in the capture of the burglar in a roundabout way; he's discovered by Bob when he goes to pick up the kids from the racetrack, where they were going to bet on a horse Linda predicted would win.
- No, You:
Bob: Duval, these oysters are spoiled.
Duval: You're spoiled.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Loren Bouchard mentioned in a 2013 interview that Bob's Burgers invokes this.
Bouchard: We knew we wanted to do that 13th birthday party for Tina in season one, and then we swore to ourselves and to anyone who cared to listen that we won't age anybody else. That said, it's really fun to tell coming-of-age milestone stories. Your first Halloween trick-or-treating by yourself just seemed like such a nice one to do. Such a natural and interesting thing to think about for our characters - but from that point on, you can't do that story again. You can't reset the clock. In that respect, they'll age, but it's going to be subtle. In a way, you have to live in this ever-present now for animation. It's tough. But the alternative is worse. What are we going to do? Draw them older and older and have them grow up before your eyes? It seems like not what animation wants to be.
- N-Word Privileges: "What up, my knitta?"
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
- Tina suggests in Slumber Party that they could just tell their mom and dad to get Jessica out...but Louise says that "She's mine".
- Hugo in "Nude Beach" with Bob.
- Only Sane Man: Bob is often this to his family, friends and customers.
- Painful Body Waxing: Bob, Gene, and Tina in "Mother Daughter Laser Razor".
- The Parent Produced Project: It's heavily implied that Courtney's dad produced the musical that was thought to be produced by Courtney.
- Parody Assistance: The episode "The Belchies" features a song in the end credits that's a send-up of "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" sung by Cyndi Lauper.
- Patriotic Fervor: The Capoeira instructor, Jairo, peppers his warcries with the occasional shout of "BRAZIL!"
- Person as Verb: Lampshaded by Louise who says that in the family, "Gene-ing out" means to screw things up.
- Ping-Pong Na´vetÚ: Most notable with Gene. His knowledge of sexuality seems to be based on Rule of Funny. He appears to think that a BDSM couple are "escape artists" in one episode, after earlier declaring that slapping a dead seal "sounds like an orgy" and intentionally recording his grandparents having sex. Of course, it wouldn't be outside of his personality to just be faking this to peeve people off intentionally.
- Playing Both Sides: Louise, when Bob and Gene start playing dirty tricks on each other in "Beefsquatch".
- Precision F-Strike: Linda in "The Unnatural" after Bob desperately tries to beat Gene in a baseball game to prove that his baseball coach is a sham.
"You're such a dick, Bob."
- Used by the documentary guys with the cow in the 3rd episode: "It's a COW-NT DOWN!!"
- The names of the "specials of the day" are mostly puns.
- Food Court.
- The show practically thrives on puns.
- Pungeon Master: Bob. Keep an eye on the Burger of the Day on the chalkboard.
- Really, the whole town qualifies; apparently a prerequisite to opening a business there is a pun in your name.
- Put on a Bus: The Zombies from Tina's Dreams.
- They're ba-ack....' As of "The Frond Files".
- Raging Stiffie: In "The Belchies", Linda puts a "penis pill" in Bob's casserole. He's stuck with a boner for the later half of the episode. Linda even asks it to help them find their kids.
- Gene's reaction to the Marilyn the Manatee puppet; he mentions that she made him feel like he had to pee even though he didn't.
- Rain, Rain, Go Away: Everyone is pretty down when Lobsterfest is almost rained away...except Bob, of course.
- Rapid-Fire Comedy
- Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Averted via the heavy use of improvised dialogue.
- Unlike many comedy shows, the characters often react to humorous dialogue appropriately. Characters sometimes talk over each other, stutter, pause to let the other continue only to start up again, admit when someone has said something funny, etc.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gene's speech dissolves into this during a pep talk toward the actors in his musical.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni : Jimmy Jr. and Zeke
- The Belchers are all pronounced in these tendencies too. Linda, Louise, and Gene have red personalities while Bob and Tina seem more blue.
- Recurring Extra: Speedo Guy and Large Tommy.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Linda (overly energetic and wears red) and Tina (The Stoic who wears blue).
- Refuge in Audacity: The pilot is about suspected cannibalism in the restaurant.
- Rimshot: Louise does one for her own joke in Burger Wars on a drumset.
- Rogues Gallery: While not in a villainous sense, there's at least a few recurring characters who end up tormenting Bob and his family (but mostly Bob); Hugo the Health Inspector, Jimmy Pesto, Fischoeder, Counselor Frond, etc.
- Rule of Three:
- Bob's Burger's is on their third "Re-Opening".
- Ethan makes up a third rule to induce this in "The Kids Rob a Train".
- Running Gag: Each of the Belchers has put up with unwanted attention from an Abhorrent Admirer of some kind. Bob had Linda's sister Gayle, Linda had that creepy pilot who tricked lonely housewives into having sex with him, Tina had that boy who was trying to use her to fulfill his fantasy of tasting a TV star's hair, Gene had Courtney Wheeler, and Louise had to put up with Millie Frock.
- Scout Out: Tina is a Thunder Girls scout as revealed in the episode "A River Runs Through Bob".
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Mr. Frond has done this one more than one occassion!
- It's hinted at this by Louise and Gene in "Christmas in the Car"
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Though it's pretty clear which musical will be chosen, the musical director instantly chooses "Working Girl: The Musical" in part because Courtney's dad claims to know Carly Simon.
- The Secret of Long Pork Pies: The restaurant is shut down after Louise starts a rumor that the burgers are made from the corpses from Mort's crematorium. The health inspector wants to do tests to make sure the meat contains less human flesh than "the 4% maximum allowed by the FDA".
- The original concept for the series.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: A Once an Episode occurrence, often between Bob and Teddy.
- Seldom Seen Species: Kiki the capybara and the manatee dummy in one episode.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Jimmy Jr. and Zeke again.
- Serial Escalation: Tina's night terrors, they started after she saw the movie Night of the Living Dead when she was younger, and as a result she has vividly terrifying dreams where she is attacked by zombies. Then she hit puberty, and her budding sexuality has caused the dream to now have Tina making out with the decaying undead. Then after an unfortunate incident regarding the thin walls between her room and her grandparents, the zombies now make out with each other with Tina forced to watch while sounding like her grandparents having sex!
- Shaped Like Itself:
- The songs "Nice Things Are Nice" and "Bad Things Are Bad".
- In "Topsy", Louise describes her lost volcano as "volcano shaped".
- Shocking Swerve: In-universe. Linda started her murder mystery production with a prologue where she claimed that she was not the murderer, but at the end of it she went back on that and said that she was. There was zero foreshadowing or even sense in it. Public was not amused.
- Shout-Out: Has its own page!
- Show With In A Show:
- The western movie series, Banjo, seen in "Spaghetti Western and Meatballs".
- "Beefsquatch" features the morning news program, Get On Up.
- "Family Fracas" features both the titular Game Show and a judge show called Pam's Court.
- "The Equestrinauts" has the title show, a cartoon about horse superheroes.
- The aforementioned Twincinnati.
- Singing in the Shower: Linda, who loves to sing anyway, gets more than one singing in the shower scene.
- Single-Issue Wonk: Abby with braids and Harley with stickers in "Slumber Party".
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Jimmy Pesto...
- Also, Hugo the Health Inspector.
- Skewed Priorities: In "Lobsterfest," the kids are looking at a pamphlet that Louise says is porn. Bob thinks nothing of it. But once he finds out it's actually about Lobsterfest...
- Likewise, in the beginning of "Hamburger Dinner Theater", Bob seems perfectly fine with the idea of Linda going to a strip club named Pickles. However, he gets upset when he learns she's actually going to dinner theater.
- Sleepwalking: Allergy medication causes Bob to sleepwalk and put the Thanksgiving turkey in the toilet, thinking he's toilet training Tina.
- So Unfunny It's Funny: Bob's punny names for the Burger of the Day, as well as his comedy routine in "Beefsquatsch". To make matters worse, he seems genuinely surprised when people aren't laughing.
- Spear Counterpart: Nathan to Tina in "Beefsquatch", and Henry in "Carpe Museum".
- Stage Whisper: Played for Laughs in "Wonderwarf", when no amount of insistance from Bob can stop Linda in the car.
- Start My Own: How Courtney reacts to not being allowed in Gene's musical.
- Status Quo Game Show: Most evident in "Family Fracas".
- Status Quo Is God: Nothing stops Hugo from trolling Bob. Nothing.
- No matter what, whenever Tina DOES manage to find a boy that likes her in any way, that boy will never be seen again by the next episode and never mentioned again.
- Ditto for Aunt Gayle; none of her love interests seem to last.
- The show runs on the Perpetual Poverty Trope, so anytime the family finds any source of financial betterment, expect them to lose it by the next episode or before the end of the episode.
- Stealth Pun: In "Turkey in a Can", Linda and Gale help Gene write a song about gravy — "It's a gravy boat, not a navy boat..." then they get sidetracked and start singing about a navy boat that pours sailors onto your food. They specifically say "sailors" instead of... you know, another word for sailors.
- Stock Ninja Weaponry: The ninja star credit card, created by Louise Belcher.
- Stylistic Suck: Anytime a musician appears or a character sings, the lyrics are going to be deliberately awful. Gene and Linda in particular stand out.
- Swallow the Key: Tina in "Wonderwarf II", though she is tricked into doing it by Louise.
- Switching P.O.V.: A large part of the episode "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl" is different people telling the story from their perspective. For the kids, this dissolves into Self-Serving Memory at times before they're corrected.
- Take That: Tori Amos gets a... tribute in "Food Truckin'".
- The episode "The Kids Rob A Train" can be seen as one to wine tasters, in particular, pretentious ones. The premise of the episode isn't too far-fetched, either, since some experiments actually do show that professional wine-tasters can be easily tricked, despite their "expertise".
- "The Equestranauts" is one for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and especially its infamous Peripheral Demographic, the Bronies (here refered to as "Equesticles"). Although the Take That is more aimed at the Bronies then the show itself, since the whole episode is dedicated to mocking Bronies while the actual show is just parodied. Although given the positive reception of the episode by the Brony fandom and the fact that it stands as more of an Affectionate Parody, it being an actual "Take That" is dubious.
- Thanksgiving Episode: "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal" (season 3), "Turkey in a Can" (season 4), "Dawn of the Peck" (season 5)
- The Problem with Pen Island: The town's cultural center, Wharf Arts.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: Inverted. When Linda runs a bed & breakfast at their home, she is the thing that won't let the guests leave, until their satisfied by her terms.
- Threatening Shark: A mechanical shark goes berserk in "The Deepening".
- Three Shorts: "The Frond Files"
- Through His Stomach: Averted in "Burger Wars" then played straight.
- Terrified of Germs: Sleepover attendant Jodi has apparently never sat on anything.
- Toilet Humour: When an episode involves Gene befriending a talking high-facility toilet.
- And then there's Gene's love of fart jokes, the episode about "The Mad Pooper"... the show actually did this practically Once an Episode, for a while.
- Gene calls the kitchen sink "the guest bathroom."
- "Turkey in a Can" is all about the Thanksgiving turkey ending up on the toilet.
- Token Minority: In Tina's Thundergirl troop, only one girl (Molly) appears to be non-white.
- Train Job: "The Kids Rob a Train", wherein the kids break into a train kitchen and steal their chocolate reserves.
- Trolling Translator: When Tina hurts her tongue, Louise volunteers to be her translator, which she uses as an excuse to screw with her. When Tina manages to get a date with Jimmy Jr. despite this, Louise takes the opportunity to set the date at the place she wants to go, a rotating restaurant that only serves pies.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Louise sometimes goes into this, particularly as regards her proclivity toward violence. Gene can manage it at times, despite being in the upper age range for this trope. There's nothing quite like recording your grandparents having sex and playing it in class to merit a visit to the guidance counselor.
- Trying Not to Cry: Even more heart wrenching due to the fact that it's Louise...
- Twitchy Eye: Louise develops this briefly after having her pink bunny hat stolen by a bullying teen. This is a foreshadowing to her psychotic fit that starts mere moments later when questioned by Linda about the hat's absence, and only ends the next day at school when she resolves to get the hat back by any means necessary.
- The Unfunny: Bob, In-Universe. The few times he's gotten on stage, he's inevitably made awful jokes.
- The Unreveal: In the episode where Louise loses her bunny hat, we never see her bare head completely (though we do see a fair bit of it during the close-up). She has a hoodie on the whole time and when she gets her hat back, she puts it back on over her hoodie.
- Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Mort in episode 6.
- The Unsmile: Tina's attempt to act not-nervous in "Tina-ranasaurus Wrecks".
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix / Voice Clip Song: Several rhymes or songs from within the show will appear during the end credits in a much more elaborate arrangement. Behold, the diarrhea song and the snake song. Fans have also made many of their own remixes, too.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Louise is Type 1 with The Pesto Twins. They trust her blindly, no matter how obvious it is that she's only taking advantage of them.
- Walk On The Wild Side Episode: In one episode, the normally shy and awkward Tina was influenced by a new student into wearing makeup, dressing scantily, and using lots of slang. Tina was also blackmailed into cutting class with her by being threatened with having her "erotic friend fiction" of him shown to her crush.
- Waxing Lyrical: In "Hamburger Dinner Theater", Gene describes an armed robbery using a lyric from Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Gimme Three Steps" - "When in walked a man with a gun in his hand, and he was lookin' for you-know-who".
- Whole Plot Reference: "The Deepening", to Jaws; "The Belchies", to The Goonies; "Bob Day Afternoon" to Dog Day Afternoon; "O.T. The Outside Toilet" to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; "Family Fracas" to Double Dare (1986).
- Wimp Fight: Josh and Jimmy, Jr. engage in one in during their Dance Off.
- World of Pun: If you see the name of damn near any business, odds are it's a pun. "It's Your Funeral" Mortuary to the left of Bob's Burgers, the ever-changing storefront to its right, the exterminators in the Couch Gag...
- What Is This Feeling?: Louise, upon discovering that her father considered a spatula, a brillo pad, and a dog-shaped piece of soap toys while he was growing up, asks if it's possible to feel sad for another person. Possibly intentionally invoked as a joke, since she doesn't seem to be quite that sociopathic.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: "WE'RE THE FUZZY BUDDIES!"
- Gene has a fear of snakes, as revealed in "It Snakes a Village"
Gene: I'm not afraid of ghosts, I'm not afraid of sharks, I'm not afraid of cancer, I'm just afraid of snakes!
- X Meets Y: This show has been described as The Simpsons (seasons 1-5) meets Home Movies at a greasy-spoon burger restaurant.