Bob's Burgers is an American animated television sitcom created by Loren Bouchard for the Fox Broadcasting Company, starring H.JonBenjamin. 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 MacFarlane'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 (like Family Guy), flooded with pop culture references and/or celebrity guest stars playing themselves (like Family Guy and latter-day Simpsons episodesnote Bob's Burgers' guest stars aren't that A-list, but they are celebrities who play characters that play a part in the story or, at the very least, are there for comedy relief), or surreal (American Dad!). 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, among others).As of June 2013, Bob's Burgers is now rerunning seasons one to three on Cartoon Network's [adult swim] block.
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.
In "The Frond Files", Bob and Linda actually enjoy their children's stories that Mr. Frond found objectionable.
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".
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 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.
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).
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: invoked On the episode, "Bob Fires the Kids," Mickey (the bank robber from "Bob Day Afternoon" played by BillHader) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gene: "I call Mom!" Louise: "I call Dad!" Tina: "Now there's no one left for me."
As the show has continued, this tends to sum up Tina's jokes.
Continuity: 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.
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.
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 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).
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".
Louise says she has 1990s magazines from the 1990s 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.
Development Gag: The original pitch had the Belchers as cannibals who served ground human meat in their burgers. That got thrown out, but the pilot is still about the Belchers being suspected cannibals who serve human burgers.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Flanderization: More like Bartization in the case of Louise. She started out as the precocious smartass and eventually became a full-on brat with criminal tendencies and a complete lack of respect for everyone around her.
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.
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!
Intercourse with You: In "Food Truckin'", there's a hippie singer who claims to be singing about whales, 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
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.
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.
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:invoked 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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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".
Serial Escalation: Tina's night terrors, they started after she saw the movie Nightofthe 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 someexperiments 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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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...