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Western Animation: Bob's Burgers

Bob's Burgers is an American animated television 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 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 episodes), 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.


Tropes:

  • 555: The number of Bob's cab.
  • 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.
  • 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 Equestrinauts." Adult male fans of Eqestrinauts 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 Hell's Angels: The bikers in the episode "Ear-sy Rider".
  • 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.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Bob and his family. InUniverse 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).
  • Ambiguous Syntax:
    Chet: As summer turned to fall casuals, our relationship became anything but.
    Tina: Casual?
    Chet: Yes, casual.
  • 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: invoked 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Gommercia."
  • 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.
  • 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".
    • 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: "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.
  • 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 Twins: The Pesto Twins, who are called this in "Broadcast Wagstaff School News".
    • Courtney Wheeler is voiced by a male as well, as are the two lady cops and Edith of "Reflections". Come to think of it, it may be easier to look for the few female characters that are not voiced by males.
  • 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).
  • 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: In the pilot, the meal of the day is called "New Bacon-ings", served with bacon.
    • 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.
  • 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 how they want Their First Time to be like, eating lobster. Also, its obvious the woman hitting on Hugo wasn't really talking about his badge Its 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.
  • Downer Ending: "Family Fracas" is a mild example. See the spoiler text under 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 transwoman who hasn't been able to get surgery.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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..
  • 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.
  • Fan Dumb: 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.
  • Flat Joy: Tina is naturally timid, so even at her most excitable, it comes off like this.
  • 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".
  • 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 Eugene 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: Gloria and Tammy.
  • Genius Ditz: Bob and Teddy for cooking and mechanics/home repair, respectively.
  • Gentle Giant: Teddy.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Could've had its own page regarding Tina and the last two episodes of season 2.
    • Bob offhandedly refers to another local restaurant names "Dushi Sushi."
    • The biker gang in "Ears-y Rider" is called "The One-Eyed Snakes"
  • 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.
  • Gonk: The guy in the pelican suit and the guy in the cotton candy suit.
  • 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" and "Fort Night".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: near the end of "Bad Tina", Tammy was defeated by farting too much.
  • Homage:
  • 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?"
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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
    Bob: Euch, you were right. It's not subtle.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Louise's fan/stalker Millie Frock.
  • 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.
  • Kafka Komedy: Dives into this now and then.
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia: One appeared during the butt song scene in "Art Crawl".
  • 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 Putty as revenge, but Loren Bouchard thought it would come off as petty and out of character, so he dropped it.
    • Overall, as the seasons go on, antagonists tend to get away with tormenting/screwing with the Belchers without comeuppance.
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: Bob makes one to air during the Super Bowl in "Easy Commercial, Easy Gomercial".
  • 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.
  • 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 "Quicky-Kissy Island".
  • Meaningful Name: Mort the mortician.
  • The Millstone: Many of the problems faced by the Belchers are often triggered by one or more of their children.
  • Mister Big: Louise's Kuchi Kopi night light doll.
  • Missing Mom: Mrs. Pesto has never been seen yet, but it's implied that Jimmy Pesto is divorced. In "Family Fracas", Jimmy Pesto's head waiter was standing in for her.
  • 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.
  • 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 (for those who want to know what shows and movies she's "perved" up, they are: Twilight, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Cinderella, The Simpsons, Gossip Girl, Sesame Street, ER, Bones, Law & Order, 60 Minutes, Garfield, Beverly Hills 90210 (or the Sequel Series just titled 90210), The Good Wife, and The Muppets.
  • 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.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Patty Cake.
  • Must Not Die a Virgin: From Food Truckin' :
    Tina: I donít wanna die a virgin!
    Randy: Me neither!
    Bob: No! No!
  • My Little Phony: The titular Show Within a Show in "Equestrianauts".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 wonít age anybody else. That said, itís 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 charactersóbut from that point on, you canít do that story again. You canít reset the clock. In that respect, theyíll age, but itís going to be subtle. In a way, you have to live in this ever-present now for animation. Itís 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?"
  • 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".
  • 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!"
  • 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."
  • Pun
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Averted via the heavy use of improvised dialogue.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni / Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Jimmy Jr. and Zeke.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The pilot is about suspected cannibalism in the restaurant.
  • Romantic Flying: 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.
  • 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".
    • The original concept for the series, as seen in the pilot demo.
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • 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 superheros.
  • 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...
  • 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".
  • 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.
      • 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.
  • 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 isnn'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.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal" and "Turkey in a Can".
  • Threatening Shark: A mechanical shark goes berserk in "The Deepening".
  • Three Shorts: "The Frond Files"
  • 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.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Louise sometimes goes into this.
  • 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".
  • Voice Clip Song: No name is given, but it's best described as the diarrhea song.
  • 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 like a whore, 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 ET 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...
  • 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!
  • You Can't Win: Most evident in "Family Fracas".


Heh. "Duderuses."

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