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Recap / Bobs Burgers S 10 E 12 A Fish Called Tina

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Tina goes too far trying to be the perfect mentor, while Bob and Linda try out a new gym that's opened next to the restaurant.


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  • Accidental Misnaming:
    Jocelyn: I had so much fun with my Little Fish Harriet.
    Harley: My name is Harley.
    Jocelyn: No it's not.
  • Burger Fool: Madison, who was Tina's Big Fish in the fourth grade, is now working at the Caboose Kabob. To Tina, it's like she made the big time.
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  • The Bus Came Back: Jimmy Jr.'s Little Fish is Arnold Evans.
  • Continuity Nod: While Jimmy Jr. and Jocelyn appear in Tina's flashbacks to fourth grade, Tammy and Zeke don't. Tammy first moved to Wagstaff as an eighth grader in "Bad Tina", and "Broadcast Wagstaff School News" revealed that Zeke moved around a lot before coming to Wagstaff in recent years.
  • Contrived Coincidence: It's never mentioned, but by sheer coincidence Tina is the only established eighth-grader who isn't assigned to an already-established fourth grader. Tammy gets Louise, Jocelyn gets Harley, Jimmy Jr. gets Arnold, and Zeke gets Rudy.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Louise catches Tammy shooting selfies at the playground to make it seem like she's at the beach to make her cousin jealous. Louise points out that the school is visible and teaches her to do fake vacation selfies properly.
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  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Tina talks to her old Big Fish Madison about what she's doing wrong with her Little Fish Kaylee. She points out the time Madison helped her when she accidentally smeared chili all over herself at the cafeteria and kept her from being humiliated. Madison points out that perfect moments like that one just happen and can't be planned; Tina's takeaway is completely the opposite, and she tries to recreate the moment with Kaylee, with disastrous results.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Even if Bob and Linda didn't start driving away Rick's business, the fact that he's renting out the Store Next Door makes it clear that his gym is doomed to close.
  • Friend to All Children: Zeke proves that it's not just Gene he has this gift with—he's able to easily bond with Rudy, and Kaylee quickly warms up to him.
    • It seems almost like Tina is the only aversion—every eighth grader is able to have a decent time with the fourth graders, but Tina drives away both Kaylee and Rudy.
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  • Holding the Floor: As Tina's plan to engineer a perfect moment with Kaylee ends with her covered in chili, Louise stands up and starts giving a speech about how Tina is her Big Fish, giving Tina a change to sneak out unseen and save face.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Madison keeps saying "what can I put in your Caboose?" as a welcome to clients. Her bosses have told her not to do this, but she can't help herself.
  • It's All About Me: After Louise's speech about Tina being her Big Fish, Frond tells himself "You did this, Philip. You did."
  • Literal-Minded: When Mr. Frond talks about icebreakers, Jocelyn assumes he's talking about gum.
  • Never Say "Die": Subverted. Jocelyn adds to Harley's cloud by drawing her grandma, because that's where she is. Harley expresses sympathy, but Jocelyn quickly reveals that she's not even dead, she's just flying to Tampa.
  • Nice Girl: Madison. The episode seems to be going in the direction that Tina would learn Madison wasn't as nice as she remembered her to be, or that Madison had completely forgotten who Tina was. It turns out no, Madison genuinely is as nice as she appeared in Tina's memories, remembers who Tina is, and gives her honest advice that Tina completely fails to understand.
  • Out of Focus: Gene is noticeably sidelined in the episode up until Tina involves him and Louise in her plan to dump chili on Kaylee—the Big Fish/Little Fish program is exclusive to fourth and eighth graders (which Louise and Tina are, while Gene's in sixth grade), and Bob and Linda get the focus in the subplot. Gene himself initially doesn't seem to mind, as he claims he's busy mentoring Ken, though he does appear to feel left out at the end, where he joins two Big Fish/Little Fish gatherings and acts as if he belongs.
  • Opening Shout-Out: This is one of the few times the business next door in the opening (the Pumpin' Patch gym) plays a part in the plot.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Tammy and Louise are assigned to each other for the Big Fish/Little Fish program. Neither one wants to be together, so they tell Mr. Frond that they want to do their mentoring out in nature. Frond is fooled and lets them leave school, after which they go their separate ways.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: Tina can't seem to bond with her Little Fish Kaylee, and her attempts to do so only end up driving her away. Unfortunately for Tina, she's the only one who has trouble with her Little Fish—even Tammy and Louise are able to get along even somewhat.
  • Spanner in the Works: Large Tommy completely derails Tina's plan to dump chili on Kaylee without even realizing it.
  • Stress Vomit: Tina vomits when told Kaylee doesn't want to be her Little Fish anymore. The next time she's called to Frond's office to be told that Rudy also doesn't want to be her Little Fish, Frond places his wastebasket next to her in anticipation of her puking again. She does in fact puke, but still misses the wastebasket.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: After a hard workout at the gym, Bob and Linda wake up the next day completely sore because they didn't warm up or cool down properly.
  • You Were Trying Too Hard: Tina's excitement about being Kaylee's Big Fish causes her to go overboard immediately until Kaylee decides she wants to partner with someone else. The same thing happens with Rudy. Madison informs Tina this is her problem and tries to advise her to stop trying so hard to recreate the experience they had all those years ago. Unfortunately, Tina decides to try harder by recreating the exact circumstances behind her bonding with Madison.

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