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Recap / Bobs Burgers S 11 E 6 Bob Belcher And The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Kids

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In this, the show's 200th episode, the family must figure out how to keep the restaurant open after Bob's flattop breaks on the morning of the Ocean Avenue Business Association's Ocean Fest on Ocean Avenue.

Bob Belcher & the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Tropes:

  • Accidental Nightmare Fuel: In-universe; Linda's mermaid statue was butt ugly and everyone but Linda could see it. When she tries to salvage it after it gets burned, her "improvements" only make it more terrifying. Even Louise hates it.
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  • ...And That Would Be Wrong: Linda scolds the kids for trying to break into Pam's restaurant and steal the thermocouple, "even if it is fun", and mumbles about how fun it would be. Her tone implies she's actually done it before.
  • The Atoner: Everything the kids do post-fire is to try and make up for supposedly causing the damage to the restaurant. They'll even consider breaking and entering if it helps their father, and Louise says she'd do a lot more (namely murder).
  • Bait-and-Switch: During her verse of "It's All My Fault", Louise lists off a ton of explosives she was going to add to the mermaid statue, and we see a flashback of her finding a box under her bed that clearly has something inside. She then sheepishly admits she didn't have any of the examples she just gave, so she had to make do with sparklers.
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  • Big "OMG!": Bob lets out three in quick succession after seeing the fire and what it did to the restaurant.
  • Brick Joke: Near the climax of the episode, Teddy asks Bob for a plunger. He can briefly be seen in the end credits with a plunger in-hand.
  • Brutal Honesty: When the kids sing about how they likely caused the fire, Gene and Louise try to skirt around Linda's mermaid statue being hideous, instead implying it by saying they didn't think it was likely to win the statue contest. When Tina gets to her verse, however, she immediately calls the mermaid statue ugly.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: When Ron makes Hugo apologize to Bob for setting the restaurant on fire, Hugo mumbles "I'm sorry" and Ron has to prompt him to say it louder.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The greasy rags Hugo throws at Bob during his inspection are what actually started the fire.
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    • When the kids consider breaking into Pam’s not-yet-set-up restaurant to get the thermocouple, Tina writes an apology note on one of the Bob’s Burgers flyers explaining why they did it, as well as a promise to pay Pam back for the window and give the thermocouple back after their dad gets another one. When the kids decide not to go through with it and return home, Tina accidentally leaves the apology note behind and Pam ends up finding it. She’s so touched by the kids’ dedication to their father and the family restaurant (as well as appreciative that they didn’t do the breaking and entering) that she lends her thermocouple to Bob.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Let's just say Hugo wasn't in the episode for a Mandatory Line.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Linda is momentarily charmed by the idea of Tina, Gene, and Louise working together on something, before she realizes that "something" was "creating an environment that caused a large fire."
  • Continuity Cavalcade: When Gene opens his drawer, several items featured in previous episodes appear—the Beefsquatch mask, his Wagstaff Whalers cheerleader uniform, and the Africa necklace from his Queen Latifah costume.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • To Bob's speech at the start of the pilot episode, "Human Flesh". When he calls his kids "horrible" in this episode, they really take it to heart and work to try to save the restaurant. Bob also clearly says it out of stress in this episode and apologizes for saying it at the end.
    • Bob asks Teddy to get a rental grill from a store called “Supplies Party,” which was seen in "Tinarannosaurus Wrecks.”
    • A “ghost boy” graffiti tag can be seen on the dumpster behind A Shrimp-le Plan.
    • When Gene says he wants to eat at A Shrimp-le Plan when it opens, Louise reminds him he's allergic to shellfish.
  • Darkest Hour: The restaurant has come back from even being shut down before, but nearly being outright destroyed is easily the worst point it's been at.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Bob does away with the subtleties and outright compares using another grill to cheating on Linda.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After perhaps the Darkest Hour the restaurant has endured in the series, the kids realize they're not at fault for the fire (and thus don't have to live with the guilt), Hugo gets his well-deserved comeuppance for being the fire's actual culprit, Bob gets a working thermocouple in time for the influx of customers that accompanies Ocean Fest, and it's even briefly hinted that Linda's sculpture might not horribly lose after all.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Louise is a major Nightmare Fetishist, but Linda’s mermaid statue freaks her out.
    • Ron continues to prove he's got more morals than Hugo by dragging Hugo back to the restaurant, revealing it was Hugo's fault the fire started, forces him to apologize and adds Hugo will be paying off whatever Bob's insurance won't cover.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: As the Belchers are all wandering around the burnt kitchen, Gene remains put at the entrance with a frown on his face. Seconds later he confesses to probably starting the fire.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Hugo tosses the greasy rags at Bob, all of them land onscreen or in a place Bob would spot them easily... except for one that lands behind a box of potatoes. As Ron explains what happens, a stick-figure drawing appears... and even after all the other rags were picked up, that same rag can be seen hidden behind that same box.
    • The kids each confess to the fire without anyone finding a single shred of evidence that implicates them. It's framed as the kids feeling so guilty that they confess without being prompted, but the lack of evidence is also the first major hint that they didn't start the fire at all.
    • Additionally, the (relative) survival of the papier mache mermaid suggests it wasn't the point of ignition even though everyone thought it was. Had the kids actually started the fire, the mermaid would be ashes.
  • Hate Sink: If you didn't already want to give Jimmy Pesto a solid punch in the gut, you definitely will when he outright mocks Bob over the fire in his restaurant.
  • Insistent Terminology: Louise insists they're not stealing the thermocouple, they're borrowing it.
  • It's All My Fault: Gene, Louise and Tina all take blame for starting the fire due to their attempts to salvage Linda's horrible mermaid statue. Though Louise initially blames Gene before adding she may have helped the fire spread, she eventually shares equal blame for being awful. Though thankfully it turned out Hugo was responsible for the fire.
  • Karmic Jackpot: The kids consider breaking into Pam Shrimple's restaurant to steal her thermocouple, but can't go through with it. It then turns out Tina left behind the apology note she'd written in case they had stolen it, explaining to Pam they were trying to make up for starting the fire and promising they'd bring the thermocouple back and pay for the window eventually. Pam's so touched by the note and the circumstances behind it she allows the Belchers to use the thermocouple since her place won't be open for another month.
  • Kick the Dog: Not only is Jimmy Pesto unsympathetic to the fire in Bob's restaurant, but he also forces Trev to wear seaweed for his restaurant's art despite the latter being allergic to seaweed.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Hugo is such an awful person that you don't really feel bad for him when Ron forces him to admit contrition for accidentally burning down the restaurant.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: For starting the fire, Hugo has to pay for whatever Bob's insurance won't cover.
  • Long Title: Eleven words, causing it to tie for the second-longest episode title in the show's history—it's only behind only the full title of "World Wharf II: The Wharfening (Or How Bob Saves/Destroys the Town - Part II)" (at fourteen words).
  • Meaningful Background Event: While the kids talk about potentially moving out, Pam Shrimple can be seen outside the window checking the sign and reading Tina's note.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When Bob calls the kids "horrible" out of stress, they really take it to heart, and everything they do is to try and make up for the fire. When it seems like they've failed, they even discuss moving out because it seems like all they do is make things worse for their father.
  • Namesake Gag: The owner of A Shrimp-le Plan is Pam Shrimple.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Subverted with Louise. During her version of the "It’s All My Fault" song, she sings, "It's all Gene's fault" before admitting there's a slight possibility the sparklers she put on the statue may have also caused the fire. However, if she really wanted to invoke the trope, she could have easily just kept quiet—Gene had already confessed and there was pretty much nothing linking her to the fire. The fact that she said anything at all shows that she genuinely feels guilty, which her actions later in the episode prove.
    • Hugo has to be forced into apologizing loud enough for Bob to hear, but just before he leaves he tries to make it sound like this was Bob's fault for keeping the dirty rags. Bob immediately calls Hugo on his bullshit.
    • Despite their actions also possibly contributing to the fire (and Tina even admitting as such), the kids are content to file all of the blame for the fire onto Hugo when he confesses at the end. Considering what a Jerkass he is, as well as the fact that the kids already atoned for their perceived involvement, nobody has any sympathy for him.
  • Nice Girl: Pam Shrimple. When the kids leave her a note about Bob needing the thermocouple she bought earlier in the day, she stops by the restaurant to give it to him since her restaurant doesn’t open for another month. She even stays for a burger, being the first of Bob's customers for Ocean Fest.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: For his entry in the sculpture contest, Jimmy just has Trev stand in front of his restaurant covered in seaweeds. He's apparently some kind of sea monster.
    Trev: I think I'm allergic to seaweed.
    Jimmy Pesto: Statues don't talk!
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Most of the Belchers aren't quite themselves after the devastating fire.
    • Gene is rather subdued and sounds like he's on the verge of crying right before his initial confession.
    • Louise feels so guilty that she (out of all the kids) is the one who outright says they're horrible.
    • Tina is reluctant but willing to break into A Shrimp-le Plan to save the restaurant.
    • Bob is on the verge of snapping at all times, and while he tries to be gentle he's clearly having trouble coping with the kids' supposed actions.
  • Ordered Apology: What Ron forces Hugo into at the end of the episode (though Hugo makes it a Backhanded Apology despite Ron's efforts).
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: Teddy comes to help Bob while still in his pajamas since he called in the middle of the night. When he goes to the store to get the thermocouple, he briefly considers changing clothes.
  • Parents as People: Bob doesn't really think his kids are horrible, but after learning that they might have destroyed his restaurant he's beyond pissed, and is a split-second from snapping at them from the moment he learns they probably caused the fire until the moment he learns they didn't. He knows that he shouldn't treat them so abrasively, and makes the effort to apologize when he snaps, but at the same time it's hard to blame him for being so on-edge.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: As absurd as it might sound, greasy rags really can spontaneously combust like Ron says they can. Hugo starting the fire by carelessly tossing them is completely plausible.
  • The Reveal: The kids didn't start the fire by trying to fix the mermaid statue, Hugo started it by carelessly tossing greasy rags.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: As much as Louise talks smack about the restaurant, the fact remains that she ends up seconds from breaking and entering if it means saving her father's dream. She even remarks that she'd kill someone in the name of the restaurant.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skewed Priorities: After the firefighters put out the fire, Linda is more worried about the fact that her mermaid sculpture got ruined then the fact that the restaurant’s kitchen got messed up.
  • Spiritual Sequel: To the show's first episode, "Human Flesh".
    • Both episodes are about the restaurant being in danger of shutting down because of something the kids have done and thanks to Hugo.
      • Louise told everyone at school her parents serve burgers made from human flesh they get from Mort's funeral home because she thought she didn't have anything interesting to say. The kids honestly don't do much to make things better and their half-assing only makes the restaurant look worse. Here, the kids seemingly started the fire by accident when they tried to make Linda's mermaid statue look better and are genuinely regretful for what they believe they've done.
      • Hugo spitefully allows the human flesh rumor to persist when he can easily prove it's not true. Here he accidentally starts the fire at the restaurant and has to be forced into atoning for his mistake, while still backpedaling the blame onto Bob.
    • Ron softly guilt trips Hugo into doing the right thing in "Human Flesh". Here, he drags Hugo back to the restaurant, reveals to everyone it was his fault the fire started, and forces Hugo to pay off the rest of the damage.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Louise admits wanting to add explosives to the mermaid, and lists off examples (like bottle rockets and M-80's). She then reveals she didn't have any of the examples she just gave—Enfant Terrible she may be, she's still just 9 years old and there's no way any vendor (legal or illegal) would actually give her that stuff.
  • Tempting Fate: Mere hours before the fire, Linda talks about how the day will go well.
  • Terrible Artist: Linda's papier-mache mermaid looks awful, but only she can't seem to see it.
  • Too Much Information: Tina mentions that there might be a booger under one of the tables. Bob and Linda are not happy for the information.
  • Triumphant Reprise: "It's All My/Gene's/Our Fault", the songs the kids sing when confessing their role in the fire, gets one when Ron reveals Hugo started the fire instead of the kids. As Ron shames Hugo for his involvement, the kids triumphantly sing that it wasn't their fault after all.
    • Another reprise that is considerably more lighthearted appears during the end credits.
  • True Blue Femininity: Tina's solution to fixing the mermaid is to paint on a blue bikini, which is fitting given Tina's usual attire.
  • The Unsmile: Linda tries to improve her mermaid by adding teeth to make her smile. The results are anything but pleasant.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: All of the kids (even Tina) are willing to break into A Shrimp-le Plan and steal Pam's thermocouple if it means they can help out their father and save the restaurant.
    Louise: We're horrible. We're bad eggs. But if we take that thing, at least it'll help Mom and Dad.