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Recap / Bob's Burgers S 12 E 14 "Video Killed the Gene-io Star"

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Gene begrudgingly agrees to participate in a music video for Courtney. Meanwhile, Teddy and Linda obsess over a mysterious customer at the restaurant.

Video Killed the Trope-io Star:

  • Acting Unnatural: When Billy Bandana returns to the restaurant, Teddy tries to act casual by laughing as if he's just heard a joke and then tries to leave, but then sees Billy there and decides to stay.
  • An Aesop: It's important to be able to tolerate something for the sake of your loved ones, especially if it's something they really care about.
  • Auto-Tune: After Gene's unenthusiastic reading of his line, Courtney's dad decides to just Auto Tune it.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Linda hugs a thoroughly-creeped out Bob, Teddy asks for a hug too. Linda awkwardly agrees... and then Teddy goes to hug Bob as well.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Gene eventually agrees to be in Courtney's video because of The Power of Friendship, which is the episode's moral. However, he's right about the project being invokedshamelessly derivative, because Courtney has no problem with ripping off every other song and video she likes.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: When Tina points out that she'll unironically miss being at the restaurant while filming Courtney's video, she cites things she'll miss, including the smell, Bob and Linda, and Bob and Linda's smell.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Courtney meets Tina and Louise at the slide because she likes the acoustics inside. When Courtney goes missing after Gene's breakdown, he knows just where to find her; she's hiding in the slide, which she told Gene she wanted to live in because it made her voice sound great.
  • Cliché Storm: In-Universe. The reason Gene doesn't like Courtney's song is because it sounds just like every other song on the radio. The video has them doing a popular dance routine ("Tasty Fingers"), and Gene notes that his costume is just like the one every boy wears on every music video. Courtney's other friends even comment on it being "like that song I like" in an unironic way.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Linda and Teddy spending an entire subplot obsessing over a mysterious person as Bob grows increasingly exasperated at their nonsense brings to mind the subplot of "Roller? I Hardly Knew Her!". Coincidentally, that episode's A-plot also prominently featured Courtney.
    • Doug has a "Roller Dancing 1984" poster in his studio, also mentioned in "Roller? I Hardly Knew Her!"
    • Gene and Courtney's on again off again relationship is back in the spotlight. This time, Courtney wants Gene to star in her music video about a girl with a crush, with Gene playing the title role opposite her. For his part, Gene shows he cares about her enough to recognize how important the video, as bad as it may be, is to her and goes through with it.
  • Creepy Monotone: Billy Bandana never speaks in anything besides this.
    Bob: I think we were just in the presence of Death.
  • Food as Bribe: The only reason Tina and Louise agree to get Gene to do the music video is because Courtney showed them the candy that will be served to the cast and crew.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Gene comes up with many excuses to avoid being in Courtney's video, such as getting his wisdom teeth put back in.
  • Jerkass Ball: Linda and Teddy hold it tight in this one, stealing and breaking into a stranger's private property for no reason other than their curiosity, while acting as if Bob is the irrational killjoy.
  • Never My Fault: Teddy blames literally everyone but himself when he damages the suitcase's hinge trying to break it open. First he blames Bob for startling him, then he blames Linda for not watching out for Bob's arrival, then he blames Bob again for using the bathroom too quickly.
  • Only Sane Man: Bob repeatedly points out how odd Linda and Teddy's obsession over the customer is, and is the only one dismayed when their antics start driving away customers. Furthermore, he's the only one to acknowledge there might actually be something wrong with Billy Bandana when the briefcase is revealed to be full of walnuts. Linda and Teddy both think the walnuts are a dumb thing to carry in a briefcase, but Bob asks why someone would fill a briefcase with nothing but walnuts? Bob immediately tries to get Billy Bandana out of the restaurant as soon as possible once he comes back for the briefcase.
  • Pop-Culture Pun Episode Title: The episode title is a Shout-Out to "Video Killed the Radio Star", a song by The Buggles.
  • The Reveal: Billy Bandana's suitcase turns out to be full of walnuts. Bob ironically considers it more terrifying than the stuff Teddy and Linda theorized about (namely plutonium and a bunch of severed hands), because why would there be a suitcase full of walnuts?
  • Riddle for the Ages: While the contents of Billy Bandana's suitcase are revealed (walnuts), it's never revealed why he was carrying around a suitcase full of nothing but walnuts. Bob, Linda, and Teddy decide it's for the best.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Suckiness Is Painful: Gene is conflicted about being in Courtney's video because it's not only bad, but invokedaggressively unoriginal. He even has an Imagine Spot where Courtney (in a creepily distorted voice) sings to him that "This goes against everything you believe in... This is what you'll be remembered for/Not any good stuff, just this song." It's not until he realizes how important the video is to Courtney that he changes his mind.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: Courtney dons some for the music video that makes her look a lot like Tammy.
  • The Unreveal: We never really find out what Billy Bandana was planning to do with an entire briefcase of walnuts, but as Bob himself says, thatís probably for the best.