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Recap / Bob's Burgers S 12 E 1 "Manic Pixie Crap Show"

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Millie provides Louise a rare Burobu card but forces her to repay the debt by attending the Pixie Princess Promenade in a banned Millie's place; a bouquet in the shape of a dog forces Linda to confront her past.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: Millie at one point tells Louise that she thinks she loves her more than her mother. Louise, as usual, would rather not deal with her.
  • An Aesop: It's okay to stand out from the crowd and dislike things that are usually classified as the "norm", but it's also okay for others to enjoy those same things.
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  • Armor-Piercing Question: As Tina tries to stop the girls from throwing their wands away and getting banned from the promenade, she tries to make Louise understand they actually do like this kind of thing even if Louise doesn't.
    Louise: But I don't like it.
    Tina: So?
    Louise: Well, why? Why don't I like it?
  • Backstory of the Day: Discussed; Bob mentions how weird it is that Linda never mentioned Bottlecap until now, with both him and Teddy concluding she never mentioned it because she couldn't cope with his death.
  • Cerebus Retcon: After all those episodes focusing on Louise being a Daddy's Girl and a Tomboy, we find out that on some level Louise has always been worried that she's not being a girl "the right way" because she doesn't act like other girls or engage in similar activities while preferring boyish interests and hobbies.
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  • Chekhov's Gun: Millie has her phone rigged to a camera on Louise's person. It originally doesn't come up because Louise finds the wand Millie wants in five minutes, but when Millie drops the phone during the ensuing chase, the promenade organizers find the phone and use the aforementioned camera to try and track down the missing wands, only failing because Louise got wise to their plan and ditched the camera.
  • Companion Cube: Linda gets really attached to the dog bouquet.
  • Continuity Nod: Burobu makes a return, as Millie giving Louise a rare Burobu card is the reason she has to repay the favor.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Downplayed. Mort's not featured until halfway into Linda's subplot, but he's the one who's able to talk Linda into using the dog bouquet to finally grieve over Bottlecap's death. It's the most relevance he's had to an episode in a while.
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  • Death by Irony: Linda notes the irony of a dog being run over by a hot dog truck.
  • Dissonant Serenity: The only thing more horrible than Linda's story about seeing Bottlecap dying right in front of her is the fact she keeps telling the story in a cheerful, almost manic voice while insisting she's fine.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: In-universe; Linda ends her story about Bottlecap by abruptly stating he got hit by a hot dog truck and died.
  • Good Parents: Bob and Linda don't even hesitate to assure Tina that she and her siblings are the most beautiful things on the planet after Tina asks them if she's pretty.
  • Harmful to Minors: Linda witnessed Bottlecap get run over when she was younger, and is still traumatized about it.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Louise very much considers the promenade to be lame, but Millie and the other girls love it.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Louise has her siblings tag along to the promenade so that they can keep her from going completely insane.
  • Magic Skirt: The first time this trope is averted for Tina; she accidentally tucks her skirt into her underwear as a result of running to try and stop Louise and Millie from dumping the wands to the pond. One of the other girls points it out, and Tina quickly corrects it.
  • Mama Bear: After Tina recaps how Tammy and Jocelyn told her she wasn't "supermodel material," Linda offers to drive by and smack both of them with her car door.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The episode title is an allusion to this trope.
  • Meaningful Name: The dog Linda knew next door was named Bottlecap because he could balance one on his nose.
  • Nature Tinkling: Tina has to go to the bathroom while in the park, so she pees in a bush. In the middle of this she sees Louise and the other girls about to throw the wands into the pond, and in her hurry to stop them she accidentally tucks her skirt into her underwear.
  • Noodle Incident: Millie is banned from the promenade because she headbutted the actor who plays the gnome. She says it happened because of a political discussion.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bob and Teddy react accordingly when they learn Linda didn't just hear about Bottlecap dying, she witnessed it.
  • One of the Boys: The end of the episode actually has Louise discuss how she stands out in comparison to the other girls, wondering if she's not being a "proper" girl by liking more masculine things. Tina tells her that there's nothing wrong with that.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: The rare Burobu card Louise gets is a Shout-Out to The Fugitive (as noted below), and the reason it's rare is because most kids haven't actually seen the movie, so the company stopped printing it. Louise gets the reference just fine, though.
  • Sequence Breaking: Louise figures out the plot beats about the promenade within five minutes, and within that same timespan finds the hidden box of wands that serves as the end objective (as well as the sole reason Millie wants her to participate, meaning she can get out of dodge faster than planned).
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stepford Smiler: Linda repeatedly talks about Bottlecap dying with a smile on her face, laughing about it and trying to insist she's fine. Bob and Teddy are both disturbed by this and fearful for Linda's wellbeing that she might snap once the flower bouquet eventually wilts in a couple of days.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • "Everybody's fine, your friends aren't lost in the woods!"
    • Linda takes the dog flower arrangement to the bathroom, "and not to escape!"
  • Taking the Heat: Louise stops the other girls from being banned from the promenade by claiming sole responsibility for the wand theft.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The A-plot really highlights this kind of dynamic between Louise and Millie. Millie has attended the promenade so many times that she got eight participation wands before being banned, but Louise participating in the promenade almost seems to cause her actual physical pain.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: Tammy and Jocelyn have been watching online supermodel makeup tips. While Tina talks about how they said she wasn't "supermodel material", the flashback shows Tammy and Jocelyn wearing way too much makeup.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Tina convinces Louise that there's nothing wrong with Millie and the others liking the pixie stuff, just as there's nothing wrong with Louise for not liking the pixie stuff. As Tina puts it, Louise isn't any less of a girl just because she doesn't do typically girly stuff.