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Recap / Bob's Burgers S3E10 "Mother Daughter Laser Razor"

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Linda: Are you Mommy's little girl?
Louise: Dada.

Linda attempts to bond with a supremely reluctant Louise. Meanwhile, Bob takes Tina to get her legs waxed.

Tropes

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The children's book that Linda tries to read, Princess Pigeon Toe, possesses a proportionally prodigious plenitude of the letter P.
  • Adult Fear: Linda just wants to be close to her daughter, but Louise makes it painfully clear she not only prefers Bob, but all she's doing is making her daughter want as little to do with her as possible.
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  • Asinine Alternate Activity: Linda takes Louise to a bonding seminar, but Louise would rather play Laser Tag next door.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Dakota initially appears angry that Linda has been bribing Louise to attend the therapy session... except he's actually overjoyed that Linda is willing to do anything to bond with her daughter. It's actually Louise he's mad at for not taking the therapy session seriously.
  • Big "NO!": Logan and Louise let out a cry of "NO!" when they're locked in the "Uter-room" and forced to watch Freaky Friday on a loop.
  • Continuity Nod: Louise outright said she favored Bob over Linda all the way back in "Spaghetti Western & Meatballs". This episode reveals that she's favored him for her entire life, and also reveals that Linda is well aware of it (which leads to the episode's A-plot).
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  • Daddy's Girl: Deconstructed. This episode reveals that Louise has been one since she was a literal baby, and she and Bob are genuinely close in spite of the former's constant mockery. However, in strengthening her bond with Bob, Louise has neglected her relationship with Linda, and her preference of Bob is to the point that she can't stand Linda for more than a few seconds. Additionally, a bond that strong is not unnoticed—both Bob and Linda are aware that Louise heavily favors the former, and Linda quickly grows jealous, leading to the A-plot of the episode.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Louise tries to tell Linda they need some time apart, she frames it like a break-up.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Gene of all people points out that Linda shouldn't try to shave Tina's legs while she's so angry about her relationship with Louise. Linda then proves him right by snapping the razor in half.
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  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Logan's middle name is revealed to be "Barry", which isn't embarrassing on its own, but has the unfortunate side-effect of making his full name Logan Barry Bush.
  • Enemy Mine: In pretty much the only instance so far of their interactions not being confrontational, Louise and Logan find common cause in escaping the mother-daughter therapy session.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Louise only agrees to tolerate the mother-daughter therapy session if Linda continually pays her money throughout, with a $29.50 down payment to get her to even enter the building.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Parodied in-universe; Logan treats watching Freaky Friday as if he's discovered some hidden meaning about the film (it's really just the film's not-at-all-subtle moral). When he doesn't shut up about it, Louise responds by punching him in the gut.
  • False Reassurance: Bob tries to say that Louise favoring him over Linda is just a "nine-year phase". Considering that said "nine-year phase" happens to be Louise's entire life, it's pretty clear to both Bob, Linda, and the audience that Louise's favoritism of Bob isn't something she's growing out of anytime soon.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Cynthia Bush delivers one to her son Logan.
    Cynthia: You're in big trouble, Logan Barry Bush!
    Linda: "Loganberry Bush?"
    Cynthia: We didn't think it through!
  • Game Night Fight: Linda tries to host a family game night, but it devolves into an argument because Louise is already playing a game with Bob and would much rather continue that than play whatever Linda wants to.
  • Good Parents: While Linda goes overboard, Bob is at his best, accomodating Tina's wishes because he wants her to be happy, doing the same for Gene, putting himself through pain so Tina won't be scared, and reassuring Tina when she begins to regret her decision.
  • Hope Spot: Played for laughs. At the end of the episode, Linda is overjoyed that she and Louise are finally bonding... and then Louise immediately claims that Gene and Tina's day with Bob sounded way more fun, and that she wants to go with him tomorrow.
    Linda: Oh, screw all of you.
  • Inherently Funny Word: Bob notes that Phenomi-mom is fun to say.
  • It's All About Me: Linda seems less like she's trying to have a better relationship with Louise for the sake of bonding, and moreso because she wants to be Louise's favorite parent instead of Bob.
  • Jealous Parent: Linda is painfully aware that Louise likes Bob better, and the A-plot of the episode is driven by her misguided attempt to recreate that bond with herself and Louise.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Dakota's advice on being a mother repeatedly does not work, and it seems he doesn't have basic knowledge about pregnancy when even Louise can tell he's got no clue how umbilical chords work.
  • Literal-Minded: When Tina tells Bob to drop what he's doing and shave her legs, Gene immediately drops the plate of samples he's holding. Bob is less than amused.
  • Misplaced Retribution: After "Family Game Night" is ruined by an argument between Linda and Louise, Linda grows jealous of Louise's clear favoritism towards Bob. Thing is, she lashes out at Bob himself despite the fact that Bob has not done anything to intentionally make Louise like him more. Linda realizes her mistake immediately and apologizes.
  • Mood Whiplash: Bob's encouraging speech to Tina is followed by Gene walking past the door without pants on.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The laser tag scene is played as an actual war zone.
  • My Beloved Smother: Linda following Dakota's advice on reconnecting with Louise only serves to further drive them apart because Linda was too overbearing. This trope also seems to be a major reason why Louise prefers Bob—he tends to respect her boundaries a lot more.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The "Phenomi-mom" is actually a dude named Dakota.
  • Noodle Incident: Bob once got a flu shot so that Tina wouldn't be scared of it.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bob, Tina, and Gene react this way after the argument between Linda and Louise has escalated. Bob also counts as a case of This Is Gonna Suck given he reacts even before the argument blows up.
  • Person as Verb: Louise uses both "Momming it all up" and "Dadding it all up" as verbs. The former represents ruining fun (alluding to Louise's poor relationship with Linda), while the latter represents having fun (alluding to Louise's strong relationship with Bob).
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Before making the killing shot on Dakota in the Laser Tag battle, Linda shouts "Look north, Dakota!"
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Louise tells Linda that she "Mom'd it all up" regarding the kids' game with Bob, Linda asks if Bob "Dad'd it all up". Louise not only states that Bob did, but goes as far as saying that him doing so is a good thing—definitely not the answer Linda was expecting, if she expected one at all.
  • Shout-Out: Tina has an Imagine Spot modeled after Sarah Conner's nightmare in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • Sudden Anatomy: Tina has visible leg hair in this episode, despite lacking it both before and after this episode.
  • Surprise Creepy: Linda has a song about braiding hair that suddenly ends with her singing about Harry Truman being dead.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Although it's played for laughs, the end of the episode shows that Louise still hasn't shaken off her favoritism of Bob, something that remains consistent throughout the series. Linda did manage to bond with Louise, sure, and she continues to do so, but the occasional day of bonding isn't going to overturn something Louise has felt for her entire life.
  • Take Our Word for It: What Tina did to her leg in an attempt to shave by herself. Bob, Gene, and the woman at the waxing salon were all horrified to varying degrees.
  • Take That!: Freaky Friday (2003) is used as a torture device on Louise and Logan.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Discussed; the Bush family is at the seminar because Logan called his mother Cynthia a bitch.
  • The Unfavorite: Inverted; Louise favors Bob over Linda, and is very unsubtle about it, much to Linda's dismay. The opening scene indicates that Gene and Tina also prefer playing with Bob over Linda, making Linda this trope to all three of her kids in some capacity.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Louise and Logan fake having stomach aches to get Dakota and the mothers inside of the "Uter-room", once they're in they run out and lock them inside and run off to play Laser Tag.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: After Tina begins to regret waxing her legs, Bob tells her that waxed legs or not, she's fine being herself.
    Bob: Leg hair or no leg hair, you're still Tina, and when it comes to the important stuff you'll make the right choice.
 
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Dada's Little Girl

We learn Louise always liked her father ever since she was a baby, much to Linda's frustration.

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