Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Bob's Burgers S4E19 "The Kids Run Away"

Go To

Louise runs away to Gayle's house to avoid getting a cavity filled.


  • Adult Fear: If not for the fact that she goes to a very familiar place where the Belchers locate her very quickly, Louise running away would (and still does) reek of this.
  • Brick Joke: Gene gets a "ball-in-the-hole" game from Dr. Yap's office. He finally finishes the game at Gayle's apartment, and quickly gets bored of it and sets it aside.
  • Advertisement:
  • Brutal Honesty: Louise tells Gayle to her face that her life is bad. Gayle agrees and uses it to convince Louise to get her cavity filled.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Previous episodes show that outside the dentist's office, Dr. Yap is certifiably insane. This episode shows that for his many flaws, he's still actually a competent dentist.
  • Call-Back:
  • Calvinball: Gayle Force Winds, a ridiculously complicated and time consuming board game invented by Gayle.
  • Cool Aunt: Gayle, surprisingly, acts like this at the end of the episode. Unlike Bob and Linda, Gayle is able to get to the core root of Louise's reluctance to get her cavity filled — that she's afraid to get it done — and she's the one who comes up with the make-believe spy scenario to get Louise through the procedure.
    Bob: I hate to say it, but I think Gayle out-parented us.
  • Advertisement:
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Gayle still has Mr. Business (whom she stole) and is trying to convince the pound to let her adopt a fourth cat.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Louise packed a bag out in a park under a pond in case she ever ran away. Two years ago, when she was seven.
  • Didn't Think This Through: As Teddy points out to Bob and Linda, Louise could decide to run away again in case she loses the bet rather than stay at Gayle's, necessitating Bob and Linda to hold a stakeout in front of the sole escape route at Gayle's apartment.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Linda loves her sister, but even she knows that having Gayle babysit is a last resort. When she remarks that Gayle actually did a good job, Bob calls her bluff and tells her to make Gayle a full-time nanny, which Linda quickly goes back on.
  • Fictional Board Game: Gayle Force Winds, created by Gayle for her relatives to play. It's overly complex, takes all day to complete (the kids don't finish it, but a throwaway line indicates that Bob and Linda have), and Gayle can hit the Reset Button whenever she feels like it.
  • Advertisement:
  • Foreshadowing: During the episode, it's revealed that Gayle invented a make-believe scenario where she's the last living person on the planet and is sleeping in an apocalyptic shelter in order to make it easier to sleep alone at night. At the end, Gayle comes up with a similar idea to help Louise get through her filling to lessen her fear about it.
  • Gilligan Cut: Bob insists that Louise has to come home, because "it's not like she's planned [running away from home]." Cut to Louise retrieving a bag that she had hidden in the event that she had to run away from home.
  • GMPC: Gayle Force Winds revolves around a character named Princess Gayle. The kids' player tokens don't resemble anything that would represent Princess Gayle, making the most likely explanation that she is one of these.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": The aforementioned Princess Gayle is quite clearly an idealized version of Gayle.
  • Hero Antagonist: In a sense. Louise sees her parents as the villains for trying to make her get a filling, but Bob and Linda both understand if Louise doesn't get her tooth fixed it's going to keep causing her pain.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Louise realizes her parents were keeping tabs on her when Bob mentions expecting the kids to not make it as far as they did in Gayle Force Winds, which they shouldn't have known the kids were playingnote . By then, however, her cavity is too painful for her to really dwell on this realization.
  • It Runs in the Family: This episode cements that it's definitely Linda's side of the family where Louise inherited her more crazy attributes. Bob even lampshades it.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Louise remarks in shock that Dr. Yap's dental license hasn't been ripped up yet. Considering Dr. Yap has so far been shown to be completely insane, it's honestly very surprising.
  • Minor with Fake I.D.: Louise tries to use a fake I.D. stating she's 43 to take a hotel room. It doesn't work.
  • The Mole: Tina works for Bob and Linda in order to make Louise's stay at Gayle's more excruciating.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Even though it works, Bob and Linda immediately regret tricking Louise into eating ice cream when they hear first-hand just how much pain she's in, and are driven to tears over hurting their daughter.
  • No, You: When Dr. Yap asks if Louise is afraid of the dentist, Louise retorts that he's afraid.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bob and Linda react accordingly when they realize Louise won the bet.
  • The Only Way They Will Learn: Desperate to get Louise to accept that she needs to get her cavity filled, Bob and Linda reluctantly resort to tricking her into eating ice cream, which naturally causes the pain to flare up badly. With a little further help from Gayle, it works.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Louise manages to survive an entire weekend at Gayle's place, but that doesn't change the fact that she still has a painful cavity and it needs to be fixed.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Gayle of all people gets this moment as she's able to understand Louise at the moment better than her parents, and while her parents aren't able to do anything to convince her to go to the dentist beyond saying "you have to" Gayle is able to help soothe the girl's fear and come up with a scenario where she could get it done peacefully.
  • Self-Deprecation: Dr. Yap at one point calls himself sad and lonely.
  • Shout-Out: Part of Gayle Force Winds involves making it past the Cliffs of Huxtable.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Louise's schemes might be able to fool other kids, namely her siblings, but the hotel desk clerk clearly isn't fooled by her fake I.D. that states she's a Vietnam veteran.
    • Louise wins the bet... but at the end of the day, she's still got a massive cavity that needs to be taken care of.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Dr. Yap goes along with the game of make-believe, but at the end he claims that the game "didn't inconvenience anyone at all".
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Dr. Yap is nearly unrecognizable from his last two appearances.
  • The Tooth Hurts: The crux of the episode is Louise's cavity.