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Recap / Bob's Burgers S5E5 "Best Burger"

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It's a race to get Bob the vital ingredient he needs to win a burger cook-off. And it's up to Gene to not Gene it up.


  • Ambiguously Bi: Even discounting his blatant bias against Bob, Chuck Charles sounds a bit too into Skip for it to just be platonic (to the point that he compliments Skip's looks more than his burger), and after the contest rambles on about his male masseuse.
  • Analogy Backfire: Linda compares Bob to Rocky due to him being the underdog, only for Bob to remind her that Rocky actually lost in the first movie.
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  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Gene's inability to keep focus is a plot point.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite the fact that the two often have trouble bonding, Bob and Gene each give reminders that they genuinely love and respect each other. Gene in particular reveals that Bob's always been a hero to him.
  • Bad Liar: Linda tries to laugh off the idea that she hides her money in the bra drawer.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bob loses the contest even after Gene's best efforts. However, Jimmy got completely humiliated, Bob's burger received a ton of praise, and the restaurant receives a lot of business from people wanting to try the black garlic burger (including the winner, Skip Marooch).
  • Call-Back:
    • The judges take one bite out of Jimmy Pesto's burger, and immediately spit it out. Seems Jimmy really hasn't improved his burger recipe since "Burger Wars", when he took one bite and cried that it was crap.
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    • "Beefsquatch" is referenced a few times, so that newcomers to the series know why Chuck Charles hates the Belchers so much. Interestingly, the events of "Family Fracas" aren't referenced even once.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Manny warms up to Mickey after the latter outran the former.
  • Delicious Distraction: The final leg of the episode has Gene suffer through a barrage of them while trying to get the black garlic to Bob.
    Vendor: Free cupcake flavored ice-cream, served on a waffle!
  • Didn't Think This Through: Ron throws one of his library books at Manny, only to realize that it was overdue.
  • Dirty Old Man: The third judge, who describes the burgers as having great "mouth feel". He makes everyone quite uncomfortable.
  • Follow That Car: When the Belcher kids run off on Mickey's pedi-cab with the stolen black garlic, Ray gets on Manny's pedi-cab and tells him to chase Mickey.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Bob reminds Linda that Rocky lost his fight with Apollo Creed in the first movie, which ends up being the result of this contest.
    • Soon after Jimmy Pesto reveals his burger idea, Bob remarks that it sounds awful and that the contest will primarily be him against Skip. Sure enough, Jimmy Pesto gets last place in a landslide, and because he was judged first the ensuing tension is solely between Bob and Skip.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": When Jimmy apologizes to Trev for being "so hard on [him]", Trev responds with "Haha you said 'hard'." Jimmy then hi-fives him.
  • Hope Spot: Louise and Tina convince the Fig Jam clerk to sell them the black garlic for twice the price. Then Gene appears and says he lost their money.
  • I Told You So: Noted below under Never My Fault, Linda tells Bob he's using Gene as a scapegoat. When Bob realizes Gene has the garlic and is coming through and now Bob doesn't have an excuse for losing...
    Bob: I'm terrified.
    Linda: So I was riiii...
    Bob: Linda, you were right.
    Linda: Yes! Right! Me! *laughs* ... Aw, you don't have to say that.
  • Jerkass: Chuck is, as usual, not happy to have Bob within five feet of him. He spends the entire cookoff blatantly insulting him, and he's blatantly biased against Bob to the point there's probably a reason he's not judging the competition. Even worse is that he'd already gotten his revenge on Bob back in "Family Fracas", so now he's being a dick just because he can.
  • Karma Houdini: Chuck doesn't even get a slap on the wrist for constantly insulting Bob throughout the cookoff, even after it stops being just underhanded jabs and crosses the line to actual harassment.
  • Literal Metaphor: Manny compliments Mickey by saying he has the heart of a lion. Mickey replies that his uncle has the heart of a lion. He got it in Thailand.
  • Literal-Minded: Bob tells Gene to put Tina on the phone, and Gene replies that she's too heavy for that and it’ll be easier to "put the phone on Tina", which he then proceeds to do by placing the receiver on top of her head.
  • The Load: Arguably deconstructed. The entire family recognizes that Gene is most likely going to screw up any major task he's been given, to the point that trusting him with such tasks is a last resort. When Gene realizes this, it wears hard on his self-esteem, causing him to truly believe he deserves this status. It takes Bob directly telling him he's still a valuable person to raise his spirits.
  • Look, a Distraction!: Gene steals the black garlic from Louise and Tina by telling them there's a cloud that looks like "A dinosaur on a thing". However, the cloud might have been real after all, because Ron says he can see it.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Linda got "Get on Up" cancelled all the way back in Season 2, yet Chuck's grievances with the Belchers are almost solely on Bob, whose only crime against Chuck was doing exactly what Chuck wanted him to do (escalate his feud with Gene). Bob, being Bob, quickly lampshades it, though unfortunately for him Chuck doesn't care.
    Bob: I didn't get you fired, Linda did.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Gene reacts this way when he realizes how much his inability to focus has been a hindrance to his family.
    • Bob in turn has this moment when he realizes he's placed the responsibility of the black garlic on Gene instead of Louise or Tina solely so he can scapegoat Gene if he loses. He doesn't outright say as much, but the look on his face is telling.
  • Never My Fault: Linda accurately notes that Bob kind of hoped Gene would screw up, so he would have an excuse for losing the contest. He feels like a real ass when he realizes it.
  • Nice Guy: Skip Marooch, the very personable competing chef. He even drops by to try the Black Garlic Burger after the contest ends.
  • No, You: The incident that got the Belcher kids banned from Fig Jam quickly devolves into Louise and Ray each yelling that the other is banned (with Gene and Tina joining in later).
    Louise: We ban you. Get out of the store!
    Ray: I will not get out of my store!
    Louise: Get out, you are banned!
    Ray: You're banned!
    Louise: You're banned!
    Ray: You're banned!
  • Orgasmically Delicious: The second judge punctuates her praises of the burgers with elated moaning.
  • Parents as People: Bob would never in a million years consciously use Gene as a scapegoat for losing, but he unintentionally does so anyways by assigning Gene the most difficult tasks. When Linda calls him on it, he clearly feels like crap.
  • Person as Verb: Gene is rather dismayed to learn "Gene-ing out" is a saying in the family that refers to screwing up by losing focus.
    Gene: Oh my God. I'm a verb! I'm a bad verb!
    Tina: You're a berb.
    Gene: I'm a berb!
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: Bob gives a particularly sweet one to Gene, which helps raise his spirits after an entire episode of poor self-esteem.
    Bob: Listen, Gene, you may get distracted from time to time, but I love you and I love who you are.
  • Put on a Bus: This was Mickey's last appearance until Season 11's "Copa-Bob-bana", and as of the Season 11 finale it's also Chuck Charles's last appearance overall (not counting a brief cameo in the credits of "Glued, Where's My Bob").
  • Racing the Train: Parodied with Mickey and Manny's pedi-cab chase, Mickey gets really close to colliding with a trackless train ride that was crossing the wharf.
  • Real Time: The episode takes place almost entirely within the 20 minutes of the contest.
  • Red Baron: Chuck Charles introduces Jimmy Pesto as the Prince of Pizza, and notes that he's trying to become the so-called Chancellor of Cheeseburgers.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: After being told to go elsewhere with what little money she has, Louise asks if Ray imported the chocolate from his butt. Tina tries a similar joke with sea salt caramel crisps, but it falls flat when she reads the label and finds that they're actually imported from Belgium.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: While Bob doesn't win the burger-off, the praise the judges gave his recipe brings a number of people, including the contest winner, to the restaurant to try out the Black Garlic burger.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Skip Marooch seems a bit too nice, and it seems like things are setting up for him to be a sore winner/loser. As it turns out, however, Skip is just as nice as he appears to be (if a bit eccentric), and even brings along his followers to try the black garlic burger at Bob's restaurant, bringing Bob more business than he's ever seen in his life.
  • Shout-Out: To Rocky, with Bob being the underdog against a world-class chef. Linda even gets him to shout "ADRIAN!!!"
  • Slow "NO!": Gene's reaction to passing by a "Hot Fudge Car Wash" attraction.
  • So Proud of You: When the Belcher kids hijack Ron's pedi-cab ride, Mickey at first tries to get them to leave so he can do his job. When Gene says they stole something, Mickey is immediately on board to help them out.
  • Spiritual Sequel: To "Family Fracas", both of which focus on a competition between Bob and Jimmy that is hosted by Chuck Charles, who spends the entire time hurling petty insults at Bob. Bob loses both times, but he gets a much better break here.
  • That Came Out Wrong: While trying to comfort his son, Bob tells him that he made a mistake trusting him to not space out. While Bob clearly means he made a mistake using his son as a scapegoat, it sounds like the exact opposite, which he quickly lampshades and apologizes for.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Tina hesitates when Bob tells them to go to Fig Jam and asks if there's anywhere else they could go for the black garlic. Then it's revealed that the kids got banned from there last week for trying to buy a gourmet chocolate bar costing 13 dollars with small change and insulting the owner back when he indirectly tells them they're poor and they should go shop somewhere else.
  • Token Minority: Among everyone involved in the titular competition (the chefs, the assistants, the judges, and Chuck), only two people (Skip Marooch and the female judge) are non-white, with Skip explicitly hailing from Pakistan.
  • Who's Watching the Store?: As Ray chases the kids into the Food Fest, they remind him that no one is actually watching Fig Jam. We then cut to the store where there is a single customer looking for someone to pay and just leaves money on the counter.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Gene apologizes to Bob for being The Load at the end. Bob simply tells Gene that while his attention span leaves much to be desired, Bob still loves him and loves who he is.