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Recap / Bob's Burgers S8E10 "The Secret Ceramics Room Of Secrets"

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Determined to not put in the effort for a gift for Grandma Gloria's birthday, the kids try finding a fabled ceramics room supposedly walled off in the 80's due to a kiln fire. Meanwhile Teddy makes himself uncomfortably at home at the restaurant while fixing cell phone screens.


Tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Mr. Ambrose claims that the beverage he's drinking on the job isn't coffee.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Gene calls seventh-grade Mr. Frond "sexy-tary".
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  • Appeal to Flattery: Louise gets Mr. Frond off the kids' trail by claiming people need his job more than ever.
  • Awful Truth: Mr. Frond believes if kids knew what he did, they wouldn't think he was perfect and would lose respect for him. This is ignoring the fact that literally nobody respects him and, as Tina proved, such an action would convince kids to not make mistakes like he did.
  • Blatant Lies: Bob is speaking in a noticeably stilted manner when he claims it'd be horrible if Gloria died soon.
  • Crappy Homemade Gift: The episode begins with Linda admonishing Tina, Gene, and Louise for their "half-assed" homemade birthday gifts for their grandmother (such as a necklace made of one noodle on a string). Rather than put in the effort of making better gifts this year, the kids try to break into the titular abandoned ceramics room and pass off other kids' old pottery as their own. They succeed in getting in, but ultimately realize that a genuinely homemade gift, even if it turns out crappy, is better than lying to their family.
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  • Chekhov's Gun: When the kids ask adults about the ceramics room, Mr. Frond mentions having been seventh-grade class secretary at the time of the supposed kiln fire. This forms a major part of why Frond wants to keep it secret.
  • Dark Secret: Back when he was running for seventh grade class secretary, Mr. Frond stole some ballots and hid them inside one of the vases in the ceramics room. He felt guilty and was going to confess, but then the ceramics room burned down and was closed up, so he kept it hidden for all these years.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The episode title invokes this trope.
  • Embarrassing Cover Up: Tina and Gene are assigned by Louise to throw away the dust produced by breaking into the ceramics room. Their idea of trying to do it quietly and without raising suspicion is to say things like the following:
    Tina: Man, all this dandruff is so embarrassing.
    Gene: What's all this cocaine doing at school? Throw it away.
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  • Given Name Reveal: Gene refers to Teddy as Theodore. Assuming Gene is correct, this is the first time Teddy's actual name has been stated.
  • Entitled Bastard: Gloria apparently thinks Tina, Gene and Louise need to make her better birthday gifts, despite the fact that we've never seen her giving them anything for any occasion. As awful as the kids' gifts are, at least they do something for her.
  • Heel Realization: Louise has one after seeing how desperately Frond's working to keep his Dark Secret hidden and what kind of person it turned him into. She ultimately decides she'd rather work on a gift for her grandparents instead of pretending she did and then spend years lying about it to the people she loves.
  • Henpecked Husband: It's suggested that Bob is only telling the kids to give Gloria better gifts because Linda is right there.
  • Ignored Epiphany: When it's pointed out Mr. Frond would be better able to relate to kids if they knew he cheated during the class secretary election because the kids would feel he was Not So Different from them and feel comfortable to truly open up about their problems, Frond instead decides to keep his secret hidden and further wrecks his ability to be a competent guidance counselor. He even ignores the advice as it's proven true right in front of him with Louise.
  • Laborious Laziness: Tina points out to Louise that they're working harder at finding the secret ceramics room and then breaking into it than they would actually making their own gifts.
  • Never My Fault: At the end of the B-plot, Teddy has the gall to say Bob is the obnoxious one.
  • Only Sane Man: Tina repeatedly tries to reason with Louise and Gene that it makes more sense to make their gifts instead of wasting time they could be spending on that to search for gifts that were already made and passing them off as their own.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Mr. Frond refuses to confess to his Dark Secret because he assumes that the kids listen to him because they think he's perfect. He is very wrong.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Teddy makes himself a little too at home while he fixes broken cell phones.
  • Vote Early, Vote Often: Turns out that when Mr. Frond was running for seventh grade class secretary, he stole some of the ballots for his rival and hid them in the ceramics room. He then felt horrible about it and was going to confess—except the vote for class secretary was the same week as the kiln fire, so he decided to keep quiet about it.

 
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Frond's Dark Secret

Frond reveals when he run for class secretary as a kid he stole some ballots for his opponent and hid it in a vase. He was going to confess but the ceramics room was sealed up.

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