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Recap / Bobs Burgers S 9 E 18 If You Love It So Much Why Dont You Marionette

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"String it on, motherpuppeteer."

"Pinoquio-no you don't!"
—Esther
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Louise clashes with the cranky old owner of a dismal marionette theater. While Bob fills in for a floundering flyer hander-outer.


  • A Day in the Limelight: Ron gets a rare appearance separate from Hugo.
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: Louise argues that if Esther didn’t want her looking in the puppet closet, there should be a sign to keep people out. Esther closes the door to reveal at “DO NOT ENTER” sign on the outside.
  • Crashing Dreams: Louise's playtime is interrupted by Tina's head sticking out of the river next to Kuchi Kopi. It then cuts back to reality where Tina is calling Louise to breakfast.
  • Field Trip: The main plot is the kids going to a marionette theater, where Louise locks horns with the cranky owner.
  • Foreshadowing: The episode opens on Louise playing with her toys, showing her active imagination before she unleashes it on the marionette theater.
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  • Growing Up Sucks: Louise wrestles a bit with this when she realizes Esther (the puppet theater owner/manager) used to put on incredibly creative shows and make more intricate puppets like the dragon Louise finds in storage. She wonders if growing up means losing your creativity and sense of enjoyment for things, and when she confronts Esther in a puppet battle Esther admits that she let herself grow old and cynical. This is defied in the end when Esther and Louise come to the conclusion it does happen, but it doesn't need to be like that.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Everyone except Mr. Frond is bored to death by the marionette theater.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Louise is intrigued when she finds Esther's old dragon puppet Vladicus.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After Jimmy Pesto makes fun of Bob for handing out fliers, Bob convinces the boss in charge of the fliers to have the guy hand them out in front of Pesto's instead.
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  • Malicious Misnaming: Esther keeps calling Louise “Losey.”
  • Museum of Boredom: A visit to a marionette theater could be fun, if only the players weren't doing an insipid play on stamps using generic puppets. Having the kids then make their own marionettes and do their own play also had potential, but it's wasted when they are given only eye stickers to put on the marionettes and a generic "fill-in-the-blanks" script to act out.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: One genre mentioned to be featured at the rave is Polynesian Speed Gospel.
  • Nose Nuggets: While instructing Bob on how to hand out fliers, Linda mentions that she likes to sit in bed and flick her boogers at the radiator.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Louise lays into Esther for never changing the format of her field trip shows, yelling that no one on the field trip wants to be there because the puppet theater is a soul-sucking crapshow.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Louise chews out Esther, she asks, “What kind of place does the same show for 30 years?!”
    Tina: Maybe The Phantom of the Opera? Sorry.
    Jimmy Jr.: Also Les Mis ran forever.
    Zeke: Don’t forget Cats!
  • Shout-Out:
    • The rave is called Supercalia-Rave-a-Glowstick.
    • Bob's Burger of the Day is the Ruth Tomater Ginsburger.
    • Jimmy Pesto says Bob looks like a crossing guard from Narnia in his rave get-up.
    • When Tina points out Louise technically stole supplies from the theater as the kids are taking the bus home, Louise suggests they all face forward and sit in silence.
      Gene: Like The Graduate!
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