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Western Animation / Bob and Margaret

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Bob and Margaret is a British/Canadian cartoon by Nelvana, Channel 4, and Global Television Network, based on the short Bob's Birthday. It focuses on Bob and Margaret Fish, a middle-aged couple living in Balham in South London (later in Toronto). In the U.S., it aired on Comedy Central.

Oddly, no one really seems to remember this show, even in England, its home country.

Provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Beany and Boney, the burglars.
  • All Just a Dream: The plane hijacking in "Holiday".
  • Black Comedy Rape: Dr. Stanway in "A Tale of Two Dentists", who set up a bogus dental practice for the purpose of molesting patients.
  • Canada, Eh?: The third and fourth seasons.
  • Culture Clash: Happens in the season three episode "Driving Bob", when Bob tries to get a driver's license in Canada.
  • Depraved Dentist: Averted with Bob. Played straight with Dr. Stanway.
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  • Ditzy Secretary: Penny isn't actively ditzy so much as she's extremely apathetic, but she's equally useless in her job. Although Bob often fantasizes about her, she isn't terribly attractive, either - he just happens to be in the middle of his Hollywood Mid-Life Crisis and he'd probably imagine being with any woman other than Margaret.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Margaret gets her teeth cleaned at Dr. Stanway's in "A Tale of Two Dentists" because Bob can't fit her in for an appointment at his own practice. When Bob confronts her about it when she gets home, the conversation definitely is similar to one spouse having an affair. The scene even ends with Margaret accusing Bob of driving her to Stanway's and running upstairs crying.
  • Fat and Skinny: Boney and Beany, the burglars in the British seasons, as well as Trevor and Joyce, Bob and Margaret's neighbors in the Canadian seasons.
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  • Four-Fingered Hands: Becomes rather noticeable in the episode "Cuckoo in the Nest", as Margaret supervises her student, Nathan, diagnosing a patient's foot, he notes that there's some flakiness around the fourth and fifth toes, despite the patient only having four toes.
  • Fainting: Margaret does this in "A Tale of Two Dentists" and "A Night In".
  • Gallows Humor: At the end of "A Tale of Two Dentists", the radio broadcaster who reports on the depraved Dr. Stanway manages to work in a dentistry-related zinger, despite the seriousness of the story:
    Reporter: "The so-called Dr. Stanway had previously set up a bogus orthodontic surgery. A spokesman for the police said that he'll be cleaning plaque off the inside of a toilet for the next few years now. (chuckles) That's a good one, I like that. (chuckles) Oh gosh... let's have a look at the weather."
  • Here We Go Again!: "Bob's Burglary", which ends with the two burglars busting into Bob and Margaret's house again.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Beany and Boney, the burglars.
  • Line Boil: For the first season and most of the second.
  • Mandatory Motherhood: A recurring theme of the series; Bob and Margaret don't want kids but people think they should. They did consider having a baby in the season one episode, "A Night In", but after spending some time with some friends and their obnoxious baby, they ultimately decided to remain childless.
  • Mood Whiplash: The above-mentioned hijacking scene, though thankfully imaginary, is a surprisingly morbid and violent spurt of Black Comedy from a show whose humor is otherwise fairly grounded and focused on the mundane.
  • Precision F-Strike: In "Friends For Dinner", Bob and Margaret play a board game with Neil and Moira. The object of the game is to guess whether the player would do the moral or immoral thing in an ethical dilemma. On Margaret's turn, her dilemma is that she borrowed some can openers from a neighbor and forgot to return them. Margaret, already cranky from not eating dinner (despite assuming that the couple would feed them), and now being accused of hypothetically not returning the can openers by Neil, lets an F-bomb loose, despite not cursing normally. Neil, Moira, their fish and even Bob are just a bit unnerved by this:
    Margaret: "I would not keep the fucking can opener."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Margaret gives one to Neil and Moira in "Friends For Dinner".
    Margaret: "Oh, good, another Domestic Dilemma. This is for you, Neil. 'You and your lovely wife are guests for dinner at a friend's house. You are fed delicious, carefully prepared food and are invited back on a number of occasions. Eventually, you feel just a bit guilty, and then invite these friends back to your house. Do you give them a nice dinner, akin to what you have received, or do you give them a glass of wine and a little bowl of dry roasted peanuts?'"
    (Bob, Neil and Moira all chuckle nervously)
    Moira: "Wh-what—what do you mean? I-Is this a joke?"
    Margaret: "Let me save you the trouble! I'll tell you what you would do! You would give them the nuts and the wine and you would make them play this stupid game, because you are—and let's be honest, because otherwise, 'what's the point of the game?'—you are selfish, rude, and incredibly dull people who I cannot stomach being with for another second!"
    (Neil and Moira gasp in shock as Margaret storms out, leaving Bob behind. After a few moments, Margaret storms back in)
    Margaret: "We're having another big dinner party of the 12th! Why don't you two go bowling?!" (she storms out again, slamming the door)
  • Rousing Speech: Averted in "The Dental Convention". Bob is asked by a fellow dentist to give a speech at a dentist's convention; he has severe writer's block and decides to throw out his speech and just wing it on stage. Instead of spouting a lot of "positive" buzz words and phrases, he mostly gripes and make wisecracks about the modern dentist industry. Surprisingly, it ends up winning over the crowd, which was sick of the kinds of speeches that all the other dentists gave.
  • Running Gag: The Canadians keep wanting to take showers in "The Discomfort of Strangers".
  • Suburbia: Bob's cousin Melvin and his wife Cookie live in Mississauga, just west of Toronto.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Happens to Baby Morris in "A Night In" and Little Tiffany in "The Wedding".

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