Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Bob's Burgers

Go To
"Come meet our family, and let us meat you!"Note 

Bob's Burgers is an American animated sitcom created by Loren Bouchard for the Fox Broadcasting Company, starring H. Jon Benjamin. The show is about a man, his family and their floundering burger joint. Despite the greasy counters, lousy location and occasionally spotty service, Bob and his lovable and quirky family are convinced their burgers are their ticket to success.

Loren Bouchard stated that Bob's Burgers came out of the fact that Fox's animation brand centers mostly on family, but that he also wanted to dabble in workplace comedy.

Bob's Burgers gains most of its humor through quirky, yet realistic characters and situations, contrasting it from most modern episodes of The Simpsons and Family Guy, which have grown to become disliked by a fair amount of animation consumers, many on this website, for being overly reliant on vulgarity for their humor and for the characters in their family units behaving too mean-spiritedly towards one another to be believable as families. Some examples include: the kids exploring an abandoned taffy factory, the restaurant nearly getting shut down over accusations that the burgers are made of human flesh, Bob dueling with a capoeira fighter for his daughter's attention, Bob and the kids "rescuing" a crazy man's mannequin wife from a sex toy store, and Bob going undercover at a convention for men who like a pony cartoon that's marketed to girls to get Tina's doll back.


For these reasons, it falls very close to King of the Hill on the adult animation spectrum. Indeed, some have considered it a worthy (if crazier) successor.

Bob's Burgers is rerunning on Cartoon Network's [adult swim] and local broadcast stations on a regular basis.

Tie-in media includes:

  • Dynamite Comics
    • Bob's Burgers (2014) A 5 issue comic book series.
    • Bob's Burgers (2015-2016) A 16 issue comic book series.
  • The Bob's Burgers Music Album (2017), a 2-CD/3-LP set of the series' original songs released by Sub Pop.
  • Monopoly: Bob's Burgers (2017)
  • Clue: Bob's Burgers (2018)
  • Bob's Burgers: Belcher Family Food Fight (2019)
  • Bob's Burgers: The Movie (TBD) A musical comedy feature film.

Vote for the best episode here!



    open/close all folders 

  • 555: The number of Bob's cab.
  • Abandoned Warehouse: "The Belchies" takes place in an abandoned candy factory that's set up for demolition. The children venture inside to find a supposed lost treasure from the previous owner, a la The Goonies.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The aforementioned factory in "The Belchies" has a sewer that's so massive the Belchers spend an entire night just trying to get out of it. Somewhat Justified since they were used to smuggle alcohol in during Prohibition.
    Gene: I just cannot stop banging things down here! The acoustics are GREAT!
  • Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl LA Ble:
    • Lampshaded in "Synchronized Swimming":
      Mr. Frond: You'll need an AH-dult to supervise you...
      Louise: We know an AH-dult...
      Gene: We definitely know an uh-dult.
    • Lampshaded in "The Equestranauts" when Bob finally asks Bronconius why he keeps stressing the second syllable in "tattoo".
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: When Bob buys a $300 kitchen knife, his obsession with his new knife and his casual dismissal of other people's tools results in hard feelings between Bob and both Linda and Teddy. It ends with Teddy using his prize hammer to destroy the knife... and Bob wanting to get the same brand of hammer.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In "Food Truckin", Tina mistakes Randy for Werner Herzog. Randy's voice actor, Paul F. Tompkins, is known for his Herzog impression.
    • In "Moody Foodie" Bob is startled when Mr. Fischoeder likens him to a tumor with hair and teeth. H. Jon Benjamin was the voice of just such a tumor on Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil.
    • The entire episode of Bob getting shanghaied by a cruise ship captain becomes even funnier if you think of it as Len Trexler getting back at Archer for all the crap he's pulled.
    • An episode with Jon Hamm as a guest voice is acknowledged when Bob walks into the kitchen in a suit. Cue Louise: "Woah, Don Draper's looking fat this season!"
    • In "Easy Com-mercial, Easy Go-mmercial" Jordan Peele plays a semi-brain-damaged football player not unlike the meat-headed athletes he played in sketches seen on MA Dtv and Key & Peele.
    • As of "Eat, Spray, Linda" we learn that Linda has giant hands, like H. Jon Benjamin's other animated love interest, Lana.
    • In "The Millie-churian Candidate", Louise (played by Kristen Schaal) discovers that a girl (nicknamed Abby) is actually named Mabel, the same name as Schaal's character on Gravity Falls.
    • In "Ain't Miss Debatin'," when asked by Louise who can do a Russian accent, everyone in the room raises their hand except for Gene who's voiced by a Russia-born Eugene Mirman.
    • "The Hurt Soccer" is basically an excuse to make Bob's voice actor a soccer coach again. One of the background players resembles Brendon, and Louise's teammate Mara is a dead-ringer for Melissa (and is even voiced by the same actor).
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • Linda after Bob calls her "The Secretary of Nagriculture" in the pilot.
    • Despite warning Linda not to start singing all week again, when she belts out a musical Big "NO!", spins around, and falls on the bed, Bob lets out a chuckle.
    • While Linda is reading from Tina's diary, she finds a random entry saying that "If guys had uteruses, they'd be called duderuses." Bob snorts.
    • In "The Frond Files", Bob and Linda actually enjoy their children's stories that Mr. Frond found objectionable.
  • Affably Evil:
    • The robber from "Hamburger Dinner Theatre", who robs the restaurant and then sings a duet with Linda before leaving. Then he comes over the next day and is almost requested to do the same thing again for a second time by Linda before he runs away from the cops.
    • Mickey, the bank robber from "Bob Day Afternoon." The entire time he holds the bank hostage, he's relaxed, friendly, and happily helps Louise with her essay. Overall he's just helpless without his usual robbing partner, which Bob realizes.
  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: The bikers in the episode "Ear-sy Rider", The One Eyed Snakes. They're not necessarily bad guys, but they're depicted as violent, hard-drinking thugs that have no problem with taking care of people who insult them "the hard way."
  • All Gays Love Theater: Discussed by Chet in "Bob Rest Ye Gentle-Mannequins."
    Chet: (to Bob) That's very theatrical, are you gay?
    Louise: We wish.
  • Alliterative Name: Derick Dematopolis (the Dermatologist), Gayle's old high school crush.
  • Alliterative Title Bob's Burgers.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Supervising Director Bernard Derriman has created a diagram to quell the notion that Bob doesn't have ears with their exact location under his hair.
    • The recipe Bob uses in "Turkey in a Can" is hilariously described on the show's official Tumblr blog, supposedly from Bob himself.
  • Almost Kiss: Bob and Linda in "Lindapendant Woman", thanks to Louise. Also a Moment Killer.
  • Alternate Timeline Ancestry: In "Sliding Bobs", Tina imagines what things would be like if Linda had married Hugo the health inspector instead of Bob. The children, along with having Hugo's blond hair, have personalities that are the opposite of the Belcher children: boy-obssessed Tina becomes Mona, who has no interest in boys at all; Large Ham Gene becomes shy, soft-spoken Dean; and Enfant Terrible Louise becomes Charlize, an Adorably Precocious Child in a pink princess dress.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Linda mentions she has a Spanish version of Fifty Shades of Grey named "Cincuenta Sombras de Grey". That is, indeed, the real name of the novel in Spanish, since "Grey" refers to the character rather than the color gray(which would be "gris" in Spanish).
  • Ambiguously Brown:
    • Bob and his family. In-Universe too, since in the "Torpedo" episode he's asked if he's an immigrant, though, judging by their appearance, they could be Greek or of Mediterranean descent.note 
    • "Darryl, you're something, right? Black?"
  • Ambiguously Bi: Not a strong example but whenever a man shows interest in Bob, Bob's reactions range from flattered to mild interest. He's open-minded at least.
    "I'm straight. Mostly."
  • Ambiguous Syntax:
    Chet: As summer turned to fall casuals, our relationship became anything but.
    Tina: Casual?
    Chet: Yes, casual.
    • Another from an exchange in "I Get a Psy-Chic Out of You".
    Louise: It involves horses and money and us getting some.
    Tina: (smiles) Some horses?
    Louise: Some MONEY!
    Tina: Oh...
  • Analogy Backfire: Bob's family is not quite sure the circumstances that would account for hitting candy from a baby's hand....with a bat.
  • And This Is for...: When Louise is shooting Linda in the laser tag arena.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: Two in "Sacred Cow", the film documentary group that glued a wig to a castrated steer and the discount petting zoo that stole the cow from the restaurant and looks like it abuses its animals.
  • Animation Bump:
  • Artistic License – Child Labor Laws: Bob's underaged kids are all working at his burger restaurant because Bob doesn't have the money to hire or pay for any employees, due to it barely making enough money to stay afloat, and he doesn't pay his kids for any of the work they do at the restaurant since it's all treated like one of their chores. This is lampshaded by Hugo in the pilot episode and somewhat Justified as minors under the age of 16 actually can work for their parents' business, provided the work they're doing isn't hazardous to children.
  • Artistic License – Geography: In "It Snakes a Village", a Travel Montage of the Belchers' road trip to Florida shows the family car traveling on a map of the East Coast, with each state outlined and colored. On the map, Long Island is drawn as part of New Jersey rather than New York State.
  • Artistic License – Law: On the episode, "Bob Fires the Kids," Mickey (the bank robber from "Bob Day Afternoon" played by Bill Hader) is released from prison on a technicality (the prosecutor was on meth during the trial), and believes he can rob the same bank as last time and not get arrested due to double jeopardy. Bob tells him that double jeopardy doesn't work that way.
  • Art Shift: "Brunchsquatch" goes above and beyond by using fan submitted ideas from the Bob's Burgers Fan Art AKA Fart Contest (over 60 animators) by constantly shifting the art style every time a setting transition occurs (sometimes within the same setting). At one point, it even goes Animesque.
  • Art Evolution: The first season was animated in Adobe Flash (hence the floatier animation). Starting with season 2, it's animated using the more-reliable ToonBoom.
  • Asinine Alternate Activity: In "Mother Daughter Laser Razor" Linda takes Louise to a bonding seminar, but Louise would rather play Laser Tag next door.
  • Awkward First Sleepover: Louise is forced into having her first sleepover by her doting mother Linda, who proceeds to invite only girls Louise can't stand.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Happens pretty much anytime that Tina is assigned as a babysitter for Gene and Louise. Also happens to the professional babysitter hired in "Purple Rain-Union", suggesting that this is probably just an inevitable result for anyone taking care of the Belcher children.
  • Baseball Episode:
    • "Torpedo" (Season 1): Bob meets his childhood hero, the baseball player Torpedo, and pushes Gene to participate on mascot races
    • "The Unnatural" (Season 3): Gene turns out to be really bad at baseball, and Linda and Bob fight over whether he should quit or go to a training camp.
  • Batman Gambit: The plan of The Chessmaster, Henry Haber, in "The Millie-churian Candidate" is an extremely convoluted plan that's very dependent not only on playing on several people's character flaws, but that several of the involved people would fail at certain tasks - most prominently, that Louise would get caught doing something illicit and thus get disqualified from the race. Parts of the plan bordered on Gambit Roulette.
  • Beach Bury: In The Belchies, Ollie has apparently been buried to Buried Alive standards by Andy, who forgot where he was under the sand. He was fine.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Does a man in a bear suit count?
  • Berserk Button:
    • Thinking of insulting Bob's kids, perhaps by calling them freaky? Probably not a good idea. Also, try to avoid talking about Lobsterfest.
    • Don't even think about taking Louise's bunny ears. Also, if you mess up Critter the biker's vest, there will be hell to pay.
    • During the Halloween party, Linda says to not even think of buying Bob a V-Neck shirt.
    • Make sure not to mention "Bad Hair Day" to Linda.
  • Big Damn Movie: A feature film of the series is currently slated for April 9th, 2021. Loren Bouchard has stated the series will take the Belcher family on a "big, epic adventure"
  • Big "NO!":
    • In Linda's butt dream.
    • When Louise believes her bunny ears were incinerated in "Ear-sy Rider."
    • During Tina's Imagine Spot of her in Hell in "Tina-rannosaurus Wrecks":
      Tina: What's for lunch today?
      Demon: Your lies!
      Tina: NOOO! That's what I had yesterday!
    • Bob in "Turkey in a Can" when he sees his Thanksgiving turkey in the toilet. Twice.
    • Bob does this a lot. Some memorable examples are in "Sacred Cow", and "It Snakes a Village".
  • Big "OMG!": Bob's reaction to seeing paintings of anuses hanging on his restaurant's walls.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Bob yells this at a new customer in "Synchronized Swimming".
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • When Bob calmly tells Linda that he and Tina were in a "little accident" in "Tina-Rannosaurus Wrecks".
    • Linda's initial reaction upon learning that the kids told Mr. Frond that she would be choreographing a synchronized swimming routine for their fake "independent study".
      Linda: Independent WHAAAAAA...?!
  • Birthday Episode:
    • "Sheesh! Cab, Bob?" (Season 1): To get money to Tina's birthday, Bob takes a night job as a cab driver and befriends a group of transvestites.
    • "Mazel-Tina" (Season 4): Tammy's birthday and Bar Mitzvah is coming and Tina tries to participate by making Bob a caterer in the party.
    • "Eat, Spray, Linda" (Season 5): Linda, who hates her birthday, has to face a series of misadventures when going to buy groceries while the Belchers looks for her around the town
    • "House of 1000 Bounces" (Season 6): Rudy's birthday has the celebration endangered when the bounce house for the party is taken elsewhere.
    • "The Laser-inth" (Season 7): For Bob's birthday, he is going with Gene to watch a laser show, but the boy is scared of the loud noises of it.
    • "Are You There Bob? It's Me, Birthday" (Season 8): Linda forgets Bob's birthday, and sends him out on a day watching Hugo the health inspector at work while she tries to throw a belated surprise party.
  • Black Widow: "Housetrap" has Linda and Louise suspecting that the wealthy owner of a beach house was murdered by his second wife. Though their suspicions are never proven, it turns out they're right.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: In "The Unbearable Like-Likness of Gene" when Gene tells his girlfriend Courtney that he was just being her boyfriend so he could have access to her dad's music studio.
    Courtney: You were using me?
    Gene: I prefer the term "networking."
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Bob becomes obsessed with a video game expy of Burgertime. The sprites are Burgertime-ish but the game itself is a platformer that has massive difficulty reminiscent of early Konami games.
    • Apparently the ubiquitous search engine in this show is neither Google nor Yahoo!, but Yahoogle.
    • Two games that the Belchers own are called Torpedo and Surgery Sam, referring to the games Battleship and Operation respectively.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Bob does a Tina-moan during his nightmare in "Friends with Burger-fits".
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    • Gene remarking on Tina's "End of the world mating list".
      Gene: Gay... gay... mythical creature... gay mythical creature...
    • From "Tina-rannosaurus Wrecks":
      Tina: I'm going to jail, or hell, or Hell Jail.
    • From "Sexy Dance Fighting":
      Gene: At first, we thought it was a breakdancing class, and then we thought it was a special needs class.
      Louise: Now we think it might be a special needs breakdancing class.
    • As of this point in the series it's practically become the family's Catchphrase.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In "The Belchies", Teddy invites Bob to watch a game and have a make your own three bean salad meal and Bob had to bring his own beans. Later a construction worker says he went to a make your own three bean salad meal and he didn't bring any beans.
    • In "Lindapendant Woman", Louise ties balloons to shrimp and sends them floating into the heavens. Towards the end of the episode, right as Linda and Bob are about to kiss and make up, a shrimp on a balloon lands between their lips. Dozens of other balloon shrimp soon follow.
      Louise: Yes! It's happening!
      Linda: Wha-? Louise, What'd you do?
      Louise: I MADE IT RAIN SHRIMP! What did you ever do?
    • In "Human Flesh" after the "May contain human flesh" notice is put up an old lady says she might still try it. At the end of the episode she shows up again along with her adventurous eaters group.
    • At the beginning of "Broadcast Wagstaff School News" Tina practices her news-anchor routine on Bob, where she catches him out on not knowing how to cook paella. This goes unmentioned again until the very last line of the episode where Bob suddenly remembers he does know how to cook it.
    • After "The Equestranauts," any episode where Bob's back is seen will show what little tattoo he received from Bronconius.
    • In "Silence of the Louise," Linda hangs one of Teddy’s motivational posters in the kitchen over Bob’s instructions for saving a choking customer, causing Bob to complain about it being a hazard. In the background of the episode’s credits, Teddy chokes on his burger and Bob rushes into the kitchen to rip down the motivational poster to read the Heimlich instructions.
  • Broken Aesop: In "Are You There Bob? It's Me, Birthday" as Bob is out being distracted by Hugo he makes the remark that all Hugo does is harass people. This being the catalyst for a stomach turning afternoon for Bob. As they go off to inspect a restaurant so Hugo can prove the importance of his job. However the thing is Bob is right all Hugo’s done to him is needlessly harass, poke and shut down his restaurant over the years out of jealousy. It’s meant to give new perspective of Hugo’s job for Bob, expanding his scope about health inspectors. Which when separated it does, but while not invalidated the point is diluted by the fact that it ignores that Bob has 100% been harassed by Hugo in the past. In fact this makes Hugo look even worse, because of how unprofessional he’s been with Bob.
  • Broken Pedestal: Poor Bob. His idol is a cheater complete with a Secret Other Family...actually, three of them.
  • Broken Record:
    • During Rudy's big script moment in the Park Ranger's station, Harley fights with Sasha over the stress ball. "Noooo Noooo! Noooo. Noooo."
    • Again during the kid's two-butted-goat-on-a-farm hunt — Tammy doesn’t like where Jimmy Jr’s going with some valuable information. "Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait."
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A very rare literal example. In "Sacred Cow," Bob has a dream with a courtroom sequence. In it, Louise acts as his attorney, complete with three-piece-suit...And her ever-present bunny ears. Later in "A Few 'Gurt Men," Louise is a bunny-ears lawyer for real when she acts as Mr. Frond's defense attorney and of course, is still wearing her ears.
  • Bumbling Dad: Averted, which is wonderfully uncommon for an animated cartoon dad.
    • Bob commonly acts as the sensible one in the family, in contrast to the rest of the Belchers. (See: son Gene, daughter Louise.)
    • According to Loren Bouchard, the Burgers of the Day mean Bob's not just phoning his cooking in, but thinks of the restaurant as his own 'food laboratory'.
    • Not to mention "Bob and Deliver", which shows his skill not just as a Home Ec teacher, but as the boss of a packed, student-run restaurant.
  • The Bus Came Back: Characters that appeared once before get to appear in later seasons.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • The Fuzzy Buddies.
    • In one episode there's also a literal butt monkey.
    • Bob seems to be this for the whole town- in almost every episode Bob ends up being humiliated in some fashion.
    • Tina seems to be this for her siblings.
  • Bystander Syndrome: In "Burgerboss" after Bob chases Darryl's bullies outside, the Family Funtime security guard just stays where he is, glad that it's no longer his problem.
  • By the Hair: Linda snatches a clump of the hair of Debbie, the high school reunion organizer, after a day of non-subtle disappointment at being forced into booking the Ta Tas, when she tells them to chant for Bad Hair Day. See Berserk Button.
  • Cain and Abel: Linda and her sister Gayle. Gayle is the Cain, with a compulsion to steal any guy Linda likes just because Linda likes them. Linda is fine with this and uses it to set her up with Dr. Yap.
    • Mr. Fischoeder's brother Felix is the Cain to the former's Abel. He even attempted to murder him and Bob to get his way.
  • Call-Back:
    • Tina moans on the floor in "Sheesh! Cab, Bob?" like in "Sexy Dance Fighting".
    • Tina's zombie fantasy comes back at the end of episode 6 with angel wings and her unicorn poster comes to life in her Imagine Spot.
    • One of the flyers Bob's kids hand out in "Burger Wars" flies past in a scene in the next episode.
    • In the Pilot Episode, Linda calls Hugo while he's crying in a bathroom stall at the "Falafel Waffle" restaurant. Later, in "Nude Beach", Bob calls Hugo an 'awful man' for shutting him down after failing a health inspection. Hugo corrects Bob, saying "Uh, wr-r-rong Bob! I'm a 'lawful' man." Gene and Louise then tease him with "Falafel Man." and "Waffle Man." respectively. Tina belatedly yells "Omelets! Am I doing it right?"
    • Linda says she's going to Pickles, a strip club, in "Hamburger Dinner Theater" when she's actually going to a dinner theater. Bob and the kids enter Pickles in "My Fuzzy Valentine" on a mission to get the Love Test-o-meter for Linda.
  • Camp Gay: The Fuzzy Buddies (again).
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': The Belcher family never hesitates to call out Bob when he's being meaner or even slightly more selfish than usual.
  • Cassandra Truth: In the first episode when Bob admits to Linda he forgot their anniversary, but she thinks he's actually planning a surprise party.
    Linda: I can see you smiling.
    Bob: I'm not smiling!
    Linda: You're smiling with your eyes.
  • Catchphrase: Bob's countless and sometimes hilariously unique utterances of "Oh My God" and/or "Oh God".
    • Also Linda's constant use of the elongated "Alriiiiiiight!"
  • Celebrity Lie: Courtney's dad claims to know Carly Simon but keeps making excuses for why she hasn't shown up yet.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless:
    • In "World Wharf II: The Wharfening", Bob is tied up with Mr. Fischoeder and tries to use his cell phone to call Linda, but can't put it to his ear and the call is drowned out by ambient noise. He next tries sending a photo, but can't get a good angle and sends only a picture of Mr. Fischoeder's butt. Finally, he tries texting, but auto-correct garbles it and it takes a while for the others to decipher it.
    • In "The Belchies", Linda tries to use her cell phone underground, which goes as well as you think it would.
  • Centipede's Dilemma: In “The Fresh Princ-ipal”, Teddy innocently inquires how Bob flips burgers so well, inadvertently psyching him out and making him unable to do it at all
  • Central Theme:
    • Family and sticking with each other through bad times.
    • Renegade Cut argues in a video about the show that Class is also one. The Belchers face multiple challenges typical of the lower economic class, and it shows that their friends are mostly of the same class while their enemies (Mr. Fischoeder, Jimmy, Tammy, etc) are often of a class above them.
  • Character Tic: Linda and Louise twitch their eyes when they're angry or going nuts.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Linda's prenatal yoga tape from "Synchronized Swimming."
    • The ice cream machine in "The Deepening."
    • Gene's "Super Bowel" in "Easy Commercial, Easy Gommercial."
  • The Chessmaster: In "The Millie-churian Candidate", Henry turns out to have manipulated events to ensure he could win the class election. It's even foreshadowed by his campaign slogan: "Chess I can"
  • Christmas Episode:
    • "God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins" (season 3): The family befriends a man who believes he is a mannequin brought to life, and when he helps them with the decorations and marketing for Christmas, they pay him back by reuniting him with his mannequin "wife".
    • "Christmas in the Car" (season 4): The family gets stuck in the car while shopping for a last-minute Christmas tree, and they get followed by a disgruntled truck driver; Teddy goes to check on Bob's Christmas dinner, only to fall for the kids' "Santa trap".
    • "Father of the Bob" (season 5): The family goes to spend Christmas at Bob's father's diner, causing some old friction between Bob and his dad to come to light; the kids raid their grandpa's basement for a last-minute gift for Bob.
    • "Nice-Capades" (season 6): Louise, Tina and Gene put on an ice-skating show to impress a Mall Santa with their so-called good deeds.
    • "The Last Gingerbread House on the Left" (season 7): Bob participates with his landlord in a sketchy and strange Gingerbread House-making competition with Fischoeder's fellow eccentric millionaires; Teddy goes caroling with Linda and the kids, where they try to solve the mystery of a creepy old house at the end of the street.
    • "The Bleakening" (season 8): A musical two-part episode that features Linda throwing a Christmas party to bring cheer to the town. When her mini tree and the family decorations on it goes missing, Linda becomes obessed with tracking it down, while the kids suspect a Krampus-like monster called the Bleaken.
    • "Better Off Sled" (season 9): The kids fight back when Logan and his friends take over the sledding hill in the park with their snowball fights; Bob and Linda work on homemade gifts for the kids.
    • "Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas" (season 10): Linda gets a part-time seasonal job working for the post office, but defies post office protocol in order to make sure a last-minute gift gets to its recipient. Gene and Louise tag along, leaving Bob and Tina to deal with Linda's crazy sister and grumpy parents by themselves.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The Belcher women.
    • Linda = Red
    • Louise = Green
    • Tina = Blue
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Good luck trying to name a character who isn't one.
  • Closed Circle: Due first to Bob's injury in the aptly named "Housetrap" then due to Hostile Precipitation.
  • Color-Coded Characters: All the Belchers are associated with one main color: Bob is white, Linda is red, Tina is light blue, Gene is yellow, and Louise is light green.
  • Comic Sutra: In "Bob Day Afternoon", Linda offers Bob some extra incentive to get out alive by offering to do "anything"... except that thing.
  • Comic Trio: Again, the Belcher children.
  • Companion Cube:
    • Bob with his Keanu Reeves model from the movie "Speed". He even argues with it. This only lasts one episode, though. In "Crawl Space", he has Louise's Kuchi Kopi nightlight.
    • Louise with the taffy booby trap dummy....thing, "Taff".
    • Tina with Jeff, the "ghost" trapped in a shoe box in "Tina and the Real Ghost". At one point she even wonders if he is just a box.
    • Lance the turkey in "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal".
    • Bob's tendency towards this was explained in "Bob Fires The Kids"; a bar of soap, a rusty spatula, and a scrubbing pad were his only toys, and since Bob had no friends... or rather his father forced him to spend his entire childhood working, forbidding him toys or friends, so he was forced to improvise with cooking tools when his father wasn't looking.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Louise is this.
  • Completely Missing the Point: Bob tells his kids it's not good to cheat at sports in the episode "Torpedo". Tina then immediately asks if he and their mother are getting a divorce. Cue the Flat "What" from Bob. Further point missing ensues.
    Gene: "I call Mom!"
    Louise: "I call Dad!"
    Tina: "You took both of them."
    • As the show has continued, this tends to sum up Tina's jokes.
  • Continuity:
    • In the first episode, taffy company owner Mr. Caffrey is being buried (in a candy box coffin) out of Mort's funeral home. In the season two premiere, the taffy factory is about to be torn down.
    • The out-of-place bathroom designed by Felix F. remains in Wonder Wharf (and gets pointed out) instead of just disappearing (like Bob wishes it would).
    • "Speakeasy Rider" features Mudflap and Critter (last seen in "Ear-sy Rider"), Gus (the elderly docks man in "Seaplane!"), and Bryce (the leader of the Hell Hunt in "Full Bars"). The episode also mentions Tina's fender bender from "Tina-Rannosaurus Wrecks."
    • The Seal Mascot in "Torpedo" was the same mascot that was having sex with Teddy's ex-wife in "Bed & Breakfast" (The crown is a dead giveaway)
    • Linda's love of chanting first mentioned in "Carpe Museum" is brought up again in "Something Old, Something New, Something Bob Caters For You", 5 seasons later.
    • The Sofa Queen commercial from “Sacred Couch” is playing on the TV in the background of “The Trouble With Doubles” opening scene.
    • The partial tattoo Bob receives in "The Equestranauts" reappears in subsequent episodes.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The end credits sequence from the Season 6 finale "Glued, Where's My Bob?" features cameos of nearly every character ever introduced, even including one-off characters such as Bronconius (from Season 4's "The Equestranauts") and Torpedo Jones (from Season 1's "Torpedo").
  • Contrived Coincidence: In "Ear-sy Rider"; had Logan's dad's doctoring skills not turned up when Mudflap was giving labor, bad things would have happened. Also Mudflap going into labour the exact second Critter was about to brutalize Logan's parents. While the stress of the whole situation likely was the cause. The fact is, they are very lucky it happened.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: For being disruptive during counselling, Louise and Logan are locked in a room containing a television that is showing Freaky Friday on a loop.
  • Couch Gag:
    • The business to the right of Bob's Burgers is different in every opening. In the episode proper, it is always shown as being "For Rent", except in "Burger Wars" where the raccoon sanctuary shown in the opening is apparently still there.
      • Again in "Uncle Teddy" where Carl's Pre-Owned Indoor Outhouses stays put. In both cases the business was referenced during the episode.
    • As of the second season, the ending credits are different for each episode.
    • It's easy to miss, but in the opening, the name of the pest control firm that shows up to exterminate the rats is different from episode to episode from the second season onward. (In the Halloween episode, they were bat exterminators.)
  • Crash Course Landing: In "Seaplane!", Linda has to use what little she learned during her one flying class to land the seaplane safely after it becomes airborne as it's being towed to shore.
  • Credits Gag: The scene in the credits with Bob and his kids working in the kitchen is changed to relate to the episode, even being in 8-bit style in "Burgerboss". This was occasionally done in season 1, but starting in season 2, it applied to every episode.
  • Creepy Child: Louise is more cheerful than most examples, but that doesn't exactly help, given how disturbing her behavior can get.
  • Creepy Twins: The Pesto Twins, who are called this in "Broadcast Wagstaff School News".
  • Crossover:
    • The first episode of the fourth season of Archer opens with that show's Sterling Archer suffering from amnesia and thinking he is Bob Belcher (both characters are voiced by H. Jon Benjamin), though the Bob's Burgers characters with the much more detailed Archer art style leads into Uncanny Valley.
    • Bob has a cameo appearance in the Family Guy episode "The Simpsons Guy".
    • In-universe, during season 5, Gene and Courtney team together and make a crossover musical of Die Hard and Working Girl, called "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl".
  • Crowd Chant: Gene starts a "fight" chant and gets a crowd going in "Sexy Dance Fighting".
  • Cutting the Knot: In "The Equestranauts," the hotel safe with Tina's Chariot doll is locked with a code that "only the most diehard fan" of The Equestranauts would know. Does Bob open it with the intense knowledge of the show that Tina drilled into him? Does he rely on The Power of Friendship with the more rational fans of the show that he's connected with to provide the answer? No, he just calls the hotel staff and gets them to open it for him.
  • Daddy's Girl: Louise is very clear that she prefers her dad, as evidenced in "Spaghetti Westerns and Meatballs", "Carpe Museum", "Mother Daughter Laser Razor" and "Hawk and Chick". To a lesser extent, Tina's bond with Bob has been the focus of a number of episodes.
  • Dance Off: Bob and Teddy take a hip-hop dance class and get challenged to a dance-off by the teacher's son. As the dance battle begins, the son hurts himself, so Bob and Teddy win by default before they even make a move.
  • The Danza: Eugene Mirman as Eugene "Gene" Belcher
    • Also averted, oddly enough. The original script for the pilot had a son named Daniel in place of Tina (both voiced by Dan Mintz). The original pilot can be found here.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • The song "Oh, Bad Things are Bad" from the episode, "World Wharf II: The Wharfening" is this to the song "Oh, Nice Things are Nice" from the previous episode "Wharf Horse".
    • In "Wharf Horse", Fanny's Song "Mr. Dancefloor" is sung twice, the first, normally, by herself. After a while, is sung again, this time by her, Linda, Mort and Teddy, the song is way intenser and scarier, showing scenes of Bob agreeing wit Felix, the carousel being destroyed while Tina tries to protect it and Mr. Fischoeder calling people to the Wonder Wharf.
  • Debate and Switch: The entire conflict in "Sacred Cow" was solved by said cow almost getting hit by a car and then dying of a cow heart attack.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • Most of the Burgers of the Day fall into this, as even when the pun is obvious there's still a little "served with" parenthetical underneath. "New Bacon-ings (served with bacon)", "She's a Super-Leek Burger (Comes with braised leeks)", etc.
    • Mort's line, "I've been murdered... to DEATH!" in "Hamburger Dinner Theater".
    • Linda says she has "'90s Cosmopolitan magazines from the '90s" in "Tina-Rannosaurus Wrecks".
  • Designated Villain: Invoked with Mr. Frond in "The Frond Files" wherein he serves as the villain or just an obstacle to overcome in each of the Belcher kids' creative writing work. Deconstructed however with Frond breaking down in tears after reading how Tina's zombie story had him hiding like a coward as his students were getting killed by zombies.
  • Devoured by the Horde: Season 5 "The Gayle Tales", in Louise's Game of Thrones inspired story, Lindaryen (Linda) unleashes the Mort-ain (Mort) to fight in the duel against Louise but she wins the duel by slapping him with her sword and making him fall into the pit of ravenous porcelain babies that eats him alive. When Bobdor (Bob), who is Lindaryen’s fool, is insulted when Lindaryen mentions that she should get a new fool as he isn’t skinny or hot, he throws Lindaryen into the pit, too.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In "Mutiny on the Windbreaker," Bob tries to get away from the insane Captain, until the Captain points out that he can't get far unless he can walk on water.
  • Different in Every Episode: The Burger of the Day that is posted on the wall changes every episode. It will also change during episodes that take place over multiple days.
  • The Dinnermobile: A Christmas Episode sees the Belcher family being menaced on the road by an angry trucker whose rig is shaped like a candy cane.
  • Distant Duet: Bob and Linda get a sweet one in "Lindapendant Woman".
  • The Ditz: Gene, full stop.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
  • Don't Explain the Joke: A Burger of the Day named "Child Molester" (it comes with a side order of candy) is disturbing enough without Louise trying to explain the name.
    • Most of the time, the Burger of the Day board has a small "comes with [ingredient]" next to the name of the burger, in case people don't understand the pun.
  • Double Entendre: In "Bobsterfest," Louise tells Tina, "When you get married, just pretend it's your first time eating lobster."
  • Downer Ending: "Family Fracas" is a mild example. See Karma Houdini for more details.
  • Drag Queen: When Bob starts driving a taxi he befriends three of them, and they're portrayed fairly sympathetically. Despite being called transvestites, one of them seems to be a pre-op trans woman who hasn't been able to get surgery.
  • Drawing Straws: Squickified in Speakeasy Rider, when the kids turn to plucking the hairs on Gene's back mole.
  • Dreadful Musician: Tommy, the health inspector that briefly takes over for Hugo, makes music that's a lethal combination of disgusting lyrics ("Elderly Prostitute," anyone?) and a complete lack of actual talent.
  • Drop-In Landlord: Mr. Fischoeder, the family's landlord, often shows up to remind the family that the monthly rent is supposed to be paid every month. Typically episodes involving him revolve around some crazy favor he wants in exchange for forgiving a set number of months' collective rent, such as the Belchers pretending to be his family to impress an old flame, Bob being his ringer in a gingerbread house building competition, or the kids being used to pull an Ocean's Eleven style heist on his own fun center.
  • Drowning Pit: In "World Wharf II: The Wharfening", Felix ties Bob and Mr. Fischoeder under the pier to let them drown in the rising tide.
  • Dumb Blonde:
    • Invoked in "Tina, Tailor, Soldier, Spy". When Linda gets her hair dyed blonde, she starts screwing up orders and her intelligence drops. She goes back to normal once she returns to her black hair color again.
      • At the same time subverted, since the reason she's suddenly become dumber is because she's so obsessed with her new hair colour it's all she can think about.
    • Helen Goodwin is a mild version of this, with certain lines showing her true blonde-ness.
    • Jocelyn, and also Tammy (from season three onwards).

  • Ear Ache: In "Ear-sy Rider", the One-Eyed Snakes threaten to cut off the ear of a bully named Logan if he didn't return Louise's bunny ears (which he had stolen).
  • Early Installment Weirdness: And that's just putting it lightly:
    • The kids were more supportive of their father until only Tina's insensitive-but-well meaning compliments to him remained. Louise was the biggest example.
    • The kids were too much into profane stuff (like Gene's recording of his grandparents having sex).
    • Profane stuff was very general until it switched to just weird stuff.
    • Linda mentioned a lot of graphic mental images regarding Bob.
    • Mr. Fischoeder had a black eyepatch in his first appearance.
    • Peter Pescadero looked completely different on the first season. Compare it with his regular appearence for the rest of the series.
    • In her first appearance Tammy was a brunette and had a crush on Zeke. Later she dyed her hair blond and any romantic feelings toward Zeke disappeared.
    • The animation style in seasons 1, 2 and 3 were wildly different from the series onward. All seasons had more fluid movement and the characters stood in varied poses beyond simply facing forward most of the time [1], while Season 1 had the mouths curve and move in an odd way. Background characters also looked like they were in a completely different style than the main characters [2].
    • The Theme Song for the first two seasons differs from the one used from Season 3 and on.
      • Similarly, the Season 1 intro did not have the exterminator vehicle as a Couch Gag. Throughout all of Season 1, the facility was meet by a company called, "Rats All, Folks!"
  • Eat the Camera: Linda when finding out about independent study in "Synchronized Swimming".
    Linda: Independent [camera instantly zooms into her mouth] whaaaAAAAAAA?!
    • Literally happened in the Bob's Buskers "Sailors In Your Mouth" music video where the Belchers eat the members of The National, who resemble gravy sailors throughout the video.
    Bob Mmm. Man, this gravy is good.
    Linda: I know, right? It's my mother's recipe.
  • Eating Pet Food: In "There's No Business Like Mr. Business Business", Tina finds a box of Aunt Gayle's cat food, has a taste, and becomes utterly hooked on it. She then gives some to Gene, who likes it as well and soon both of them are scarfing it down. Then they discover that the box was Linda's, who had also developed a taste for it.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Gene being assigned (and dropping) multiple babies in "The Outside Toilet".
    • When Tina took the car for a spin in a massive parking lot, while driving very very slowly, there was only one parked car there. She managed to crash into it.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Tina having a sad look on her face.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Each of the Belchers get this in the opening scene of the first episode:
    • Bob is giving a pep talk to the family, mentioning past difficulties with the restaurant which establishes him as the no-nonsense business owner determined to pull his struggling business out of the red. There's also the line to his kids "You're my children and I love you but you're all terrible at what you do." Bob forgetting the anniversary also establishes Bob's character as being so focused on the restaurant that it often gets in the way of the rest of his life and responsibilities as a family man, a reoccurring conflict in future episodes.
    • Linda enthusiastically interrupts Bob's pep talk to drop hints about her and Bob's anniversary which establishes her as the enthusiastic fun-loving one.
    • The first line Tina says in the series is "My crothch is itchy."
    • Gene disrupts Bob's pep talk by making fart noises with his toy megaphone. Bob also reminds Gene to not annoy any mourners from the funeral home next door while giving off samples and that it's not "The Gene Show" outside and there's a line between being entertaining and annoying. This establishes Gene's showmanship, sense of humor, and his constant desire for attention.
    • Louise is told by Bob to not alter his chalkboard and that he's taking away the chalk, of course Louise already has her own chalk on hand. She then proceeds to name the burger of the day "The Child Molester". This establishes her as a rule-breaking prankster with a dark sense of humor who is generally one step ahead of the rest of the family.
  • Establishing Series Moment: Bob's monologue in the first episode and Linda's subsequent reassurance establishes the series and characters as always persistent despite the failures in their lives.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • A new health inspector dumps rat feces in the restaurant and shuts it down after Bob refuses to allow him to play his disturbing music (one of his songs is called "Elderly Prostitute") in the place. This prompts Hugo (who had taken a leave of absence) to return to duty, as he should be the one to take down Bob, and do it fair and square.
    • Gene and Louise might be absolutely horrible to Tina, but they are the only ones allowed to do it. Ever.
  • Everything's Better with Cows: Moo-lissa.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: At the end of Linda's butt dream.
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: In Tina's Flash Forward Imagine Spot in "Can't Buy Me Math", the world that she breaks the news to her grandkids that she is bad at math is very shiny and white.
  • Evil Chef: In the shot after the lunch lady at Wagstaff in "Bob and Deliver" sneaks in the men's bathroom to burn Bob's hands with hot water in the sink, a Creepy Crow overlooks her force him into a car in the parking lot. And that's just two scenes.
  • Evolving Credits: Subtle examples: In the first two seasons, Louise stands still during the intro. Starting in season 3, she does a "ta-da!" to the camera when she appears. Similarly, Gene stands still in the first two seasons, but has (and uses) his trusty sound effects-playing keyboard from Season 3 onward.
  • Exposition Already Covered: In Season 4 "Purple Rain-Union", after Linda has a nervous breakdown and flees from her high school reunion when her old high school band isn't going her way, Jen the babysitter gives her a Rousing Speech about not worrying about what people will think and do what you love, which gives Linda the courage to return to her reunion. When Linda returns, Bob, who has a huge pimple on his nose, was about to give Linda his own inspirational speech similar to Jen about his worries about his pimple but he was brave to be seen in public and still had fun, but Linda cuts him off and tells him Jen already gave her the inspirational speech and she's fine. Bob didn't mind and he went back to hang out with his new friends, thanks to his pimple.
  • Expy:
  • The Faceless: The most we have seen of Principal Spores is a neck-down blue suit in "The Runaway Club".
  • Fake Period Excuse: Not quite fake, but according to Tina, one of her classmates actively tried to get her period to skip a test.
  • Family Business: The titular Bob's Burgers, ran by Bob and his family. Bob also used to work at his father's diner.
  • Fan Community Nickname:
    • Apparently, in-universe, fans of a pattycake performance group are referred to as "Patty Daddies".
    • Fans of Boyz 4 Now members Allen and Boo-Boo are referred to as Allencoholics and Boo-Boo Boosters, respectively.
    • Of course, there are the "Equesticles" for adult male fans of The Equestranauts.
  • Fanfiction: Tina likes to write "Erotic Friendfiction". This is after she's written erotic fanfic about every other bit of media she can probably think of.
  • Flat Joy: Tina is naturally timid, so even at her most excitable, it comes off like this.
  • Flight of Romance: In "Seaplane!" Linda's flight instructor is famous for seducing women while in the air, earning the nickname "Upskirt Kurt". However, Linda isn't as susceptible to Kurt's charms.
  • Food Songs Are Funny: Gravy Boat!
  • Foot Popping: Tina while stuck in the milk fridge.
  • Forgotten Anniversary: Bob is apparently such a dedicated worker that he not only forgets his and Linda's anniversary, but also Linda's birthday, his own birthday and the birth of his first child!
  • Forgot to Pay the Bill: Or, rather, Linda deliberately didn't pay when she and Bob have an argument in "Lindapendent Woman," causing the power to go out.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The staff of Wagstaff school. Mr. Branca (optimist), Ms. Jacobson (realist), Mr. Ambrose (cynic), Ms. LaBonz/Ms. Schurr/Coach Blevins (apathetic), Mr. Frond (conflicted).
  • Framing Device: Often used to set up stories told by the three kids.
    • In "The Frond Files," Bob and Linda visit Wagstaff School and are allowed to read the kids' "inappropriate" creative writing assignments.
    • In "The Gayle Tales," the kids each write their own story and tell it to a depressed Aunt Gayle in an effort to make her feel better.
    • In "Sliding Bobs," the kids each tell a story about what life would be like if Bob hadn't grown his mustache.
    • In "Mom, Lies and Videotape," the kids tell heavily fictionalized accounts of their school's Mother's Day performances that Linda was unable to see.
    • In "Bed, Bob and Beyond," the family goes to the movies to see a romantic comedy, but due to a fire they have to leave part-way through the film. The kids take turns telling what they picture happens next in the film, in an effort to improve Bob and Linda's mood, and stop a fight they are having, hoping their improved mood will cause them to be less angry when they find out the kids broke Gene's bed by jumping on it.
    • In "The Handyman Can," the kids take turns telling Teddy stories to restore his confidence in his handyman abilities.
    • In "Diarrhea of a Poopy Kid," Louise, Tina and Bob take turns comforting a sick and bathroom-ridden Gene on Thanksgiving.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: During "Mom, Lies and Videotape" Tina faithfully recounts her grade's Mother's Day performance for the sick, and thus unable to attend, Linda. It was a blatant rip-off of Aliens, except Sigourney Weaver's character (named Sigourney) and the alien queen become envious of each other's positions and due to a spatial anomaly they switch bodies/costumes.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Louise's Christmas wish list in "Bob Rest Ye Gentle-Mannequins". It reads: "1. My own apartment 2. Towels (for apartment) 3. Doll whose head comes off and it's a knife".
  • Freudian Excuse: Parodied by Mr. Frond, though not in the typical psychatrist role, and more as a jab at bad school counselors.
    Mr. Frond: Alright...well this is the part where I blame the parents.
  • Full Moon Silhouette: Gene does this with a wagon and a hi-tech talking toilet.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": Mort is this.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • "Spaghetti Western And Meatballs" has Mr. Frond's conflict resolution program "A.B.S.": Access your feelings, Be apologetic, Slap it! (referring to giving a high five once the conflict is resolved). Humor is mined from the fact that Frond pronounces the acronym like the abbreviation for "abdominal muscles", resulting in him telling his students to work out their "abs", and at one point offering to show his "abs" to a bemused and disgusted Bob.
    • "Mazel-Tina" mentions "BFOS" (pronounced "bee-foes"): Boys From Other Schools. "Sleeping with the Frenemy" derives this into "BFOT" ("bee-faht"): Boys From Other Towns. The latter episode also has Tammy proclaiming herself as an "OOTGF" ("oot-guf"): Out-of-Town Girlfriend.
    • In "The Millie-Churian Candidate", a power-hungry Millie Frock runs for class president in order to get closer to Louise and become her best friend. If elected, she plans to impose a system called "BESTIES": Buddying up Everyone with Someone To Improve the Experience of School.
    Zeke: That's elegant.
    Tina: She's really good at that stuff.
  • Funny Background Event: Happens occasionally, like in the pilot.
    • "Sheesh! Cab, Bob?" has Tina and Gene getting slapped by Louise repeatedly.
    • "Bob Day Afternoon" has a cop who removes his headphones every time Louise screams into the phone.
    • In "The Kids Run The Restaurant", while Bob and Linda are driving home and Bob's blood is spraying everywhere, a man in the car behind them can be seen looking horrified.
    • In "Burger War" when Bob tries to serve his Meatsiah burgers at Jimmy Pesto's, Teddy can be seen at a table hiding his face so as not to be seen by Bob.
  • The Gadfly: If the there's a chance to make their father's life harder, The Belcher children will take it. Louise and Gene especially enjoy saying things to people just to make Bob squirm, whether it be calling him a murderer for making burgers or cheering for distressing news.
  • Game Show Appearance: The plot of "Family Fracas".
  • Gasshole:
    • Gene. Almost every other scene with him will contain a fart joke.
    • Gloria and Tammy.
  • Genius Ditz: Bob and Teddy for cooking and mechanics/home repair, respectively.
  • Gentle Giant: Teddy.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Louise snaps Linda out of her panic attack like this.
  • The Ghost:
    • Linda's friend Ginger.
      • In "Sliding Bobs" Ginger appeared in a flashback, but her face was hidden.
    • Ken, Gene's alleged 28 year old albino friend who does improvised hip hop. However, it is often implied by the other characters that Ken is likely just an imaginary friend.
    • The appropriately named Principal Spoors. ("Spoor" means evidence that an animal has passed by, for example footprints or droppings.)
  • Girlish Pigtails: In "Slumber Party", Linda throws Louise an unwanted slumber party and wears her hair in pigtails to fit in with the girls.
  • Girl Scouts Are Evil: Tina has had a run-in or two with Troop 257, a ruthless group of Thundergirls who have their troop leader cowed into submission and treat cookie sales as Serious Business.
  • Girly Run: Linda's run in "Purple Rain-Union" is fairly girly, and her runny makeup really feminizes her in the scene as well.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: In "Dr. Yap", Gayle aggressively pursues a squicked-out Bob, mostly because she's not attracted to a man unless Linda falls in love with him first. As noted, Linda resolves this by pretending to fall in love with her dentist, which sends Gayle after him—All According to Plan.
  • A God Am I:
    Louise: Voodoo works! I'm a god!
  • Going to See the Elephant: In "Stand By Gene", Gene and the other kids head to a farm that has a goat with two butts.
  • Gonk: The guy in the pelican suit and the guy in the cotton candy suit.
  • Good-Looking Privates: Gretchen is attracted to men in uniform with power positions. And Hugo's got a thermometer.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: In "Beefsquatch", Linda tries to stop a live show by swearing on camera, but none of her "swear words" are anything close to offensive. She then resorts to flashing her breasts.
  • Grossout Fakeout: In "Hamburger Dinner Theater", Mort uses fake intestines for the Belchers' murder mystery show. Unfortunately, it looks too realistic and the audience ends up calling the police.
  • Halloween Episode:
    • "Full Bars" (season 3): The kids travel to King's Head Island to trick or treat in a rich neighborhood and get involved in a prank war; Linda and Bob go to Teddy's party that goes haywire when his guinea pig gets killed.
    • "Fort Night" (season 4): The kids, the Pesto twins and Daryl get locked in their box fort by Millie, a girl who's obsessed with becoming Louise's best fried; Bob and Linda decide to use the costume they were making for the kids to trick or Treat.
    • "Tina and the Real Ghost" (season 5): Tina falls for a ghostly teenage boy that they believe to have locked in a box; the ghost attracts business to the restaurant, including a duo of ghost hunters.
    • "The Hauntening" (season 6): The family tries to scare Louise during Halloween but things take an unexpected dark turn at Bob and Linda's makeshift haunted house.
    • "Teen-a-Witch" (season 7): Tina becomes a witch to attempt to win a costume contest, while Bob's jack-o-lanterns keep getting stolen.
    • "The Wolf of Wharf Street" (season 8): Linda and the kids go looking for a wolf on a foggy Halloween night when trick or treating turns out to be a bust. Meanwhile, Bob, under the influence of painkillers, thinks Teddy is a werewolf.
    • "Nightmare on Ocean Avenue Street"(season 9): When Ocean Avenue closes street traffic for Halloween, someone starts stealing the kids' candy; Bob gets dragged into Teddy's decorating war with a rival contractor.
    • "Pig Trouble in Little Tina" (season 10): Tina is haunted by the ghost of the fetal pig she dissected; Bob struggles with a serious earwax problem.
  • Handsome Lech: Jimmy Pesto is good-looking (as confirmed by Linda, Tina and Hugo) but some episodes suggest that he also has a seedy private life. In "Sheesh! Cab, Bob?", it's revealed that he frequents adult fetish clubs and a comment by Andy on Ollie in "The Unnatural" implies that he also takes dates to sleazy motels ("this is where our dad goes for his naps!").
  • Happily Married: At the end of the day, Bob and Linda are this.
  • Hard Truth Aesop:
    • The lesson in "Art Crawl" is, "some people are too fragile to be told the truth". Made even funnier by the fact that the episode seemed to be heading towards a more normal "always be honest" Aesop, but Bob and Linda couldn't go through with it after seeing that it would've caused Gayle to have a Freak Out.
    • A lesson in "A Fish Called Tina" is that sometimes people won't like you for no real reason and still won't even if you actively try to make them like you.
  • Hash House Lingo: The episode "Bob and Deliver" has the following exchange:
    Gene: Give me a bald Kelly Ripa and a canoe with a brick!
    Zeke: Chicken taco, no sour cream, plus a brownie — you got it.
    Gene: Really? I didn't even know what I meant.
  • Heart Symbol: Tina in "My Fuzzy Valentine" in a flash back gets a bad case of these floating around her head.
  • Helium Speech: In "The Unbearable Like-Likeness of Gene", Tina and Louise start doing this with the balloons at Courtney's birthday party. Tina sneaks one out with her, and Bob asks for a hit of it.
  • Heroic BSoD: A downplayed example in Louise. She has been picking the lock on Tina's diary for years, so when called on to help Gene break back into the house he was sleeping over at, she finds the skills translate over into the real world. The look on her face just sells it, as she seems to realize that no door can keep her out now. You can almost hear the gears turning.
    Louise: (Door opens to reveal Louise with lockpicks in hand) So, I guess I can do that now!
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: A literal example in "The Belchies". One of the taffy dummys, designed to stop intruders and terrify them, is befriended by Louise and used to get her out of danger. Turns out the hidden treasure was a gold bar hidden in the chest of the dummy.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Bob has a habit of, both, willingly and unwillingly wrecking any chance the restaurant has at succeeding. In season five alone, a childhood friend and a historian presented Bob with opportunities to make the restaurant popular and he rejected both of them.
  • Historical In-Joke: The Thomas Edison-centric "Topsy" features a scowling Nikola Tesla as a Funny Background Event during the end credits. Tesla and Edison had a very public rivalry during their lifetimes.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Near the end of "Bad Tina", Tammy was defeated by farting too much.
  • Homage:
    • In "Art Crawl", to Dumbos Pink Elephants on Parade with "BUTTS, BUTTS, BUTTS, BUTTS..."
    • Bob's dream in "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal" spoofs My Neighbor Totoro.
    • "Full Bars" features a few nods to The Warriors, including lawyer-friendly musical quotes, and a "come out to playy-aayy!" delivered by the "Hell Hunt" teens.
    • The last act of "Moody Foodie" ably apes Reservoir Dogs.
    • A Spaghetti Western with a banjo-wielding gunfighter? It's been done.
    • The three stories in "The Frond Files" parody The Terminator (with a hint of Jurassic Park), Rock 'n' Roll High School and zombie movies in general, respectively.
    • "The Belchies" was inspired by The Goonies complete with a theme song performed by none other than Cyndi Lauper herself.
    • In "The Unnatural", Tina goes through caffeine withdrawal and hallucinates a porcelain baby with Jimmy Jr.'s face crawling on the walls, a la Trainspotting.
    • In "Mazel Tina", Tammy's video introduction at her Bat Mitzvah was an homage to the opening titles and theme song to the TV show Blossom.
    • The final number of "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl" looks just like "Seasons of Love"
    • A graphic with some cinematic allusions in the show can be found here.
    • At the end of "The Kids Run the Restaurant", Linda performs a copyright infringement friendly "Anything Goes" tune accompanied by dancing sailors.
    • "O.T.: The Outside Toilet" inspired by E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
    • The singer at the festival in "Food Truckin" is a parody of Tori Amos.
    • "The Quirk-Ducers" is inspired by The Producers, complete with a Springtime for Hitler gambit
  • Hollywood Density: Somehow characters managed to carry a taffy dummy around and not notice that it was stuffed with gold bars.
  • Honor Before Reason: If Bob can't make his restaurant successful based solely on the quality of his burgers, and without resorting to any gimmicks, he would rather live in Perpetual Poverty, as seen in "Pro Tiki/Con".
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: The transvestites in episode six.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Tina lusts for everything from Jimmy Pesto's son to zombies.
    "Is it possible to be in love with twenty-five people at once?"
  • Human Shield: Discussed by Tina when she and Gene are both used as them in "Slumber Party".
    Tina: Gene, is this your first time as a human shield?
    Gene: Yeah!
    Tina: It's my third time. You're doing great.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: A police officer admits to doing this during Linda's impromptu speed dating.
  • Humans Are Bastards: "The Oeder Games" grapples with this theme. Most of the townspeople are perfectly willing to engage in a water balloon fight to get their rent deducted. By the end of the episode, they decide to stand with Bob after Linda convinces them through a Shaming the Mob speech.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: In "Bad Tina", Gene and Louise blackmail Tina into doing their chores. Then they find out her school frenemy is blackmailing her into getting into trouble. Suffice it to say that Tammy now has them to contend with.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In "The Belchies", after Tina invites Jimmy Jr. without asking, Jimmy Jr. brings his friend Zeke, leading to this exchange.
      Tina: Zeke?! Jimmy Jr., you don't just invite someone without asking!
    • Tina has another hypocritical moment in "Carpe Museum" where she criticizes her field trip partner's robot graphic novel he's writing saying it's dorky yet she is an avid writer of erotic fanfiction.
    Tina: (thinking) Robots? That does give me an idea for my next erotic fanfiction: "Ro-Butts!"
  • I Am Not Shazam: Happens in-universe in "O.T. The Outside Toilet", Teddy thinks Bob's surname is "Burgers" because of the name of his restaurant.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: In Pro Tiki/Con Tiki, Bob's best friend from high school, Warren, is the guest of the week. Warren is played by H. Jon Benjamin's Archer costar, Chris Parnell, a.k.a. Cyril Figgis.
  • Iconic Item: Louise is never seen without her pink bunny ears hat. When they get taken from her by a bully in "Ear-sy Rider," she wears a hoodie until she gets them back.
  • Idiot Ball: Frequently with Linda and the kids. Particularly in "Christmas in the Car", when they do all sorts of idiotic things, including buying a Christmas tree the day after Halloween, pissing off other drivers by trying to play "Jingle Bells" on the car horn, and tickling Bob while he's driving.
  • I Drank WHAT?!: In "The Kids Rob a Train", Bob and Linda win a wine tasting contest against a pretentious wine enthusiast by having him taste wine from the spit bucket.
  • I Have No Son!: Jimmy Pesto likes to think Jimmy Jr. and his twins don't exist because of how they have a dubious career choice/are nutcases.
  • I Have This Friend...: How Bob tries to get advice from Fischoeder in Torpedo, but he just divulges it anyway.
  • Illegal Gambling Den: In "The Kids Run the Restaurant", the Belcher kids start an underground casino in the basement of the restaurant while Linda is taking Bob to the hospital to get a nasty cut stitched up.
  • Imaginary Friend: Gene's "friend" Ken, a 28 year old albino who does improvised hip-hop (who has yet to be confirmed to be imaginary). Linda also states that she used to have an imaginary friend who stole all her make-up from her. It's not clear if this is a case of a Not-So-Imaginary Friend or she just misplaced her make-up a lot.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The restaurant doesn't actually serve human flesh, of course. But rumors that it does, attract the attention of a club for "adventurous eaters".
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • If the burger of the day ideas we see are anything to go by, Bob is prone to these.
    • The shops and the exterminator van in the title sequence always have a different pun to their names in every episode.
  • Ink-Suit Actor:
    • Gene bears a resemblance to his voice actor Eugene Mirman.
    • Tina is Dan Mintz, right down to the monotone and glasses, and used to be even more like Dan in the original pilot.
    • Mr. Frond looks very much like David Herman, especially when he's wearing glasses.
    • Josh, Tina's temporary love interest in season 3, looks like a Ben Schwartz with lighter brown hair.
    • Fred Stroller's inksuit guest character, the Sex Shop Owner, in "Bob Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins"
    • In "Family Fracas", Harry uncannily resembles his voice actor, Daran Norris.
  • Innocently Insensitive: While they're a family that cares a great deal for each other, much of the show's humor comes from the fact that few people make life more difficult for Bob than his own family. In spite of this, they do all care for each other in their own weird way, and they don't mean to be as mean to him as they are.
  • Instrument of Murder: Banjo from the Spaghetti Western that Bob and Gene watch has an instrument (guess which one) that shoots bullets.
  • Intercourse with You:
    • In "Food Truckin'", there's a hippie singer who claims to be singing about oil spills, but she's really singing about her vagina. It's not subtle. The fact that she seems to be orgasming while singing doesn't help.
    Oh it's hot and wet and slick / And it's making a everybody sick / Oil spill / Oil spill / Oil spill
    Bob: Euch, you were right. It's not subtle.
    • Tommy's music in "Nude Beach", which is either about sex or his abusive father.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Louise's fan/stalker Millie Frock.
  • Island Help Message: Linda goes for a flying lesson in the "Seaplane!" episode and it turns out that the instructor likes to fake an emergency landing near a remote island then seduce his female students with a picnic of wine and cheese that just so happens to have. After the seaplane floats off, Linda makes a help message out of the wine bottles that he left from his previous visits.
    Linda: Sheesh, this island's seen a lot of emergency landings.
  • Is That the Best You Can Do?: After a tree branch and powerline fall in Lobsterfest, Bob shouts, "Is that all you got, storm?" He is then hit in the face with wind chimes.
  • It Amused Me: Many of Louise's antics stem from this. As Linda says "She likes to play tricks on people she thinks are stupider than her".
  • It's All About Me: Linda in the last act of "Hamburger Dinner Theatre", towards Bob.

  • "Jaws" Attack Parody: In "The Deepening". A movie with a similar plot was filmed in town years ago, and Mr. Fischoeder buys the mechanical shark from the movie as a parkside attraction. The Belcher kids play with it and it turns on and falls on its side, sending it wriggling across the block. The residents treat is as if it were a real shark attacking, and it's up to Bob to stop it.
  • Jerkass:
    • Hugo the Health Inspector, Jimmy Pesto Senior. Linda was a naggy jerk in most of season one but stopped for the most part in seasons 2 onward.
    • Teddy in Full Bars due to Bob accidentally killing his guinea pig he had for years.
    • Bob's own children (less so Tina) tend to really undermine his authority and almost never root for him in his endeavors unless it benefits one of their crazy schemes.
    • Steve's son, who's a shameless pickpocket enamored with Tina.
  • Jewish Mother: While her religion is apparently Catholic (she takes Eucharist), Linda has a lot of traits of this trope.note  This could also apply to Linda's mother.
  • Jump Scare: The intro to "Fort Night".
  • Just One More Level: Bob goes through this when they buy a "Burger Boss" arcade game, but mainly because he was trying to beat Jimmy Pesto's high score, because Jimmy entered the initials "BOB SUX". When Linda takes it away, he has to go with his kids to an old-fashioned arcade to beat the score.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • In "Family Fracas", Jimmy Pesto, Chuck and the Channel 13 station owner conspire to keep the Belchers from winning the Game Show, complete with the station owner destroying evidence of their scheming on camera. The only comeuppance for any of them is when Bob makes fun of Jimmy for not knowing how to change a tire on his new minivan (which the Belchers should have won). Originally, the Belchers were supposed to spray Jimmy Pesto with Silly String as revenge, but Loren Bouchard thought it would come off as petty and out of character, so he dropped it. Either way, both endings would have had their share of irate fans.
    • Even then, when Bob teases Jimmy about the tire, the rest of his family chides him for being immature and pressures him into helping him change it. Can't Get Away with Nuthin'.
    • Overall, as the seasons go on, antagonists tend to get away with tormenting/screwing with the Belchers without comeuppance.
    • Bob will never punish his kids no matter what they do and Linda tends to only punish them for things that affect her.
  • Kitsch Collection: Linda's porcelain babies.
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: Bob makes one to air during the Super Bowl in "Easy Commercial, Easy Gomercial".
  • Lady Drunk: Linda is implied to a little bit of this, with her love of wine and often drunken demeanor.
  • Large Ham: Tammy. She thinks she's popular, but she's really not. She themed her own Bat Mitzvah around herself, complete with a large hanging replica of her head and toothpicks with her face, which she scolds the Belchers for not using. Also, her audition for the school news:
    "WOW, it's Tammy with the news! Whoo! (singing voice) Neeew-eeew-ew-ew-ew-ews... (speaking voice) News."
  • The Last DJ: "Long Time Listener, First Time Bob" offers a literal example. Bob is a long-time fan of local disk jockey Clem Clements, who was fired for talking too much, playing music he liked instead of what he was told to play, and generally being too proud to compromise with his bosses. When Bob and his kids discover that Clem has been reduced to working at a local bowling alley, they try to get him re-hired, but Hilarity Ensues when Clem takes over the radio station.
  • Laughing Mad: Louise in "Ear-sy Rider" when she's told that her bunny ears have been incinerated and it is too late to save them.
  • Left the Background Music On: In "Poops!... I Didn't Do It Again", Bob comments that the dramatic music playing when dropping off Louise (that the viewer assumes is a backing track) was pretty intense, as he thought that the classical channel he picked would have played more soothing tunes. A quick switch to a peppy pop song comes too little, too late.
    • Earlier, in "Lobsterfest", Ron tries to remind Hugo of Bob's selfless attempts to set Hugo up with Gretchen. The viewer is treated to a montage of these attempts, set to a slow song about being a wingman... that it turns out Ron was singing the whole time.
      Ron: "Wingmaaan... Wingmaaan... Wingmaaan..."
  • Lethal Chef:
    • It's amazing Jimmy Pesto has more customers than Bob, as most people who eat his food complain about how bad it tastes. Mickey, when robbing a bank, demands a free meal. Jimmy takes delight at the free publicity when he delivers pizza, only to get humiliated when Mickey shoots them and loudly proclaims it's the worst pizza he ever had. He once promised his customers a popular musical duo, only for them to bail when getting food poison from his Scampi. He even tried to make his own burgers to spite Bob, only to cry when he realizes how horrible it tastes.
    • Some episodes imply Bob is the only exception to this in their town. In "Moody Foodie", three restaurants were reviewed by the titular food critic, the Mexican restaurant shutting down from a bad review. Bob however suggests the Jerk Ass Has A Point about their food. The sandwich shop purposely uses day old bread, the Chinese restaurant reuses uneaten noodles and the Mexican restaurant, despite the owner himself being Mexican, used a different meat for carne asada and didn't know it was supposed to be beef.
  • Like Parent, Like Child:
    • Louise has the same Companion Cube as her father, and under the same circumstances (isolation or emotional distress), almost in spite of her infinitely more nurturing upbringing. Bob also notes that she gets her crazy side from Linda, something Linda acknowledges and validates.
    • An invoked example in one episode has Gene dressing like and pretending to be Bob, with uncanny accuracy in appearance and behavior.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The Belchers seem to always be wearing the same outfits...though Bob states in "Wonderwarf II" that his usual white shirt is his favorite one (so he would wear it the most often).
  • Line-of-Sight Name: In Syncronized Swimming. Louise came up with Independant Study...
  • Little Girls Kick Shins: In "Bob Day Afternoon", Louise does this to the hostage negotiator when they're fighting over the phone. He kicks back.
  • The Load:
    • In "The Belchies," Louise declares that Tina and Gene are this when they explore an abandoned taffy factory.
      Louise: "You guys are a are dead weight!"
    • Subverted at the end of the episode, when Louise admits that they were useful and resourceful after all.
  • Look Both Ways: Double subverted. The cow is about to get hit by a van when Bob and Randy are arguing, but the van stops just short. Then the cow dies of a heart attack.
  • Lost Food Grievance: Happens with Teddy in multiple episodes. Any time he can't have his usual burger and/or fries, things get ugly.
    • In "Food Truckin'", the Belchers temporarily close the restaurant while they take their business on the road. One day, Teddy is so angry about it that he nearly tries to break into the restaurant by smashing the front window with a brick, but Mort stops him.
    • In "Friends with Burger-fits", Bob feels responsible for Teddy's poor health and refuses to serve him any more burgers. Teddy becomes enraged and threatens to murder Bob and Linda, then breaks down crying, then rips up a stool seat, then proclaims unwillingness to live. He tries to work around Bob's cutoff by paying a stranger $300 to buy him a burger, which he then stuffs in a briefcase and eats in the restaurant's bathroom.
    • In "Sexy Dance Healing", Bob stops thinking up Burgers of the Day as Jairo thinks it's causing him stress. Teddy is shocked at the sight of a blank chalkboard and goes off on Bob, shouting "It's the only constant in my life!" and demanding that the board no longer be blank the next day. He then goes on a rampage in the street trying to punch cars. The next day, Bob starts making Burgers of the Day again and Teddy is overjoyed to see that the board is no longer blank, even though he doesn't find the burger in question appetizing.
    • In "The Horse Rider-er", the restaurant's deep fryer is broken. Linda and the family convince Bob to use their repair funds to send Tina to horse camp, meaning the restaurant stops serving fries until further notice. Teddy is so distraught at Bob's decision that he returns to the restaurant a mere two hours later to angrily ask if the fryer is fixed yet. He copes by buying fries from Jimmy Pesto's Pizzeria, then tries to fix the fryer himself simply by shaking it and exorcising it to no avail. Teddy later calms down and suggests chips as an alternative, but gets mad at Bob again when he says that he doesn't serve chips either.
    • In "They Serve Horses, Don't They?", Teddy taste-tests a burger using meat from a new supplier recommended by Jimmy Pesto. Although the Belchers are appalled at the revelation that their new meat is horse, Teddy becomes accustomed to the new meat and breaks down when Bob tells him that they stopped serving horse burgers.
  • Make-Out Point: In "Seaplane!", "Upskirt Kurt" takes Linda to an island frequently used for making out, earning it the nickname "Quickie Kiss-it Island".
  • Manchild: Jimmy Pesto's insults towards Bob are first grade level (In fact most first graders could more than likely think up more mature insults than him).
  • Mandatory Line: Since Larry Murphy's promotion to main cast, Teddy has appeared in almost every episode, although many of his appearances are brief, usually sitting in the restaurant as Bob and Linda explain what they'll be doing for the day and not appearing again. Since Teddy almost-always appears in at least one restaurant scene per episode, most of the episodes he does not appear in are ones that have no restaurant scenes at all (such as "It Snakes a Village" and "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl"). In the few episodes where he doesn't appear, Murphy usually voices someone else, but will sometimes still be credited "as Teddy".
    • In "Gayle Makin' Bob Sled", Teddy is out of town during Thanksgiving, but still briefly appears when Bob calls him asking him to pick him and Gayle up in his truck, only for him to reveal that he and his mother are on a singles' cruise.
    • In "Li'l Hard Dad", he literally appears in the last five seconds of the episode.
  • May–December Romance: Larry and Helen Goodwin are far apart in age, with Helen being younger. See also: Meal Ticket and Black Widow.
  • Metaphorgotten: Louise has gotten a couple in so far.
    • She says she's "...just gonna make like a tree and go to my room" in Slumber Party.
    • "Tina flew too close to the floor...and hit her face on it."
  • Mistaken for Gay: In "Turkey in a Can", the clerk at the supermarket thinks Bob is trying to ask him out after Bob is forced to return to the store twice. While Bob tries to deny this, the clerk says he's in a relationship, but flattered.
  • Money Dumb: Linda Belcher zigzaggs this trope. On one hand, she is the one to actually manage the expenses of the restaurant, she has an extremely complex system through which she controls bounces with the bank and manages to keep their heads above the water. However, whenever something she, or someone she likes, really wants shows up, she has a terrible time controlling herself with what little money her family has. This is best exemplified in "The Unnatural", where she pawns off Bob's espresso machine to pay for baseball lessons for Gene that everyone warns her to be an obvious scam, and "Yurty Rotten Scoundrels", where she freely loans her unhinged sister, Gayle, money to rent a yurt and make an art workshop, even though she is a terrible artist and even Linda herself admits that it's unlikely they'll ever see a return on that money; Bob even says that this is a recurring occurrence when Gayle is involved.
  • Mooning:
    • Bob at Hugo and Ron as petty payback for forcing Lobsterfest on his restaurant. Normally childish for Bob, but it IS Lobsterfest...
    • Bob gets mooned by a random, mean bike owner when the bike owner thinks that Bob is stealing his bike.
  • Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls: Tina writes a lot of it, more specifically "Erotic Friend Fiction", mostly involving her love interest Jimmy Pesto, Jr. However, she started writing those because she had already written erotic fanfiction of every TV show, movie and book series she could think of note 
  • MST: Bob and Louise apparently do this regularly and call themselves "The Burn Unit". Also, Bob and the kids do this with the art in the "Art Crawl" episode.
  • Momma's Boy: Gene is a rare example that isn't played for laughs. His relationship with Linda is strong enough that he "claims her" when he and Louise are debating who gets which parent if they get divorced, but their relationship doesn't often follow any of the stereotypes usually associated with this trope.
  • Motor Mouth: Harley, a guest of Louise's (mom) in Slumber Party.
  • Musical Episode: This show's getting more and more of these.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: Tina twice. She only gets one line in before Gene cuts her off the third time.
    Gene: Ok, here's a funny story, you cannot sing.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Patty Cake.
  • Must Not Die a Virgin: From Food Truckin' :
    Tina: I don't wanna die a virgin!
    Randy: Me neither!
    Bob: No! No!
  • My Little Phony: The titular Show Within a Show in "Equestrianauts".
  • Never the Obvious Suspect: Parodied in "Hamburger Dinner Theater". When Linda performs a stage play in the restaurant, Louise plays a butler who reacts dismissive to the murders and loudly remarks that the murder weapon is hers. This is intended as a (lazy) Red Herring, with Linda actually being the killer. When the true killer is revealed, the audience becomes angry since clearly The Butler Did It and there were no clues pointing to Linda.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The promotional images for "The Kids Run Away" made it look like Dr. Yap was going to be an antagonist again.
  • Nice Hat:
    • Louise is strange, therefore she wears the strange hat.
    • Part of what convinces Bob to take a second job driving a cab at night is that he likes the hat he gets to wear.
  • Nightmare Fuel: An In-Universe example in "Hamburger Dinner Theater" where Mort's gory death scene put some people into shock.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Gene's picture in "Art Crawl" is described as a ninja robot fighting a vampire tape recorder at Stonehenge. Featuring Ken, his albino friend who does improvised hip-hop.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Invoked In-Universe during "Beefsquatch" when Linda gets a live show cancelled by flashing her breasts for two minutes straight.
  • Noodle Incident: "The Tickle Boat that killed that guy?"
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity:invoked Uttered by Linda upon the many more customers they were receiving thanks to Moo-Lissa the cow standing outside next to the restaurant, who was due to be slaughtered by a documentarian.
  • Not-So-Phony Psychic: Linda in "I Get Psychic Out Of You". After hitting her head and making a few coincidental predictions, she thinks she's gotten psychic powers, and Detective Bosco asks her to help him catch a burglar. Eventually, Linda discovers that she wasn't psychic after all when many of the people she made predictions to come back disappointed, but she does help in the capture of the burglar in a roundabout way; he's discovered by Bob when he goes to pick up the kids from the racetrack, where they were going to bet on a horse Linda predicted would win.
  • No, You:
    Bob: Duval, these oysters are spoiled.
    Duval: You're spoiled.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Loren Bouchard mentioned in a 2013 interview that Bob's Burgers invokes this.
    Bouchard: We knew we wanted to do that 13th birthday party for Tina in season one, and then we swore to ourselves and to anyone who cared to listen that we won't age anybody else. That said, it's really fun to tell coming-of-age milestone stories. Your first Halloween trick-or-treating by yourself just seemed like such a nice one to do. Such a natural and interesting thing to think about for our characters - but from that point on, you can't do that story again. You can't reset the clock. In that respect, they'll age, but it's going to be subtle. In a way, you have to live in this ever-present now for animation. It's tough. But the alternative is worse. What are we going to do? Draw them older and older and have them grow up before your eyes? It seems like not what animation wants to be.
  • N-Word Privileges: "What up, my knitta?"

  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Bob can't stand Linda's parents.
  • One Steve Limit: Downplayed with Henry Haber (a recurring classmate of the Belcher kids) and Henry (a regular customer at Big Bob's who only appears in "Father of the Bob").
    • Also Rudy's (the restaurant Bob enjoys eating at in "Seaplane!"), Pocket-Sized Rudy, and Regular-Sized Rudy.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    • Tina suggests in Slumber Party that they could just tell their mom and dad to get Jessica out...but Louise says that "She's mine".
    • Hugo in "Nude Beach" with Bob.
  • Only Sane Man: Bob is often this to his family, friends and customers.
  • Out of Focus: Mort's appearances have been heavily reduced in recent seasons, despite starting out being almost as prominent as Teddy, who continues to appear in almost every episode. Sometimes, he still appears in the restaurant with Teddy but without any lines. In Season 7, Mort only had speaking roles in two episodes plus a brief, non-speaking cameo in "Paraders of the Lost Float".
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: The episode "Hawk & Chick" describes the titular movie series as "featuring the most celebrated father-daughter traveling barber samurais in the history of Japanese cinema."
  • Ow, My Body Part!: Linda has a tendency to say, "Ow! My face!" whenever she is injured.
  • Painful Body Waxing: Bob, Gene, and Tina in "Mother Daughter Laser Razor".
  • The Parent Produced Project: It's heavily implied that Courtney's dad produced the musical that was thought to be produced by Courtney.
  • Parody Assistance: The episode "The Belchies" features a song in the end credits that's a send-up of "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" sung by Cyndi Lauper.
  • Patriotic Fervor: The Capoeira instructor, Jairo, peppers his warcries with the occasional shout of "BRAZIL!"
  • The Perfect Crime: After eating too much pie, and possibly helped along by seeing Tina and Jimmy Jr. kiss, Louise throws up on the pie restaurant's window. Louise surmises that since it's a rotating restaurant, no one will know who did it.
  • Perpetual Poverty: The Belchers live a comfortable enough life, but Bob's restaurant always seems to be on the verge of going out of business.
  • Person as Verb:
    • "Beefsquatch" has the name of Gene's on-air persona frequently getting used as a verb.
      Linda: [Bob]'s just sad because Gene beefsquatched all over his big break.
    • In "Best Burger", Louise informs her brother that in the family, "Gene-ing out" means to screw things up by getting distracted.
      Gene: Oh my god, I'm a verb! I'm a bad verb!
    • Louise also said Linda ruined her game with Bob saying she "Mom'd it all up." When she asks "Dad's here, did he Dad it all up?" she responds saying the latter is a good thing.
    • In "Itty Bitty Ditty Committee", Linda says that Gene got "David Lee Rothed" after learning he got kicked out of his own band.
  • Pet the Dog: Later episodes allow family enemies such as Hugo, Gloria, Mr. Frond, Henry Haber and Upskirt Kurt to help the Belchers, and occasionally to defy Status Quo Is God . Jimmy Pesto is still a jerk though.
  • Ping-Pong Naïveté: Most notable with Gene. His knowledge of sexuality seems to be based on Rule of Funny. He appears to think that a BDSM couple are "escape artists" in one episode, after earlier declaring that slapping a dead seal "sounds like an orgy" and intentionally recording his grandparents having sex. Of course, it wouldn't be outside of his personality to just be faking this to peeve people off intentionally.
  • Playing Both Sides: Louise, when Bob and Gene start playing dirty tricks on each other in "Beefsquatch".
  • Police Are Useless: Not only does he turn to a psychic for help in a high profile case (and catch the perp by luck), but he disregards Bob's desperate attempts to contact his wife to save his life as drunk texts. The show suggests that he's just an individual bad cop, as he is about to get fired in one episode by some more competent higher-ups. But his team proves useless as well.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Linda in "The Unnatural" after Bob desperately tries to beat Gene in a baseball game to prove that his baseball coach is a sham.
      "You're such a dick, Bob."
    • Tina's reaction to Boyz 4 Now breaking up in "Bye Bye Boo Boo."
      "Son of a bitch!"
  • The Problem with Pen Island: The town's cultural center, Wharf Arts.
  • Pun:
    • Used by the documentary guys with the cow in the 3rd episode: "It's a COW-NT DOWN!!"
    • The names of the "specials of the day" are mostly puns.
    • Food Court.
    • The show practically thrives on puns.
  • Pungeon Master:
    • Bob. Keep an eye on the Burger of the Day on the chalkboard.
    • Really, the whole town qualifies; apparently a prerequisite to opening a business there is a pun in your name.
  • Punny Name: Tina and Louise, for Tina Louise who played Ginger on Gilligan's Island; and Gene and Louise for Jean Louise Finch, Scout's real name in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Pushover Parents: Bob and Linda let their kids get away with a lot, but "Motor She Boat" provides an even clearer example. Thundergirls Troop 257 is composed of pre-teen Alpha Bitches; their fathers are not only terrified of their ruthless, nasty daughters, but constantly seek their approval in an inversion of "Well Done, Son!" Guy.
  • Put on a Bus: The Zombies from Tina's Dreams.
    • They're ba-ack....' As of "The Frond Files".
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Linda gathers up the Ta-Tas for a final performance in "Purple Rain-Union", as the title suggests.
  • Raging Stiffie:
    • In "The Belchies", Linda puts a "penis pill" in Bob's casserole. He's stuck with a boner for the later half of the episode. Linda even asks it to help them find their kids.
    • Gene's reaction to the Marilyn the Manatee puppet; he mentions that she made him feel like he had to pee even though he didn't.
  • Rain of Something Unusual: In the "Lindapendant Woman" episode, Louise ties frozen shrimp to balloons so that it could rain shrimp in the grocery store.
  • Rain, Rain, Go Away: Everyone is pretty down when Lobsterfest is almost rained away...except Bob, of course.
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic:
    • Averted via the heavy use of improvised dialogue.
    • Unlike many comedy shows, the characters often react to humorous dialogue appropriately. Characters sometimes talk over each other, stutter, pause to let the other continue only to start up again, admit when someone has said something funny, etc.
  • Reality Ensues: Despite its quirky nature, the show has many moments show what would happen or how people would normally react in a certain situation.
    • The 2nd episode of the series has Bob going into a crawl space to avoid having to interact with Linda's parents when they come to visit, pretending to be stuck. Not only does he get stuck for real, but he slowly goes insane until he gets freed by, ironically enough, Linda's parents.
      • In the same episode, Tina, Louise, and Gene all get detention, which prompts Mr. Frond to pull them out of class in the middle of the school day for a house visit. He arrives at their house with Bob still trapped in the wall and says he's calling CPS, only for Linda's mom to point out how Mr. Frond can potentially get fired for pulling the kids out of school without any permission at all from their parents or the school. Needless to say, Mr. Frond backs off.
    • Teddy is a very frequent customer of Bob's and appears in almost every episode. in Season 5, it's revealed he has very high cholesterol due in large part to eating a burger from Bob's resturaunt almost every day.
    • In one episode, Tina (in one of her Tina-typical erotic fantasies) is looking forward to getting a body massage from an attractive masseuse. Once she's there, however, he tells her that because she is a minor and there are no other adults present, the best he can give her is a scalp massage. She takes it.
    • In "Christmas in the Car," Bob is forced to gun the car backwards across a bridge as a truck driver barrels for them from the other side. Bob yells at everyone to hang on, and jerks the steering wheel to do a 180 spin around...only for the car to only do a halfway jerk. Bob sheepishly admits he was trying to do a movie thing and puts the car in gear again.
    • In "The Kids Rob a Train," the Belcher kids try to escape from the "Juice Caboose" by using the overhead hatch to the roof. Typically this might lead to some action or slapstick on top of the moving train, but the sun has made the metal too hot to touch, so they have to find another way out.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gene's speech dissolves into this during a pep talk toward the actors in his musical.
  • Recurring Extra: Speedo Guy and Large Tommy.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Jimmy Jr. and Zeke.
    • The Belchers are all pronounced in these tendencies too. Linda, Louise, and Gene have red personalities while Bob and Tina seem more blue.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The pilot is about suspected cannibalism in the restaurant.
  • Restaurant-Owning Episode: This trope comes into effect whenever the Belchers try to expand their services, like serving brunch or running a food truck. These are usually the work of Bob's impulsive wife Linda, and her poor planning, compounded by the kids' antics, usually means they're back to normal at episode's end.
    • In "Are You There Bob? It's Me, Birthday", Hugo the health inspector takes Bob on an inspection to show how important his job is. The restaurant they inspect is run by a former stockbroker who had no food service training and opened a wrap restaurant because he thought it would be fun and easy. Hugo finds violation after violation and marks the place with an F, then makes Bob eat one of the wraps, which makes him violently ill. The stockbroker doesn't seem to get the message, as he plans to start a sushi restaurant next.
  • Rimshot: Louise does one for her own joke in Burger Wars on a drum set.
  • Rise of Zitboy: Bob's singular, gigantic pimple, only appears directly before he has to go to Linda's High School Reunion.
  • Rogues Gallery: While not in a true sense, there are quite a few recurring characters who torment or annoy the Belchers (but mostly Bob):
    • Felix Fischoeder, the Cranwinkles, Dr. Yap, and Counselor Frond tend to antagonize the entire Belcher clan, yet take on Bob the most (though Frond also is against the kids as much as Bob, and in Felix's case, nearly wreck the town's economic lifeblood)
    • Jimmy Pesto and Hugo the Health Inspector are Bob's biggest hurdles in life. The former is a rival restauranteur who goes above and beyond to annoy Bob and even damage his business, including try to buy his house just to drive him away, which in part seems to stem from Jimmy's jealousy for Bob's genuine cooking skills. Hugo is a nitpicky health inspector that is hell bent in shutting Bob down if he ever gets the chance, due to the fact Linda left him for Bob, causing Bob to have a much harder time in the restaurant than necessary.
    • Tammy Larson is Tina's recurring opponent. The girl is a bratty Alpha Bitch that sees Tina as the one she should one-up and humiliate at all costs. While Tina can often be friendly to Tammy, she will rarely do the same, and they have more than once competed over a boy.
    • Millie Frock is Louise's Evil Counterpart and a full blown sociopathic stalker for her, with her plans revolving around how to force Louise into being her friend. Millie is a surprisingly intelligent enemy, often on par with Louise herself, and is also prone to some quite mischevous and even dangerous actions when her plans go awry.
    • Louise and Linda have a shared enemy in the mother and son duo Logan and Cynthia Bush. Louise quite vocally considers The Bully Logan her nemesis ever since he stole her ears, while Linda vocally hates Rich Bitch Cynthia, who constantly berates her. Although there are a few instances where they work together (such as Louise teaming up with Logan to escape a boring seminar), they both hate each other too much for that to last longer.
    • Gene's recurring enemy was his Abhorrent Admirer turned rival Courtney Wheeler, an annoying girl with a crush on him that manages to piss off his whole family with her habits, but later episodes shows them making up and even still having lingering feelings for each other. The role of Gene's recurring enemy has since shifted to her father, Doug Wheeler, a Stage Mom that pushes his daughter and often ropes Gene along in his attempts at having artistic achievements.
  • Romancing the Widow: More like adorably having a crush on the widow in Teddy's case.
  • Rule of Three:
    • According to the title sequence, Bob's Burgers is on their third "Re-Opening".
    • Ethan makes up a third rule to induce this in "The Kids Rob a Train".
  • Running Gag:
    • Whenever Gene uses an innuendo in front of Bob, the latter will say "Gene." in an annoyed tone.
    • When there's a shocking revelation, the camera quickly zooms with a dramatic orchestra sting. Sometimes, the camera will zoom in and out on multiple characters' faces individually, all within the span of about two seconds. This was more common in the early seasons.
    • Each of the Belchers has put up with unwanted attention from an Abhorrent Admirer of some kind. Bob had Linda's sister Gayle, Linda had that creepy pilot who tricked lonely housewives into having sex with him, Tina had that boy who was trying to use her to fulfill his fantasy of tasting a TV star's hair, Gene had Courtney Wheeler, and Louise had Millie Frock (though Millie's obsession with Louise was not of the romantic sort, as far as we know).
    • Characters have a habit of mumbling their answers when they want to hide the truth from someone (Linda trying to hide the fact that she sold the espresso machine, Bob trying to hide the fact that he made a veggie burger for Teddy). Predictably, it never works.
    • Whenever Linda finds out about something that one would think would upset her, she looks like she is about to react with anger, but ends up actually being happy about it.
    • Whenever Tina greets Jimmy Jr. when he's accompanied by Zeke, she'll greet the former in a friendly manner and flatly acknowledge the latter.
      "Hey, Jimmy Jr. (pause) ...Zeke."
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr. Dinkler, the Thomas Edison-obsessed substitute in "Topsy", at least to Louise. He destroys her science fair volcano and is just a complete prick to her in general.
  • Save Our Students: The plot of "Bob and Deliver".
  • Scandalgate: When a lunch lady doesn't give Gene enough tater tots, he refers to what happened as "Tatergate."
  • Schedule Fanatic: In "Mazel Tina", Tammy demands that Tina keep her Bat Mitzvah running on schedule no matter what. Even when Tammy goes missing at her own celebration, Tina continues to make sure the events proceed on schedule, which means filling in for Tammy and becoming the new star of the party.
  • Scout-Out: Tina is a Thunder Girls scout as revealed in the episode "A River Runs Through Bob".
  • Screams Like a Little Girl:
    • Mr. Frond has done this one more than one occasion!
    • It's hinted at this by Louise and Gene in "Christmas in the Car".
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Though it's pretty clear which musical will be chosen, the musical director instantly chooses "Working Girl: The Musical" in part because Courtney's dad claims to know Carly Simon.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: Bob once entered a a burger-off against a well respected professional chef. (And Jimmy Pesto, but he doesn't know anything about burgers.) Bob lost by a narrow margin, but he earned the respect of the professional chef and the judges' praise of his burger resulted in many members of the crowd coming to his restaurant.
    • The "Boyz 4 Now" subplot has Gene entering a table-setting competition and ending up coming in 4th place thanks to a rather...tactless theme cobbled together out of desperation. Gene, Bob, and Linda are still happy about his placement, since it's apparently the highest any of the Belcher kids have ever placed in anything.
    • In "Paraders of the Lost Float" the family enters a float into a parade in hopes that, with only four other floats competing, they would win the $500 prize for fifth place.
  • Secret Diary: Tina's diary is how Linda finds out where the kids are in "The Belchies."
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: The restaurant is shut down after Louise starts a rumor that the burgers are made from the corpses from Mort's crematorium. The health inspector wants to do tests to make sure the meat contains less human flesh than "the 4% maximum allowed by the FDA".
    • The original concept for the series.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: A Once an Episode occurrence, often between Bob and Teddy.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Kiki the capybara and the manatee dummy in one episode.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Jimmy Jr. and Zeke again.
  • Serial Escalation: Tina's night terrors, they started after she saw the movie Night of the Living Dead when she was younger, and as a result she has vividly terrifying dreams where she is attacked by zombies. Then she hit puberty, and her budding sexuality has caused the dream to now have Tina making out with the decaying undead. Then after an unfortunate incident regarding the thin walls between her room and her grandparents, the zombies now make out with each other with Tina forced to watch while sounding like her grandparents having sex!
  • Serial Homewrecker: Shelby Schnabel the sharpshooter only dates married men, to the extent that Mr. Fischoeder has to pretend to be married with kids to have a chance with her.
    Mr. Fischoeder: She left me for a married oil magnate. Then she left him for a married movie magnate.
    Tina: She's a magnate magnet.
    Linda: More like a homewrecker.
    Mr. Fischoeder: Exactly! Which is why I need to give her a home to wreck.
  • Series Continuity Error: In "Gayle Makin' Bob Sled" Bob insists he drive to Gayle's, bringing up Linda's previous attempt to drive in the snow, at which point it cuts to a flashback to a scene in "Christmas in the Car", except in the actual episode Bob was the one driving.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    • The songs "Nice Things Are Nice" and "Bad Things Are Bad".
    • In "Topsy", Louise describes her lost volcano as "volcano shaped".
  • Shared Family Quirks: The Belcher children tend to take a lot of traits from their parents.
    • Gene and Linda tend to be the most musically inclined Belchers, with Linda constantly breaking into song and Gene often having new ideas for his keyboard
    • Louise and Bob tend to be the snarkier members of family. While Bob tends to be the Only Sane Man, he can be just as vindictive and crazy as Louise when the situation calls for it.
  • Shocking Swerve: In-universe. Linda started her murder mystery production with a prologue where she claimed that she was not the murderer, but at the end of it she went back on that and said that she was. There was zero foreshadowing or even sense in it. The public was not amused.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page!
  • Show With In A Show:
    • The western movie series, Banjo, seen in "Spaghetti Western and Meatballs".
    • "Beefsquatch" features the morning news program, Get On Up.
    • "Family Fracas" features both the titular Game Show and a judge show called Pam's Court.
    • "The Equestrinauts" has the title show, a cartoon about horse superheroes.
    • The aforementioned Twincinnati.
    • There's also the Japanese movie series "Hawk and Chick"
  • Signature Instrument:
    • Gene has a small blue keyboard capable of recording sounds to which he is deeply attached to and is often seen playing (though he plays it less and less with each season).
    • In-Universe, Bob and Gene share a love for a series of western movies called Banjo about a man whose banjo also doubles as a gun and is his signature item, even featuring it in the DVD case of the collection of movies.
  • Singing in the Shower: Linda, who loves to sing anyway, gets more than one singing in the shower scene.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
    • Jimmy Pesto...
    • Hugo the Health Inspector.
    • Logan Bush and his mother Cynthia are this for Louise and Linda respectively.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • In "Lobsterfest," the kids are looking at a pamphlet that Louise says is porn. Bob thinks nothing of it. But once he finds out it's actually about Lobsterfest...
    • Likewise, in the beginning of "Hamburger Dinner Theater", Bob seems perfectly fine with the idea of Linda going to a strip club named Pickles. However, he gets upset when he learns she's actually going to dinner theater.
  • Sisterhood Eliminates Creep: In "Better Off Sled", the athlete girls team up to get some payback on Logan Bush for making fun of them (and picking on the Belcher kids).
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Actually quite idealistic and heartwarming for an adult-oriented show. The Belchers can reach small yet hard times but they all have each other to get by. They still love each other like a real family, and we love them because of it.
  • Sleeping Dummy: Louise makes one of these when sneaking out in "The Belchies", while Gene just leaves a pile of garbage and Tina leaves a note with her name on it.
  • Sleepwalking: Allergy medication causes Bob to sleepwalk and put the Thanksgiving turkey in the toilet, thinking he's toilet training Tina.
  • Smelly Skunk: Linda gets sprayed a by a skunk in "Eat, Spray, Linda." Worth noting is that the skunk spray acts just like it does in real life, a spray of fluid from it's anus.
  • So Unfunny, It's Funny: Bob's punny names for the Burger of the Day, as well as his comedy routine in "Beefsquatsch". To make matters worse, he seems genuinely surprised when people aren't laughing.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Invoked in-universe. In "The Millie-Churian Candidate", Peter Pescadero calls Jimmy Jr. a "dick" on Wagstaff School News. Being a school news channel, he gets bleeped and he promptly apologizes. The show itself has never used any language that had to be bleeped out. In fact, "dick" is occasionally used uncensored as an insult.
  • Spear Counterpart: Nathan to Tina in "Beefsquatch", and Henry in "Carpe Museum".
  • Speech Impediment: Jimmy Jr. with his lateral lisp.
    Tina: You're so annoying.
    Jimmy Jr.: Well, I have a speech impediment, Tina.
    Tina: Well, fix it.
  • Speed Dating: Linda sets up a speed dating event at the restaurant in "My Fuzzy Valentine".
  • Spoiled Brat: Due to the Belcher kids living in Perpetual Poverty, many of their rivals tend to be this. Tammy's parents are pushovers and somewhat terrified of her, Bryce and the other Kingshead Island teens are filthy rich bullies, and Louise's nemesis Logan has a My Beloved Smother (though their relationship is volatile). Darryl's bully Tyler from "Burgerboss" runs to his wealthy father when chased by Bob.
  • Super Bowl Special: Three restaurants (Bob's, Jimmy Pesto's, and a noodle place) end up using the same retired football player in their local game-day commercials.
  • Stage Whisper: Played for Laughs in "Wonderwarf", when no amount of insistence from Bob can stop Linda in the car.
  • Start My Own:
    • How Courtney reacts to not being allowed in Gene's musical.
    • Louise encourages Tina to do this with her own news show when the current news won't listen to her plea.
  • Status Quo Game Show: Double subverted in "Family Fracas". Bob's family gets on the show and amasses a huge win streak, but the wheel of prizes at the end keeps giving them nothing but Fracas Foam. Eventually, the Pesto family is brought on and, through some host-sanctioned cheating, actually wins the minivan that the Belchers were trying to get... but then when Jimmy Pesto and his family try to drive home in it, it gets a flat tire, and Jimmy has no clue how to fix it.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Nothing stops Hugo from trolling Bob. Nothing.
    • No matter what, whenever Tina DOES manage to find a boy that likes her in any way, that boy will never be seen again by the next episode and never mentioned again.
    • None of Aunt Gayle's love interests seem to last.
      • Mort. An earlier episode shows him hitting it off rather well with a woman he met online, but she's never seen nor mentioned again after that episode.
    • The show runs on the Perpetual Poverty trope, so anytime the family finds any source of financial betterment, expect them to lose it by the next episode or before the end of the episode. They can't even get away with replacing their couch with one they bought with their own money.
  • Stealth Pun: In "Turkey in a Can", Linda and Gayle help Gene write a song about gravy — "It's a gravy boat, not a navy boat..." then they get sidetracked and start singing about a navy boat that pours sailors onto your food. They specifically say "sailors" instead of... you know, another word for sailors.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: The ninja star credit card, created by Louise Belcher.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: Several rhymes or songs from within the show will appear during the end credits in a much more elaborate arrangement. Behold, the diarrhea song and the snake song. Fans have also made many of their own remixes, too.
  • Stylistic Suck: Anytime a musician appears or a character sings, the lyrics are going to be deliberately awful. Gene and Linda in particular stand out.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: Family Funtime. The owners put games out of order if they think kids are winning too much tickets from them, and Tina prays that there isn't any pee in the ball pit when she hides there in one episode.
  • Swallow the Key: Tina in "Wonderwarf II", though she is tricked into doing it by Louise.
  • Switching P.O.V.: A large part of the episode "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl" is different people telling the story from their perspective. For the kids, this dissolves into Self-Serving Memory at times before they're corrected.
  • Take That!:
    • Tori Amos gets a... tribute in "Food Truckin'".
    • The episode "The Kids Rob A Train" can be seen as one to wine tasters, in particular, pretentious ones. The premise of the episode isn't too far-fetched, either, since some experiments actually do show that professional wine-tasters can be easily tricked, despite their "expertise".
    • "The Equestranauts" is one for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and especially its infamous Peripheral Demographic, the Bronies (here referred to as "Equesticles"). Although the Take That! is more aimed at the Bronies than the show itself, since the whole episode is dedicated to mocking Bronies while the actual show is just parodied. Although given the positive reception of the episode by the Brony fandom and the fact that it stands as more of an Affectionate Parody, it being an actual "Take That!" is dubious.
      • While the episode comes off at first like the typical Brony-shaming, the end of it shows more understanding towards the community as mostly decent people. The real Take That! is directed at Bronconius, who represents the worst people in the fandom.
    • "The Hormone-iums" seems to be one towards abstinence-only education and how some programs intentionally lie about how not only sex, but any affection works.
    • "Long Time Listener, first time Bob" has a rather harsh one against automated radio stations, particularly ones like Jack FM for being super corny and try-hard.
  • Terrified of Germs: Sleepover attendee Jodi has apparently never sat on anything.
  • Thanksgiving Episode:
    • "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal" (season 3): Mr. Fischoeder attempts to seduce an Old Flame with a thing for married men by hiring Linda and the kids to pose as his family during Thanksgiving.
    • "Turkey in a Can" (season 4): Bob tries to solve the mystery of why the turkeys he prepare keep getting thrown in the toilet every morning; Louise tries to clear her name of suspicions; Gene, Linda and Gayle attempt to create a Thanksgiving song; Tina tries to prove she belongs in the adult's table.
    • "Dawn of the Peck" (season 5): While Bob stays at home drinking, Linda and the kids attend a "running of the turkeys" that leads to swarms of angry poultry rampaging in the streets.
    • "Gayle Makin' Bob Sled" (season 6): Bob attempts to get Gayle (who's suffering from a broken heart and a broken ankle) to their Thanksgiving dinner while Linda and the kids attempt to make the dinner by themselves.
    • "The Quirkducers" (season 7): Louise and Gene come up with a plan to get a half-day before Thanksgiving using Tina's erotic holiday fiction; Linda becomes obsessed with a potato that looks like her grandpa.
    • "Thanks-hoarding" (season 8): The Belchers end up helping Teddy with a Thanksgiving dinner for his family and discover he’s a (one-room) hoarder.
    • "I Bob Your Pardon" (season 9): The Belchers set out to save a turkey that was supposed to be pardoned by the mayor but is headed for a slaughterhouse instead.
    • "Now We're Not Cooking With Gas" (season 10): Bob gets a fancy heritage turkey for Thanksgiving, but a gas outage leaves him struggling to find a way to cook it.
  • Theme Naming: Tina, Louise and Ginger.
  • Themed Party: Episode "Bobby Driver" has Tina, Gene, and Louise attending a kid's extravagant The Great Gatsby themed birthday party. The birthday-boy is very uninterested in the party and the kids initially think he's a spoiled brat who doesn't appreciate his parents' hard work. They later find out the parents threw the party for themselves so they could post photos of it on social media and the boy just wanted a low-key pizza party the whole time.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave:
    • Inverted. When Linda runs a bed & breakfast at their home, she is the thing that won't let the guests leave, until they're satisfied by her terms.
    • How Bob views his in-laws.
  • Third Wheel:
    • Teddy often ends up being involved in Bob and Linda's situations, whether he's dragged into them or whether he decides to tag along uninvited. In "The Kids Run Away", he decides to crash Bob and Linda's stakeout on Louise, even though he claims that he just happened to be in the neighborhood.
    • Zeke is often the third wheel whenever Tina tries to spend time with Jimmy Jr. As a result, Tina doesn't like him very much.
  • Threatening Shark: A mechanical shark goes berserk in "The Deepening".
  • Three Shorts:
    • "The Frond Files": The kids write three stories that were written to the school exposition, but Frond forbids them to be exposed and reads them to Bob and Linda.
    • "The Gayle Tales": To get out early from grounding, the kids have to come up with stories about Gayle.
    • "Sliding Bobs": The kids wonder how would Linda an Bob's first meeting go down if he didn't had a mustache.
    • "Mom, Lies and Videotape": After failing to record the kids presentations, Louise, Gene and Tina come up with completely fictional and improved versions of their crappy plays to Linda.
    • "Bed, Bob and Beyond": after watching part of a movie, the kids take turns telling what they imagine happens next, hoping to improve Bob and Linda's moods.
    • "The Handyman Can": the kids take turns telling Teddy stories to restore his confidence in his handyman abilities.
    • "Diarrhea of a Poopy Kid": Louise, Tina and Bob take turns comforting a sick and bathroom-ridden Gene on Thanksgiving.
  • Time for Plan B: In "Mazel Tina", when Tammy and Louise end up getting stuck in a hanging party decoration, Tammy briefly tries to break free with her feet by jumping and stomping. After Tina finds them but refuses to help them, Louise calls for Plan B.
    Tammy: And what is that?
    Louise: Going back to your Plan A. Jump till this thing breaks open! Go!
    Tammy: You got it! (they angrily jump up and down)
    Louise: Oh, my little legs!
  • Toilet Humour:
    • When an episode involves Gene befriending a talking high-facility toilet.
    • There's Gene's love of fart jokes, the episode about "The Mad Pooper"... the show actually did this practically Once an Episode, for a while.
    • Gene calls the kitchen sink "the guest bathroom."
    • "Turkey in a Can" is all about the Thanksgiving turkey ending up on the toilet.
  • Token Minority: In Tina's Thundergirl troop, only one girl (Molly) appears to be non-white.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Louise and Tina, respectively.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Louise is an example of one of these. Despite being the tomboy to her older sister Tina's girly girl, she wears a dress and a pink hat with bunny ears and seems to have a fondness for the color pink and stuffed animals.
  • Too Dumb to Live: "Christmas in the Car" shows plenty of instances:
    • Everyone in the family but Bob seems to be fine with the idea of tickling a driver (in this case, Bob). Surprisingly, it was Linda who suggested everyone tickle Bob.
    • The kids would have been the first ones to be gravely injured in a car accident for completely ignoring the candy cane truck coming from the road while they were pulling back to the street. Louise blames Bob for expecting them to do more work on that.
    • None of them but Bob can even tell they were truly going to die by a crazed driver in a candy cane truck and instead decide to blame Bob for trying to get them killed.
    • They finally realize the candy cane truck is out to get them when it tries running them all over head on. Even then, they stupidly endanger themselves as they try to make sure it doesn't notice them.
  • Train Job: "The Kids Rob a Train", wherein the kids (and Regular-Sized Rudy) break into a train kitchen and steal their chocolate reserves. Bonus points for the chocolate bars resembling gold bricks.
  • Treasure Hunt Episode: "The Belchies", where the Belcher kids (and the Pesto kids and Zeke) want to find the rumored treasure under the abandoned taffy factory.
    • "The Secret Ceramics Room of Secrets", where the Belcher kids try to find the rumored ceramics room in the school that was walled up in the 1980s after a kiln fire.
  • Trolling Translator: When Tina hurts her tongue, Louise volunteers to be her translator, which she uses as an excuse to screw with her. When Tina manages to get a date with Jimmy Jr. despite this, Louise takes the opportunity to set the date at the place she wants to go, a rotating restaurant that only serves gourmet pies.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Louise sometimes goes into this, particularly as regards her proclivity toward violence. Gene can manage it at times, despite being in the upper age range for this trope. There's nothing quite like recording your grandparents having sex and playing it in class to merit a visit to the guidance counselor.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Even more heart wrenching due to the fact that it's Louise...
  • Twitchy Eye: Louise develops this briefly after having her pink bunny hat stolen by a bullying teen. This is a foreshadowing to her psychotic fit that starts mere moments later when questioned by Linda about the hat's absence, and only ends the next day at school when she resolves to get the hat back by any means necessary.
    • She gets it again after they find the ambergris and she becomes consumed with greed when they make plans to sell it on the black market.
  • Two Decades Behind: The characters make a great deal of 80's and 90's pop-culture references. Somewhat justified coming from the adults, but it is much stranger that Bob's presumably Generation-Z children (especially Gene) do this with such frequency.

  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: Though this is an Informed Attribute due to the animation style Jimmy Pesto is often acknowledged as being handsome.
  • The Unreveal: In the episode where Louise loses her bunny hat, we never see her bare head completely (though we do see a fair bit of it during the close-up). She has a hoodie on the whole time and when she gets her hat back, she puts it back on over her hoodie.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Mort in episode 6.
  • The Un-Smile: Tina's attempt to act not-nervous in "Tina-ranasaurus Wrecks".
  • Valentine's Day Episode:
    • "My Fuzzy Valentine" (season 3): While Linda hosts a Single's Day in the restaurant, Bob and the kids go after the perfect Valentines Day's gift for her.
    • "The Gene and Courtney Show" (season 6): Gene and Courtney become the stars of the morning announcements and rekindle their relationship; Tina, Louise and Linda attempt to fix a mess Tina made with Valentine's Letters; Bob attempt to get last minute carnations to Tina's Valentine's Day
    • "Bob Actually" (season 7): A collection of stories of couples in the town. Linda helps a woman get over her break up; Bob and Teddy get dance lessons as a gift for Linda; Louise deals with Regular Sized Rudy's new found feelings; Tina has diarrhea but attempts to get with Jimmy Jr. anyway; Gene falls for a substitute kitchen assistant and helps her make dark chocolate.
    • "V For Valentine-detta" (season 8): Linda and Louise take Tina for a girls' night out in a limousine on Valentine's Day after Jimmy Jr. breaks her heart; Bob and Gene attend a couple's trapeze lesson.
  • Virtual Assistant Blunder: In "O.T.: The Outside Toilet", Gene discovers a high-tech toilet with voice recognition capabilities. Its AI is pretty advanced, but it still makes these blunders occasionally, such as playing the band Wings when Gene asks if it can deploy wings and fly.
    Gene: I'm gonna bet my sisters $1,000 that there isn't a talking toilet in the woods. That's what I call easy money.
    Toilet: Playing artist Eddie Money.
    [rock music playing]
    Gene: No, no, cancel! Undo!
  • Vocal Evolution: In the first season, Tina wouldn't speak above a barely audible monotone and usually handled tense situations with an awkward, drawn-out moan. By season three, she began speaking up and the moan was replaced with hyperventilation.
    • The moan comes back in Season 8 "V For Valentine-detta". For 12 hours straight.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Louise is Type 1 with The Pesto Twins. They trust her blindly, no matter how obvious it is that she's only taking advantage of them.
  • "Walk on the Wild Side" Episode: In one episode, the normally shy and awkward Tina was influenced by a new student into wearing makeup, dressing scantily, and using lots of slang. Tina was also blackmailed into cutting class with her by being threatened with having her "erotic friend fiction" of him shown to her crush.
  • Waxing Lyrical: In "Hamburger Dinner Theater", Gene describes an armed robbery using a lyric from Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Gimme Three Steps" - "When in walked a man with a gun in his hand, and he was lookin' for you-know-who".
  • "Weird Al" Effect: In-Universe: In "Easy Com-mercial, Easy Go-mercial", after Jimmy Pesto's Super Bowl commercial airs after Bob's, people accuse Bob (who had the idea and made his first) of ripping Jimmy off. Why? Because both have a celebrity endorsement via Sandy Frye's "Because [food] goes great with Frye." catchphrase.
  • What Does This Button Do?: Gene and Louise play out something straight from Dexter's Laboratory in an abandoned elevator in "The Belchies". Cue The Walls Are Closing In.
  • Whole Plot Reference:
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Parodied in-universe. In "My Greek Fat Bob", Linda hosts a party for Gretchen to sell "LadyGoods" products. Linda assumes she's selling cosmetics but is sorely mistaken when Gretchen begins her sales pitch in front of the kids...
    Woman: Do you think it's appropriate to have the children here?
    Linda: Why wouldn't it be appropriate?
    Gene: Our money's as green as yours, toots!
    Gretchen: Our first LadyGood is called the Joie de Vibe, which we all know is French for "fun".
    (She pulls out a vibrator and turns it on. Linda chuckles nervously.)
    Louise: Ha, ho! I don't know what that thing is, but the look on Mom's face is hilarious! I'll buy it!
  • What Is This Feeling?:
    • Louise, upon discovering that her father considered a spatula, a brillo pad, and a dog-shaped piece of soap toys while he was growing up, asks if it's possible to feel sad for another person. Possibly intentionally invoked as a joke, since she doesn't seem to be quite that sociopathic.
      Louise: What is this feeling I'm feeling? Like, I'm sad for another person? Is that a thing? AM I GOING CRAZY?!
    • This hits Louise again at the Boyz 4 Now concert when she develops feelings for the youngest member. Too bad the feeling is to slap him as hard as possible.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The restaurant is "conveniently located on Ocean Avenue" but its actual placement is unclear. Linda's accent suggests the central Mid-Atlantic region, placing the series in a seaside town along the Jersey Shore, Brooklyn or Long Island. Word of God says the town where the Belchers live is based around that general area. A season 9 episode officially gives the area, if not specifically the town, the name of Seymour's Bay (named after the show's editor and his editing bay).
    • In "V For Valentine-detta," Tammy says Becky's phone number begins "201", which is a New Jersey area code.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • According to "Bed and Breakfast", Teddy has an irrational fear of people in mascot costumes, which Louise tries to exploit.
    • Gene has a fear of snakes, as revealed in "It Snakes a Village"
      Gene: I'm not afraid of ghosts, I'm not afraid of sharks, I'm not afraid of cancer, I'm just afraid of snakes!
    • Bob has a fear of pigeons due to an incident in his childhood, but it turns out to be a misremembered scene from The Birds.
  • Wimp Fight: Josh and Jimmy, Jr. engage in one in during their Dance Off in "Two for Tina".
  • World of Pun:
    • If you see the name of damn near any business, odds are it's a pun. "It's Your Funeral" Mortuary to the left of Bob's Burgers, the ever-changing storefront to its right, the exterminators in the Couch Gag...
    • Bob himself notes the entire town has this problem; in various episodes, we see businesses like Who Cut The Keys? (a locksmith) and Waxing Philosophical (a grooming parlor.)
  • Wrong Restaurant: When the kids enter a yacht club, Gene orders the butler to bring him a plate of mini burgers, much to his confusion. In the end, the butler does bring him a plate, though.
  • Yes-Man: Jimmy is almost never seen without his bartender Trev, who keeps agreeing and supporting every jab or joke Jimmy throws at Bob. Jimmy thinks of him as his son more than his real blood sons.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Tammy does this to Tina in "Mazel Tina" when she's finally freed from captivity after Tina refused to help her.

Heh. "Duderuses."


They Folded a Steel Grill

Jules and the Belchers hide in Jules' secret recipe room. Before hiding, Louise opens a window to make the auctioneer and movers think they escaped through it, despite the fact the grill can't fit through it.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / FakeoutEscape

Media sources:

Main / FakeoutEscape