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YMMV / Bob's Burgers

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  • Accidental Aesop: "The Hormone-iums" can be seen as a PG-rated way to criticize abstinence-based sex education. Mr. Frond tries to make a play to teach the kids to not kiss, or else they will get mononucleosis and will die, accidentally tanking Tina's chances to be invited to a spin the bottle party. Tina then changes the play during the presentation, showing information that mononucleosis isn't lethal in most cases, and that you can avoid mono by just kissing people without it.
    Tina: We don't have to not kiss, we just have to smart kiss.
  • Adorkable: The Belcher family as a whole, whenever they're seen doing things together such as singing or any of their various Mundane Made Awesome activities.
    • Despite being a full-grown adult, Bob has some rather endearing qualities, from having a love of toy train models to constantly making pun-based names for his burgers.
    • Tina is weird, unattractive and downright creepy at times, but nonetheless completely lovable.
    • Behind Louise's cunning and borderline sociopathic behavior is a plucky and cute little girl who can be adorably awkward when it comes to her crush on Boyz 4 Now member Boo Boo or her hidden admiration for his father (exemplified in "Carpe Museum" when Bob actually finds out about it). She also has a soft spot for puppies, and gets excited when seeing one.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The episode "Best Burger" is one for the much-maligned "Family Fracas", giving us another competition between Bob and Jimmy Pesto, with Chuck Charles overseeing the event. While Bob still does not win, Jimmy crashes and burns hard, the contest between Bob and a famous chef is an incredibly close run, the winner was a deserving Nice Guy, and the restaurant picks up a significant amount of business on the back of it.
      • As a whole, the reaction to this episode made the writers learn that it's just not fun for the audience when the characters they root for lose for no reason and the Hate Sink wins. Subsequent episodes show Jimmy Pesto and Hugo either as laughably incompetent or losing for their efforts to do things in the most jerkish way possible.
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    • "All That Gene" serves as one to "Gene It On" by being another episode about Linda and Gene's relationship. "Gene It On" had Linda desperately wanting to live vicariously through Gene's cheerleading and smothers him in attention to do just that until Gene finally snaps at her and she declares he's "not her favorite anymore." "All That Gene" shows Linda genuinely wants to help Gene get the part of Quiet Eli because she believes in him, but the lengths of bribing the director undermine her best interests and causes a rift between them before Linda makes amends. The problem with "Gene It On" being Linda doesn't really learn why she was wrong to treat Gene the way she did, while "All That Gene" has Linda making a well-intentioned mistake for the sake of supporting something Gene really wanted to do and then making a better effort to offer him true support.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Gene, who people either love or hate. He often times tips over the edge of funny behavior and just starts getting annoying. This is something the show actually lampshaded in the first episode.
    • Teddy is either funny and endearing, or an irritating Manchild who frequently acts as The Load and is often shoehorned into the episode.
    • Linda is either a funny and enjoyable wife or an awful and annoying wife to Bob.
    • Jimmy Jr. in later seasons. It depends on whether you see his negligent or outright mean treatment of Tina to be funny or not.
    • Gayle, like her sister, is either funny or annoying depending on the viewer.
  • Broken Base:
    • Something that becomes more noticeable in later seasons is that more episodes focus on the kids, with Bob and the restaurant barely even appearing and even then not related to the main plot despite him being the title character. As a result, this has caused some minor contention from viewers about the show overusing the kids, causing Bob himself to feel out of place despite the title having his name in it. Fans who support this think it's a fair inversion to family sitcoms where the parent characters have gotten more focus than the child characters. On the other hand, this really depends on whether or not you finds the kids funny, including Gene.
    • More than half of the women featured on the show are voiced by men, some of them, with Linda's actor in particular, intentionally doing a half-assed voice for them. Whether this is funny or annoying is dependent on the viewer.
  • Catharsis Factor: The Reveal that Hugo started the fire in “Bob Belcher and the Terrible, Horrible…” and Ron forcing him to admit it and apologize. Sure, the Belcher kids worked hard to atone for what they thought was their mistake, but it was nice that it wasn’t their fault in the first place and that Hate Sink Hugo had to face some repercussions for it.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Louise's Child Molester Burger special, it comes with candy.
    • Bob telling Gene that fat kids like him can't get molested.
    • In "Purple Rain-Union", Jen accidentally gives Tina a black eye. Louise's solution is to get everyone in the room to have black eyes.
    • A child calling their parent by their first name is usually considered rude as hell. Gene calling his mom Lin while doing a spot-on imitation of his dad? Surprisingly charming.
  • Delusion Conclusion: A fan theory claims that the kids are dead and it's all in Bob's mind, which is sort of supported by the fact that Bob has hallucinated and had some surreal imaginings before, but Jossed when you see episodes focusing on the kids.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: In "Bob Belcher and the Terrible, Horrible..." Linda tells the kids they shouldn't break windows or steal things, "even if that's fun." The way she describes both makes it sound like Linda did her own fair share of vandalism growing up.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Regular-Sized Rudy has found many fans for his positive attitude and thrill-seeking tendencies in spite of his asthma.
    • Millie Frock from "Fort Night" gained fans from being so hilarious and disturbing, and they've repeatedly brought her back for more episodes. Thankfully her appearances have been far enough apart she hasn't lost her entertainment value.
    • Marshmallow, for being one of the few positive portrayals of a transgender person in fiction when introduced in Season 1's "Sheesh! Cab, Bob?" from 2011.
    • Nat Kinkle, the limo driver from "V For Valentine-Detta". Fans ate her up after 1 appearance, leading to a return in 2 episodes during season 10. Even getting her own focus episode in her 3rd appearance.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Seems to have become a Take a Third Option to the pre-existing one between The Simpsons and Family Guy. It doesn't help that Family Guy has repeatedly gone out of its way to mock Bob's Burgers, including a minute-long scene that's just Peter insulting the Belchers for incredibly shallow and flawed reasons (like calling Louise "Bunny Ears" and saying her hat's the only reason she's funny). The tone of all these jokes repeatedly come across as petty jealousy over how well Bob's Burgers has done for itself. Compare that to The Simpsons doing a Couch Gag featuring Homer Simpson ending up in the restaurant during the show's opening credits while the Belchers discuss whether they should adopt him or if he's trying to rob them.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: While Tina/Jimmy Jr. does have its fans, its pales in comparison to Tina/Zeke. Due to Jimmy Jr's Base-Breaking Character status, loads of his detractors pile onto this ship as Zeke does have plenty of Ship Tease that Tina herself seem to notice (not without it being forgotten about) and Fanon seems to believe he seems to be the only guy who would treat her right ( and Josh but that Ship sunk).
  • Fountain of Memes: Tina, and to a lesser extent, Louise.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Archer due to H. Jon Benjamin starring as the titular characters in both series. The Season 4 premiere of the latter was a crossover episode where Archer has amnesia and thinks he's Bob Belcher. The season 4 finale guest starred Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal as one-off characters, both using the same voices they use for Gene and Louise respectively.
    • As mentioned in the main page's description of the show, many fans are also fans of King of the Hill with many considering it to be a Spiritual Successor. A common trait the two shows share is that it is generally more grounded in reality compared to other adult animated shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy, though Bob's Burgers is a little wackier than King of the Hill. Fans of both Bob's Burgers and KotH also share a Fandom Rivalry with Family Guy. Some characters in the show are also compared to KotH characters; Teddy shares many traits with Bill Dauterive and Regular Sized Rudy's clothes and hair make him resemble a skinny Bobby Hill.
  • Genius Bonus:
  • Growing the Beard:
    • The writing really improved halfway through season 1 and never really slowed down. Arguably the second jump in quality was by seasons three and four, where the show focused on the kids and their bizarre adventures alongside the adults and the failing restaurant.
    • "Burger Wars" is a strong contender for being the moment the show grew the beard, as it introduced Mr. Fischoeder and the Pesto twins.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Bob's desire to stop Gloria and Al from moving in with his family in "It Snakes A Village" initially comes across as self-serving. However, by "The Terminalator II: Terminals of Endearment," it becomes painfully clear that Gloria's a total asshole who inconveniences Linda and outright steals from her while lying about it. And not only that, but Linda doesn't mind because she thinks since Gloria and Al are her parents and she loves them that makes it okay for them to walk all over her. Suddenly Bob's desire to not have his in-laws living with him becomes totally justified not just for his sake, but to keep Linda's horrible parents from exploiting her as much as Gayle does.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Hollywood Homely: Bob is frequently referred to as being particularly fat and/or unattractive, but due to the show's art style he doesn't look any more so than the other characters.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Ron seems... quite enamored of Hugo.
    • Zeke and Jimmy Jr. have a considerable amount of this going on, most notably in "Stand By Gene" in which Jimmy is jealous of Zeke suddenly being all buddy-buddy with Gene.
    • Bob and Jimmy Pesto Sr. could have hints of Foe Yay going on.
    • Andy and Olly Pesto, doubling as Twincest.
    • Jimmy Pesto Sr. and Trev seem to spend a lot of time together outside of work. Given Jimmy's apparent divorce, it's not outside the realm of possibility.
    • It's been strongly implied that Hugo isn't just mean to Bob because he hates Bob, but because he's attracted to Jimmy Pesto. Hell, Hugo called Jimmy "gorgeous" once.
    • There's also a fair share of Les Yay in some episodes. Special mention goes to Millie's obsession with Louise, who's basically her stalker and wants nothing more than to be very close to her, much to the latter's chagrin and annoyance. Also comes off as Foe Yay too given how Louise wants nothing to do with her.
    • The very close friendship between Bob and Jairo in "Sexy Dance Healing".
    • Teddy is canonically obsessed with Bob and there's some evidence that he has a crush on Bob.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Andy x Ollie is a popular ship. And it's entirely possible that it's canon.
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • Played with in "Are You There Bob? It's Me, Birthday". Hugo calls Bob an Ungrateful Bastard for not liking birthday parties as he’s being unappreciative to people trying to show him that they care about him. However while a birthday is indeed about those who love you and want to celebrate your birthday, at the end of the day it’s still about the birthday person themselves. Doing something that they hate isn’t mutually beneficial as they aren’t enjoying themselves. However it’s less the intent of Hugo’s words and more their delivery as giving Bob a What the Hell, Hero? for not liking birthday parties comes off as self-serving and selfish.
    • Averted Trope as the Jerkass Has a Point; in the episode, it was Jimmy Pesto who reminded Linda that Bob didn’t like parties, causing her to calm down and do something Bob would actually enjoy.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Felix. He's clearly insecure about living in his older brother's shadow, and Calvin frequently treats him unkindly; for example, snubbing him during the gingerbread house competition in "The Last Gingerbread House on the Left" and making him live in the treehouse in "The Oeder Games".
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Most of Tina's dialogue in general. Just check Tumblr.
    • This quote from Gayle:
      Gayle: (gasps) My cat was right about you.
    • This quote from Linda:
      Linda: Independent whaaaaaaaaaa?
    • The fanbase still debates the "Spiceps" vs the "Spice Rack." Consensus choice is the Spice Rack. (Man, Bob can't even win in the fandom!)
    • Bob literally grasping at straws.
    • "They certainly are... standing next to each other." explanation 
  • Moe: Tina, an awkward teenager with glasses and a seemingly puppy dog eye expression.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Millie Frock crosses this in the episode "Fort Night". In it, the children get trapped in their fort by a garbage truck and Millie opts to torture them instead of setting them free. However, that's not when she crosses it. She crosses it when Bob and Linda, worried to death over where their kids are, come this close to finding and rescuing them, only for Millie to lie to them and lead them away. Keep in mind that the children could have died trapped in there, which is hammered home when Daryl accidentally activates the truck's compactor, nearly crushing them alive.
    • And just in case more was needed to prove Millie is well beyond the Moral Event Horizon, in "The Millie-churian Candidate", she strangles Abby with her own braid in an attempt to kill her because it seemed she was standing in the way of Millie's plan to make Louise her best friend. And she does it in front of the whole school, horrifying the students and Mr. Frond.
    • In "World Wharf II: The Wharfening" Felix leaves his brother and Bob tied under the pier so they'll drown when the tide comes in and he can get his brother's money. Eventually subverted when he can't bring himself to go through with it and tries to save them. When he confesses his plan to his girlfriend Fanny, she's the one who crosses it by putting the plan back on and attempting to murder Mr. Fischoeder and the Belchers.
  • No Yay: Despite it being very popular, whether it be from Louise/Regular Sized Rudy shippers or non-shipping fans, people outside of its own fanbase see the Louigan (Logan/Louise) ship as this. Mainly due to the age gap (Louise is 9 and Logan is around 16-18!) and the fact that Logan has more than once tried to physically assault Louise (which is also made worse by their ages).
  • One True Threesome: Bob/Linda/Teddy are paired this way by a lot of the fandom, thanks to the closeness between the three (to the point that Teddy is an Honorary Uncle to the Belcher children) and the numerous implications that Teddy is attracted to Linda and Bob.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
  • Seasonal Rot: Downplayed, but season 10 is seen as somewhat disappointing by a number of fans. While every other season, including season 1, has an audience score on Rotten Tomatoes of 80 percent or higher, season 10 sits at a more modest 73 percent. A lack of standout episodes and a larger number of episodes that place the focus on Gene and/or Linda (who were divisive characters to begin with) are generally seen as the reasons for the slight decline.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Family Guy. Originally panned by critics and viewers alike as another unnecessary copy of adult animated sitcoms centered on a Dysfunctional Family and appealing to Dark Comedy and Cutaway Gags, Bob's Burgers grew to use the archetype to go into the opposite direction of comedy. A large portion of Bob's appeal is the genuinely heartwarming moments between the quirky Belchers and the lighthearted style of humor that heavily contrasts with Family Guy's dark brand of humor that focuses on the often unlikable Griffins and their dysfunctional family dynamics.
  • Spiritual Successor: While it's earned comparisons to King of the Hill due to its quirky characters and realistically grounded (albeit Denser and Wackier) setting, the show also has more left-leaning values, particularly in its unassuming depictions of gender nonconformity and sexuality, than the characteristically conservative Hill. As such, one could say that it's a better liberal version of King Of The Hill than The Goode Family was.
  • Squick:
    • Bob kissing the cow.
    • When the kids attempt to fill an empty pool by spitting in it. That's not the squicky part, though. This is.
      Gene: My mouth's dry! Tina, give me some of your spit!
      (Tina spits in Gene's mouth)
    • Gene does it again in "Synchronized Swimming" by loudly snorting up his streaming boogers after coming up from under the water.
      Gene: That is good stuff. Uncut!
    • Tina's dream of the two zombies making out.
      • As if that wasn't bad enough, the zombies take on the voices of Tina's grandparents... who are having loud disturbing sex in the next room. Even Tina wakes up in terror.
    • "The Kids Run The Restaurant": The only thing worse than seeing Bob's small wound gush onto everyone is seeing Linda's disgusting, itch-inducing (she meant well) stitch job beforehand and having to see and hear it rip. Definitely one of the squickiest moments in the series.
    • Gene's incestuous comments about his mom seem to keep getting worse and worse, such as this quote from "The Wolf of Wharf Street":
      Gene: Mother, I've never been more attracted to you!
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Jingle In The Jungle," the novelty song which Gene keeps requesting the radio station to play in "Christmas in the Car", is reminiscent of a different classic novelty song "Pico and Sepulveda," aka the theme for The Dr. Demento Show. Even better, Gene's song sounds like the kind that would be played on that show!
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • Whenever something bad happens to Jimmy Pesto, like the time he was accidentally hit in the crotch in "Are You There, Bob? It's Me, Birthday", something Bob was grateful for.
    • In "What About Blob?", the other Belchers get tired of Gene's constant noise making and admit he's being annoying. The name of the preview on YouTube this scene was featured in is even called "Gene is Super Annoying".
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Jessica from "Slumber Party", the only kid who doesn't end up dropping out of the sleepover and shows a lot of cunning, enough that Louise considers her a Worthy Opponent, but she took a long time to make her second appearance. Years later, they brought her back in "Three Girls and a Little Wharfy" in the tenth season.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The show's original premise was Bob juggling being a family man and the owner/cook of his own restaurant. As the show progresses, the focus has been more on the antics of the Belcher family, namely the kids, with the restaurant itself and Bob's attempts at improving business being relegated to mostly b-plots. In fact, there are episodes that never take place in the restaurant itself.
  • Toy Ship:
    • Some viewers have posited a potential Opposites Attract pairing of Louise with Regular-Sized Rudy. In the episode "Bob Actually", she initially is disappointed to think that Rudy wants her to be his Valentine. Only to go into Green-Eyed Epiphany mode when she learns that Rudy wanted Chloe to be his Valentine. And at the end of the episode, she kisses him (and slaps him), showing that she really does like him.
    • Tina and Henry Haber. They got paired together in "Carpe Museum" where they try to determine which of them is the "biggest dork". In "Ain't Miss Debatin'", the two decide to be a couple, until they break up in the end.
    • Tina and Darryl. In " Can't Buy Me Math" they pretend to be a couple in an elaborate plan to ask out their desired crushes (Rosa for Darryl and Jimmy Jr. for Tina), though briefly Tina thought she fell in love with Darryl for real.
  • Ugly Cute: Tina. She's supposed to be a plain-looking teenager, but many viewers have said that she's the kind of girl they would have had a crush on at that age due to her adorkable personality.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Had it not been for her breasts, it'd be very easy to mistake Tina for a boy.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The horse animation in " The Horse Rider-er ". Horses are notoriously hard to draw, let alone animate, and all of them in this episode are meticulously well-animated, especially Jerico's dancing.
    • The conversation the kids and Nat have while floating on inner tubes down a lazy river in "The Ring (But Not Scary)" is impressive, especially the shots of all four slowly rotating with the camera at water level.
  • The Woobie:
    • Bob, being the Only Sane Man in a world of crazy people. Growing up with an overly controlling father, he just wants his restaurant to succeed and just live a normal life. His business and simple way of living is constantly mocked or endangered because of his otherwise uninterested and unsympathetic family. His wife is a ditzy woman who enjoys drinking and bizarre interests while encouraging their kids in talents that interfere with his business. His oldest daughter is the most loyal, but her obsessions with horses, boys and butts constantly get on his nerves and her puberty and personality often causes problems. His son is an obnoxious and loud Attention Whore constantly doing gross things. His youngest daughter is a schemer who always shows no respect for his restaurant and constantly lands him in trouble. Even moreso outside his family, there's his Affably Evil landlord, said landlord's unstable younger brother, his obnoxious rival who runs a more successful restaurant, a health inspector who has it on for him for "stealing his woman", a borderline insane sister-in-law and plenty of one-shot characters who seem set on making his life a living hell.
    • As much of a Base-Breaking Character as Linda can be, "Eat, Spray, Linda" has even her detractors feeling sorry for her. It's her birthday, the least favorite day of the year for her, and she ends up receiving rude treatment at a grocery store (for rightly calling out a woman taking up the line that shoved her way forward), locking her purse (containing her keys and cell phone) in the car, getting gum in her hair, ripping her pants and having to wear a 'street diaper', taking the wrong bus and getting further from home, having a Smelly Skunk spray her twice, breaking her glasses, getting in another argument with the lady from the grocery store and being chased through the chalk festival. She finally makes it home, defeated and miserable, but she admits that it was the best birthday ever and wants it to be a tradition.
    • Regular-Sized Rudy, the asthma-ridden kid who's frequently caught up between all the Belcher kids' craziness note . Especially in "Carpe Museum" where he has an asthma attack while stuck in a treehouse.
    • Tina. Most of the episodes focusing on her have her as a Butt-Monkey, and she's very socially awkward.


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