A while back, I wrote a quick piece highlighting some of my favorite Bob’s Burgers episodes. They weren’t the ones that I necessarily think are the best (although I would make a case for a few), but they always bring me joy. During the lockdown, I ended up watching a fair amount of the series again and thought I’d bring you some of my other favorites, especially with a few new seasons since my last list.
The Ring (But Not Scary)
The return of Nat alone would make this episode one of my tops. She is an exceptional character. It is an overall solid episode, though. Bob finally gets Linda an engagement ring (a bit backward), but the kids lose it at the water park. This leads the kids, Nat, and Bob to try and get it back. Meanwhile, Gayle also makes an appearance and is also hilarious as usual, as she and Linda struggle to give her eye drops. It’s a delight. It also says something about how I am coping with the ever extended lockdown that the first time I saw the ending, I thought it was a bit cheesy, yet on a more recent rewatch, I thought it was adorable.
The Trouble with Doubles
Linda and Bob go on a pretty awful double date with a couple that Linda met through the PTA. Their night gets worse and worse, finally leading to them being locked in an escape room after being caught badmouthing the other couple. It’s pretty hilarious, and like a lot of the show really seems to fit into a “farce” to me. The other plotline, the kids, is also hilarious. The kids have friends over to watch a zombie movie, which causes them all to refuse to leave because they are too scared. Tina ultimately has to jump on an embarrassment grenade, and it’s simply lovely.
Spaghetti Western and Meatballs
I am going to get it out of the way, I think this show didn’t really start hitting its stride until a few seasons in. I always liked it, but I find myself rewatching from roughly season 3 onward more often than not. However, there are gems in the earlier seasons, and this is one. Gene and Bob bond over a spaghetti western called Banjo, much to Louise’s chagrin as she feels she is losing her relationship with both of them. Meanwhile, Linda wants to beat out a rival at a potluck for the school. Although not like later seasons, there is some good character development and a lot of great puns and jokes.
Prank You for Being a Friend
Louise has to put her bad behavior on hold at school or risk being forced into the Thinkgineers (an after school program that is used more as a punishment than an actual club). Fortunately for her, her classmate, Kaylee, approaches Louise wanting help to get kicked out of school. Louise agrees to be her pranking coach, although Kaylee truly struggles with it, and her “pranks” tend to be… less prankish. However, as Louise slowly helps her escalate towards one grand prank, she finds out Kaylee’s reasoning for wanting to be homeschooled and realizes she has made a mistake.
Bob’s Burgers has grown and matured over the years. While the show was always less towards mean humor than others of a similar vein, the show has gradually gotten more character-driven, and it shows a lot in Louise’s character. This is one of Louise’s better moments; without any prompting, she inherently understands that what Kaylee wants is bad for her and that she must stop her to help her. It’s a touching moment and puts this more in the “heartwarming” category.
It also shows the shift in Frond as a character. He is annoying, no doubt, but he has always truly seemed to care, and the show has started to focus on that more and his annoying tendencies less in later episodes. Overall it’s not the most “lol” episode, but it is a great one for character development.
Ain’t Miss Debatin
Duncan. Just Duncan. He is a hilarious over-exaggeration of someone from New Zealand, and every line is funny. The larger plot of Tina joining a debate team and dating someone because she “should” and not because she wants to is decent, and the episode overall is pretty great. Really though, it’s Duncan.
Roller? I Hardly Knew Her!
Alex and Courtney both make a return for this episode. Courtney’s father tries and fails to recruit Gene to be Courtney’s roller dance partner. Gene instantly says no, wanting more time for him and Alex to have fun. Alex, however, agrees in Gene’s stead. Gene has a difficult time dealing with having to share Alex’s attention and even contemplates hurting his friend to get him back. Brilliantly during Gene’s problems, he sings a cover of Alone by Heart that is just incredible (and has a wonderful Jocelyn moment).
While Gene is experiencing personal growth, Bob and Linda notice a woman sitting in her car outside their restaurant. Bob is happy to ignore it while Teddy and Linda come up with strange explanations for why she might be there. This little subplot is hilarious and also shows off how genuinely caring Bob and Linda can be.
It’s an all-around enjoyable episode, and again I cannot stress enough how hilarious Gene’s Alone is or the quick line when it ends. If nothing else, watch that part.
Stand by Gene
Upon overhearing that there is a farm with a two butted goat, Gene convinces a group of the “regulars” to go on an adventure to find it. The choice of name is good as the episode is less about the goat and rather about the journey to find it. It is also a big moment for Gene as he is trying to keep his belief (childhood) in amazing things alive in the face of challenges and doubt. Meanwhile, Bob, Linda, Teddy, and a few others get into a balled-up napkin throwing contest with Bob and Linda letting loose their hyper-competitive sides. It’s an enjoyable episode with a large cast in both stories, and both have a solid conclusion.
A Few ‘Gurt Men
Louise and Gene are up against each other when the school is doing mock trials of famous fairytales. Louise laments the assignment believing that being the defense attorney for “the evil queen” is a waste of time, which fair. Suddenly their trial is interrupted, and Frond is accused of stealing someone’s yogurt. They then decide to have the case play out in “court,” forcing Louise to defend Frond. This is another good, Louise has growth, episodes that I am clearly fond of. It is also pretty hilarious, although Bob and Linda’s story is only okay. Still, the fake trial more than makes up for it and keeps me coming back to this one.
Long Time Listener, First Time Bob
So, I am actually pretty neutral on this episode. It is not one I will skip over, but not one I actively seek out either. However, I felt I wanted to give a nod to the Linda and Teddy subplot. Linda makes a bunch of horrible sweet potato pies, and Teddy and Linda spend the entire episode being unable to stop eating them. It’s obviously an exaggerated version, but I’ve been there…
What are some of your favorite episodes? Has this been a show you’ve also revisited?