Bob’s Burgers: S09E16 “Roman’ Bob-iday”

Disclaimer: WordPress appears to have changed up its format and, as a rapidly aging white man, change confuses and frightens me. So if this review comes up looking funny, that’s why.

Episode Grade: B+

Bob Belcher is not a complicated guy. At his core, he’s just a dude who loves his wife, his kids, and his work, in some order. The problem is that all three of those things are extremely exhausting, and this episode is probably the clearest acknowledgment the series has made yet that Bob could use a break. As a small business owner supporting a family of five, he’s always got to be on because everything depends on him. As laissez faire as he can be about the craziness Linda, the kids, or the world at large throws at him, that sort of pressure builds up. Honestly, it’s a little surprising it’s taken nine seasons for the show to explore this angle.

Linda and Teddy aren’t necessarily the most empathetic characters on Bob’s Burgers, but they know Bob well enough to recognize when he’s reaching a crisis point (talking to a mustard-covered burger would be a red flag for most people, though Bob kind of does that sort of thing all the time). The kids are always down for a scheme, so it’s not surprising Linda was able to enlist them to lock their father out of the restaurant. But then who is Bob if he’s not making burgers? He clearly doesn’t know, and even Calvin Fischoeder’s charming song about the joys of doing nothing doesn’t quite convince him that he should just take the opportunity to just chill for a day. Bob has to work, because he always has, which brings us to Patricia’s 77 Sandwiches.

It’s not entirely clear why Patricia would let Bob anywhere near her food, as they meet while he’s being very understandably mistaken for a ‘bread-perv’, but I suppose compulsive workaholics have some sort of unspoken bond. In any case, Bob is able to see in Patricia his own obsession with work, as it costs Patricia her date (though I’m not sure she didn’t dodge a bullet there. Guy seemed a little stalker-esque). It also gave us the amusing image of Bob in Teddy’s role at Patricia’s restaurant. Other than that, there really wasn’t a lot to dig into here. A little bit of role inversion for some of our main characters, but nothing revolutionary. Which is fine, honestly. One of the great strengths of this show at this point in its run is how effortlessly they can produce quality episodes of TV.

Meanwhile, back at Bob’s Burgers, Linda and the kids bring another biker baby into the world. It was good to see Mudflap again, but mostly this b-plot was notable as another instance of the Belchers, and the show in general, acting as an oasis for whatever weirdos cross their path.

Easy Beavers:

  • Storefront: Clothes Before Hose: Gardening Attire. Exterminator: One Squish, Two Squish, Red Squish, Blue Squish.
  • So it turns out it’s not shingles, I just have gross skin on my back” Sounds about right, Teddy.
  • Anyone else think that the coffee/ketchup cocktail Bob made Teddy seemed like something Rusty Venture would’ve come up with?
  • “Well, we all knew this day would come”. Seems like the whole town is convinced Linda will leave Bob someday.
  • Odd thought, perhaps, but I kind of got an early-era Simpsons vibe from this episode. Fischoeder’s song in particular had me thinking of Mr. Burns singing “See My Vest”.
  • The Murder Kimchi Wrote Burger put me in mind of the Korean deli down the street from my office, where they serve a delicious Kimchi Burger. That’ll be lunch tomorrow.
  • You’ve got a tiny stranger coming out of your vagina who’s gonna annoy you for the rest of your life.” Two-Boobs, life coach.
  • As alluded to above, I’m white as hell, but as a proud resident of the DMV, I appreciated the Go-Go music on  the closing credits.