Bob’s Burgers S11E06: “Bob Belcher and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Kids”

Episode Grade: B+/A-

Before I get into any reviewing of tonight’s episode, I’d like to take a moment to acknowlege that this is Bob’s Burgers‘s 200th episode, both in terms of production order and airdate (as far as I can tell). We’ve come a long way from the days when Fox jerked the show around to the point that the episode that was produced and promoted as the 100th episode, “Glued, Where’s My Bob?” was actually the 107th episode to air (“Stand By Gene” was actually the 100th to air). Congratulations to the cast and crew for keeping the quality as high as they have for this long, and for pulling the show all the way from 7:30pm purgatory up to the prime 9:00pm slot. Here’s to the next 100!

Alright. Now, to business…

“I love you all, but it would be great if you could just be not, like, how you are sometimes.”

Hey, remember when the worst thing the kids ever did was lose the ring Bob had bought for Linda? Well, burning down the restaurant kitchen is objectively worse. Like, by a lot. It’s bad enough that the show has to decide exactly how seriously they’re going to treat it to stay in the realm of comedy. If you’re the type of fan who gets anxious whenever the Belchers are in tough financial straits, there was probably no salvaging this episode for you, but “Bob Belcher and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Kids” does it’s best to keep things from getting too heavy by framing the kids’ individual confessions as musical numbers. Teddy also does good work throughout the episode to keep things from getting too bleak. This is still obviously a serious situation, but it’s handled lightly enough that the episode is still recognizable as Bob’s Burgers.

“Listen, Gene and I haven’t discussed this yet, but we’re both willing to move our stuff out by the end of the day.”

Somewhat suprisingly, thing take a turn for the heavier when the kids leave the restaurant, and start to reckon amongst themselves about what they’ve done, and what, if anything they can do to fix it. The aforementioned “Ring” episode was previously the most guilty we’d ever seen the kids, but here we see them grappling with the possibility that they might actually be bad kids. Louise has touched on this idea before, though it’s usually handled more jokingly, but the sequence comes off as a little jarring tonally, especially when contrasted with what’s going on back at the restaurant. If noting else, one gets the impression that maybe Bob shouldn’t call his kids “horrible” quite so often.

“Maybe that’s just what we are. We set the restaurant on fire this morning; we’re horrible! We’re bad eggs! But if we take that thing, at least we can help Mom and Dad.”

Of course, we know the kids aren’t really horrible (well, not like that, at least). Having them break into A Shrimp-le Plan to steal the grill piece would have been a bridge too far. It was a nice touch that what results thery were able to get from their would-be burglery came as a result of Tina’s guilty written confession to a crime they didn’t end up comitting. From there, in a bit of an echo of “Glued, Where’s My Bob”, Bob is able to salvage something from what could’ve been an utter disaster, and really, on Bob’s Burgers you usually can’t ask for more than that.

“Hey kids, you know I don’t actually think you’re horrible, right? It’s just something I said because sometimes you are.”

Honestly, there wasn’t too much negative to say about this one. I’ll take off some points for the utterly unnecessary last-minute reveal that it was Hugo who (maybe) started the fire, which I felt did nothing but slightly undercut the resolution between Bob and the kids. Aside from that, there was some slight unevenness in tone between the episodes segments, but that also feels like something I’ll notice less on rewatch. Overall, a great milestone episode.

Steel Songnolias

  • Storefront: My So-Called Knife Butterknife Store
  • Exterminator: Sleeping With the An-Emy Pest Control
  • Linda’s bedside reading: A Painful Murder
  • This was probably the best Teddy-episode in awhile. The character really is at his best when he’s operating in Uncle Teddy/Bob’s best friend mode, and Bob really needed a best friend tonight.
  • “You think they’ll be alright with a guy in pyjamas and slippers?” “I think they’ll like it.” He was also invaluble at keeping the tone light, or at least lighter.
  • Why is this happening? Why did everything turn out the way it did?” “You sound like me every morning.”
  • Kind of odd that the landlord wouldn’t pop by in an episode that revolves around serious property damage, but what’re you gonna do?