Bob’s Burgers Review: Bob Actually
By Jenny Moore
Love takes over the Belcher family in various story arcs in this week’s episode of Bob’s Burgers. The family is reminded that today is Valentine’s Day when Linda gives each of her children a card with the same note inside reading that they “will be given a thousand kisses”. While Gene is thrilled and welcomes the gift (and kisses) from their mother, Louise stays true to her cynical roots by reminding Linda that the day is “an invented holiday” that she does not celebrate. As Linda makes her way over to give “Valen-Tina” her card though, the family realizes that she is very sick to her stomach after winning a leftover chili eating contest the three children played the night before. Bob then gives Tina the option of not going to school but she refuses and reminds the family that “nothing can stop love”. Finally, Linda makes her way over to Bob with a heart shaped box of chocolates. Upon receiving the gift, Bob stammers and tells Linda that he too has a gift for her, but needs a little time to deliver it.
As we follow the kids to Wagstaff Elementary, Tina is overcome with joy as her crush, Jimmy Jr., asks her to meet him in the gymnasium at lunch for a Valentine’s Day surprise. Soon after leaving, Tina’s stomach makes a terrible noise and she runs off to the bathroom because of “love poops”.
Side note: the way that the show animates Tina’s clenched shuffle every time she has to go to the restroom is hysterical. If anything, please watch this episode just for this. Believe me, it’s worth it.
Ok, back to the story. After finally feeling well enough to meet Jimmy Jr, she sees that he is on a trampoline and invites her to jump up and down with him until they are high enough in the air to “sky kiss”. Upset about her predicament, Tina tells Jimmy Jr. that she is unable to sky kiss him because she has horrible diarrhea. She then awkwardly walks out after saying that she “thought nothing could stop love but that apparently that is not true”. As she clenches her butt and walks back to the bathroom, she comes up with an idea when she sees something in a closet. She then walks into Jimmy Jr’s class wearing a pair of stilts and tells him that although she cannot jump, she can still sky kiss him.
Eugene’s love story starts when he unexpectedly meets the substitute lunch lady and instantly falls in love or as Gene puts it, “makes him feel the way he felt the time he sat on the dryer”. As she yells at him in spanish for touching her chocolate batter, her words slow down and he becomes entranced by her. This is a similar reaction that he had in S3E4 “Mutiny on the Windbreaker” where he falls for a sultry puppet named Marilyn. Unlike the puppet though, Isabella does not take advantage of Gene’s affection and instead invites him help make chocolate squares that she is going to give to her boyfriend. Through their interaction, Gene learns to like dark chocolate which causes him to fall for the voluptuous lunch lady even more. He then sighs in sadness when her shift ends and she leaves him alone in the kitchen to meet up with her boyfriend.
Louise on the other hand is put in an awkward situation when she thinks that her friend, regular size Rudy, likes her as more than just a friend. After coming up with a plan of how to let Rudy down gently, she is surprised when Rudy asks her at lunch to give the “love weeds” and Valentines card to his crush, Chloe Barbash, during their next class together. Although she is upset to give the gifts to Chloe, she does and sees that Chloe does not seem to care about the sweet gesture. After class, Louise tries to break it to Rudy about Chloe but instead finds out that Rudy is going to wait for Chloe outside so that he can give her his first kiss. After feeling unsure of how to let Rudy know the truth, Louise instead tries to convince Chloe to kiss Rudy but she refuses.
Meanwhile at the restaurant, Bob confides in his best friend, Teddy, that he wanted to take dance classes for Linda but never followed through.
Side note: If you’re interested in more context behind Bob and Teddy’s adorable relationship, please see S5E3 “Friends with Burger-fits”.
They then quickly leave the restaurant when Teddy reveals that his Zumba studio also teaches ballroom dancing. As they arrive at the studio though, they are told that the instructor has died and decide that they will take whatever class is being taught next because any dancing class has to be better than nothing. It then cuts to an awkward middle aged female instructor with baggy pants who introduces the guys to all things hip hop. As the class takes a break, he is introduced to the instructor’s awkward son, “Flip Swatch Fuzz”, who challenges him to a dance battle. As Flip Swatch Fuzz begins his portion of the dance battle, he tries a Janet Jackson move and ends up hurting himself. After declaring Bob the winner, he and his mother agree that it is now time to show Bob and Teddy how to dance.
The episode ends with Bob, Tina and Louise getting a Valentine’s Day kiss. For Bob, he and Linda kiss after he does a choreographed dance in the street with Teddy, Flip Swatch Fuzz and his instructor. For Tina, it is while she stands on her stilts and Jimmy Jr. jumps up to her on the trampoline where they sky kiss. Finally for Louise, it is after she lets Rudy down by telling him that Chloe is not going to kiss him. Then when she sees how sad that makes him, she decides to kiss him which of course is followed with a slap to the face.
For the backstory on why Louise love slaps, see S3E21 “Boyz 4 Now”. It is easily one of my favorite Bob’s Burger episodes. This is probably because as a young teenager, I too wanted to love slap my favorite band members in Backstreet Boys and N’SYNC.
Overall, I would say that “Bob Actually” was just okay. While I am always a sap for holiday themed episodes, this one just seemed to have a little too much going on. To help save time, I did not even go over the odd encounter that Linda has in the restaurant with the receptionist at Wagstaff who is stalking her ex-boyfriend. Instead of each character being given their own mini story, perhaps just focusing on Louise and Bob’s plot line with the family pitching in to help would have been more interesting. That being said, I still enjoyed this episode and cannot wait to see what is in store next for the Belcher family.