10 Thoughts on Bob’s Burgers – Gayle Makin’ Bob Sled

Welcome back, folks. It’s been a little while since Bob and the Belcher family have graced us with their presence. Usually, there’s an episode or two between the holiday specials of Halloween and Thanksgiving, but this year we’re jumping straight from one to the other. What went on in the Belcher household for basically the whole month of November is a mystery, but apparently it snowed a lot. So leaving Linda and the kids in charge of finishing the dinner, Bob goes out into the snowstorm to retrieve Gayle, who’s ankle is sprained. But when a giant snow drift covers the car, Bob has to pull Gayle through the mounting snow piles in a kiddie pool with Mr. Business (Gayle’s ever glorious cat) in a box. Hijinks, obviously, ensues.

Here are some thoughts.

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1. Bob’s Thanksgiving obsession is becoming borderline pathological

We get to see Bob at the beginning of the episode talking sweet nothings to his beloved turkey, while giving cold, cordial greetings to the potatoes and carrots. Not unusual for Bob. Most of the time, the turkey actually talks back to him, or he has a near orgasmic episode while in the grocery store while picking the bird. But throughout the episode, Bob talks to Linda on the phone giving precise directions on how to cook the turkey, which includes talking to it, soothing it and letting it know that Bob will be home soon. It really seems like it’s not a joke to Bob anymore, if it ever was. He really, really cares about the turkey. Like, to a point where it really seems like he thinks it’s alive.

2. Finally. A Mr. Business themed episode

Mr. Business is one of Gayle’s three cats, and he is by far the best. He looks like this:

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He’s just the goofiest little guy ever. I’m thrilled he gets to be the center of attention for a little while.

3. And Bob singing to him is gold

Mr. Business will only come off the shelf if Bob pats his own shoulder and sings (or skats, rather) to him. It’s one of the funnier moments of the episode and watching Mr. B jump down onto Bob made me laugh out loud.

4. Teddy’s relationship with his mother is getting strange

Bob gives him a call to see if Teddy can help him out of the snow drift, but Teddy is on a cruise. A singles cruise. With his mother. We have never actually seen Teddy’s mother, but she comes up a fair amount throughout the series. The fact that Teddy and his mother are on a singles cruise is upsetting, but what’s more upsetting is that apparently they are sharing a room, because when Teddy wants to get back in, there is a sock on the door. Which is a clear indicator that, yes, his mother is having sex with somebody in their shared room. Icky.

5. This episode features a how-to manual for making turkey

Bob tells Linda over the phone every detail for making a Bob Belcher turkey. If one were so inclined, you would be able to make a turkey to Bob’s exact specifications based on the instructions in this episode. What I’m saying is that this show really cares about Thanksgiving. Although…

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6. Why can’t the Belchers ever have a nice Thanksgiving?

First, the Turkey kept ending up in the toilet. Then, Mr. Fischoeder co-opted the family’s holiday feast by paying them to pretend to be his family (and Bob hallucinated on Absinthe). After that, a turkey apocalypse shut down the entire town. Now, a snowstorm and Linda and the kid’s incompetence destroyed any hope for a normal Thanksgiving. Poor Bob. Here’s hoping next year he gets the holiday he so desperately wants.

7. Tina was oddly not funny this episode

Tina took a back seat this episode. When the kids aren’t the center of the show for whatever reason, they almost always follow a joke format that leaves them with little to do but be the peanut gallery for the parent’s conflicts. Usually it goes like: Louise makes a joke or suggestion that’s crazy or maniacal, Gene follows up with a gross or food related comment, and Tina says something so mundane or random it’s hilarious. That’s basically all the kids did this episode. And while Gene and Louise got in some pretty good laughs (Gayle: “It’s the oldest dating excuse in the book.” Gene: “I have scabies?”), Tina was oddly dull. And not in the endearing, funny way she usually is. Just dull.

8. I’m glad that Bob’s involvement in making the dinner is so important

It turns out that without Bob, the family really can’t pull together a Thanksgiving dinner. Like, they really, really can’t. They end up with an undercooked turkey, a potato sundae, and green bean-gummi worm-M&M casserole. It’s nice to know that the thing Bob really loves is also something he’s very good at and the family couldn’t do without him.

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9. Gayle is getting harder and harder to like

It turns out that she was faking her ankle injury for attention and made Bob pull her through miles of snow for no reason. While this is pretty in line for the character, it’s really frustrating as a viewer to watch a character we’re supposed to care about be so irritating. It’s always been difficult to get past Gayle as anything other than a punch-line character, but to give her actual attributes that make her even more insufferable and then building an entire episode around her doesn’t necessarily make for enjoyable television. Oh, well. At least Mr. Business was front and center.

10. Overall, the season is unfortunately back to “meh” status

After the great Halloween episode we got a couple weeks ago, I was really looking forward to how this season was going to go after the false start of the first two episodes. But now it looks like we’re back in the territory of very underwhelming Bob’s Burgers. Perhaps it’s just that this is a holiday episode and each holiday has it’s own format that’s followed year after year (for Thanksgiving, Bob is always thwarted from enjoying his cooking and spending time with his family), and that format could be limiting. I hope that’s what it is. Because so far, this season has been rather disappointing.

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