Bob’s Burgers the Movie: What to Remember Before Watching
– announced as a “Musical Comedy-Mystery-Adventure” – hits theaters on May 27th and I’m counting the days. Based on the trailers, the film looks like it will capture everything that fans love about the hilarious animated comedy series, now in its 12th season.
According to the 20th Century Fox plot synopsis, Bob and his chaotic but lovable family are gearing up for what will hopefully be a busy summer. As luck would have it, a burst water main opens a huge hole in the ground in front of the burger joint of the same name and ruins the Belchers’ plans. As Bob (voiced by H. John Benjamin) and his wife Linda (John Roberts) struggle to keep the business afloat, their children — Louise (Kristen Schaal), Gene (Eugene Mirman), and Tina (Dan Mintz) — take hold of a less traditional approach to helping their parents.
Check out the official trailer here:
Fans who’ve watched the trailers have likely spotted a slew of familiar supporting characters and callbacks to previous episodes that you can stream on Hulu. I have no doubt that everyone will enjoy The Belchers on the big screen without even having seen a single episode, but it never hurts to have fun with Bob. Here are a few things to remember and important episodes to watch before watching the film.
Bob’s Burgers 101: Human Flesh
For a crash course on Bob’s Burgers and a taste of just how messy things can get, look no further than the very first episode, human flesh.
The episode syncs almost chronologically with the end of the title sequence. Bob Belcher’s restaurant is about to ‘grandly reopen’ this Labor Day weekend when the health inspector shows up and accuses Bob of using human remains in the food. The rumor was started, of course, by Louise, the youngest Belcher. Fun fact: If the original show concept from developer Loren Bouchard had been retained, the beloved Belchers would actually have been cannibals.
You’ll also get a look at the iconic burger suit that Linda pairs with a bikini in the trailer. This burger suit, which the family uses for street advertising, makes multiple appearances throughout the season. The trailer is the first time we actually see Linda wearing the suit.
The Belchers’ tight finances
For the Belchers, burgers pay the bills, but barely. In the trailer, we see Bob and Linda at First Oceanside Bank, where the manager tells them they have seven days to make their payment – possibly on one of their overdue loans. This isn’t the first time Bob has run afoul of bankers.
In Bob Day afternoon (Season 2, Episode 2) Bob attempts to negotiate several delinquent loans with the bank manager, who only pokes fun at his dismal credit record. After Bob leaves in anger, the bank is taken hostage by a robber named Mickey (voiced by SNL alum Bill Hader). When the police make their headquarters at Bob’s restaurant, Bob is tasked with delivering burgers to feed the hostages across the street.
There’s probably an example of the Belchers’ tight finances in almost every episode, but this one is my favorite. This episode also introduces the grumpy and jaded Sergeant Bosco (voiced by Gary Cole), whom fans may have already spotted in the movie trailer.
Tina’s obsession with horses and boys
Tina Belcher reminds me of how I was as a teenager – awkward as hell, daydreaming all the time and crazy about boys. Just one of the Boyz 4 now for now (Season 9, Episode 1) shows Tina from her boy-crazy side.
She meets a boy named Damon outside the restaurant and is convinced that he is her soul mate. He’s on his way downtown to audition for their favorite music group Boyz 4 Now, who recently put out a casting call to find a new fourth member. Girls are barred from auditioning, so Tina disguises herself as a boy to infiltrate it and convince Damon that they’re meant to be. The plan quickly spirals out of control when Tina arrives at the convention center, which is full of boys.
Not only does Tina channel her hormone-driven feelings by filling notebook after notebook with “erotic friendship literature,” she also loves horses.
In The Rider-er (Season 6, Episode 17) Tina finally convinces her parents to send her to horseback riding camp. Unfortunately, she has to leave her imaginary steed, Jericho (voiced by Paul Rudd), behind. Jericho, whom Tina manifests as a full-size real horse, doesn’t take the news well.
Jimmy Jr. and Tina: Lovers Crossed
Tina, who loves horses and boys, tends to choose one boy over the others, and that’s Jimmy Pesto Jr. The only problem is that Jimmy Pesto’s father is Jimmy Pesto, Bob’s nemesis and the owner of Jimmy Pesto’s pizzeria.
In the trailer, Jimmy Jr. appears in a daydream. He and Tina ride horses – one of which is Jericho – across the beach. When Tina says that removing his jeans makes Jimmy Jr. “more aerodynamic,” he removes his pants mid-gallop.
I have no idea how close Jimmy Jr. and Tina will get in the film, but this “relationship” timeline is wild to follow. Some of the best episodes to get a feel for this hot and cold duo are My goodness! Taxi, Bob? (Season 1, Episode 6), The burps (Season 2, Episode 1), Two for Tina (Season 3, Episode 17) and Bob actually (Season 7, Episode 9).
In the trailer, we see Louise collecting ideas from a group of colorful creatures. This ragtag group first appeared in Season 7 Episode 1, Flu Ouise.
As a result, Louise comes home from school with the flu and her parents promptly put her to bed with all her toys. Noticing her favorite toy and night light, Kuchi Kopi, isn’t in the bed, she asks Linda to get it from the bathroom. A comedic series of mishaps results in Kuchi Kopi being damaged and Louise is furious. Vowing never to forgive her family, she falls asleep and has a Wizard of Oz-style fever dream in which all her toys are life-size.
The trailer doesn’t elaborate on how Louise sees her toys this way, but it’s possible she’s daydreaming in order to get ideas to save the restaurant.
The kids have a band
The trailer features a quick scene of the kids on a stage, decked out in rock star attire in front of a large audience. While Gene and his sisters take center stage, fans will notice well-known schoolmates Darryl (voiced by Aziz Ansari), regular-sized Rudy (voiced by Brian Huskey), and Peter Pescadero. Most likely the kids are training this concert, but the siblings actually have a band.
In The Itty Bitty Ditty Committee (Season 5, Episode 17) Gene plays his keyboard while Louise and Tina accompany him by pushing straws through to-go cup lids. When Gene recruits Rudy, Peter and Darryl into the band, creative differences collide.
Wonder Wharf and the Fishoeder Brothers
The Belcher’s restaurant is near the city’s amusement park, Wonder Wharf (think Santa Monica Pier). The trailer shows Bob, Linda and Teddy, a handyman and Bob’s unspoken best friend, driving a food truck in front of the park entrance. The trailer features a banner celebrating Wonder Wharf’s 80th anniversary. It’s likely the trio are trying to capitalize on the event for their business.
Wonder Wharf is owned by Calvin Fishoeder (voiced by Kevin Kline), the eccentric real estate mogul who owns a number of other locations around town, including Bob’s Restaurant. Calvin and his younger brother Felix Fishoeder (voiced by Zach Galifianakis) appear a few times in the trailer.
To see the Fishoeder brothers in action, watch the best episodes Kai horse (Part One) and World Wharf 2: The Wharfing (Part Two) at the end of Season 4. Calvin and Felix are also strong in episodes like The Oeder Games (Season 5, Episode 21), The last gingerbread house on the left (Season 7, Episode 7) and brunch squatch (Season 8, Episode 1).
Bonus: The unkempt dead-eyed dog that appears around the trailer’s 1:04 marker is Dizzy Dog, Wonder Wharf’s mascot.
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