“Bob’s Burgers”: An Ode to The Belchers

By Cat Swindal

“Bob’s Burgers” might seem like a typical animated sitcom, but it has much more to offer (Courtesy of Cat Swindal).

“Bob’s Burgers” is the show that everyone has been talking about. Memes and GIFs of Tina dancing grace the Internet frequently. During Halloween, especially at Fordham, the Belcher family was a popular Halloween group costume. It’s a family of five that everyone seems to love.

People who haven’t been blessed by “Bob’s Burgers” yet may be wondering what makes this family so special. I’m sure that the common explanation of the show’s premise is something like, “it’s like ‘The Simpsons’ or, ‘it’s like Family Guy’.” I’ll admit, when the show premiered six years ago, I had similar thoughts. Upon previews, the Belchers looked like just another Simpson or Griffin family.

I am here to make the case for why the Bob’s Burgers family is so lovable, and more importantly, how the Belchers are not your typical cartoon family.

Everyone can relate to at least one of these characters. For those of you who have not watched this show, here are some character traits for each family member:

Bob, the father of the family, loves puns, often feels like he’s the only sane person in the room (despite his habit of talking to inanimate objects) and is incredibly loyal to his principles and the people he loves. Linda, the matriarch, loves to drink wine, sing loudly and be everyone’s personal cheerleader. Tina, the eldest daughter, is awkward about 98 percent of the time (although she has been gaining confidence through the six seasons), boy-and-horse-crazy and, at the end of the day, incredibly kind and pure.

Gene, the sole son of the family, makes a whole lot of really dynamic jokes, feels spiritually connected to music and does not care whatsoever about what other people think of him. Louise, the youngest, is feisty and always ready for a fight or sarcastic comment, which makes the times where she shows her soft side so much sweeter.

These characters are much deeper than a stereotypical cartoon family. Bit by bit, they have evolved into characters with whom you can relate, even if it’s just a part of each one (I would call myself a mix of a Louise and Linda).
I’m not saying that the characters on “The Simpsons” or “Family Guy” aren’t relatable. But there is one thing that makes this family unique from other cartoon families we may have seen on TV.

The show revolves around support. Each member in the Belcher family is weird in their own way, but not only does each member accept the other’s weirdness, they often embrace it. Sure, Louise will make a sarcastic comment about Tina once in awhile, but in the end, the Belcher kids support each other without question, no matter the situation. When Linda does something strange, Bob usually asks her about it and will laugh, never in a cynical way, but because Linda is genuinely funny. This is something that is very different than the abusive relationship between Homer and Bart or that between the Griffins and Meg.

The Belchers are a family that, in the end, are not there to bring each other down. Rather, they are inseparable and always at each other’s side. Each conflict they run into, whether it be through Tina’s poor social skills, Louise’s power-hungry ambitions or Gene’s absentmindedness, always results in support, understanding and good humor.

There isn’t a TV family quite like the Belchers.

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