I think we should preface this list by giving a shoutout to everyone on the Bob’s Burgers team who makes the show, in my opinion, the best animated TV series of all-time.
There’s the show’s incredible main cast, which includes an impressive range of vocal talent, featuring such names as H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Kristen Schaal, John Roberts, and Eugene Mirman. Add-in an abundance of talent for the show’s less frequently used characters, including Jenny Slate, Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows, Kevin Kline, and so many more great actors, and you’ve got yourself one of the funniest voice casts for a TV series of all-time.
But there are many other elements that make Bob’s Burgers such a highly-regarded series. It surely wouldn’t be nearly as successful as it is without the expert team of writers, including creator Loren Bouchard of Dr. Katz fame, Jim Dauterive from King of the Hill, Lizzie and Wendy Molyneux, Kelvin Yu, Scott Jacobson, Nora Smith, Holly Schlesinger, and more. It’s also commendable that its writing team doesn’t try to rely on shock value like certain other
popular once popular animated series.
With its seventh season coming to a close on FOX soon, we wanted to take a look at the 22 best Bob’s Burgers episodes so far. We will, of course, update this list along the way, as more episodes are created.
But please, please note just how hard it was to create this list. Obviously, not everyone will have the same list as we do here at Nerd Much?, but we’re all ears if you have better suggestions (we’ll gladly attack your comment with a well-crafted response discounting your suggestion, of course).
Here are our favorites:
22. Boyz 4 Now
Boyz 4 Now is easily one of the most underrated Bob’s Burgers episodes of all-time, as it had a lot of laugh out loud moments. In season 3, Tina gets three tickets to a boyband concert for the group Boyz4Now, and when Aunt Gayle calls last minute to tell Tina she can’t take her to the concert, Louise helps Tina get there on bikes. Along the way, they stumble upon Zeke and his cousin who are going to the same concert to sell bootleg T-Shirts, and Tina and Louise catch a ride to the concert.
Written by Lizzie and Wendy Molyneux, the episode is filled with great moments that are somehow packed into the 30-minute timeslot. One of the stars of the band, Boo Boo, being seated in a booster seat, Gene’s B-story surrounding competitive table setting, and a couple of ridiculous boy band song spoofs are just a few of the episode’s most hilarious moments.
It’s even better than the Bad Tina episode. Fight me.
21. Bob Day Afternoon
In Bob’s Burgers sophomore season, there’s an episode named Bob Day Afternoon in which Bob’s goes to the bank to try and work out a plan for his overdue loan. When Bob leaves the bank, a bank robbery ensues, and the robber (named Mickey) requests the police bring pizza from Jimmy Pesto’s, only to be disappointed in its quality. When Bob hears the news of the robber’s disappointment with his competitor’s creations, he springs into action and serves up some burgers to the bank, entirely surrounded by cameras and the media.
What should have been a quick scheme for some free marketing and publicity turns into a nightmare for Bob, as is forced inside of the bank. We won’t spoil the fun here, but hilarity, of course, ensues.
20. The Hurt Soccer
Bob’s Burgers’ 8th season has been one of its best so far, with many great episodes. In episode 12, “The Hurt Locker,” Bob and Linda forgot that they signed Louise up for a soccer league after misunderstanding her sarcasm. This sets Bob up to be the coach of the soccer team for the final game of the season, with Tina as a hilarious assistant coach.
Louise and Bob initially want to just rush through the game so that they can get home to watch a TV marathon, but mid way through the match, they have a change of heart.
The B-story follows Gene and Linda who have been alone at the restaurant for the entire episode. Now, the restaurant has become a piano bar, setting the stage for an elderly sisterly fight.
19. Tina-Rannosaurus Wrecks
In the middle of Season 3, Bob lets Tina drive, resulting in Tina getting into a car accident (in hilarious Tina fashion). Of course, it’s not just any car that Tina hits, but it’s Jimmy Pesto’s car. Naturally, Jimmy files a claim against Bob, causing Bob and Tina to recreate the narrative so that Bob doesn’t get into legal trouble for letting an underage driver operate his vehicle.
I won’t spoil what happens next, by let’s say that things get hot in the episode, causing Bob to be in another unique scenario that could only happen on Bob’s Burgers.
18. V for Valentine-detta
In episode 8 of the current season, Tina has one of her best episodes yet in “V for Valentine-detta.” In the episode, Tina has a rough Valentine’s Day break-up and is taken out on the town for a girls’ night out with Linda and Louise. It sets the stage for quite a few funny moments involving Tina’s awkwardness and Linda’s need to be a cool mom.
But even better, in my opinion, is the B-story here, with Bob and Gene partaking in an odd couples trapeze experience together. The duo get stuck holding each other, afraid to let go and fall.
17. Crawl Space
Bob’s Burgers’ second episode, Crawl Space, remains one of the top episodes to date. It revolves around Bob’s mother-in-law coming for a visit and Linda being bossy to get things tidied up. When Bob is sent to fix a leak in the roof, he pretends to get stuck inside of the wall in a crawl space, deciding to hide out from the in-laws (something we can all relate to).
But when Bob finds out he’s really stuck inside of the wall, he panics, spilling the beans to Linda about pretending to be stuck, at first. Linda, in what we’ll later find out to be typical Linda fashion, leaves Bob in the wall for punishment. The B-story in this episode is also great, with Tina convincing the school counselor that her father has died. When the counselor comes to the restaurant and sees Bob is inside of the wall, its Louise and Gene’s reactions that deserves the most laughs.
In Beefsquatch, Bob auditions for a cooking segment on a local news show, with Gene tagging along in the burger costume with a sasquatch mask. Of course, Bob later realizes that bringing Gene to the audition was a mistake, as Gene yells “Beeeffffffffffffsquatchhhhhhhh” and then proceeds to demolish the burgers, live on TV. The audience loves the audition segment, causing Bob and Gene to be picked for the part. Bob is upset that they’re being picked based on Gene’s Beefsquatch routine instead of the merits of his burgers, despite the segment causing a boom in business. A prank war ensues between Bob and Gene, making for some hilarious moments of the season.
Beefsquatch also has one of the best-named burgers of the show, the “Poutine on the Ritz Burger” — an added touch!
15. Mother Daughter Laser Razor
In Season 3, a battle between Linda and Louise comes into fruition, with Linda forcing Louise to go to a mother-daughter seminar to try to improve their relationship. However, Linda has to pay Louise to be at the seminar with her, and eventually, the episode spirals into a laser tag battle between Linda and Louise.
The B-story here is Tina asking Bob to teach her how to shave her legs after Tina overhears her classmates poking fun at another girl’s leg hair. Bob tries to take the easy way out by taking Tina to a waxing salon, only to be forced to get his legs waxed also.
The episode is filled with great humor that you’ll only find in Bob’s Burgers, but it also touches upon family values and appreciation for your family — a common underlying theme in the series that helps to separate it from other animated comedies.
14. Weekend At Mort’s
How does a weekend at a mortuary sound? Well, this is what the Belchers have to endure when City Health Inspector Hugo finds mold in Bob’s basement, forcing the Belchers to stay over at Mort’s mortuary for the weekend.
Naturally, things get weird. Tina, Louise, and Gene discover that Mort is looking for a date with another mortician on a dating website, so they help him get a match, setting him up on a date. Bob and Linda double with Mort and his new potential love interest at Jimmy Pesto’s restaurant, and Bob leaves just after a few drinks, heading back to Mort’s Mortuary to find himself a nice coffin to sleep in. The kids stumble upon the coffin, unaware that their sleeping well-mustached father is inside.
The sort of B-story here is that Linda is trying to get some intimacy time with Bob, and in the end, Bob makes it happen.
13. The Hauntening
How do you scare someone like Louise? Well, in the series’ fourth Halloween episode, The Hauntening (Season 6 Episode 3), Bob and Linda make another attempt to do just that. How? By bringing Louise, Tina, and Gene to a haunted house set up by them.
Things start to get weird when Bob and Linda “give up” and find that they have a flat tire. What’s more, an old man with giant shrubbery shears gives them a creepy staredown. From there, things continue to get extra creepy.
The comedy starts immediately when the episode starts, as Teddy gets scared by a motion-activated witch. The rest of the episode is filled with truly hilarious moments, and in my expert opinion, it’s one of Gene’s best episodes. He has plenty of great one-liners and quotables in the episode, and it’s a treasure trove for Gene fans.
Added bonus? A new ridiculous Boyz4Now song, “I Love U So Much, It’s Scary”.
12. Hawk & Chick
The 20th episode of Season 5, Hawk & Chick, follows the story of a former martial arts action movie star, Rising Hawk, and his quest to reconnect with his long-lost daughter of 30 years.
Of course, the Belchers make it their business to help him, creating a “Hawk and Chick” film festival, inviting both the former movie star and his daughter, Yuki. While not the funniest episode in the series (although, it too has its moments), it’s one of those Bob’s Burgers episodes that hit you right in the feels (especially if you’re a father, yourself).
11. Bob Actually
While Season 7 shows that Bob’s Burgers is still going strong, it was hard to include any of them on our list of the top Bob’s Burgers episodes, simply because they already have so many great episodes in the bank. But we had to find a way to squeeze in Bob Actually, the series’ 116th episode.
It’s one of the rare episodes that starts out with an alternate title sequence, and it’s centered entirely around love. Of course, the episode is a nod to Love, Actually.
But the episode’s freshness and slightly new direction for series when it comes to Tina and Jimmy Jr. creates a unique dynamic not yet seen in other episodes. Jimmy Jr. and Tina attempt a ridiculous grandiose kiss (which only excites Jimmy because of its scale, of course). Also in the episode is basic, small subplots for each character. Bob tries to give Linda a special Valentine’s gift, revolving around hip-hop dance. Linda attempts to fill someone with the Valentine’s spirit. And Gene has a sort of romantic-but-not-really-romantic encounter with the Italian substitute lunch lady.
The biggest reason Bob Actually is so unique, though, is that it shows Louise’s softer side, even giving her her first real kiss (Boo Boo doesn’t count, sorry). It’s Rudy that she kisses, and I’ve always found him to be one of the most underutilized characters in the show; he’s had some great moments in the show previous to this episode, and the dynamic between him and Louise is fantastic.
And then, the end credits for the episode is of kissing valentines. Nice touch. It’s one of the best episodes season 7 gave us.
Admittedly, I might be a bit partial to this one as someone who frequently gets obsessed with new games easily, but in Season 2 Episode 4, Bob installs a classic arcade game named Burgerboss in the restaurant. His hope is that the game will earn enough money to buy a new vent hood over the stove in the kitchen, while Linda has another purchase in mind (we won’t spoil it for you here).
Things start to get crazy when rival Jimmy Pesto gets the high score and enters “BOB SUX” as his name so that it will forever be displayed in Bob’s restaurant. But since Bob can’t reset the machine after numerous attempts, he has only one option left: to beat Jimmy’s high score. But when Linda sees Bob’s obsession taking over, she takes the machine out of the restaurant, selling it to the local arcade. Bob tracks the machine down, and makes it his mission to grab that top score. To do this, Bob enlists the help of DRL (Daryl, as voiced by the always hilarious Aziz Ansari).
9. Broadcast Wagstaff School News
In Season 3 Episode 12, Tina auditions for her school news TV program, creating a feud between herself and Tammy, Tina’s once hopeful friend (voiced by the hilarious Jenny Slate). After Tammy convinces Tina to talk extra slowly in her audition, Tina only gets to be a Staff Intern, while Tammy gets the leading anchor role.
But things look up for Tina when she discovers the Mad Pooper, prompting her to create her own newscast named Tina News. This creates buzz around the hallways, as Tina News becomes more popular than Wagstaff’s own.
The Wagstaff School News fakes a reenactment with Tammy dressed up as Tina taking a dump in the library, the school turns on Tina, thinking she is the Mad Pooper, herself.
The secondary story line in Broadcast Wagstaff School News is possibly even better, with Louise convincing Gene that he’s going to look like Bob. And this is it — this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for but didn’t know we were waiting for — Louise dresses Gene up to look like Bob. Gene as a Bob impersonator is one of my favorite moments in the show’s history, and even as I’m writing this, I can’t help but laugh out loud at the thought of it.
8. Dawn of the Peck
Some of the best Bob’s Burgers episodes hail from Season 5, and our 8th favorite episode is Dawn of the Peck, the fourth episode of the season. Where The Simpsons has the Halloween episode game on lock, Bob’s Burgers is the champion of Thanksgiving episodes.
In this turkey day chapter of the Belcher family’s life, Linda and the kids decide that they want to celebrate Thanksgiving at the first annual Turkey Town Festival that’s being held at the Wonder Wharf pier. As it’s Bob’s favorite holiday, he gets upset and spitefully decides to not celebrate the day.
But the live birds at the festival become super aggressive and begin attacking attendees. Eventually, Linda gets knocked out by a giant turkey, who is then saved by Teddy. Teddy explains that he knows why the turkeys are so aggressive, as it has to do with the pecking order being disrupted. They set out to rescue the kids, who are still on the rides.
Meanwhile, Bob gets drunk in his depression and eventually decides he really does want to cook Thanksgiving dinner, and heads to the store, entirely unaware of the birdpocalypse taking place outside of his apartment.
Dawn of the Peck is not only clever in its premise (and giving a clear nod to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), but it also delivers one of the heavier dosings of laughs, all while finding a way to circle back to family values.
7. O.T. The Outside Toilet
Any episode rooted in sci-fi gets an instant boost in my book, and Gene’s discovery of a random outside toilet is deserving to be on the top 10 list of the series’ best episodes. It happens in Season 3, when Gene happens to stumble upon a high-tech talking toilet, hilariously voiced by Mad Men’s Jon Hamm (although it’s super subtle, and I wouldn’t have noticed had it not been for a little research).
Gene wants to protect the toilet from a toilet hunter, and the nonsensical plot only spirals from there. He enlists the help of his siblings and friends to rescue the cool toilet, making sure it not only isn’t hunted but that it also has ample battery life. It’s in the episodes ridiculousness that makes it so many levels of perfect (and there’s even a visual high-five given to a classic early 80s sci-fi film).
6. The Equestranauts
The Equestranauts (Season 4 Episode 17) pokes fun at Bronies, the My Little Pony subculture consisting of adult male fans who love the show aimed at little girls. After Tina has been swindled out of her rare Chariot Pony Doll (based on her favorite show), Tina and the Belchers create a plan to send Bob in as an Equisticle (read: Brony).
To make Bob a convincing Equisticle, he’s made to watch every Equesteranauts episode and study every book so that he knows every factoid the other Equisticles might throw at him. But without realizing it, he reads one of Tina’s zombie fan fictions thinking it is a part of the series, and it blows his cover.
The episode serves as a great way to address the Bronies subculture without directly poking fun at it, and seeing Bob dressed up in a pony costume makes it worth watching in itself.
It’s one of the best Bob’s Burgers episodes Tina is the focal point of.
5. Slumber Party
We always like to see the softer side of Louise, as it makes her character not as overbearing as she otherwise might seem. Under that gruff exterior is a loving child with an actual heart, and it’s great when Bob’s Burgers reminds us of that.
I should probably note that the episode is written by Scott Jacobson, who just so happens to have many other episodes on this list (Weekend At Mort’s, Burgerboss, and The Oeder Games which we’ll get to shortly).
Slumber Party revolves around Linda throwing a surprise slumber party for Louise consisting of four of Louise’s classmates. Of course, Louise doesn’t like any of them, and she makes it her goal to rid herself of each girl quickly and expertly.
Of course, this leads to Louise actually taking a liking to one of the girls after she discover’s the girls secret and promises to not share the secret with any of her classmates. It’s a down-to-earth moment for Louise, and when these types of rare displays of kindness are shown, it makes us appreciate what Bob’s Burgers is all about all over again.
4. Turkey in a Can
Turkey in a Can is, you guessed it, another Thanksgiving episode. This time, Bob hilariously finds his turkey in the toilet, and the hunt for whodunit begins. Of course, the Belcher’s Thanksgiving couldn’t go down without more complications than just one.
Tina wants to sit at the adult table, Gayle (Linda’s sister) is staying with the Belchers and brings her cats (which Bob is allergic to), and Gene wants to write a turkey day themed carol. Tina’s need to sit at the adult’s table causes her to go all out by dressing more maturely, using “sophisticated” language, and helping Gene to write the Thanskgiving carol. But these aren’t the funniest moments in the episodes.
However, I refuse to spoil what makes Turkey in a Can one of the best Bob’s Burgers episodes of all-time, because if I tell it to you here, it’ll ruin the episode. So, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it.
3. Stand by Gene
One of our top three episodes of the series, Stand by Gene, revolves around Gene’s quest to find a mystical creature rumored to live in close proximity.
He enlists the help of his friends (including Jimmy Junior, Tammy, Jocelyn, Darryl, Zeke, and Regular Sized Rudy) to partake on a journey to find the creature, giving the episode a vibe from the movie it’s loosely based on, Stand by Me.
The episode is filled with so many hilarious moments (one of my favorites involves actually reading a map), and the show’s many supporting characters provide the most value here (especially Regular Sized Rudy). Because there are so many characters in the episode, it stars a handful of the show’s special guests, including Aziz Ansari, Jenny Slate, and even SNL’s Tim Meadows.
Stand by Gene is one of the most fun episodes of the series, thanks to the ensemble of sparingly used kid guest stars. What’s more, it sort of sets out to make Gene look like a hero of sorts. The episode contains numerous quotables spread out from many different characters, and it makes you appreciation the variety of Bob’s Burgers characters.
2. The Kids Run Away
Widely considered to be one of the best episodes of the series is Season 4’s The Kids Run Away, which centers around Louise running away from home because she doesn’t want to have a cavity filled at the dentist’s office. But where does she run to? Crazy Aunt Gayle’s house.
Upon learning of her daughter’s location, Linda sends Tina and Gene to Gayle’s house as well to bet her that she won’t last the weekend with her crazy Aunt. Tina and Linda plot together to think of things to make Gayle look even weirder than she already is, in hopes that Louise won’t be able to stand her aunt’s extreme weirdness.
The episode serves as a snapshot of the typical types of hijinx you’ll find on Bob’s Burgers, and it’s a shining episode for all three of the Belcher kids.
1. The Oeder Games
The Season 5 finale, The Oeder Games, revolves around landlord Mr. Fischoeder, who threatens Bob and the other tenants with a rent hike. But in order to convince Fischoeder to keep their rent low, the tenants will all have to compete in The Oeder Games — basically, an epic water balloon fight for the ages.
The episode is the best episode of the series, as it brings home a lot of what makes the series so great to begin with. It’s steeped in jokes from the many established relationships found in the series, and it feels like it intentionally delves deeper into some characters, giving us a bit more to expand on in the upcoming seasons. For example, the battle between Tina, Jimmy Junior, and Zeke has underlying subtle notes about the future of Tina and Jimmy Jr’s relationship.
Also worth noting is the return of funnyman Zach Galifianakis as Mr. Fischoeder’s little brother, Felix, who we learn not only suffers from sleep apnea but sleep fartnea as well.
And then there’s the hope that the viewer has that, somehow, Bob will win this water balloon fight, as he truly needs a win at this point in his life. It’s so easy to root for Bob, who tends to have the whole world against him in every episode. Will he succeed against the super villainous Mr. Fischoeder (voiced by the incredible Kevin Kline, by the way)? You’ll have to watch to find out.
What’s your favorite Bob’s Burgers episode? Sound off in the comments — we’d love to hear from you.