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Bob’s Burgers Is The Best Show For Thanksgiving Episodes

Not only do the writers at Bob’s Burgers create fantastic Halloween episodes, but this food-oriented show knows how to cook up great Thanksgiving episodes. For many around the world, November is that awkward month between Halloween & Christmas, but the variety of Thanksgiving episodes produced by Bob’s Burgers over the years have really brought a lot of interest as to why it’s one of America’s favorite food holidays.


Now on its 13th season & with a movie under its belt, Bob’s Burgers is one of the most popular adult animated shows to date & even though nearly every season since the third has had a Thanksgiving episode, all have shown variety & creativity. Not a lot of shows have tackled the subject of Thanksgiving to the quantity that Bob’s Burgers have & while the show could move into new forms of media, its continuous holiday episodes are always 20+ minutes of pure joy into the world of the titular character Bob Belcher & his favorite holiday.

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What makes Bob’s Burgers able to have Thanksgiving episodes every season is how fresh the storylines are. There have been tragedies, goodwill, musicals, & some of the best movie parodies & every so often the family does get to sit down & feast on their meal… however this is a rarity; they even have a Thanksgiving song. It seems surprising that this is Bob’s favorite holiday when nearly every episode sees Bob missing out on the meal in one way or another. However, the spirit of Thanksgiving provides the viewer with another culinary side to Bob & not just the man who cooks burgers. Bob is stressed in a lot of the show, & Thanksgiving seems to bring it out more in him which makes his character a lot more chaotic & entertaining, especially in the first episode, “An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal.” It seems to bring out Bob’s drunkest efforts.

If Bob was a character that believed in traditions, Thanksgiving would be it, as he is very family involved as much as he is food involved whether it’s having activities with each family member, or wanting to show off his craft for their taste buds. Despite the family mocking his efforts or obsession over the holiday, most episodes feature that classic Bob’s Burgers family charm. He even enjoys cooking for his friends & extended family & encourages Teddy how to cook his own meal. Even the most recent of the Thanksgiving episodes, “Stuck In The Kitchen With You,” sees Bob overdoing it in the kitchen aspect, but cements him as a fantastic chef with his over-the-top food pallet.

Around half of the episodes focus on Bob as the main character but others are family endeavors & the kids take the lead roles & Linda gets her time to shine. The episodes capture the spirit of Thanksgiving with plays on the holiday, the pardoning of turkeys, & togetherness/thankfulness which shows Thanksgiving as a holiday with many themes & not just about food. One major theme the show hasn’t tackled yet is the history of Thanksgiving which could be an intriguing Tina-conflict episode. What the viewer can reflect on well with a lot of Bob’s emotions in the Thanksgiving episodes is his overall frustration with a surmounting amount of crossroads between him & cooking his beloved turkey, or the fact that the holiday season is usually full of chaos.

Bob is met with his troubling sister-in-law Gayle (a surprising absence from the movie) & a snowstorm where he has to relinquish his cooking duties, he sacrifices his traditions for Fischoeder, he goes through turkey hell with multiple turkeys winding up in a toilet, no gas for his turkey, & has to cook for the old folks home. What the show does represent is how much of a good guy Bob is in general, but the Thanksgiving episodes go the extra mile when considering his parenting & family skills. He gets excited when Louise joins him in the kitchen, he loves that Gene is interested in his new meal plan & waits all day to share his enjoyment with the ill Gene & isn’t disheartened when Linda & the kids take their own spin on the traditional meal.

Bob And Teddy Prepare A Thanksgiving Meal Cropped

Bob’s true patience gets tested when the apartment runs out of gas & all he wants is his Heritage Farm Turkey which sees him on a waiting list like he was waiting for SXSW festival tickets. For Bob, this is an upgrade in his cooking skills, as a man who cares about the quality of his cooking (such as wanting fresh cranberries instead of canned ones). Despite the fire department’s involvement & blind faith in the children to find firewood, even at his most defeated stage, he is still a good father with Tina’s tree & is evidently rewarded by his over-cooked turkey being edile under the charred exterior. Even though shows like The Simpsons have one or two Thanksgiving episodes & South Park has its iconic trilogy, Bob’s Burgers’ exploration into holiday episodes gets its formula right & justifies how most seasons will have a Halloween, Thanksgiving, & Christmas episode. There won’t be any dead horses here.

The Belchers In The First Thanksgiving Episode Cropped

Like Simpsons fans waiting every year for the next Treehouse Of Horror episode, Bob’s Burgers’ equivalent has to be Thanksgiving. They may not have the nationwide love like Peanuts specials have had for decades, but in terms of taking the elements of what a good Bob’s Burgers show entails, the Thanksgiving episode does just that giving fans toilet humor, an onslaught of cultural references, Bob’s love of cooking, chaos, adventure, & a solid family framework. The only real concept Bob’s Burgers is missing around the holiday is a Black Friday episode, a day that is only referenced vaguely as a preferred holiday day over Thanksgiving by the kids. The show never lets us see the day after Thanksgiving & should continue Bob’s food obsession. If animation fans feel like the holiday hasn’t been represented much in animation then look no further than ten fantastic Thanksgiving episodes.

NEXT: Bob’s Burgers Director Redraws Cast As Hades Characters


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