“Bob’s Burgers” is an animated sitcom based around the lives of an unconventional family running a hamburger restaurant. Loren Bouchard created the Belcher family back in 2011, and they soon won over the hearts of many. The show has everything anyone watching could ask for, from everyday family problems and constant comedic relief to impromptu musical numbers.
Similar to the spirit of the holiday season, “Bob’s Burgers” is the show that keeps on giving. The series airs on Fox every Sunday at 8:30 p.m. EST and is still well-received by fans, even after nine seasons. In honor of the holidays rapidly approaching, here is a ranking of the series’ best holiday episodes for everyone to binge watch as they get into the spirit of the season.
1. “The Last Gingerbread House on the Left”
Season 7’s holiday-themed episode follows the Belchers as they all prepare for Christmas. Bob finds himself helping Mr. Fischoeder not come in last during his annual gingerbread house competition with his unruly group of “rich-loner” friends. While this is taking place, Linda takes the kids and Teddy out caroling around the neighborhood, but receives disappointing reviews for their holiday cheer. That is until they visit the creepy house on the corner.
This holiday episode includes everything the season of joy could ask for: a dad willing to do anything to give his family a good Christmas despite their poor financial situation; one of the antagonists of the show shown in a vulnerable state; caroling with the acceptance of an outsider and, of course, both the rich and poor coming together for a happy ending. Oh, and the giant gingerbread massacre in the midst of it all.
2. “The Bleakening”
Season 8’s holiday episode takes a darker turn, as the Belcher kids learn about the tale of the Bleaken, a large creature with lizard skin, black feathers and reindeer antlers who steals naughty children’s presents. The drama of the episode heightens when Linda’s Christmas tree and ornaments are stolen at the restaurant’s holiday party.
“The Bleakening” is the only two-part holiday episode, and one of only two episodes split into two parts in the entire series. In it, the kids chase after the strange creature, only to discover that the Bleaken is just a man in a costume going to an underground rave and is completely harmless. Of course, it wouldn’t be a “Bob’s Burgers” episode without such an uncanny twist.
The Christmas numbers that Linda performs win much of this episode over for the second spot. The entire plot of the two-part episode is a parody of the myth of Krampus, which only adds to the overall thriller vibe the episode gives off. It is a nice change from the rest of the Holiday episodes, which tend to focus on traditional holiday values.
3. “Father of the Bob”
In Season 5, fans finally meet Bob Belcher’s father, Big Bob, in the third holiday episode of the series. The Belcher family takes a trip to Big Bob’s Diner, a place where Little Bob has not stepped in for 30 years after Big Bob threw out a burger creation of Little Bob. The tension between father and son is high in this episode, as fans learn that 20 years earlier Little Bob refused Big Bob’s Christmas gift of co-owning the diner. Of course, the tension s ultimately resolved and the holiday cheer is restored, but only after a dance between the pair at the gay bar next door.
The relationship of Big Bob and Little Bob defines this episode, allowing fans to finally see deeper into the character of Little Bob. Little Bob shows maturity by confronting and apologizing to Big Bob once he sees things from his father’s perspective. It is a heart-warming reunion that the holiday typically brings to homes.
Holiday cheer comes in Season 6 as the Belcher kids attempt to win over a grumpy mall Santa Claus who threatens to put the kids on the naughty list. The kids put on a show, the Nice-Capades, where they perform a musical number at the mall’s ice rink as a plea to win a spot on Santa’s nice list.
The Nice-Capades episode focuses on the kids and their character growth, specifically Louise who is rarely portrayed showing vulnerability in situations. The episode takes a turn as Louise finally realizes that lying her way onto the nice list is not as important as telling the truth. The episode hits home by showing the true nature of kids, even when it seems like everything is spiraling out of control, and how they can learn from their own actions.
5. “Christmas in the Car”
“Christmas in the Car” is the second holiday episode aired on “Bob’s Burgers.” Linda is overly eager to start celebrating Christmas and puts up the family’s Christmas tree on Nov. 1, which leads to it dying prematurely on Thanksgiving. The second tree the family puts up dies on Christmas Eve.
To please Linda, the family sets out to get a new tree at a lot an hour outside of where they live. While leaving the tree farm, the family is almost hit by a giant candy cane truck. Linda’s holiday cheer takes over as she honks the tune of “Jingle Bells” at the driver, which he mistakenly interprets as a provocation. The rest of the episode is the family and the driver caught in a game of cat and mouse until Bob finally confronts the man and all is orderly again.
This episode captures the importance of family in scary or difficult situations. There is tension as fans watch the family being chased down by a giant candy cane truck. As with any episode it always works out in the end as the family confronts their issues.
6. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequin”
The first ever holiday episode in “Bob’s Burgers” does not happen until Season 3 of the show. Bob inherits a storage unit around Christmas and hopes to find some riches inside; instead, he is greeted by a guy named Chet who lives inside the makeshift home.
In true holiday spirit, the family takes Chet in and learns he has a talent for window displays, where he performs as a living mannequin. The closer the episode gets to Christmas and the more displays Chet creates, the more unstable he becomes over missing his girlfriend, a mannequin, who he was separated from when they moved “her” to a sex store.
Bob and the kids set out to find the mannequin in an attempt to save Christmas and the restaurant’s big Christmas display. While the episode focuses on a man believing he once lived as an actual mannequin and is in love with another mannequin, it does hit on the importance of the holiday season and giving back to others.
“Bob’s Burgers” holiday episodes are a hit or a miss, but regardless they are always entertaining to watch because of the quirkiness of the Belcher family. Don’t forget the next holiday episode airing on Dec. 9.