[This is a review of Bob’s Burgers season 6, episode 19. There will be SPOILERS.]
Bob Belcher and his family – consisting of mom Linda, eldest daughter Tina, son Gene, and youngest daughter Louise – have gotten into plenty of hijinks over the years at their mom and pop burger joint. But, Bob’s Burgers largely excels at weaving the antics of the Belchers (which range from slightly ludicrous to outright unbelievable) with the heart of a family that loves each other, helping to ground the show in a compelling emotional reality even while their antics cross over into surreality.
The season 6 finale of Bob’s Burgers, ‘Glued, Where’s My Bob?’ – written by Steven Davis & Kelvin Yu and directed by Bernard Derriman – is a perfect example of the show at its best, complete with a musical number performed by the two characters at the episode’s focus, Bob and Louise. In ‘Glued, Where’s My Bob?’ the kids are in the middle of a prank war consisting entirely of “goop” pranks, which basically boils down to tricking a fellow family member to touch some sort of goopy substance whether it’s grape jelly on the restaurant phone or guacamole in someone’s shoe.
However, the pranking war goes awry when famed restauranteur Skip Marooch (guest star Kumail Nanjiani) calls to tell Bob that a journalist from Coasters magazine is going to visit Bob’s Burgers to do a profile on the restaurant for their undiscovered gems section, and Bob is accidentally glued to the toilet. Louise, who set a trap for Gene using a jar of unknown goop from the basement – which turns out to be Teddy’s special-made sticky spackling paste – tries to deny her culpability in ruining her father’s interview.
Like many episodes of Bob’s Burgers, the premise of ‘Glued, Where’s My Bob?’ has just enough roots in the goings on of a typical family with the prank war that the quick escalation to Bob being glued to a toilet without a removable toilet seat (remember: it’s the Swiss toilet put in by Felix Fischoeder in the season 4 episode ‘Ambergris’) seems plausible. Certainly, it may only be the bad luck of Bob Belcher to suffer from “panic poops” on the day of the interview, which is also the day the employee bathroom is clogged with Gene’s stuffed animals and the kids are in the middle of a goop pranking war – a war being waged at least in part by Louise, who will use any goopy substance at her disposal without checking first to see what it is.
Still, the episode truly takes off after Bob is glued to the toilet and his family attempt to keep it secret, even as friends and Jimmy Pesto enter the restaurant looking for him. Of course, Bob being stuck to the toilet doesn’t stay secret long as Gene mistakenly tells Jimmy Pesto, who turns around and tells everyone within a vicinity of the restaurant, drawing the attention of many locals and the local news, blowing the situation to a point far beyond a funny prank that could only occur in Bob’s Burger’s surreality. However, in an attempt to help Bob be ready for the Coasters interview, Linda calls Teddy to rescue Bob and Gretchen to get his hair done for the photos.
But, the efforts are all for naught when the interviewer, Newton (guest star Rob Huebel) and his photographer Cory (guest star Keegan-Michael Key), arrive and disparage Bob, the restaurant, and his family. When Bob has a stress-induced outburst that seemingly drives the Coasters journalist away, though, Louise steps in and takes the blame for the prank that led to the entire crazy day, giving an inspirational speech full of heart that manages to win over Newton and inspire Bob to free himself from the toilet. As a result, Bob’s Burgers is featured in the next issue of Coasters as an undiscovered gem – though an accompanying photo of Bob on the toilet is run with the story. ‘Glued, Where’s My Bob?’ ends with Bob getting the last laugh on his children by gooping them in an extremely satisfying conclusion to the prank war.
Additionally, ‘Glued, Where’s My Bob?’ features a musical number sung as a duet between Bob and Louise in the middle of the episode, while Bob is waiting to be saved from the toilet by Teddy – who rushes out of his therapy session in order to rescue his best friend – and Louise, who is struggling with her role in the prank that went horribly wrong. The big musical number is about their hopes that the situation will turn out well, even as all signs point to the opposite, and offers an exceptional use of music in the episode to anchor the emotional arcs of both Bob and Louise. Bob’s Burgers, may employ music on a regular basis, but the song in ‘Glued, Where’s My Bob?’ is one of the most effective numbers in the show so far.
All in all, ‘Glued, Where’s My Bob?’ is an excellent cap to a season of Bob’s Burgers as well as its milestone 100th episode (though, that’s according to production codes, while it’s the 107th episode to have aired). Altogether season 6 of Bob’s Burgers maintained the balance of comedy and heart that has made the series so popular among fans. Certainly, given the overall quality of Bob’s Burgers throughout season 6, it’s understandable why FOX would give the show a green light for both a seventh and eighth season. Though season 6 of Bob’s Burgers may be a couple episodes shorter than previous seasons, fans can at least rest assured that the Belchers will be back for plenty more antics in the next two years.
Bob’s Burgers returns for season 7 on FOX this fall.