In the wake of Matt Groening’s groundbreaking work with The Simpsons, it’s been hard for animated family sitcoms to think up original character types. Ever since Bart Simpson became the cultural icon of the ‘90s, it’s been customary to make every TV family’s son lazy, dim, and badly behaved.
Seth MacFarlane created a stupid son for his first show, a nerdy son for his second show, and stupid, nerdy son for his third show. Gene Belcher from Bob’s Burgers is a wholly original character: he’s both musically and comically gifted, he’s smart (but not book-smart), he has feminine traits, and he’s partial to food. Here are Gene’s 10 Most Hilarious Quotes.
10 “Are you a ghost? ‘Cause I’m a ghostbuster. And I’m a police officer. And a Sagittarius.”
In one of the more surreal-themed episodes of Bob’s Burgers, Gene befriended a talking toilet. It was a parody of the classic Spielberg film E.T. the Extra Terrestrial with a toilet in place of an alien. When he first came across the toilet in the woods, he just heard the beautiful voice of Jon Hamm coming from some glowing blue light behind a tree.
So, it made sense for him to think that it could’ve been a ghost, and he decided to scare it off by declaring himself a ghostbuster, and a police officer, and a Sagittarius (there’s no telling what ghosts are afraid of).
9 “We have an Aunt Flo? She’s missed all my birthdays!”
“Aunt Flo” is a pretty well-known euphemism for periods. Women will say that Aunt Flo is coming to visit to say that it’s their time of the month. However, only people who are familiar with periods will understand the euphemism. People like Gene, who aren’t, will think they’re talking about an actual person named Aunt Flo.
Gene thought that Flo was an aunt he’d never met, and his first thought was that she hadn’t been around on any of his birthdays to give him presents. He’s already getting excited to have all his birthdays paid off in one go when she comes to visit.
8 “I think I have the best legs in the family, and the smoothest bottom.”
This is what Gene decides to say when the family gets trapped in a blizzard during a road trip around the holidays. They’ve been facing terrible conditions from the weather and also a truck that has been potentially hunting them down, a la Steven Spielberg’s early-career movie-of-the-week Duel.
Just when Gene thinks he’s about to die with his family and it might be the last chance he ever gets to talk to them, he decides to declare himself the family member with “the best legs” and “the smoothest bottom.” He could’ve said anything as his last words to them and he chose that – it’s a good thing they didn’t actually die.
7 “Camera, take the day off. I added ten pounds to myself!”
It’s a common sitcom plotline to have the characters appear on a game show – they did it in Boy Meets World, The Brady Bunch, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – and Bob’s Burgers is no different.
It’s often said that “the camera adds ten pounds,” the suggestion that people look a few pounds heavier on-camera than in real life, which is another example of the media shaming people for their body image and making them feel insecure about their weight. However, when he first appeared on TV, Gene told the camera not to bother, because he added those ten pounds himself.
6 “Why would I be horny? I’m not an antelope!”
In one episode of Bob’s Burgers, when the family was talking about accidentally sending out the wrong text messages, Gene mentions the time he sent Linda a text that said he was feeling “super horny.” However, the mistake wasn’t that he meant to tell someone else that he was “super horny.”
As it turns out, it was an auto-correct mistake (it always is) and he meant to say that he was “super hungry.” He thinks that you can only be “horny” if you have horns on your head, like an antelope. Childlike innocence is always a good target for humor.
5 “I’ve eaten nine birthday cakes and I still feel empty!”
This might be Gene’s most relatable quote. The show has depicted Gene’s affection for food as one of his defining qualities. In this line, he describes eating nine entire birthday cakes and still feeling emotionally empty. We’ve all been there, trying to fill an emotional hole in our hearts with a large amount of food and finding that no food is ever enough to fill that hole.
Nine whole birthday cakes is a tad excessive, even by Gene’s well-established standards, but it’s not far off some of the amounts we’ve all eaten when we want to slip into a food coma.
4 “I’m gonna take a nap under a warm tortilla and then eat my way out when I wake up.”
At a picnic on the beach, Gene came up with the novel idea to place a warm tortilla wrap on his face and have a nap – this would both shade his face from the sunlight and keep it warm while he was asleep – and then eat his way out of it after he woke up. It’s a smart idea.
You wouldn’t have to move your hands after waking up, because you could just start eating and stop when the tortilla was gone. It might not be the most practical idea, and it’s probably better in theory than it is in practice, but it is (no pun intended) food for thought.
3 “What kind of God would give you those legs and no rhythm?”
Performance is a huge part of Gene’s character. He always carries around his keyboard and punctuates every situation by playing either a musical riff or a fart sound effect – whatever the circumstances call for – and he’s one of the most creative Belcher kids (Tina rivals him with her “erotic friend fiction,” while Louise’s creative endeavors go towards scams).
Gene also loves dance, and in this line, he refers to a kid who has been graced with amazing legs and no rhythm. Gene is jealous, because he has the rhythm and doesn’t have the legs, while this other kid has the legs and lacks the rhythm.
2 “Would you rather have a lifetime of regret or an afternoon of mild disappointment?”
It’s a sad truth that so many junctures in life boil down to these two options. You’re presented with an opportunity and you can either take it and probably be disappointed, or reject it and be left wondering what could’ve been.
At least Gene has accepted this as an inevitability and realizes that in a lot of cases, these are the only options, and still has an optimistic worldview. He’s always good at rallying his sisters Tina and Louise to jump at an opportunity with a pep talk like this one (even if it’s not a particularly rousing pep talk).
1 “My life is more difficult than anyone else’s on the planet. And yes, I’m including starving children, so don’t ask!”
A lot of people in the first world tend to exaggerate about how difficult it is to be them. It’s easy to think that your life is hard, but if you have a roof over your head and clothes in the closet and food readily available for every meal, then you’ve got it easier than most people in the world.
However, Gene doesn’t see it that way. One time, he declared that he had the worst life out of anyone, and beat anyone who would criticize him for being insensitive towards starving children to the punch by saying that he even believed his life was more difficult than theirs.