While shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy are past their sell-by date – the writers have run out of ideas, the producers rely too heavily on celebrity guest stars, and the characters are no longer relevant – Bob’s Burgers is as strong as ever. It has a feature-length movie coming out next summer and it continues to pick up new fans each season.
Part of the reason for this is that it reflects modern family values in a way that few other shows do. Unlike negligent alcoholics Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson, Bob Belcher is actually a good father. Here are 10 Reasons Bob Belcher Is The Best Father On TV.
10 He supports his kids, no matter what
Whatever Bob’s kids want to do, he supports it. If Gene wants to put on a wig and a dress and replace his own all-girl band, or take part in a magic-based table-setting contest, or stage a musical adaptation of the movie Die Hard, Bob will support it. If Tina wants to have an expensive birthday party, or write “erotic friend fiction,” or date Bob’s closest rival’s son, Bob will support it.
If Louise wants to use a biker gang to exact revenge on a bully, or set up a clubhouse in a dumpster, or wear bunny ears every single day of her life, Bob will support it. Point is, Bob supports all of his kids, and they’ve all turned out to be great kids – expressive, creative, and individualistic – because of it.
9 He gets involved in all the kids’ games
A lot of parents refuse to play with their kids. They see it as too much of a hassle to run and jump around with the kids when there are more important things to do like file tax returns or mow the lawn. But as far as Bob is concerned, there’s nothing more important than his kids.
If they’re playing a game that requires him to use his imagination, then he’ll do it – he’ll pretend that Louise’s flamethrower got him in the back if it’ll put a smile on her face, or make a trip to the dentist’s office a little easier for her.
8 He doesn’t enforce gender roles or “normal” behavior on his kids
Bob doesn’t enforce gender roles on his kids. Gene shows a lot of feminine traits and Louise shows a lot of masculine traits, but Bob and Linda don’t do anything to try to “fix” this – they just encourage their kids to be themselves, and they thrive in that environment. The same goes for Tina, whose “weird” behavior is also encouraged – Bob and Linda readily support her many passions.
As a result, they have raised kids who can start up a successful underground casino in an afternoon. A large part of this might be that Bob and Linda don’t enforce gender roles on themselves, either: Bob does a lot of the cooking; Linda is often the “cool” parent.
7 He lets the kids work at the restaurant with him
There have been a lot of jokes made about why Bob has given the kids jobs in the restaurant, and it’s often suggested that he only hired them to avoid having to pay real employees the legally required minimum wage. But it’s clear that there’s something deeper at play here.
When Bob gave the kids the summer off, he was shown to miss them so much that he engaged in a conversation with the refrigerator after its humming sound reminded him of Tina’s iconic groan. And beyond enjoying having them around, the time working at the restaurant is teaching them the values of hard work that will ensure they don’t take anything for granted in the future.
6 He got his legs waxed so Tina wouldn’t be so scared
In the season 3 episode “Mother Daughter Laser Razor,” Tina overheard some of the cool girls from school making fun of another girl for not shaving her legs. So, Tina immediately wanted to shave her own. At first, she tried to shave them with Linda, but in the end, she decided to get them waxed.
Bob took her to get her legs waxed and she got scared, so he had his legs waxed alongside her to ease her fears. At the end of the episode, he also gave her this immortal wisdom: “Leg hair or no leg hair, you’re still Tina, and when it comes to the important stuff, you’ll make the right choice.”
5 He has family traditions on Thanksgiving that he holds dear
Great dads are the ones that want to make each holiday perfect, because it’s the only time out of the year that all of the family spend together, so it needs to be special. Bob’s favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and he has a tradition with each of the kids, including “Turkey CSI: Miami” with Louise.
On the one Thanksgiving that he couldn’t spend with his family, because Mr. Fischoeder paid them five months’ rent to spend it with him and pretend to be his family, he went crazy. He started talking to the turkey – he named it Lance – and drinking gallons of absinthe until he could go home with Linda and the kids and get their Thanksgiving back on track.
4 He respects his wife
This is more to do with Bob being a good husband than a good father, but it’s an important part of parenthood, too. Characters like Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin don’t truly respect their wives, and so they don’t appreciate how much work they put into keeping the house clean, cooking dinner, getting the kids ready for school on time, and generally raising them.
Bob, on the other hand, does appreciate this, and it’s exactly why he steps in to help her out in any way he can. They run the business together and they raise the kids together – it’s an equal partnership.
3 He uses song to keep his kids safe
There’s an episode of Bob’s Burgers in which Bob is driving the kids to school (another sign that he’s a great father) and they sing a little song that goes, “Buckle it up, buckle it up, buckle it up or you’ll die!” Now, while this is a song with some terrifying connotations, it does also encourage safety.
It’s better to remind kids that they might die if they don’t wear a seatbelt with a playful song every time they get in the car than to just let them do whatever they want and possibly leave it unbuckled, because then they might actually die.
2 He works hard for his kids
The point has been made time and time again that, while Bob’s restaurant isn’t very successful and the family has financial woes and it’s not an easy life, he cares so much about Linda and the kids that it’s worth it. Ultimately, at the end of the day, he doesn’t mind the struggle, because he has something to strive for.
The success of the restaurant won’t just mean Bob’s own success – it’ll mean success for his family, too. So, he has a reason to keep going and keep working hard. Few TV fathers put their families before themselves like this.
1 He’ll do anything for his kids
The mark of any great father is a willingness to do whatever your kids need to feel happy or safe, and in this area, Bob succeeds more than any other dad on TV. Remember the episode where Bob infiltrates an Equestranauts fan club just to get Tina’s favorite toy back from the guy who conned her out of it?
He learned reams of canon about a franchise he doesn’t care about at all and spends hours with people he has nothing in common with, just because it’s the only way to make Tina happy. Bob will do anything for his kids.