A TV family is a TV family, but what sets Bob’s Burgers apart is that this group of oddballs—restaurateurs Bob and Linda plus kids Tina, Gene and Louise—are typically all on the same team. But holidays mean extended family, the type you only see every two or seven years. So for Christmas 2014 (“Father of the Bob”—Season 5, Episode 6), the Belchers are finally attending Big Bob’s Christmas Eve dinner at the old family diner.
Bob and his father (Big Bob) don’t see eye-to-eye to the point where Bob has instituted a 15-minute rule throughout the years (after 15 minutes, he needs to leave). It all started when a young Bob tried to make an off-menu burger (“Baby you can Chive my car”) for a diner regular. Since he prefers everything his way, Big Bob dismissed it entirely. He forcefully crashed the car burger right into the scraps bin.
But Linda, eternal optimist, refuses to let a decades-old spat ruin her holiday spirit binge this year. Seeing the chance to reunite her Bobby and his father, she knows there’s only one solution.
“This is a great opportunity to turn your bad blood into glad blood,” she tells Bob as they first enter the kitchen at Big Bob’s Diner. “Here, have some Christmas Magic.”
“Wait, Christmas Magic is wine?” he replies.
“It can be whatever you want it to be,” Linda explains, taking the first glass of magic for herself. “It can be snow with Santa, or beer, or gin, or rum with schnapps…”
Throughout what admittedly becomes a heated evening (aka, a typical holiday gathering), Christmas Magic-fueled Linda keeps things as light as she can. She’s always a bit sing-songy, but tonight she belts about Christmas Magic and tries to defuse a Bob-to-(Big)Bob argument through an angelic rendition of “Peace,” which turns out to be the word peace endlessly repeated to the tune of “Silent Night.” Still, carols spiked with wine don’t seem to do the trick initially. Bob and Big Bob square off in an impromptu cook-off for a regular, and Bob’s post-victory gloating sends his dejected father out of the restaurant.
“You drove him out of his own restaurant on Christmas, it’s so sad,” Linda observes. “So much for Christmas Magic.”
“Wait, what have I done?” Bob exclaims.
“I just told you…” she explains, perhaps feeling the after-effects of Christmas Magic.
However, when it looks like magic has met its match, the spirit unexpectedly resurfaces. It appears in the form of Pete (fittingly played by Nick Offerman), another Big Bob regular who owns the gay bar next door. Wearing a Santa outfit and carrying a cowboy hat for Bob, he intends to reunite son and father via a cold one at The Junk Yard.
“I thought this was a disco,” Bob asks upon entering.
“Tuesday is Disco, Wednesday is Country Line Dancing, and tomorrow is Christmas in case you forgot,” Pete reminds him.
Like real-life kitchen veterans, Bob and Big Bob take care of their real talk while initially cozying up to the bar. They each admit some wrongdoing, apologizing and offering the other an oral olive branch over a draft mug. So while it all started with Linda’s wine, ‘twas beer that saved the holidays this time around. And with Christmas Magic’s powers effectively restored, the holiday spirit literally moves them… to the dance floor where Big Bob can still show his son a thing or two.
And here’s The National, drawn as ornaments, singing about Christmas Magic.