There’s much to love about the Belcher children on Bob’s Burgers. Heck, they are 2/3rds of the reason many people I know keep tuning in every week. But what really strikes me in episodes like tonight’s is how indefatigable they are. All three may be social pariahs with weird habits and attitudes, but they never let their lack of friends or good fortune get them down for very long.
That even goes for Tina, she of the raging hormones and inept social skills. Even as she sits at the Belchers’ kitchen table refreshing her email over and over and over again in hopes of finally receiving an invitation to Tammy’s bat mitzvah, she doesn’t run off in tears. Instead, she confronts her archrival at school, and then finds her way into the party by offering up her dad as a caterer. Okay, she has one moment of feeling down in the dumps, but she rebounds fast when she finds her in. (Another girl’s bat mitzvah had five caterers, so Tammy’s must have six.)
And then the fun really begins with the whole Belcher clan descending upon the overwrought My Super Sweet 16-style event. First, Louise convinces the party coordinator to quit her job in the middle of everything, with the job then passed on to Tina. Then Tammy and Louise get stuck inside a giant papier-mâché bust of the bat mitzvah girl, and Tina steps in as “second Tammy.” All her dreams are finally coming true, especially when she gets to dance with one of the B.F.O.S. (Boys From Other Schools) that Tammy had her eyes on. Quote Tina, mid-dance: “The hands want what the hands want. I don’t know where your back ends and your butt begins.”
Naturally, it all comes to a head when Tammy is finally released from her strange prison and assumes her rightful place at the center of attention. But here again, no one bats an eye about anything that has happened up to that point—not Louise wandering off to try to pour guacamole through the nose of the huge Tammy head, nor both parents disappearing to eat as much of the other food as possible. All five simply shrug their shoulders, and live to fight and cook and squeeze boys’ behinds another day.
Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.