5 Life Lessons I Learned From ‘Bob’s Burgers’

Annelise Belmonte
Animated Series
Animated Series

The Belcher family aren’t heroes — they put their bras on one boob at a time, just like everybody else. With a colorful cast grappling with their desires and relationships, Bob’s Burgers always has a useful lesson to learn.

You Are One Juicy Burger

I have rarely seen anyone in fiction or otherwise quite as body positive as the characters on Bob’s Burgers. Whether it’s a coconut bra or a burger costume, Gene’s outfits rarely encumber him. That might be why he’s most comfortable in his underpants and he doesn’t care what others think about him.

I might have marched to the beat of my own drum in high school, but when I wore an embroidered vest and someone suggested I looked like I sold Wienerschnitzel, I lost my confidence and started to sniffle. Gene would probably look around and announce, “I WISH. Where’s the meat?!” Body positivity for Gene is understanding that clothes are just things that you can enjoy as an accessory to the main beautiful event; just toppings on an already juicy burger.

Tunnel Vision Is for Tyrants

Unlike Linda and Gene, who are more open to compromise, Bob, Tina, and Louise have objective-oriented minds. While it makes them ambitious (I’ve never seen anyone so focused on touching a butt like Tina is), it can also lead them to selfish decisions.

In the episode “Late Afternoon in the Garden of Bob & Louise,” Bob strikes a deal with Louise’s arch-nemesis to score a super exclusive gardening spot. In doing so, he thoughtlessly sacrifices his family’s sanity and happiness for his own. He’s fantasizing about dancing string beans while his wife and kids are handling the explosive results of his betrayal.

Achieving your goals is great, but when it comes at the expense of those around you, it’s a bad move. You can bet if they don’t straight-up revolt that you will be left alone, possibly with only a giant taffy man to talk to about your loneliness. It’s good to strive for excellence, but make sure that when you want to achieve something, you don’t ignore the people you care about.

Laugh at Your Own Jokes

The best jokes are the ones you can’t stop yourself from making. Bob’s enthusiasm for his pun-related Burgers of the Day is infectious. These gems vary from the Curd-fect Strangers Burger (comes with cheese curds) to the Gourdon-Hamsey Burger (comes with ham and squash).

Bob’s passion for puns is what makes him different from his dad, and it’s what makes his restaurant different from every other option in town. He makes good burgers and bad jokes. It’s a perfect blend. He may be behind on the rent, but he’s enjoying his passions. When you enjoy what you do, it translates into your work and life. Why not stand out a little and make yourself happy?

Love Can Be “Complicated”

After incessantly mocking Tina for wanting to see a boy band in concert, Louise is finally struck by an uncontrollable wave of hysteria upon witnessing band member Boo Boo take the stage. Her screams go from horror to glee as he continues to sing sweet pop music.

Sometimes you love things that other people or even yourself might find embarrassing — like enjoying a show about ponies and friendship as an adult. Tina, thankfully, does not find shame in liking the things she does, and describes her affinity for zombies and ponies as “complicated.” Louise, on the other hand, impulsively wants to slap Boo Boo whenever she sees him.

Be more like Tina and embrace the things you love. Write Friend Fiction and develop your writing skills. Sing along to boy bands to keep in touch with your romantic side. Don’t hate yourself for loving something someone else might not like, and use your passion in a constructive way.

Make the Most of Life’s Chaos

Landlord Mr. Fischoeder looks like the epitome of a Bond villain. His white suit, eyepatch, lack of morals, and obsession with wealth make him a contender for the Most Evil Man award. However, he sees most challenges simply as part of life and enjoys them whenever he can.

When his brother attempts to murder him, Fischoeder cheerfully shouts insults from where he’s tied up, not at all offended or outraged. Even when his tenants try to gang up on him, he doesn’t hold a grudge so much as enjoy pitting them against each other for a while until eventually, he joins them for a water balloon fight, allowing them to see his softer side.

For someone so blatantly selfish, he rarely has long-term enemies because he never sees himself or others as villains or victims, just people surviving in a chaotic world. Make the most of your challenges, because you can count on life throwing you more than a few lemons — folks like Mr. Fischoeder have water balloons!

Annelise Belmonte
I am a human marshmallow of gooey story-filled goodness, whether it's video games or choose-your-own adventure novels.
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