Bob's Burgers

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Bob's Burgers
A large red logo inclusive of the term "Bob's Burgers".
A family consisting of a mother, a father holding a hamburger, a boy, and two girls.
The Belcher family. Clockwise from top left: Bob, Linda, Louise, Gene, and Tina.
Genre Animated sitcom[1]
Created by Loren Bouchard
Developed by Loren Bouchard
Jim Dauterive
Voices of H. Jon Benjamin
Dan Mintz
Eugene Mirman
Larry Murphy
John Roberts
Kristen Schaal
Theme music composer Loren Bouchard
Opening theme "Bob's Burgers Theme"
Composer(s) John Dylan Keith
Loren Bouchard
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 93 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Loren Bouchard
Jim Dauterive
Editor(s) Mark Seymour
Camera setup Animated rendition of single-camera
Running time 21 min.
Production company(s) Bento Box Entertainment (2011)
Wilo Productions (2012-present)
Buck & Millie Productions (2012-present)
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television
Original network Fox
Picture format 720p (16:9 HDTV)
Audio format 5.1 surround sound with SAP DVS audio description
Original release January 9, 2011 (2011-01-09) – present
External links
Production website

Bob's Burgers is an American animated sitcom created by Loren Bouchard for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Belchers—parents Bob and Linda, and their children Tina, Gene, and Louise—who run a hamburger restaurant. The family was conceived by Bouchard after he developed Home Movies.

Since its debut on January 9, 2011, the series has broadcast 93 episodes. While reviews for the first season were mixed, feedback for subsequent seasons has been much more positive. After the first season, Bento Box Entertainment was replaced[citation needed] by Wilo Productions and Buck & Millie Productions. All seasons are produced and distributed in association with 20th Century Fox Television and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The series premiere, "Human Flesh", drew in 9.38 million viewers, making it the highest-rated series premiere of the season and also finished 9th in the ratings for the week it aired.[2][3] Reruns began airing on Cartoon Network's late night adult programming block Adult Swim on June 23, 2013,[4] and began airing in syndication on local stations in September 2015.

A comic book series based on the show, published by Dynamite Entertainment, began in September 2014,[5] and a soundtrack album is planned to be released at some point.[6][7]

In 2013, TV Guide ranked Bob's Burgers as one of the top 60 Greatest TV Cartoons of All Time.[8] The series has been nominated for several awards, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program in 2012 and 2013, before it won the award in 2014.

On January 8, 2015, Fox renewed the series for a 22-episode sixth production cycle, with the sixth broadcast season scheduled to premiere on September 27, 2015.[9][10]

On October 7, 2015, Fox renewed the series for seventh and eighth production cycles.[11]


The show centers on the Belcher family—Bob, Linda, and their children Tina, Gene, and Louise—who run a hamburger restaurant on Ocean Avenue in an unnamed seaside community (informally known as "Seymour's Bay" among the show's writing staff).[12] Series creator Loren Bouchard commented in a 2012 interview that the show's location was an indeterminate Northeastern United States shore town.[13] Entertainment writers have later described the show as being set in New Jersey, citing the season three episode "It Snakes a Village".[14] The restaurant is located in a two-floor building sandwiched between a funeral home and a building where tenants come and go on a regular basis, and the Belcher family lives in the apartment directly above the restaurant. Bob's Burgers is a struggling restaurant situated on a commercial street that relies heavily on traffic from the local amusement park, Wonder Wharf, which is located on a pier at the end of Ocean Avenue and owned by Calvin Fischoeder, an eccentric millionaire who also owns many buildings in the town, including the one where Bob's Burgers and the Belchers' home is located.

Success is not easy, as Bob must compete with several other eateries for business. His biggest rival is Jimmy Pesto's Pizzeria, the owner of which Bob particularly dislikes. Bob's restaurant also has seen its fair share of bad luck. For example, in the show's opening, Bob's Burgers falls victim to a fire, an infestation of vermin, and a utility pole that falls over and crashes into the building. In spite of all this, Bob does have a loyal but small group of regular customers including Mort, the owner of the funeral home, and Teddy, the local handyman.


The Belcher family runs a hamburger restaurant. Bob is the restaurant's owner and husband to Linda. Their three children are Tina, the oldest, Gene, the only boy, and Louise, the youngest. All three kids help out around the restaurant to some extent. Louise is somewhat of a precocious menace and an instigator of many of the debacles that face the Belcher family. Gene is the more lighthearted goofball type and aspires to be a great musician. Tina is awkward, but full of heart, and muddles her way through her pubescent experiences, such as boys, leg waxing, and development of her identity.

There are various recurring characters in the series including Jimmy Pesto, Sr., Bob's rival who owns a pizzeria across the street, and his sons Jimmy Jr. (Tina's love interest) and hyperactive twins Andy and Ollie, who are friends of Louise. Other recurring characters include the aforementioned Mort and Teddy, as well as Linda's eccentric sister Gayle, and sometimes-meddling building owner, Calvin Fischoeder.


The series initial look of the characters, including scrapped character, Daniel Belcher
The current look of the characters, including Tina Belcher, who replaced Daniel Belcher

Creator Loren Bouchard said Bob's Burgers came about because Fox's animation brand centers mostly on family, but he also wanted to dabble in workplace comedy.[15] The show has generally been viewed as a spiritual successor to King of the Hill, which carried less emphasis on shock comedy and focused more on character driven humor; Bob's Burgers executive producer Jim Dauterive worked on "King" for nearly its entire run.[16]

Proof of concept[edit]

Before the show was aired, the team created a proof of concept so Fox Broadcasting Company knew what to expect if they bought the show. Jay Howell had his art featured[citation needed] in a test animation based on Bob forgetting about his and Linda's wedding anniversary. The actual show has never used a word that needed to be censored by the network.[17] The proof of concept eventually turned into the pilot episode. It had the same synopsis as the official pilot (aired in 2011) but had both cosmetic and substantial differences. These included:

  • Cruder animation
  • Character models having longer noses
  • Bob wears a white tank top/singlet (in the series he wears a white T-shirt)
  • The eldest child is male, and called Daniel. In the broadcast pilot, Tina's dialogue is the same as Daniel's and the voice characterization by Dan Mintz is the same, despite being changed to a female character.
  • The intro had slower animation due to budget
  • Extra dialogue and plot elements were added to the pilot: a scene where the community reacts badly to the restaurant's health safety alert and Bob confronts Hugo about it, and a denouement wrapping up plot elements.
  • This extra material expanded the running time from thirteen and a half minutes to twenty-one and a half minutes.

The original pilot can be seen on the DVD release of the first season, released on April 17, 2012.


Loren Bouchard created the series

Bob's Burgers first appeared on the development slate at Fox on August 6, 2009.[18] On December 1, 2009, Fox ordered 13 episodes for the first season.[19] On May 17, 2010, Fox placed the series on the primetime slate for the 2010–11 television season.[20] A special preview aired on Thanksgiving on November 25, 2010.[21]

Executive producers[edit]

Creator Loren Bouchard serves as the executive producer, alongside developer Jim Dauterive. They have served as executive producers since the first season.


The team of writers includes Loren Bouchard, Jim Dauterive, Scott Jacobson, Lizzie Molyneux, Wendy Molyneux, Holly Schlesinger, Nora Smith, Steven Davis, Kelvin Yu, Dan Fybel, Rich Rinaldi, Kit Boss, Greg Thompson, Jon Schroeder, and Mike Benner. After the writing has been completed, the voice actors read the script as written, but later are allowed to improvise lines. The editors and director decide what improvised lines make the final cut.

Voice cast[edit]

Bob's Burgers has five main cast members: H. Jon Benjamin as Bob Belcher, John Roberts as Linda Belcher, Dan Mintz as Tina Belcher, Eugene Mirman as Gene Belcher, and Kristen Schaal as Louise Belcher.[22]


Opening sequence[edit]

The opening sequence begins with a burger, which is then placed in Bob's hands. The scene is then put into place one piece at a time, starting with Linda, Tina, Gene, and Louise being added to the scene, then the restaurant, and then the entire streetscape including the neighboring funeral parlor, which causes everyone to look. The restaurant begins by sporting a "Grand Opening" sign in the background. The restaurant is then shown being damaged in a series of incidents (in order: a fire, an invasion of vermin, and a car knocking a utility pole through the restaurant's front window), each time returning with a sign announcing the "Grand Re-Opening", "Grand Re-Re-Opening", and so on. The names of the establishments next to the restaurants are usually ironic puns. Finally, the view zooms in to the "Bob's Burgers" sign/logo and fades into the start of the episode.

As with other Fox animated series such as Futurama, The Simpsons and American Dad!, the show employs the "changing element" running gag in its opening credits. The gag present on Bob's Burgers involves the store located to the right of the restaurant, which as a new tenant in every episode (ex. In 'Purple Rainunion', the store was called 'Betty's Machetes') yet is always vacant during the episodes themselves. On certain episodes, an element is changed for a special night (a flash frame saying "HAPPY HALLOWEEN" was shown during the title sequence of 'Fort Night'.)

Credits sequence[edit]

The credits sequence of Bob's Burgers often features the Belcher family at work. The scene is the kitchen of Bob's Burgers drawn with a black outline over a white background, with the credits off to the right hand side. The sequence consists Bob cooking a burger and Louise and Tina doing prep. Bob places the burger on the plate for Louise to give to Linda, who takes it from the window, and a few seconds later Gene walks through the kitchen wearing his burger costume.

Although the kitchen scene is still the main closing sequence the show uses, beginning in season two the producers began to use different elements from the show in the credits. Some examples:

  • In "Ear-sy Rider", the kids ride their bikes down a highway.
  • In "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal", Linda performs a song she came up with for Thanksgiving and annoys Bob with it while he is trying to work.
  • In "O.T.: The Outside Toilet", the family works while Gene hugs the titular toilet.
  • In "Full Bars", Bob and Linda fool around in the kitchen in their Halloween costumes.
  • In "Topsy", "The Belchies", and "It Snakes a Village", as well as some other episodes, an extended musical ending revisiting a song or sequence from earlier closes the show.
  • In "Broadcast Wagstaff School News", Gene, who was given a makeover to resemble Bob, stands next to Bob at the grill. They shoot each other disapproving looks.

Other times, the scene will play out as usual but with something from the episode going on in the background, etc. For instance:

  • In "Burgerboss", the entire scene is animated to look like a video game.
  • In "Nude Beach", several customers are nudists from the aforemmentioned beach.
  • In "Moody Foodie", deli owner Reggie dances around like Michael Madsen in Reservoir Dogs.
  • In "Seaplane!" and "Bad Tina", Tina performs actions she imagined herself doing during the course of the episode.
  • In "The Equestranauts", Bob works while wearing his Equestranaut costume, Tina plays with one of her Equestranaut toys, and the theme to the fictional television series the episode is based on plays over the end credits.
  • In "Best Burger", everybody except Bob has chocolate covering their faces, implying that they all went to the "hot fudge car wash" at the food festival where most of the episode took place.

Daily special[edit]

Every episode features one or more "Today's Special" burgers on a chalk board on the wall behind the counter. The name of the special is usually a play on words that indicates what comes on the burger (ex.: "It's Fun to Eat at the rYe M C A Burger": Comes with Rye, Mustard, Cheese, and Avocado). Other "Special" burgers are also mentioned by the family without being written on their chalkboard. The joke is often that the play on words is overly complex or obscure.

Home media[edit]

The first season of the show is available on the iTunes Store for download. The first 5 seasons are available from Amazon Video. As of May 12, 2015, seasons 1-4 are available on Netflix. Episodes are aired on Hulu for the current season only.

DVD releases[edit]

Region Set title Episode count Time length Release date Notes
1 Bob's Burgers: The Complete 1st Season[23] 13 286 minutes April 17, 2012
1 Bob's Burgers: The Complete 2nd Season[23] 9 198 minutes May 7, 2013 Manufactured on demand (MOD) on DVD-R
1 Bob's Burgers: The Complete 3rd Season[23] 23 506 minutes May 13, 2014 Manufactured on demand (MOD) on DVD-R
1 Bob's Burgers: The Complete 4th Season[23] 22 484 minutes May 12, 2015 Manufactured on demand (MOD) on DVD-R

Reception and achievements[edit]

Bob's Burgers initially received mixed reviews for season 1, with a Metacritic score of 54 out of 100.[24] The Washington Post described the show as "pointlessly vulgar and derivatively dull", while Reuters stated that "It's unwise – and unnecessary – to launch an animated sitcom on Fox that appears intent to ape the vulgarity quotient of Family Guy."[1][25] USA Today stated that "Bob's Burgers isn't very tasty" describing the comedy as just "lop[ing] along, stumbling from one tasteless moment to the next"[26] The New York Times described the show as having "a lackadaisical vibe; its humor, no matter how anarchic, slides by in a deadpan monotone."[27]

However, as the first season progressed and concluded and the second began, critics began giving the series praise. Rowan Kaiser of The A.V. Club has recalled, "...the show was amusing, yes, and there was certainly potential, but it took half a dozen episodes before it really began to meet that potential."[28] Season 2 has a Metacritic score of 78 out 100.[29]

Entertainment Weekly gave the show an A- grade in its review, remarking that "a comedy this well done is very rare indeed".[30] Ain't It Cool News called Bob's Burgers "perhaps the funniest half-hour currently airing on broadcast TV."[31] In its review, CNN called the show "wickedly funny" and said there are "too many highlights to list here".[32] Speaking about the show during its second season, The A.V. Club reviewer Rowan Kaiser said: "After an uneven start, Bob's Burgers is becoming one of television's best comedies!".[33] Since the debut of season two of the series, the show's positive reception has increased.[citation needed]

The A.V. Club voted Bob's Burgers as the 10th best TV show of 2012,[34] the 3rd best show of 2013,[35] and the 20th best show of 2014.[36]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Result References
2011 Teen Choice Award Choice TV: Animated Show Bob's Burgers Nominated [37]
2012 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Animated Series Bob's Burgers Nominated [38]
Teen Choice Award Choice TV: Animated Show Bob's Burgers Nominated [39]
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program For "Burgerboss" Nominated [40]
2013 Artios Award Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Animation (Children and Adult) Julie Ashton Nominated [41]
Annie Award Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production For "Ear-sy Rider" Nominated [42]
Teen Choice Award Choice TV: Animated Show Bob's Burgers Nominated [43]
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program For "O.T.: The Outside Toilet" Nominated [44]
2014 Annie Award Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production Bob's Burgers Nominated [45]
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Animated Series Bob's Burgers Nominated [46]
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program For "Mazel-Tina" Won [47]
2015 People's Choice Award Favorite Animated TV Show Bob's Burgers Nominated [48]
Artios Award Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Animation (Children and Adult) Julie Ashton Nominated [49]
Annie Award Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production Bob's Burgers Nominated [50]
Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Jennifer Coyle & Bernard Derriman Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award Best Television Writing in Animation Greg Thompson for "Bob and Deliver" Nominated [51]
Nora Smith for "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl" Nominated
2015 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program For "Can't Buy Me Math" Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance John Roberts for "Eat, Spray, Linda" Nominated
People's Choice Award Favorite Animated TV Show Bob's Burgers Pending


After airing, the show became the highest-rated series premiere of the season and also finished 9th in the ratings for the week it aired.[52][53] Despite this, the ratings went on a slide with ratings expert Bill Gorman of TV by the Numbers calling it a "toss up" for renewal before the series was renewed for a second season[54] which premiered on March 11, 2012.

Season Timeslot (ET) # Ep. Premiered Ended TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere Viewers
(in millions)
Date Finale Viewers
(in millions)
1 Sunday 8:30 pm 13
January 9, 2011
May 22, 2011
4.31[56] 2010–11 #117[57] 5.07[57]
2 9
March 11, 2012
May 20, 2012
3.57[59] 2011–12 #142[60] 4.18[60]
3 23
September 30, 2012
May 12, 2013
3.38[62] 2012–13 #107[63] 4.45[63]
4 Sunday 8:30 pm
(Episodes 1 - 11)
Sunday 7:00 pm
(Episodes 12 - 22)
September 29, 2013
May 18, 2014
1.95[65] 2013–14 #96[66] 4.93[66]
5 Sunday 7:30 pm
(Episodes 1 and 2)
Sunday 9:30 pm
(Episodes 3 - 12, 19 - )
Sunday 7:30 pm
(Episodes 13 - 18)
October 5, 2014
3.14[67] May 17, 2015 2.44[68] 2014–15 #147[69] 3.18[69]


Adult Swim acquired the rights to air Bob's Burgers in 2013. Episodes air six nights a week, with a 1:30 am airing on Sunday and 8:30 pm airings Monday through Friday. An additional episode airs every Monday through Thursday at 9:00 pm. Adult Swim currently has rights to all five season of Bob's Burgers and recently began airing the season five episodes on Mondays.[citation needed]

20th Television began distributing Bob's Burgers to local stations in 2015. The syndication package began airing on its affiliates on the weekend of September 19–20, 2015, and two episodes air each weekend.[citation needed]


In popular culture[edit]

Actual Bob's Burgers location in La Puente, CA, during 2012

On January 6, 2011, some Fatburger locations were re-branded as Bob's Burgers for the day as a promotion.[70] It also offered limited-time offers, such as a free burger giveaway, and a special, "The Thanks a Brunch Burger", on the menu until February 2011.[70] There were also "Bob's Burgers" coupons offered for a free medium Fatburger special.[70][71] Across the United States, 4 locations were re-branded as Bob's Burgers, in California, New Jersey, Nevada, and Illinois.[70][71] At least one restaurant location in California continues to use the Bob's Burgers appellation into 2012.

In the Family Guy episode "Space Cadet", the principal shows Peter and Lois a picture of Bob Belcher as a sign that Chris is doing poorly in his Advanced Art class. Peter mutters "I'm very embarrassed", and the principal replies "Yeah, well, someone should be." In "Boopa-dee Bappa-dee", Louise is one of many characters Stewie is turned into by Peter using a remote control. Bob's Burgers is also mentioned on "He's Bla-ack!", as one of the reasons why The Cleveland Show was such a failure.

The season 4 premiere episode of Archer features a crossover where the Belcher family is shown, but Bob is revealed to be Sterling Archer (also voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) in a fugue state. Archer has taken the place of Bob Belcher, with Bob inexplicably missing. The menu board touts the "Thomas Elphinstone Hambledurger, with Manning Coleslaw", a play on amnesiac secret agent Tommy Hambledon, a character in a series of novels by Manning Coles.

"Homerland", the season 25 premiere episode of The Simpsons, features a couch gag in which the Belcher family (skinned yellow according to the standard character coloring of the series) attend a 25th anniversary party in the Simpson family living room with the main characters of their fellow Animation Domination series.

Bob makes a cameo appearance in the hour-long Simpsons-Family Guy crossover "The Simpsons Guy".[72] He appears in the same airplane as Homer and Peter in a cutaway about them being a greater team than the Air Force. Peter remarks to Homer that they have to carry Bob, and then Peter points to Cleveland's plane and says "We let that other guy try and look what happened." Cleveland, repeatedly saying "no", crashes in flames. This is a reference to the poor ratings of Bob's Burgers and the cancellation of The Cleveland Show.[73]

In Aqua Teen Hunger Force a character previously known as Dr. Eugene Mirman (obviously played by himself) was renamed to Dr. Gene Belcher in the episode "Hospice". The character's name was revealed on Aqua Teen Hunger Force's creator, Dave Willis' Twitter account two hours before the episode. The character had been introduced in 2006, which was 5 years before Bob's Burgers aired.[74]

Seattle rock band Sleater-Kinney collaborated with Bob's Burgers and its crew for their 2015 single, "A New Wave" off of the album No Cities To Love. The resultant music video featured the band, animated in the cartoon's style, performing for the Belcher children in Tina's bedroom.[75][76][77]


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