|Created by||Loren Bouchard|
|Developed by||Loren Bouchard
|Voices of||H. Jon Benjamin
|Theme music composer||Loren Bouchard|
|Opening theme||"Bob's Burgers Theme"|
|Composer(s)||John Dylan Keith
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||88 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Loren Bouchard
|Camera setup||Animated rendition of single-camera|
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Wilo Productions
Buck & Millie Productions
Bento Box Entertainment
20th Century Fox Television
|Picture format||720p (16:9 HDTV)|
|Audio format||5.1 surround sound with SAP DVS audio description|
|Original release||January 9, 2011– present|
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 88 episodes. While reviews for the first season were mixed, feedback for subsequent seasons has been very positive. After the first season, Bento Box Entertainment was replaced 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. Reruns began airing in syndication on Cartoon Network's late night adult programming block Adult Swim on June 23, 2013.
In 2013, TV Guide ranked Bob's Burgers as one of the top 60 Greatest TV Cartoons of All Time. 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.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Production
- 3 Hallmarks
- 4 Home media
- 5 Reception and achievements
- 6 Syndication
- 7 Episodes
- 8 In popular culture
- 9 References
- 10 External links
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). Series creator Loren Bouchard commented in a 2012 interview that the show's location was an indeterminate Northeastern United States shore town. Entertainment writers have later described the show as being set in New Jersey, citing the season three episode "It Snakes a Village". 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.
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. 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.
Proof of concept
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 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. 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.
Bob's Burgers first appeared on the development slate at Fox on August 6, 2009. On December 1, 2009, Fox ordered 13 episodes for the first season. On May 17, 2010, Fox placed the series on the primetime slate for the 2010–11 television season. A special preview aired on Thanksgiving on November 25, 2010.
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.
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.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (June 2012)|
The opening sequence begins with a burger, after which the Belcher family appears, with their restaurant sporting a "Grand Opening" sign in the background. The restaurant is then shown being damaged in a series of incidents (a fire, an invasion of vermin, an encounter with a fallen utility pole), 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. From Season 3, the sequence was slightly changed: the Belchers pose differently, Gene bops up and down during the series of incidents, Louise jumps near Gene and slightly waves her hands before the incidents and it instead zooms in on the cheese of the burger Bob is holding to start the episodes. The music was also updated. Also, Jimmy Pesto can now be seen reflected in the window of the exterminator company's van.
As with other Fox animated series such as Futurama, The Simpsons and American Dad!, the show has a changing element in its opening credits; the store to the right of the restaurant (on the other side of Bob's from Mort's funeral home) has a humorous name that changes from one episode to the next (ex. In 'Purple Rainunion', the store was called 'Betty's Machetes'). However, during episodes, the retail space is usually vacant. Additionally, beginning in Season 2, a different company is named on the pest control truck for each episode's opening credits. 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'.)
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.
In the first season, with only one exception in 'Sacred Cow', the end sequence was always the same: Bob cooking a burger and Louise and Tina doing prep. Bob would place the burger on the plate for Louise to give to Linda, who would take it from the window. The sequence then ended with Gene walking through the kitchen wearing the burger costume he hands out samples in. Beginning in season two the background began to include elements from the episode, such as a guest star or visual gag. Over time, the credits sequence has expanded from this to include things other than the kitchen scene, including Ear-sy Rider's credits sequence having the Belcher children riding their "bikes" down a highway, and in Purple Rainunion, Linda and Gayle's old band, The Tatas, performs a song while the kids and their new babysitter, Jen, sneak into the adults only concert during the credits. The end credits often have an updated version of a song or piece of music sung in the episode, such as "Topsy" having an updated version of the song "Electric Love" and "It Snakes a Village" having an extended version of a song Gene sang about snakes.
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.
The first season of the show is available on the iTunes Store for download. The first 5 seasons are available from Amazon Instant Video. As of May 12, 2015, seasons 1-4 are available on Netflix. Episodes are aired on Hulu for the current season only.
|Region||Set title||Episode count||Time length||Release date||Notes|
|1||Bob's Burgers: The Complete 1st Season||13||286 minutes||April 17, 2012|
|1||Bob's Burgers: The Complete 2nd Season||9||198 minutes||May 7, 2013||Manufactured on demand (MOD) on DVD-R|
|1||Bob's Burgers: The Complete 3rd Season||23||506 minutes||May 13, 2014||Manufactured on demand (MOD) on DVD-R|
|1||Bob's Burgers: The Complete 4th Season||22||484 minutes||May 12, 2015||Manufactured on demand (MOD) on DVD-R|
Reception and achievements
Bob's Burgers initially received mixed reviews, with a Metacritic score of 54 out of 100. 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." 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" The New York Times described the show as having "a lackadaisical vibe; its humor, no matter how anarchic, slides by in a deadpan monotone."
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." Season 2 has a Metacritic score of 78 out 100.
Entertainment Weekly gave the show an A- grade in its review, remarking that "a comedy this well done is very rare indeed". Ain't It Cool News called Bob's Burgers "perhaps the funniest half-hour currently airing on broadcast TV." In its review, CNN called the show "wickedly funny" and said there are "too many highlights to list here". 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!". Since the debut of season two of the series, the show's positive reception has increased.
Awards and nominations
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. 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 which premiered on March 11, 2012.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||# Ep.||Premiered||Ended||TV Season||Rank||Viewers
|1||Sunday 8:30 pm||13||
|4||Sunday 8:30 pm
(Episodes 1 - 11)
Sunday 7:00 pm
(Episodes 12 - 22)
|5||Sunday 7:30 pm
(Episodes 1 and 2)
Sunday 9:30 pm
(Episodes 3 - 12, 19 - )
Sunday 7:30 pm
(Episodes 13 - 18)
||3.14||May 17, 2015||2.44||2014–15||TBA||TBA|
Adult Swim acquired the rights to air the first four seasons of Bob's Burgers. The series began airing on June 23, 2013 at 11:00 ET, and currently airs weeknights at 9:30 ET.
In popular culture
On January 6, 2011, some Fatburger locations were re-branded as Bob's Burgers for the day as a promotion. 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. There were also "Bob's Burgers" coupons offered for a free medium Fatburger special. Across the United States, 4 locations were re-branded as Bob's Burgers, in California, New Jersey, Nevada, and Illinois. 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". 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.
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- Official website
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- Bob's Burgers at TV.com
- Bob's Burgers at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Media related to Bob's Burgers at Wikimedia Commons
- Quotations related to Bob's Burgers at Wikiquote