Bob’s Burgers Recap: Ghost Boyfriend

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Photo: Fox
Bob’s Burgers
Episode Title
Tina and the Real Ghost
Season
5
Episode
2
Editor’s Rating
4/5

Last night, Bob’s Burgers came back for “Tina and the Real Ghost.” The episode begins with the Belcher kids discussing their Halloween plans. Oh, right! Halloween. For some reason, there was a month between the season premiere and the second episode, and now it’s Halloween. They made us wait and I’m not upset about it at all! Anyway, this incredibly late second episode begins with the Belcher kids discussing their Halloween plans. Louise and Gene will be trick-or-treating, but Tina will be at the cemetery because breaking into the mausoleum on Halloween night is a rite of passage for the local schoolkids — a sign that one has transitioned from candy-eating child to unafraid adolescent. From Hocus Pocus to Candyman. Or maybe just Hocus Pocus to The Craft. (No one’s ever old enough for Candyman.)

Meanwhile, back at the restaurant, Linda (some call her Manon) is putting up Halloween decorations, including some smiling bats she bought over regular bats because they’re “more realistic.” Bob’s dealing with a bug problem and informs a nervous exterminator that there are flying bugs in the basement that need to go. The man stops halfway down the staircase. “There’s a ghost in this basement,” he tells Bob as the kids arrive. “You need to catch it and get rid of it.”

“Like salmon!” Gene replies.

The crazy exterminator tells the Belchers that getting rid of a ghost is a three-step process:

  1. Make contact with the ghost.
  2. Put the ghost into a vessel.
  3. Throw the box into the trash.

Linda believes him and runs for the Ouija board. While setting up the séance, Bob heads into the storage room and gets attacked by the flying bugs the exterminator was too scared to exterminate. While bugs swarm around his face, Linda brings out the vessel for the ghost: an Easy Breezy shoebox. “It used to hold the world’s most comfortable heels. Soon it will hold a ghost.”

Now the seance begins. “What’s your name?”
“J ... E ... F ... F.”
“How old are you?”
“1 ... 3.”

So Linda and her children capture the 13-year-old ghost named Jeff and throw him into a shoe box. The next day, the kids take him to school, where they must prove to Zeke, Jimmy Jr., Tammy, and Jocelyn that he’s the real deal with yet another seance.

“What do ghosts eat?”
“S ... O ... U ... P.”
“Were you cool when you were alive?”
“V ... E ... R ... Y.”
“I don’t think Jeff is real. Something smells fishy.”
“U.”

Jeff’s sick burn convinces them, and Tina asks a question of her own.

“Want to walk me to class?”
“YES.”

Back at the restaurant, two paranormal investigators show up to rid the building of its ghost. Though initially annoyed by their presence, Bob lets them hang around after realizing people love eating burgers around ghosts. Tommy sums it up nicely: “People like your burgers more when there’s a dead person in the restaurant.”

And while business is booming, love is blooming. Tina decides to spend the afternoon alone with Jeff. They watch the butterflies at the botanical gardens, visit a playground, and hit up the carnival. It’s, well, yeah, it’s kind of a date. She goes on a date with a box. Bob, of course, is horrified. Linda is a little more supportive and tells Tina, “You’re gonna have to get some clanky chains for prom!”

But, as Tina is painfully aware, true love doesn’t always last. The next day at school, Tammy steams up the girls bathroom and writes a fake message from Jeff on the mirror.

Tina and I are taking a break. Tammy u r hot. Be my GF.

“I guess now I have a hottie without a body!” she screams before swiping the box and running off with her new ghost boyfriend.

Back home, Linda and Bob hear the news.

“He dumped you? I’m gonna kill him! Again!”
“I knew this would happen, sort of.”

When Tina heads to her room to sulk, Louise reveals to the rest of the family that she’s been controlling the Ouija from the beginning, but that she didn’t expect Tina to fall in love with someone with a name as bad as Jeff. They decide not to tell her, as the revelation would probably turn her heartbreak into feelings of stupidity. That night, the kids prepare for their Halloween nights. Gene comes out as both Turner and Hooch, with the left half of his body dressed up as Tom Hanks and the right half dressed up as a dog. It’s a perfect costume, and one that I’m angry at myself for not thinking of earlier. Louise enters the kitchen dressed as Ryan Gosling from Drive, a costume that would not have been funny had it not been described as “Ryan Gosling from the major motion picture trailer Drive.” As Ryan Gosling from the major motion picture trailer Drive flips a toothpick around his mouth, Tina mopes into the room wearing her normal clothes (which Linda interprets as a “Pretty Glasses Girl” costume) and announces that she will not be leaving the house that evening. Feeling guilty for bringing Jeff into her life, Ryan Gosling from the major motion picture trailer Drive hatches a plan to make Tina feel better.

Selflessly turning down an evening of trick-or-treating, Ryan Gosling from the major motion picture trailer Drive and Turner & Hooch head to the cemetery to punish Tammy for stealing Jeff. As the kids work up their courage to go into the mausoleum, Tina arrives unexpectedly and follows them inside. After Ryan Gosling from the major motion picture trailer Drive sneaks the bugs into the box, they discover a sinister message written in blood, telling them that Jeff has doomed them to “eternal damnation.” Terrified, Tammy throws the box down and gets attacked by the swarm, screaming, “I knew I shouldn’t have taken Tina’s spooky seconds!”

Tina then reveals that she wrote the message (in ketchup) after overhearing Ryan Gosling from the major motion picture trailer Drive in the house earlier that night and discovering the truth about Jeff. She proudly exits the mausoleum, not a girl, not yet a woman, and way more of a Robin Tunney than she’s ever been before.

Linda Belcher on Drive: “So violent! So well-reviewed!”