In an effort to draw more customers to the restaurant, Bob enlists his kids to form a promo band. The band is such a (minor) hit that it encourages Gene to start a real band at school with the help of some classmates, including Regular-Size Rudy and Darryl. Their talent is debatable, but their fun is contagious, so they’re invited to play at the most popular sixth-grader’s birthday party. When Darryl finds out Gene only knows one key and three chords, however, the farting maestro is booted, Steve Jobs (or David Lee Roth) style, from the group. While Gene’s worrying about his future as a musician, Bob and Linda are worrying about their careers as restaurant owners, thanks to a gnarly armpit rash that has Mama Belcher sporting some major fur.
The Highlight Reel
Clad in the burger suit, Gene takes his trusty keyboard and "strawesome" sisters to preach the gospel of Bob:
There are some winners in here:
Linda: I look like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly.
Rudy: And hey, why make it difficult when you can make cymbal?!
[+1 to Linda for that disgusting, albeit vivid, comparison; +1 to Rudy for existing and having the wherewithal to make that pun … Also, what do you think Bob and Teddy are talking about in the background?]
Gene and Co. recruit some new members and want to start practicing on school grounds, because why not? They are a rad band, with a rad name. Rad.
Linda: Aww, you guys are a band? That’s fun, what’s your name?
Gene: We’re called the Itty Bitty Ditty Committee, because we have little ditties.
Rudy: Oh, now I get it.
[+1 to Gene for coming up with the punny but somehow still appropriate name; +1 to Linda for encouraging this; +1 to Rudy for existing.]
The Committee's first practice goes very well because they don't have that much material. Also, the material they have is about ten seconds long. But that leads to this surprisingly potent bit of social commentary on the state of pop music:
Rudy: Is it really a song, though, if you just say words over and over?
Gene: Can you guys sing?
Rudy: Not if I want to live.
[+1 to Rudy for existing.]
Linda’s doctor told her that the best way to eradicate her armpit rash is to never shave, and to suffocate her miniature Jeff Goldblums with hair. Linda obliges:
Bob: It’s like animal fur.
Teddy: It looks like that guy’s hair from Counting Crows.
[+1 to Teddy for giving Counting Crows a ton of Google searches this week.]
The band recruits the best singer in school, computer nerd/songbird Darryl. But the problem is he's kind of a two-for-one deal: That is, he can sing and slay the keys. Uh-oh:
[+1 to the writers for foreshadowing the nonimportance of the SCALE here; +1 to Darryl (and Aziz Ansari) for being the cartoon male version of Beyoncé.]
Just when things were looking down for Gene, they also began looking down for Linda: The health inspectors, Ron and Hugo, ambush her and her pits with underarm-hair nets:
Linda: I need to wear a tank top.
Hugo: Need to? Why?
Linda: Because of this Rash … ida Jones. Big fan. Oh yeah, she likes tank tops, too.
Linda: It looks like I trapped two hedgehogs under my arms!
[+1 to Rashida Jones; +1 to Linda for the Rashida Jones homage; but also -1 to Linda for making us visualize that she's crushing baby hedgehogs. Cruel.]
Linda's able to save her situation, but unfortunately, things get worse for Gene and his sisters — they get fired from the band:
Peter: We’re kind of evolving away from straws.
[+1 to Peter because who are you?; +1 to Rudy for existing; +1 to Gene for putting up with that door — that's the worst feeling in the world; -100 to Darryl, Peter, and Rudy for kicking Gene, the mastermind, out.]
Linda takes the pit matters into her own hands (because nobody has time for hold music) and makes a disgusting home remedy that everybody confuses for dinner:
Tina: Not to be all Ms. When-is-dinner? But when is dinner?
Louise: And what is dinner? You’ve been stirring that stuff forever.
Linda: This isn’t dinner. This is a home remedy for my armpit rash. We found it online.
Tina: What?! It’s well past dinnertime! … Sorry, it’s just … feed your children.
[+1 to Tina for being an adult.]
Gene goes to Ms. Merkin (praise) for piano lessons. She tries to teach Gene a scale, and it goes about as well as you'd imagine:
Gene: That’s a terrible song.
MM: It’s not a song, it’s scales.
MM: It’s not gross.
Gene: It’s gross.
MM: It’s scales, it can’t be gross.
Gene: It’s gross!
MM: It’s not gross, it’s scales!
Gene: I’m just saying, use drums or something.
[+1 to Gene for being stubborn; +1 to Ms. Merkin for trying to pass the beauty and frustration of scales on to the next generation.]
Gene just wants his ditties in Hyundai Elantra commercials, and can you blame him? These would sound way better with the burgers-and-fries song:
It’s okay, even though Gene was down in the dumps for a majority of this episode, he still did this thing, with Welcome Back, Kotter and Top Gun references:
[+1 for this fit of passion; -1 for scaring us.]
He renounced his keyboard for a bit, but came back for arguably the best end credits of all time:
[+1 to Gene for the costumes and effects and glory of burgers and fries.]
Gene, for being everybody's inspiration. This episode was a lot like that Michael Jordan myth, in which someone's cut from a school endeavor only to return bigger and better and more dedicated than ever. Gene was Michael Jordan this episode. Actually, he is MJ. The MJ of music. He is the one and only Genethoven. He's also all of us. If you have it in you today, turn inward and reflect about a moment in which you had to bounce back. Wow, right? Okay, now, get ready to conquer this week. Release your inner Gene. (On a more serious note, I'm glad there was a lot of music this episode. The burger-and-fries ditty was insanely catchy, and I like when Gene can be an ambitious human and more than just a barrel of farts.)
Bob’s Bonus Sliders
- Coolest recorder in the world.
- The celebrity pop-culture references and comparisons were on point this episode.
- What does Teddy have going on under his shirt?
- Laverne & Curly > Hairy & Sally.
- Ms. Merkin’s name is still the best name in the world.
- Parm-pit burger (burger of the day) was too real.
- I want to see all of Gene’s banana jokes. Especially Captain Banana.