It’s Linda’s birthday, a.k.a. the worst day of the year for her, and she’s having trouble pronouncing her age and coming to grips with the fact that, yes, she’s not getting any younger. The Belcher family rules when it counts, so the kids make a crappy breakfast in bed (thought that counts!), while Bob whips up a homemade spa remedy. If the breakfast is any indication, it looks like Linda’s going to have a burnt-toast kind of day. She does. Between failing at the grocery store and having a couple of run-ins with skunks, Linda has one of the worst birthdays of all time. On the upside: The Belchers learn a lot about their mom-slash-wife, while they try to save the day.
The Highlight Reel
Linda tries to enjoy her birthday breakfast in bed, while Bob does that thing where he talks to inanimate objects.
Bob: Gene, would you slice up that cucumber?
Gene: On it.
Bob: And Tina, can you do this?
Tina: Mayonnaise hair treatment? Mom’s hair is gonna shine like a beautiful sandwich.
Bob: Oh, Louise, can you just clean up this mess?
Bob: You’re the youngest.
Louise: I’m also the worst at clean-up. Look.
Bob: Gene, after you’re done with the cucumbers, clean up.
Bob: Tina, after you’re done with that hair treatment, can you clean up?
[+1 point to Louise for telling her mom to put her boobs away; +1 to all the kids for being so complimentary; +1 to Bob for making friends with vinegar; +1 to Tina for taking one for the team.]
Linda goes to the store because she’s getting cabin fever; there are a couple of really important requests:
Gene: The good store? Get the premium fudge pops! Don’t you come home without them!
Tina: Yeah, for your birthday.
Bob: Right, happy birthday! See ya when you get back.
Tina: Oh, and can you get more mayonnaise? We’re out, and I need it today, but not for a surprise, just, um, because I need it.
Linda: Okay, Tina.
Tina: Thank you.
[+1 to Tina for being a premium secret agent.]
On her way to the store, Linda’s leaving Ginger (her mysterious friend who may or may not actually exist) the longest voice mail ever. She sees a chalk festival that’s shut down one of the main streets by the wharf.
Linda: Chalk festival … what’s next a crayon convention? A pencil parade?
[+1 to Linda, birthday zing.]
At the store, the lady running the chalk festival, Chalk of the Town, is buying a ton of juice and cuts Linda in line.
Linda: Just end this. We’re not getting any younger over here.
Deirdre: Don’t blame us for that! Anyway, thanks again for the tip on the cups.
Checker: Hey, no problem. Let me know how they work out. Nice chalkin’ with you.
[+1 to Linda for freaking out about juice; +1 to the checker for the first of what would be many fantastic chalk puns this episode.]
Back at home, the spa surprise isn’t going very well:
[+1 to Bob for making do; +1 to Gene for always being ready; +1 to that whale for being the saddest whale.]
Linda’s bad-luck birthday streak continues with her getting gum in her hair, ripping her pants, and getting locked out of her car. She becomes stranded with the checker from hell and looks like a crazy person. Bob tries to figure out what’s taking Linda so long, so he does the responsible thing and calls Gayle:
Bob: Have you heard from Linda today? … Yes, I know it’s her birthday, Gayle, I just don’t know where she is. … Calm down, Gayle, I’m sure she’s fine. … Gayle, Gayle, GAYLE! … Oh my God, there she is. Hi, Linda. Gayle, she just walked in. She’s fine, she looks great, call you back later. Bye.
Tina: You know Mom’s not really here, right?
Bob: Yes, Tina.
Tina: Because you said you saw her.
Bob: I know, but I was, forget it.
Tina: Were you lying?
[+1 to Tina for reminding us that the morality police never take any vacation days.]
Teddy agrees to drive the Belchers around on their quest for Linda. They find Linda’s car in the parking lot, along with the premium fudge pops (R.I.P.).
Teddy: Eh, those poor fudge pops. They don’t stand a chance.
Gene: They’ll refreeze though, right? RIGHT?
Teddy: Sure they will, but they’ll be in weird shapes.
Louise: Super weird.
Gene: Where are you Mom?!
[+1 to Gene for not losing sight of the real birthday prize.]
Linda begins hitchhiking and meets a bus driver named Andrew, who is super nice and kind of dumb. The kind of dumb that makes Andrew believe that everybody else is dumb. Especially pointing-wise.
Linda: Okay, so if I’m gonna walk it, I can cut through that way.
Andrew: You’re pointing at me. Where did you learn to point?
Linda: No, I’m pointing through you.
Andrew: But it’s at me.
[+1 to Andrew for existing, the best birthday present ever.]
The journey begins to find Linda. First stop: bakery, where Gene and Linda eat all the free samples. All the free samples.
Baker: Unfortunately, we can’t bake enough in a day to fill your wife’s giant hands. There’s only so much pumpernickel in the world.
Bob: What did you say?
Louise: Ho, ho, you poor dumb baker.
Tina: Here comes the thunder.
Bob: Guess what? No one talks about my wife’s giant hands on her birthday!
[+1 to the writers for this (maybe inadvertent) Archer-Lana-monster-hands nod.]
Linda gets sprayed by a skunk twice, and tries to hitch hike with commuters. Doesn’t work very well:
[+1 to Linda for trying.]
Next Belcher stop: The Royal Oyster Hotel, the place where Linda goes to poo with Tina once or twice a week when they're on the move.
Linda winds up at the Chalk of the Town thing because this episode wouldn't make any sense otherwise; she gets into a tussle with Deirdre and messes up her Chalksterpiece.
Deirdre: I’m gonna Charleston on your face!
[+1 to Deirdre for being a chalk diva.]
Last Belcher stop: Pet store, where Louise and Linda would go to play with Colonel Fluffers.
[+1 to Louise because wow.]
Finally, everybody ends up back at home, just in time for spa day, a.k.a. a bathtub full of bloody Marys and grilled cheeses. Best. Birthday. Ever.
Linda, for not giving up. That was a total shit day. As Bob noted, she taught us a whole bunch of new things about herself (who would've guessed she would be best friends with the piano guy at the Royal Oyster?). She was also a shining example of that whole you-can't-please-everybody mantra. I'm trying to extract something meaningful from this episode. I guess what it comes down to is this: Linda is a great mom, who loves her kids enough to poop with them, eat pumpernickel with them, and pet puppies with them. She wins the MVM and MVP. Oh, and Linda is a stellar dancer.
Bob’s Bonus Sliders
- "She does a B.M. in the p.m." Brilliant.
- More Andrew ASAP.
- I wonder what that baby did to become a jerk.
- I hope those fudge pops are okay.
- Ginger is the worst friend. She should've left Linda a voice mail!
- Some really great chalk art in this episode.
- Thank goodness Teddy knows when Chaka Khan is coming to town.