Bob’s Burgers Recap: Long Live the ’Stache

The Belcher family cheers Bob on in his efforts to get in shape. Photo: Fox
Bob’s Burgers
Episode Title
Sliding Bobs
Editor’s Rating

The Story
Bob's Burgers is back! Just in time to cure any seasonal affective disorders. With the beginning of a new season, however, comes new problems. Last night's episode was no exception, as it finds our titular failure-prone hero trying to get in shape via exercise bike. Instead of shedding pounds, though, he begins shedding his mustache.

The Highlights
Since Bob's Tom Selleck–y 'stache is his most iconic and hallowed feature, Gene, Tina, and Louise rightfully freak out when they see its decline. It was the trap that snared Linda all those years ago, when she was so close to marrying Hugo. It was Bob's secret weapon he didn't even know about. Recall:

[+1 point to Linda and her crazy arms for doing the perfect Wacky Waving Inflatable-Arm Flailing Tube-Man impression at just the right time; +1 to Bob for not shaving that day; +2 to fate for being great.]

The episode quickly turns into a combination of The Twilight Zone and A Christmas Carol, as the kids fear a mustacheless dad means an impossible, loveless marriage. After all, that mustache is the only thing he's got going for him, right? They reimagine what the world would be like with a bald-lipped Bob in three mostly surreal vignettes (a format the show has used to great effect before) thusly:

1. Gene and Bob the Robo-Stache
Gene goes first, creating a sci-fi, but unfortunately fartless, world in which a bald-lipped Bob is maimed and sent to the hospital because of Linda's ring swing. (He has no furry protector!) Instead of simply treating his lip, the doctor on call turns Bob into Robo-Stache — kind of like RoboCop, but more like an all-lip version of Inspector Gadget, minus the jovial attitude and catchphrase:

Because this is Gene's world and he doesn't really care about true love yet, the ensuing scenario doesn't involve the mushy stuff so much as it involves a badass showdown between Mr. Fischoeder and Robo-Stache:

[+5 to Gene for showing signs of becoming a young Stan Lee; -100 to Bob for dying at the hands of Fisch; -1,000 to Fisch for killing Bob.]

2. Louise and Bob the Butterlip
Louise's alternate story involves a wish-granting Swami that flips people off and a wish that turns a hairless Bob into Cousin Itt from The Addams Family:

Ever the sadistic pessimist, Louise ultimately puts her dad in American Horror Story: Freak Show and her mom (inexplicably) in jail because true love can't exist if you can't shave.

[+/- 0 to everybody; this one was kind of meh.]

3. Tina and Bob the Food Inspector
Because Tina is obsessed with true love as a hopeless romantic, she goes down the most semi-realistic path, one in which mustacheless Bob fails to steal Linda away from Hugo. The result is a truly terrifying and depressing world in which Hugo actually attains his dreams and opens a wiener-dog restaurant (no, literally, he makes gourmet hot dogs out of wiener-dog meat), Louise acts like a princess, Bob turns into a hairless food inspector, and Tina isn't even that interested in boys:

Linda: Mona [Tina], honey, Jimmy Jr.'s on the phone. He wants to take you to the new zombie movie tonight.
Tina: Ugh, Jimmy Jr.? Zombies? Pfft, maybe in a parallel universe!

The horror:

[-100 to Tina for creating a world in which zombies, horses, and true love don't exist; but also +200 because she was just teaching us an extreme lesson.]

None of these vignettes really matter, because the episode culminates with, Hey, Bob and Linda ended up together, and they're going to stay together no matter what you want to imagine. Or everybody just wants to keep Tina from having a panic attack. Also, the reason for Bob's hair falling out? Maybe the exercise bike, which, as a semi-nude Gene learns, is so old and uncomfortable that if you're a guy, it does weird stuff to your testicles. In short: As long as this guy doesn't exercise, he and his mojo will be just fine.

[+1 to Linda for sticking with Bob through hard times; +1 to Gene for solving a mystery with his private parts; -10 to the exercise bike for giving everybody such an existential scare.]

Tina, for being the supportive child and believing in true love, obviously. This episode doesn't exist without her freak-out. Even though her alternate universe was repulsive, its grisly nature forced her parents to give everybody a reality check: Fate might not work as mysteriously as you think, but things still kind of happen for a reason. Maybe. Something like that. 

While not much actually happened in the way of a plot, this episode was the perfect reintroduction to Bob's — all its puns, wordplays, absurdity, and clever blue humor. It was equal parts funny, goofy, somehow deep, and balls-to-the-wall entertaining; not to mention every character had their moment in the spotlight as true representations of themselves. Thanks, writers. Glad the family's back.

Bob's Bonus Sliders

  • Who is Peanut Butter Jerry, and when will we meet him?
  • Ginger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Blond Mullet Teddy is the best Teddy.
  • "Bad Swami!"
  • "Can you hang bricks from your nipples?" This show always asks the most important, self-affirming questions.
  • Imagining Linda in Sister Act is the best. Somebody, please make this.
  • "It's called fate, and it's great."
  • The Hugo and Linda double entendres were verging on depravity: "Now your mother and I are going downstairs to stuff the sausage." Help.
  • Ugly-Face-Dumb-Face-Donkey-Neck-Weird-Legs!
  • Rejoice, for season six is here; however, please note the next episode airs October 11.