6. “Sacred Cow”
Louise Belcher seems to live by a code: Never miss an opportunity to mess with your family, particularly your older sister. So, when an insufferable documentarian tries to make a point about meat-eating by dressing up a cow named Moolissa and parking the future-meal outside of Bob’s Burgers, Louise has the perfect opportunity to prank Tina.
Really, can you blame her? I’m one of three kids and none of us would have ever missed the chance to test each other’s gullibility. Louise, though, is willing to do something more disgusting than any of us Ohanesian kids would have done. Playing with poop, even if it’s to send emoticon messages to your sibling, definitely would have crossed the gross-out line for us. But, hey, this is a cartoon and Tina’s reaction to the cow dung “frowny face” is priceless.
5. “Art Crawl”
Louise isn’t just the naughty kid, she’s the smartest of the Belcher bunch. That’s part of the problem in “Art Crawl,” as there are few things more dangerous than a persuasive little kid who wants to make a buck like adults do. The youngest Belcher kid is content to do the “wheelin’ and dealin'” while her siblings paint during the town’s Art Crawl. Tina and Gene, however, refuse to paint the cheesy works that Louise thinks they can sell to tourists. Louise isn’t discouraged, though, and has figured out a way to work with her sibling’s high-art ambitions – somebody must lose an ear.
What makes Louise such a cool cartoon kid is that she is incredibly intelligent and that clearly scares everyone around her. While she’s not the easiest kid to handle, and definitely not the best boss, she does have a good heart. That’s obvious at the end of the episode, when she uses money from the art hustle to help her family.
4. “The Kids Run Away”
One of the great truths is life is that your mom can and will outsmart you, even if you’re Louise Belcher. When Louise runs away, her actions aren’t totally unplanned; She has a “go bag” that she packed and hid a couple years earlier. While she thinks she can hide out at her aunt’s place, it’s not altogether the best plan.
More than the truth that moms somehow always know how to foil our plots, this episode shows how fear works. Everyone is afraid of something, whether it’s Louise’s fear or the dentist or the dentist’s fear of Louise. It also shows how fear as a domino effect. If we let our fear drive us to act irrationally, we ended up striking the same sense of dread in others and situations spiral out of control. It takes someone who can think rationally, in this case Linda, to get things back in order.
3. “Human Flesh”
Everything you need to know about the Belcher kids is laid out in the first episode of Bob’s Burgers: Tina is the awkward one, Gene will do anything for a laugh and Louise is a too-smart terror. Keep her away from the chalkboard, lest she name the daily special the “Child Molester.” If she tells you to smell something, move far away from the spoiled milk. She’s the kind of kid who will inadvertently get her parents’ restaurant in trouble with the health inspectors, mostly because she’s bored and she has to show up her classmates during “Show and Tell.”
Louise is the trouble-maker, but she’s also the problem-solver. Her classroom tales launch a rumor that dad Bob makes burgers out of people. Louise’s big mouth nearly costs the family its restaurant, but, in the end, the rumors end up saving Bob’s Burgers when a group of day-trippers stop by for the burgers they think are made from human flesh. Never underestimate the power of foodies. Let’s hope they Instagrammed it.
Frequently, Louise stirs up trouble just for the hell of it and that’s how chunks of this episode unfold. Other times, Louise causes chaos for a reason and that’s a big part of why “Mazel-Tina” is such a good episode.
Maybe I gravitate to this one because I’m the Tina-ish older sister and I know that, even though we can totally annoy each other, my younger sister has my back. I’m also now old enough to understand that, like Tina, I didn’t always appreciate my own sister’s efforts to give me a hand.
Louise has her moments of being the annoying little sister, but she’s also a pretty great person to have on your team. She uses her chaos-causing skills to help Tina achieve a fleeting moment of popularity and then makes a deal to help raise her sister’s social status long-term. Too bad Tina doesn’t fully appreciate what a rad sister she has.
1. “Hawk and Chick”
This season five episode might be the nerdiest in the whole series. Hawk and Chick is a series of movies that Bob and Louise love, and it manages to be a reference to both Lone Wolf and Cub and kaiju movies. The episode involves fanboy/girling over an actor that the general public might not recognize, organizing an underground film screening and fan-dubbing.
It’s also an incredibly endearing episode. Louise uses her manipulative ways to try and bring together the estranged father and daughter who starred in the movies. In the process, she comes to understand her own relationship with her dad and the sad truths about growing up. “Hawk and Chick” is the only episode of Bob’s Burgers that’s brought me to tears, maybe because it reminded me of the days when I would watch Godzilla movies with my own late father.
Previously by Liz Ohanesian
“10 Steps to Getting Me Through a Ghost Hunt When I Don’t Believe In Ghosts”
“8 Fascinating Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Mummies”
“Getting an Up Close Look of 8 New Virtual Reality Experiences“
“7 Things We Want to See in a Xena: Warrior Princess Reboot”
“7 Awesome Things We Saw and Heard at the Saturn Awards”
“9 Lessons Learned at Adult Swim’s Potentially Touring Drive-In Event”
“10 Creepy Awesome Things We Saw at ‘Son of Monsterpalooza’”
“8 Things We Learned at L.A.’s Anime-Centric EigaFest”
“8 Things I Learned at Power Morphicon 2014”
“The 18 Coolest Exclusives to Snag at San Diego Comic-Con 2014”
“20 Best Cosplays We Saw at Anime Expo 2014”
“14 Episodes of Highlander You Need to Watch”
“7 Lessons Learned From Watching Star Wars with Someone Who Never Saw It”
“9 Awesome Things You Might Not Know About Cartoon Network Studios”
“7 Reasons Why Marvel Superhero Movies Are Really Boring”
“10 Surprising Facts About Titmouse Animation Studio”
“The 8 Goth-Rockingest Episodes of The Venture Bros.”