Bob's Burgers "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal" Review: Belcher Family Values

By Noel Kirkpatrick

Nov 19, 2012

Bog's Burgers S03E05: "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal"

There are few things I love more than a good farce. Farce is one of my favorite forms of comedy because it tends to incorporate all types of humor, including wordplay, slapstick, and lots of mistaken/disguised identities. (Needless to say, I’m a big fan of Frasier.)

So of course “An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal” was right up my alley. Fischoeder arrived at the restaurant and offered Bob the opportunity to skip one month’s rent if he allowed his family to pose as Fischoeder’s to entice a homewrecking sharp-shooter named Shelby. But Bob LOVES Thanksgiving, so he rejected Fischoeder’s offer until he discovered that the rest of his family wasn’t exactly thrilled with the holiday (and Fischoeder agreed to allow Bob to skip five months' worth of rent).

I’m delighted that Bob loves Thanksgiving, and that he loves it because of its association with his family and because it means he gets to cook for them. It’s a big deal for a guy who cooks for other people every day to get to cook a grand meal for just his loved ones, and I think it's admirable that Bob wanted to maintain that tradition, and that his family was willing to indulge him in a range of Thanksgiving activities despite the fact that they prefer a wide array of other holidays—including Bath Day, Black Friday (“Because it’s dark!”), Tooth Fairy Eve, Game of Thrones' season premiere, and Angela Lansbury’s birthday. It’s a sign of just how much the Belchers love each other.

And that love is what motivated the rest of the episode. As the family attempted to play house to make Shelby attracted to Fischoeder, Bob got steadily drunk on absinthe (such a comedy crutch, but I don’t care) and melancholy as his family ignored his cherished traditions and Lance the turkey cooked in the oven.

All the pieces were in place for the big farce climax at that point. Bob went off the rails after no one showed up in the kitchen for his speech, and began to deliver it in the dining room as the “traditional cook’s speech.” Fischoeder attempted to cover for it by giving his own speech, and then Linda burst into her Thanksgiving song. Chaos ensued. Everyone talked over each other, Gene and Louise did their “I love Fischoeder-Dad” dances, Tina raised her glasses (wordplay!), and Shelby ended up having a great time and getting super turned on. Then it all culminated in a big chase (as any good farce should) and Lance getting shot. Everyone’s identities were revealed despite Fischoeder’s best attempts to hide them, and he missed out on his chance with Shelby.

Where last week’s cruise ship episode was, as commenter @JT_Kirk aptly described, a series of “just antics” that never came together for me, this episode had a steady comedic build-up and climax that gave it cohesion and non-stop humor. And I’m very thankful for that.


– Burger of the Day: The Plymouth Roquefort Burger.

– There was some good class stuff in this episode, but I figured you could use a break from me gabbing about it. I will say that I enjoyed Fischoeder making Bob use the back door, as well as this exchange between them: “I thought the kitchen would be more mansion-y.” “Mansions are for the owners, Bob, not the cooks.”

– Bob’s “YOU ARE THE ONE!” in the grocery store cracked me up.

– “She’s a magnate magnet.”

– “You lost me with love but brought me back with sharp-shooter.”

– “A poultry within a poultry. It’s like Inception with meats.”

– “If you teach me to shoot, I bet I can teach you to regret teaching me to shoot.”

– Bob’s massive absinthe-induced dream was like some sort of food-based Hayao Miyazaki sequence. I feel like it was based on something, but I can’t pinpoint what.

– “Now this portrait will grow old for me and I’ll stay nine forever.”

– So much innuendo in this episode, with the eating and the stuffing and the cocking and the reverse cowgirling.

– I love Linda’s Thanksgiving song so much.

– We know that that Tina was right about Fischoeder’s toilets. What is the other thing in the paranoid arsenic manufacturer’s old house? Louise’s real skeletons in the closet or Gene’s dungeon full of Dungeness crabs?

  • Comments (14)
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  • Big_Pecks Nov 20, 2012

    "You look like an elegant sausage." Seriously, I think this is my favourite Bob's Burgers episode.

  • Dudekotka Nov 20, 2012

    Here's The National's version of the song Linda sings. They take it more seriously.;=Vulture%20Exclusive:%20%27Bob%27s%20Burgers%27

  • JT_Kirk Nov 19, 2012

    Woo! I got a shout-out! (That sounded so Linda in my head.) I think I originally absorbed the idea of good comedy having to be more than just antics as a panelist comment at a Comic-Con panel or maybe even on a DVD commentary, but it rang so true for me, antics can be funny but they cannot sustain a show on their own.

    This was a much better episode, I wasn't as big a fan of the wacky ending as it's less my style, but what can ya do when it was clearly destiny once Bob got ripped. This episode went the way it did because Bob couldn't let go of a personal, emotional need for something special to him and only him, in that way it's almost tragic that he continues to try to force it on his kids despite the ability to simply have the meal the next day, but overblown expectations are often a big part of comedy. Had Bob truly been heartbroken or not at least on some level seen the oddity of it all, it would have been tragic, thankfully Bob's Burgers kept the whole thing from going over that line to the episode's benefit.

    I didn't even catch that line about the kitchen being less mansiony than expected, that's cute. The way Kevin Kline reads Fishoeder is so natural and fluid that I end up laughing at small stuff which covers bigger stuff he says.

    Heh heh, that dungeon full of dungeness crabs line cracked me right up, but I think we all know Louise is right even before a houseguest started shooting at people.

  • buildam2005 Nov 19, 2012

    Ack! I tried to click "+MORE" and accidentally hit flag. Um, so, admins, don't yell at JT_Kirk, who did nothing wrong except talk about how great this show is, so yay for him or her.

  • noelrk Staff Nov 19, 2012

    Nope. Too late. You've caused JT to be blacklisted. He'll never be allowed to post again.

    (None of that is true.)

  • buildam2005 Nov 19, 2012

    If it had not done so already, this show became the king of Sunday night comedy last night. Goodness, that was a fantastic episode: hilarious all the way through, but tinged with the depth and sadness (via Bob essentially "losing" his family for the night and thus "losing" his marbles) that is the signpost of great comedic television. ALL OF THE EMMYS RIGHT NOW.

  • startug Nov 19, 2012

    I thought it became king around the time it showed up.

  • buildam2005 Nov 19, 2012

    Good point.

  • mfontana Nov 19, 2012

    Shelby: "Say, do you kids like bullets?"
    Fischoeder: "I think all kids like bullets."

  • mfontana Nov 19, 2012

    Gene: "Which are the lady-parts?"
    Tina: "The vagina and the heart."
    heh heh oh Tina..

  • startug Nov 19, 2012

    Great episode, and great review! I love Bob's Burgers as the show is like its food. Very underappreciated and overlooked.

  • noelrk Staff Nov 19, 2012

    Totoro. It was Totoro. Need to trust my instincts more.

  • Big_Pecks Nov 20, 2012

    Yep. That was an amazing reference.

  • noelrk Staff Nov 20, 2012

    It has just been sooooooo long since I have seen Totoro that I couldn't exactly place it. Drove me nuts.