Bob's Burgers "God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins" Review: Bob and the Real Man

By Noel Kirkpatrick

Dec 17, 2012

Bob’s Burgers S03E09: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins"

"God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins" took a standard Christmas plot, in this case helping the helpless, and ran with it. The Belchers inherited a storage lot from Uncle Ernie Lombard, who owned a defunct department store, and inside they found Chet, a man who claimed to have been a mannequin in that department store but became a real man following his separation from his mannequin wife, Nadine.

It was all very Frosty the Snowman, and it played into the Christmas special vibe of the episode, complete with Chet doing good by the Belchers with his brilliant window displays (I really liked the Hanukkah one, and the one where Louise rode the train, slapping Tina and Gene) to generate foot traffic for the restaurant. It was exactly the sort of holiday magic you’d expect, and given the general sense of whimsy that Bob’s often engages in, it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility that Chet was, in fact, a mannequin at some point.

Even if he wasn’t magic, Chet’s apparent delusion still fit with the Belchers, particularly Linda, trying to do well for the less fortunate during holidays. The show even played up the idea of Chet being a mannequin as sort of Christmas miracle, with Tina watching Chet kiss Nadine’s head, making it look like they were transforming, and then it turned out they weren’t. It was a sly acknowledgement of holiday-episode tropes.

By the end, everyone was in the Christmas spirit: Bob stole Nadine from a sex shop (though he was more motivated by the publicity and money he could make) and the kids gave away all the gift money so Chet and Nadine could be together. But it just wouldn’t be a Loren Bouchard show if there wasn’t some sort of little twist, and it turned out that Chet was just squatting in the storage unit while his apartment in Manhattan was being renovated.

I’m not sure what to do with this little development. The reveal came at the episode’s end, so there wasn't any comeuppance for Chet’s behavior, and that sort of bugs me because it essentially demonstrates that everyone's holiday cheer was wasted on helping some jerk with a perfectly nice place already. Sure, Chet paid them back in his own way, but it still feels like a store-bought fruitcake crashing an otherwise delightful holiday spread.

Notes & Quotes

– "Burger of the Day" board: One Horse Open Slaw Burger (comes with slaw, no horse); Santa Claus is Cumin to Town Burger (with cumin); Fifth Day of Christmas Burger (comes with five golden rings of onion).

–Louise asking for an apartment was cute, but I would much prefer the doll whose head comes off and it’s a knife.

–"Penis fly trap." Oy, Tina. Oy.

–"I found a train, the most civilized form of toy travel!" I’m sure Sheldon Cooper would agree with you, Gene.

–"Where he’s been making quite a living display of himself."

–I loved Linda sending the kids to bed and Bob begging them to stay as their fight broke out over Chet and Nadine being in a dumpster. So wonderfully parental. It may’ve been my favorite bit.

–"I hope your face can catch, Bob! Because I’m throwing your words back at it."

–I was sort of surprised that Linda’s impromptu Christmas poem was so horrible, but her "Bells bells bells bells" cracked me up.

What did you all think of this episode?

  • Comments (11)
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  • NicholasCampb Jan 02, 2013

    Adult toy store getaway. MacGyver wouldn't have been able to use his surroundings any better.

  • FoxZerro Dec 20, 2012

    Looking at Mary's Holiday Drinking game article, you missed a burger of the day from the episode "The Happy Challah Day Burger" Served on a Challah Roll... I missed it too, in fact considering how hilarious Tina as a driedel spinning actually was I wouldn't be surprised if the world missed it!

  • intothevacuum Dec 19, 2012

    Little development or not, I'm such a sap for holiday-themed TV episodes. I really loved everything about this episode. I'm only sad that we didn't get to see Tina open her dry-erase board on Christmas morning. Also, I had no idea Chet was voiced by Zach Galifianakis until the credits started to role!

  • JT_Kirk Dec 18, 2012

    Zach Galifianakis wasn't too horrible here, the character demanded his type of ill behavior and he didn't let it get out of control. I didn't like the Manhattan loft gag at the end as it just felt like something we've seen before. Your take on that ending is vastly different from my own, mainly because I never expected to invest in Chet in any way, he was a one-and-done sitcom character who would reward them nothing and in a week would be utterly forgotten by the Belcher clan. The Belchers did invest in a selfish jerk who was insane for no real reason, at the end of the day they bought into this guy for sitcom reasons rather than because they were driven to by who they are, so whether or not he had significant resources didn't matter to me as the episode was driven by wacky antics rather than character.

    There were a lot of burger board gags this episode.

    Penis Fly Trap is a horror punk band from LA.

    This episode wasn't terrible, lots of quirky characters and goings on, but felt pretty forced so I didn't really love it either.

  • Kevers68 Dec 17, 2012

    How were yo guys able to watch the whole episode? It got cut short due to the President's speech.

  • LiviaJones Dec 17, 2012

    It came back to the same spot on Fox afterwards.

  • badpony11 Dec 17, 2012

    Linda is just so weird, loved her comment about the mistress.

  • sunnysfunny Dec 17, 2012

    Maybe I'll wrap the TV remote for my dad too...

  • sunnysfunny Dec 17, 2012

    "FIRE! Just kidding."

  • zaidghazi Dec 17, 2012

    Bob's is a lot more funnier this season. Glad to see it climbing the comedy tree.

  • iFerrets Dec 17, 2012

    I thought this episode was really funny. Bob's "What?!!?"was enough to satisfy the reveal for me and I think it's perfect for the pace of the show. My favorite was the "Release the personal massagers!"