Bob's Burgers "Bob Fires the Kids" Review: Blueberries for Belchers

Bob's Burgers S03E03: "Bob Fires the Kids"

So thanks to a really quick World Series (good job, team that won! Better luck next year, team that lost!), Bob's Burgers came back a week early! Hurrah!

When I was in school, I was one of those kids who didn’t particularly like summer. I was fine to be out of school for a bit, but did I really need three months of unstructured time? The anxiety of summer weighed down on me. How much could I read? How much swimming and Yoo-Hoo drinking could I really do? As Gene so eloquently put it, “There’s too much pressure to enjoy yourself! It’s like New Year’s Eve for kids!”

As a result, “Bob Fires the Kids” spoke to me on a very base level as the Belcher kids struggled to find something to do with all the free time they suddenly had when Bob, due to the arrival of a box of old toys from his father’s old restaurant, fired the kids so they could have the summer vacation he never had. And so the kids set out to experience days full of ruined bicycles, faulty water balloons, the dangers of ants, and getting smacked in the face with ocean diapers.

Some of that was fun for a while, but it wasn't long until boredom set in. So when the kids stumbled upon a blueberry farm owned and operated by an old married hippie couple (voiced by real-life married awesome couple Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman), they went to work for them ($10 a day!) picking blueberries, harvesting marijuana, and delivering the marijuana in blueberry boxes with false bottoms.

While class is only occasionally explicit in Bob’s Burgers, like in the Halloween episode a month ago, it's still an undercurrent in a lot of episodes, and “Bob Fires the Kids” was no different. The kids didn’t know what to do with the sudden influx of leisure time, and were happier when they'd found new jobs to replace their old ones. Certainly the money made a difference, but I suspect they would’ve worked at the farm for free since they’re fine working at the restaurant for free.

There’s a definite “always need to be working” mentality that feels unique to this show. Most summer stories for kids focus on crazy hijinks, and while this episode was no different in that the kids ended up involved with pot dealers, the plot was still connected to labor and work. Is that mentality so ingrained in the kids that they can’t see outside of it? And what sort of an ideological message should we be taking away from it?

To round out the episode, Mickey the robber from the Season 2 episode “Bob Day Afternoon” returned—free after the prosecutor was discovered to be on meth—and after driving into a peacock sanctuary, he began to work in the restaurant. There wasn't much meat to this particular plot, as the point of Mickey’s presence was to serve as a vehicle for Bob to realize the error of firing the kids and allow Mickey to lead the Belchers to the blueberry farm. At least we got a solid Shawshank Redemption joke out of it.

Notes & Quotes

– The Burger of the Day board was really busy in this episode: the Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Zucchini Burger, the Summer Thyme Burger, the Beets Me Burger, and the We’re Here, We’re Gruyere, Get Used To It Burger. There was also some burger served with butter and lettuce, but I couldn’t quite make it out.

– “If you think about it, any box could have vibrators in it.”

– “What is this feeling I’m feeling right now? It’s like I’m sad for another person? Is that a thing?! AM I GOING CRAZY?!”

– Teddy fondly describing his imaginary kids made me both sad and a little creeped out. Obviously he’s not over Francis yet.

– “Why are you guys stronger than me?!” “PILATES!”

– I would never have thought of calypso music to mask tunnel digging. Thanks for the tip, show!

– “They smell like a music festival.”

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