If you haven’t heard, adult animation shows are all the rage right now. To be honest, we can probably thank the Simpsons for making adult cartoons for so long. And then we can probably thank South Park and Family Guy for sustaining the craze. The Simpsons, South Park and Family guy have been on for over twenty years at this point which is incredibly impressive if you ask me. These shows are the classics, they sit in their own tier, but newer adult animation shows have been taking the world by storm. Shows like Futurama, Rick and Morty and Solar Opposites are adult animation shows that are taking a sci-fi spin to our everyday lives. Other shows like King of the Hill, Bob’s Burgers and Chicago Party Aunt emulate our lives in some way but they try to make the average life a little more joyful. I am going to go out on a limb and say something controversial here: Bob’s Burgers is the BEST adult animation show for more than one reason. Now before the Rick and Morty Cult starts calling me names, give me some time to explain. There are several reasons why I think that Bob’s Burgers is the best, but here are the main and, in my opinion, the most compelling reasons why it is.
- All the frequent and main characters have their own character development episodes
First things first, the characters in Bob’s Burgers are amazing. Most if not all of the characters that frequent the story have their own character-developing episodes. Teddy, the neighborhood handyman, not only has a few episodes surrounding his character development, but he also has his own storyline in many other episodes that aren’t focused on him too. Mort, the next-door neighbor and mortician, has episodes surrounding his dating life and episodes where he is involved with the children. How about the elderly couple that lives down the street and owns the arts and crafts store? They have at least two episodes that surround them. Teachers at the children’s school, the landlord, the lead detective, the popular boy band, etc. The list really goes on and on which shows how much time and effort the writers put into these characters and into the story itself. This many characters that aren’t flat and they don’t appear for only a single episode allow the show to have a nearly UNLIMITED number of directions the story could go. The writers don’t have to make things up or even look that far for their next episode. They can just look at a neighborhood character and see how they would affect the Belcher family.
- Each episode tells a wonderful story about a family that’s just trying to make it by
I feel like other adult cartoons are a little unrealistic in their family dynamic and I don’t think it always affects the story in a positive way. For example, how do Peter and Lois Griffin support their three children? None of them really have jobs. Sure, Peter has had a job at a toy factory and there are episodes where he is a fisherman, but is that really enough to support his family AND the drinking problem that he has? I know it’s just a cartoon and that it’s probably not very important to the Family Guy story that Peter works. To me, it makes the show feel very unrealistic. Again, I know it’s a cartoon and that it doesn’t matter, but for me, it makes it unrelatable. This isn’t something that happens in Bob’s Burgers. Everyone is working in that show from the parents to the neighbors to the children. Everyone is working. On top of that, their problems, their struggles and their jobs are all realistic which for me makes it more relatable. Plus, the fact that it is a cartoon means that everything will end up okay, in the end, which makes me feel better. They go through struggles, but they get through it together because they’re a family.
- The jokes
One of the best parts about adult cartoons is the fact that they make adult jokes through a childlike medium. It’s fun! Most other adult animations use their platform to poke fun at people. I love South Park and I tolerate Family Guy, but most of the jokes that are said in the show are often based on stereotypes and/or someone is specifically the butt of their joke. There’s more to comedy than this though and Bob’s Burgers uses a full range of comedy to make their jokes. Contrary to popular opinion, puns are top-tier comedy. They’re hard to execute in a way that doesn’t sound ridiculous and also in a way that makes sense. Bob’s Burgers has at least three puns in it every episode. During the theme song, two new puns will appear in every episode: there will be one in the name of the store next door and then there will be another one on the exterminator van. The last guaranteed pun in the episode is the “Burger of the Day” which changes with every episode. There are other puns that pop up in various episodes, but those three things change every episode. It is an adult animation show so it isn’t like all the jokes are clean. They just aren’t as obvious as they are in other shows. I have heard people that don’t like Bob’s Burgers say that it’s dry humor. I don’t really see it that way. I see it more as clever humor. Not all the jokes that they make are right in front of your face.
- The Absolute LOVE for the Kids
So… this one might be a long one but it’s definitely the most important reason in my opinion. Even though the show is called Bob’s Burgers I feel like the kids are the key to the show. Their shenanigans are so fun and wild. Their childhood seems like so much fun even though they are regularly helping in the restaurant, and they don’t have a lot of money in the family. The kids, if you don’t already know, are Louise, Gene and Tina (from youngest to oldest). They all go to the same school and a lot of the show follows their adventures. On top of how fun and great the kids are, the parents love, and I mean LOVE, those dang kids. My favorite episode from the most recently aired season focuses heavily on how much they love their kids. Basically, there are only two parents, and the three kids all have important school things going on in various parts of the town that they live in. How are they going to go to each kid’s thing on the same night? It’s a really adorable episode with amazing music (something that we will touch on shortly) and a really cute little message for the audience. The kids act like their kids from their childhood innocence to their awkward mannerisms and sarcastic remarks. They have their own struggles and they’re real, but they’re different than in other shows. In shows like Family Guy and King of the Hill, the kids are often the butt of a joke, and on top of that not very often are the adults supportive or kind toward the kids. Bob’s Burgers isn’t like that. The parents and everyone supports their quirks and accepts them for who they are. Sure, some things cause a groan here and there, but nothing that makes the kids feel like they’re dumb, ugly or gross. They’re really just kids being kids and the parents let them. This isn’t to say that they’re perfect because they’re not, but it creates a nice, loving and supportive family environment. I love it as much as they love each other.
- The fact that there are whole episodes dedicated to the music
There’s a lot of music in the show which is actually super cool in my opinion. The songs are sung by the characters themselves and they fit the episodes amazingly. They sing duets, solos, little group numbers and they even have “real” songs that play on the radio and things like that. The episodes with songs are scattered all over the series; there are a couple of episodes in each season that have songs in them. The singing isn’t always amazing (but it’s not supposed to be either) but the lyrics are awesome. They fit the story amazingly. If you decide to watch Bob’s Burgers on Hulu they have a whole tab with the musical episodes listed for easy viewing.
- If we’re talking about the musical specials, then let’s talk about their holiday specials
Most shows have holiday specials even if they’re not adult cartoons. It’s really hard not acknowledging things that make up a major part of our lives as people, especially when you’re trying to mimic a real family. The holiday episodes of Bob’s Burgers, which are amazing, are so creative and different every year. One year for Christmas, the decorations for their restaurant are stolen for an underground warehouse Christmas rave. Yeah, that’s right. Their Christmas decorations were taken from their restaurant so that they could furnish an underground warehouse Christmas rave. Who comes up with this stuff for a holiday episode? To make a long story short, their holiday episodes are very fun and creative and work amazingly to get people into the holiday spirit. And it doesn’t matter the holiday, they have holiday episodes for almost every major holiday.
Bob’s Burgers is one of my all-time favorite shows and it certainly is the best adult animation show out there, in my opinion at least. The show itself was just renewed for another two seasons and I wanted to write this article to celebrate that. It’s an adult animation that isn’t quite like the others. They are doing something different with the platform that they have created. It’s been airing for years at this point and hopefully, it’ll have as many seasons as what the Simpsons, South Park and Family Guy do. Anyways, those are the reasons that I think Bob’s Burgers is the top-tier adult animation show ever. Check out Her Campus CWU to read other articles written by myself and many other lovely members of this chapter!