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Cartoon Christmas Specials Cured My Midterm Burnout

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northern Arizona chapter.

I know we’ve all reached that point in the semester where everything is feeling very optional. A constant battle of should-I-do-this-now-or-wait-until-the-last-minute? Coming back from winter break really throws you for a loop. I’m personally just now starting to really pay attention in my classes as my winter break daydreams have lessened. I think a lot of us realized how isolated we feel when living on campus after going home for break. In high school and middle school we went home everyday – we saw our friends and went to our classes and then flopped onto our beds for the remainder of the day. At college, there is no separation between work, school, and home-life. It all suddenly becomes one massive, deformed thing that we live in. Work is at school (for some of us), home is at school, and school is at… well, school. Even when we have breaks where we can go back home it doesn’t really feel like a break. We usually end up taking on seasonal jobs and working on homework that some professors *cough cough* assigned during our break (emphasis on the break part). I know that for me, during Thanksgiving break, I worked a full thirty hours in four days. I barely got to see my family – in fact the only time I saw them, other than when I was coming home at ungodly hours of the night and saw them as ships do in passing, was on Thanksgiving day. 

To sum it up, college is tiring. Sometimes it can feel like an energy-sucking machine that is never going to end. Not to say that there aren’t any good aspects of college either – you can make lifelong friends, join clubs, and take classes that you’re actually interested in. But when you are in those zombie-like moods I have a solution for you. 

First off, let me preface this by saying that I am a cartoon-finatic. I honestly can’t get myself to do anything without watching cartoons. For example, one of my favorite ways to motivate myself to go to the gym is to watch cartoons while I’m on the treadmill or StairMaster. My current favorite animated show is Bob’s Burgers. It’s a sitcom that focuses on the Belcher family – Bob, Linda, and their three kids – who run a hamburger restaurant and usually get into some light shenanigans and tomfoolery. Second preface: I love Christmas. The Christmas season never fails to cheer me up. If I’m having a bad day I’ll occasionally listen to Christmas music. Now, combine these two totally amazing and swaggy things and you get Bob’s Burgers Christmas specials. These specials are the perfect way to de-stress and relax after a day of studying and long to-do lists. I personally love to knit or crochet whilst watching these, even making myself tea or matcha to sip on. So sit back and choose from one of these Christmas specials to unwind for the day or even just to take a twenty minute snack & cartoon break. 

Season 3 Episode 9: Bob Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins 

The Belcher family has high hopes when Bob inherits a storage unit. However, they come to learn that a man named Chet is living inside of this unit, Linda invites Chet to stay at the restaurant. Follow the kids as they try to help Chet find his long-lost love and navigate the Winter Holiday restaurant season. 

Season 4 Episode 8: Christmas in the Car 

This is one of my personal favorite episodes. After three Christmas tree deaths the family straps into the car to pick up a new one on Christmas Eve. We follow the three kids, Louise, Gene, and Tina, as they plan to kidnap Santa – at the same time, the family comes face-to-face with a giant candy-cane shaped truck that is out to get them. 

Season 5 Episode 6: Father of the Bob 

The family goes to Bob’s father’s Christmas party for this episode. Bob and his dad rehash an old argument and the kids compete to get the best gift for Bob. There’s also line dancing at a gay bar, a bean bath, and a baby-you-can-chive-my-car hamburger. 

Season 6 Episode 5: Nice-Capades 

As kids we all met the mall Santa. In this episode, the kids meet one too. However, this mall Santa threatens to put them on the dreaded Naughty List. Gene, Tina, and Louise decide to put on a spectacular musical performance that highlights all of their alleged good deeds in order to earn their spot back on the Nice List. 

Season 7 Episode 7: The Last Gingerbread House on the Left

Honestly, if you’re going to watch any of the episodes I recommend watching this one. It has to be one of the funniest, out of the blue episodes. Bob gets involved in a gingerbread house competition with millionaires, including his insanely rich landlord that wears an eyepatch. All the while Linda, the kids, and their handyman/friend Teddy go caroling but they stumble upon an alleged serial killer’s house. 

Season 8 Episodes 6-7: The Bleakening 

In this two part episode, Linda wants to add some extra cheer to the holidays by throwing a holiday party. However, some of her Christmas ornaments are stolen and Linda begins to interrogate the guests. Teddy tells the kids of a Christmas monster called “The Bleaken” and the kids think that it’s the true thief. Both Linda and the kids set out on finding the thief in this mystery holiday episode. 

Season 9 Episode 10: Better off Sled

This episode never fails to earn a laugh out of me. Even after watching it hundreds of times I always find it funny. The battle is on when some angsty teenagers take over Louise, Gene, and Tina’s usual sledding territory, which incites a turf war. The kids seek backup from their friends as the teens continue to pelt them with snowballs. Meanwhile, Linda tries to knit three scarves before Christmas for the kids. Bob tries to help but it soon becomes a battle of the knitters. 

Season 10 Episode 10: Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas 

Linda works at a temp job at the post office for extra money during this holiday episode. However, when an important package goes undelivered, Linda breaks the protocol and takes it into her own hands to save the day. At the same time, Bob and Tina are trapped at home with Linda’s family that Bob clashes with and Gene and Louise scramble to find a last-minute gift for Tina. 

Season 11 Episode 10: Yachty or Nice 

The Belchers get an unexpected invitation to cater the Glencrest Yacht Club’s holiday boat parade. But Bob is suspicious and can’t help but feel that there’s a catch. Louise has her eyes on the present-loaded Santa Schooner and plots to steal some pre-Christmas gifts. 

Season 12 Episode 10: Gene’s Christmas Break 

In this episode, Gene breaks his favorite, extremely rare 70s era Christmas record, Tina and Louise decide to join him in the search for another copy. Meanwhile, Teddy wants to do a neighborhood Secret Santa with Bob and Linda but things go awry. 

I hope that this weird, yet hilarious show can bring you some release and post midterm de-stressing. So plop a seat, get some snacks or drinks, and zone out for an hour or so as you watch these never-failing-cheer-up-episodes from Bob’s Burgers. 

Prue Love

Northern Arizona '25

Prue is a second-year Sociology major with a triple minor in international communications, cinema studies, and Asian studies at Northern Arizona University. She hopes to use aspects of her major and minors to work in the journalism or film industry. She is currently an editor for Her Campus and a freelance graphic designer & artist. When she's not writing or doesn't have her eyes glued to a screen you can usually find her knitting, reading, or snowboarding.