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Every ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Thanksgiving Episode, Ranked

It's not a navy boat, it's the gravy boat!

Bob's Burgers Thanksgiving

It is finally November. That means Black Friday and Thanksgiving are almost here. Most of the Thanksgiving media out there is about going home to your awkward family that you don’t really like. There is one show, however, that puts out a great Thanksgiving-themed episode every year: Bob’s Burgers.

I love Bob’s Burgers for many reasons, one of them being how they handle Thanksgiving. The titular character Bob loves Thanksgiving. It is a day that combines his two biggest loves: his family and cooking. It is a day that he can go crazy with new flavors and cooking methods that he doesn’t have time to do during the rest of the year. Since it is Bob’s Burgers, it doesn’t always work out for him but we love to watch the ride along the way. Let’s rank all the Bob’s Burgers Thanksgiving episodes (even though they are all great).

10. “Dawn of the Peck” (Season 5, Episode 4)

Most of the episode focused on Linda going to a turkey trot turned horror story. The deranged turkeys take over the Wonder Wharf and the rest of the town. Bob got angry everyone wanted to go to the trot, so he swore he wouldn’t cook Thanksgiving dinner and got drunk instead. However, his favorite turkey baster talks him into doing what he loves most, cooking for his family.

9. “Diarrhea of a Poopy Kid” (Season 11, Episode 7)

Poor Gene is stuck in the bathroom on Thanksgiving with stomach problems. To help him hate food, the family took turns telling him terrible food-themed stories based on popular movies. This year, Bob is trying a new blend of flavors and cooking styles for Thanksgiving. The most memorable part of the episode is Bob’s baked brie with roasted pears that I desperately want to try.

8. “I Bob Your Pardon” (Season 9, Episode 7)

The Belchers go to their town’s first-ever turkey pardoning, only to stumble across a political scandal. Instead of going to a farm, as promised, the turkey will actually be killed. Even though the Belchers love to eat turkey, they work to save the turkey on principle. Fortunately, Bob fulfills a dream of his when he gets to get fresh cranberries straight from the bog.

7. “The Quirk-ducers” (Season 7, Episode 6)

Sadly, there is not much focus on Bob and the kitchen. However, I love this episode because we get a whole lot of Tina’s erotic friend fiction. Louise and Gene hatched a plan to make the Thanksgiving school play terrible so they can all go home early. The play is based on Tina’s holiday friend fiction “The Quirky Turkey” and there is so much to unpack from that one story.

6. “Thanks-hoarding” (Season 8, Episode 5)

Teddy, Bob’s friend and best customer, needs help hosting his family for Thanksgiving. Bob prepared a dinner for Teddy to make on his own. After spending so much time helping Teddy, Bob didn’t have time to focus on their family dinner and wasn’t satisfied with the results. Luckily for Bob, Teddy messed up the dinner and Bob gets another chance on making the perfect meal. But there isn’t enough focus on the cooking and beautifully done spatchcock.

5. “Gayle Makin’ Bob Sled” (Season 6, Episode 4)

Bob starts out in his happy place, the kitchen. Only he has to leave to pick up Linda’s sister Gayle. Because of Gayle’s hilarious incompetence, the two get stuck in the snow and Bob must give Linda directions to cook the turkey (something they both never wanted to happen). Thanksgiving dinner takes a turn for the strange, but we also find out Gayle’s cat’s full name is Mr. Jim Business which is one of the best names ever.

4. “Stuck in the Kitchen with You” (Season 12, Episode 8)

The Belchers volunteer at a retirement home on Thanksgiving. Bob ended up cooking the dinner for the entire place. Finally in a huge, professional kitchen with tons of ingredients at his fingertips, Bob is n heaven. But he also realized that he may not be as much fun to cook with as he previously thought. By the end, he made a fabulous dinner and tried to fix some of his shortcomings as a dad. You are nailing it, Bob.

3. “Now We’re Not Cooking with Gas” (Season 10, Episode 8)

After years of waiting, Bob got the chance to buy a special heritage turkey. As the kids said, they are going to eat a turkey that had a better life than them. On the big day, Bob started the oven only to find the gas is out. He has no way to cook the turkey. Faced with the biggest letdown of his life, Bob started a fire in the alley to prepare his dream bird. There are so many failures and frustrations, but Bob pulled out all the stops and kept going. His dedication to food is admirable and relatable.

2. “An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal” (Season 3, Episode 5)

Even though Bob’s Burgers and Thanksgiving go hand in hand, the first holiday-themed episode didn’t happen until season 3. This episode was an amazing way to kick off the tradition. Mr. Fischoeder wants to exchange Bob and Linda’s rent for Linda and the kids pretending to be his family so he can seduce an ex-girlfriend. Bob will pose as the chief and still be able to cook his annual meal. Feeling left out of the fun, Bob downs a bottle of absinthe while talking to the main course—a deceased turkey he named Lance.

1. “Turkey in a Can” (Season 4, Episode 5)

Not only is this the best Thanksgiving episode, but it is also just one of the best episodes of Bob’s Burgers period. Bob planned a three-day brine (that he called “Father of the Brine”) for the turkey, yet his prepared bird mysteriously keeps ending up in the toilet. The guy who works the butcher counter thinks Bob keeps buying turkeys just so they can flirt (and a scene between them proves Bob is bi). Plus Linda and Gayle perform a new Thanksgiving song composed by Gene. It has everything I’m thankful for.

(featured image: Fox)

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D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.