The Belcher family looks forward with shocked expressions in a scene from The Bob's Burgers Movie
(20th Century Fox)

The Best ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Episodes, Ranked

"Say goodbye to the trucks, kids, because tomorrow we are taking back the street.”

Bob’s Burgers has been a staple of animated television for over a decade, and now there’s even a feature film based on the hit series. Any time is a good time to catch up with (or revisit) the shenanigans of Bob, Linda, Tina, Gene, and Louise Belcher. Here are our top 15 episodes of the series to get you started!

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15. “Legends of the Mall” (season 10, episode 5)

Bob's Burgers "Legends of the Mall"

The Belcher family goes on an outing to the local mall, taking full advantage of the possibilities of the setting in a very fun ensemble episode, with all five leads getting their moment to shine. What’s especially impressive here is that there are four distinct storylines and each is funny, well-paced, and fitting for the characters. Tina’s plotline of getting mistaken for the girlfriend of a guy who ends up falling asleep on her shoulder is probably the best one, but all of them make for some excellent Bob’s Burgers comedy.

14. “The Hurt Soccer” (season 8, episode 12)

Bob's Burgers "The Hurt Soccer"

Anyone who’s watched Bob’s Burgers knows that no one in the Belcher family has a particular aptitude for sports, but this episode sees both Louise and Bob take on the game of soccer as the latter has to coach the final game of the season for the former’s team. And oh yeah, Louise only agreed to sign up sarcastically (which of course was undetected by Bob and Linda), and is only playing for the first time ever in this game after being begged to by the team since they’re down members and will otherwise have to forfeit.

Even though both father and daughter start off eager to get the afternoon over with and are happy to let the team get shut out—just as they have in every other game over the course of the soccer season—they eventually realize they want better. What makes “The Hurt Soccer” so sweet is that “better” doesn’t necessarily mean “winning”, and the episode just gets what kids’ sports should really be about—growth as a team—and shows that even small successes deserve to be celebrated.

13. “The Gene Mile” (season 9, episode 20)

Bob's Burgers "The Gene Mile"

A team-up between the three Belcher kids is generally a recipe for a good Bob’s Burgers episode, and this one sees Tina, Louise, and Gene facing some classic childhood experiences: running the mile at school and free ice cream. Unfortunately for them, these two things are happening on the same day at the same time. So, together with their friends, they scheme to find a way to sneak away from the run to nab their treat.

This episode works so well because of its ability to capture what it’s like to be a kid. The successes and failures of the group’s scheme are so in line with how real preteens might deal with the situation and solutions to problems that come up—like combining bits of different ice cream scoops into one franken-cone for a friend—come straight from the mind of a child without being too silly.

12. “Topsy” (season 3, episode 16)

Bob's Burgers "Topsy"

Louise’s substitute teacher only has one rule for the school science fair: no volcanoes. Unfortunately, this means going so far as to destroy the volcano Louise has already made for the event and forcing her to instead do her project on his personal hero, Thomas Edison. But with the help of her siblings, the school librarian, and a few others, Louise plots to pull off a project that exposes the true nature of Edison to humiliate her new foe.

This episode tells the true story of its namesake Topsy, an elephant who was purposefully electrocuted by Edison, and for that alone it gets mad points for keeping it real. But turning said tragic tale into a ridiculous Broadway-esque performance featuring Singin’ in the Rain-style vocals and wild pyrotechnics turns the episode into a hoot and a half while still earnestly bringing awareness to Topsy’s sad fate.

11. “Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl” (season 5, episode 1)

Bob's Burgers "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl"

Told mostly in the form of flashbacks narrated by different characters (unreliably, of course), this episode is all about the production of yet another student-written musical. When the school calls for submissions, Gene already has a script for his show, Die Hard: The Musical, ready to go, but his ex-girlfriend Courtney steals his thunder with her show based on Working Girl.

With one show being the official school production and the other ending up as an underground production in the boiler room, the other Belcher kids and students get involved and it becomes a war of the musicals. The scenes from both tween-produced shows get some big laughs, but it’s when they combine at the end (hence the episode’s title) that the absurdity reaches its peak.

10. “Just the Trip” (season 10, episode 17)

Bob's Burgers "Just the Trip"

The premise alone primes this episode to be gold: a Belcher family road trip! The family piles in for a ride from Nat the limo driver—one of the most underrated gems in the show’s side-character rolodex—who is running an errand at her ex-girlfriend’s animal sanctuary. Of course Louise has an ulterior motive, wanting to visit a place called the Madness Castle.

What turns out to be a cheesy tourist trap coupled with Gene’s fear of snakes means hilarious hijinks ensue. Yes, this is another ensemble episode with the entire family firing on all cylinders, but what elevates it is that the supporting cast of guest stars really bringing their A-game.

9. “Just One of the Boyz 4 Now for Now” (season 9, episode 1)

Bob's Burgers "Just One of the Boyz 4 Now for Now"

After one of the members of boy band Boyz 4 Now leaves the group, auditions are held for a replacement. Girls are strictly prohibited from attending, but that doesn’t stop Tina from disguising herself as a boy and sneaking in after falling for one of the guys on his way to the auditions. Of course, she falls for several other boys while there, each filling a different “ideal man” archetype that anyone who is or was a boy-crazy teenager will surely relate to.

This episode has some awesome guest stars like Josh Gad, Andrew Rannells, and Daveed Diggs, and is a bit of a deep-dive into Tina’s boy-crazy nature, which has always been one of her signature traits. Thankfully, the episode toes the line between poking fun at her obsession while ultimately treating it as a valid aspect of her personality rather than simply mocking her for it relentlessly (a lesson the family learns by the end).

8. “Boyz 4 Now” (season 3, episode 21)

Bob's Burgers "Boyz 4 Now"

The introduction to the Boyz 4 Now group is one of the most iconic Bob’s Burgers episodes for a reason. Tina drags Louise to a concert, and while Louise resists and mocks the whole thing at first, she quickly finds herself taking a liking to one of the members.

Safe to say, Louise is overly dramatic about the whole thing, from being in denial at first to rapidly becoming obsessed and sneaking onto the group’s tour bus by the end of the episode. This one is a great outing for the Belcher sisters, as Tina has to help Louise deal with her first crush and is able to share her wisdom from years of boy-craziness with her.

7. “The Kids Run Away” (season 4, episode 19)

Bob's Burgers "The Kids Run Away"

When Louise finds out she has to get a filling at the dentist, she runs away from home. But Louise Belcher isn’t like most kids who run away on a whim; she’s already planned for this possibility. Unfortunately, her plan to check into a hotel indefinitely with a fake ID that places her in her 40s doesn’t fly with the manager, so she’s forced to stay with one of the show’s best side characters, Aunt Gayle.

This episode is the first that really lets viewers see just how nuts Gayle truly is, from having to pretend there’s an apocalypse in order to sleep, to “Gayle Force Wins,” her self-created epic adventure that was “too good for the major board game companies”. Bob and Linda use this wackiness to their advantage and, with the help of insider Tina, bet Louise can’t last the weekend at Gayle’s place (if she loses, she has to get the filling). While this episode is genuinely hilarious, the ending is also very sweet and highlights the positive side of Gayle’s eccentricities.

6. “The Horse Rider-er” (season 6, episode 17)

Bob's Burgers "The Horse Rider-er"

Another Tina-centric episode, this one is about a different obsession of hers: horses. Thanks to sacrifices made by her family (and the restaurant’s fry-less customers) Tina is able to trade in her imaginary horse Jericho for a real one when she attends horse camp for a week. However, she soon realizes that maybe her imaginary stallion was truly her dream horse after all. It’s a sweet story told in a ridiculous manner, which is what Bob’s Burgers does best.

The subplot of this one is also great—since Tina gets to go to horse camp, Linda decides Gene and Louise should get to attend camp, too. This leads to the creation of “Restaurant Camp,” which the kids go along with because they’d rather have camp at the restaurant than have to work there. It’s admittedly a pretty silly excuse for a summer camp, but it’s fun to watch, and even Gene and Louise eventually come around to it.

Those looking for an introduction to Bob’s Burgers should look no further than this episode. It’s extremely representative of the series and is funny and heartfelt to boot.

5. “Zero Larp Thirty” (season 7, episode 17)

Bob's Burgers "Zero Larp Thirty"

“Zero Larp Thirty” is so relatable. Linda’s latest obsession is a period drama like Downton Abbey. She wins a trip for a weekend adventure on the set of the show. It’s going to be great because Linda and Bob will even live-action role-play as characters from the show! Except they get stuck in servant roles and Linda isn’t having that. Anyone obsessed with period dramas would love this kind of thing, unless we had to actually do the work of being someone who is not super-rich. As only Linda can, she causes chaos and a worker uprising in the mansion.

4. “The Kids Rob a Train” (season 4, episode 15)

Bob's Burgers "The Kids Rob a Train"

Any episode with Regular-Sized Rudy is a treat, but there is something special about “The Kids Rob a Train.” It’s part romantic (and hilarious) getaway for Bob and Linda, and part heist adventure for the kids. The family goes on a wine-tasting train ride and everyone has fun. Bob and Linda flex their non-existent wine connoisseur skills (so real) while impressing no one but themselves. Tina, Louise, and Gene team up with Rudy to steal chocolate from the food car. The best is when Bob and Linda don’t ask follow-up questions as to why the kids are covered in chocolate. Some things are better left a mystery.

3. “Teen-a Witch” (season 7, episode 3)

Bob's Burgers "Teen-a Witch"

Many who watch Bob’s Burgers relate to Tina on an uncanny level. “Teen-a Witch” proves she really is just like us. Tina goes to the library to do some research for a witch costume. The librarian (voiced by Billy Eichner) tells her that he’s a witch and many people you wouldn’t think are witches practice magic. Being so helpful, he even gives her a spellbook. Tina goes full witch, casting spells and wearing a black t-shirt. She even has a black choker so she’s legit. Sadly, she realizes what she’s doing isn’t working and goes back to normal by the end of the episode. It’s essentially Tina going through the early-teen witch phase that many girls go through. Only some of us never grow out of it.

2. “Art Crawl” (season 1, episode 8)

Bob's Burgers "Art Crawl"

There is so much going on in “Art Crawl.” The street where Bob’s Burgers is located has an art crawl event. Everyone is supposed to show off their artsy sides while bringing business to the street. However, it sets up the long-standing beef between Bob and the owners of the art supply store. Gayle (her first appearance) displays her paintings of animal booties, much to the horror of “real artists.” Bob encourages Gayle to make more just to irritate his neighbors, which I don’t understand because these paintings are great. Why isn’t there more animal butt art in the series?

1. “The Equestranauts” (season 4, episode 17)

Bob's Burgers "The Equestranauts"

“The Equestranauts” is a hilarious adventure for the entire Belcher family. Tina is excited that a convention for her favorite pony show, The Equestranauts, is coming to town. When the family attends, they have a run-in with an adult male fan of the show (like the Bronies—male My Little Pony fans) who tricks Tina out of a rare pony. Bob must go undercover as a super-fan to get Tina’s pony back, only he gets her fan fiction confused with canon materials and blows his cover. It gets wild. Bob even gets a tattoo, which you can still spot in later episodes. Also, Tina yelling “non-canonical” lives rent-free in my head.

(featured image: Fox)

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Image of Julia Delbel
Julia Delbel
Julia Delbel (she/her) is a contributing writer at The Mary Sue and has been doing freelance entertainment coverage for five years. She loves diving into film, television, and theater, especially Marvel, DC Disney, and animated content, particularly taking a hard look at their character development, storyline weaving, and place in the pop culture pantheon.
Image of D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen
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.