How Bob’s Burgers created such compelling side characters


Side characters are a necessary part of any show. For Bob’s Burgers, a lot of their side characters get just as much love but how did it happen?

When most people think of Bob’s Burgers, usually the Belcher family comes to mind and rightfully so. Bob, Linda, Tina, Gene, and Louise make up one of the most lovable cartoon families out there. Some might even include Teddy in the Belcher family, too. The Belchers aren’t the only thing that the Bob’s Burgers staff knocked it out of the park with.

Creating the main cast isn’t always easy. Some shows can’t even successful pull it off and that’s what Bob’s Burgers have done. One thing that really sets them apart from other shows is their side characters. While the show does a great job of fleshing out their main cast, it also succeeds in giving us well-rounded and equally as beloved side characters.

Looking at the catalog of side characters, there is either a character that you’ll love or a character you’ll relate to. With Bob’s Burgers, there are many layers to the side characters. There are friends of the kids like Jimmy Jr, Zeke and Regular-Sized Rudy or friends of the family like Gretchen, Mort, and Marshmallow. Some side characters have only appeared in an episode but have made a comeback like Jairo, Up-Skirt Kurt, and Randy Watkins. Then there are some side characters who ever show up once.

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Regardless of how frequently or how little they appear, the writing staff somehow manages to make them compelling. Looking back at Torpedo Jones, the staff made him seem likable at first before making him the villain. Even though he appeared in season 1, Torpedo is still a character that most of us remember. Torpedo might never show up again but no doubt he made his mark on the Belchers and the show.

Then there are characters who seem like they’re going to be throwaways but end up becoming a larger part of the plot. The biggest example of this is Darryl. Darryl seemed like he was just going to be a random character in “Burger Boss,” but it was the exact opposite. The show decided to make him a friend of the Belchers and feature him in more episodes. He’s a good character but not one they overutilize.

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Bob’s Burgers treads that delicate balance between featuring side characters but not overusing them. The show might introduce someone new and then we won’t see them for a few episodes or seasons. Similar to Darryl, they might incorporate them into another facet of the Belchers life but it doesn’t seem out-of-place. It’s not always easy but for the most part, the show hasn’t had many slip-ups when it comes to side characters.

As fans of the series, we become attached to the main cast but also who they hang out or comes around a lot. Maybe that’s why Teddy is such a fan favorite. Either way, side characters are a quintessential part of any show but Bob’s Burgers is changing the game. The show is only one part of it though.

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Fans help to breath new life into characters and make the show care about them as evidenced by the Season 9 finale, focusing on Zeke. With equal parts great writing and fandom elements, Bob’s Burgers has cultivated one of the best groups of cartoon side characters on TV.

Who are some of your favorite side characters from Bob’s Burgers? Be sure to let me know in the comments!