Bob’s Burgers: Which episode parody is their best work?


Bob’s Burgers has become the master of parody especially TV shows and movies. In looking at their backlist, which parody is the best of the bunch?

Many consider parody as the biggest form of flattery. When thinking about parody, most people think it’s all about being malicious and cruel. In most cases, they’re trying to show respect to the original source and put their own spin on it. TV shows and movies have done this for years, but it’s rare to find shows that do it right. One show that kills it when it comes to parodies is Bob’s Burgers.

With their 10th season to kick off at the end of September, there’s no telling what parodies we could be getting next. A few previews have been announced, but it’s nice to look back at what the show has already done. They have tackled some of the best and most beloved franchises but treated them with care at the same time. Before getting into some of their parodies, there will be spoilers for Bob’s Burgers if you haven’t watched or aren’t caught up! 

What’s great about Bob’s Burgers is that they don’t limit to the parodies to just TV shows and movies. Those are the only one getting considered as the best this time, but I’d be remiss to not include some of their other great parodies. “Hamburger Dinner Theater” uses Linda to parody dinner theater especially when she gives away the “surprise” twist at the very beginning. At the time, “Food Truckin’” parodied the “trend” of restaurants having food trucks.

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Those are two early examples, but it feels like nothing is safe. As recently as season 9, Bob’s Burgers parodied the essential oils “craze” in “Lorenzo’s Oil? No, Linda’s.” Some other examples include “Boyz 4 Now,” “Brunchsquatch” and “The Trouble with Doubles.” If there’s something you love, then there’s a chance the Bob’s Burgers staff has poked fun at it at least once.

Moving to the realm of TV shows and movies, there is almost no property that the Belchers won’t touch. In season 1, there was a parody of The Shining in the show’s second episode, “Crawl Space,” which gave us arguably one of the most beloved side characters. It fit with the dark tone of the first season and has aged well since then. Things weren’t always so dark as the show has parodied Adventures in Babysitting as “Adventures in Chinchilla-sitting,” a Louise-centric episode where she loses the class pet chinchilla. It was an incredibly fun episode where we got to see Louise’s soft side, a rare occurrence.

Keeping with the theme of ‘80’s movies, “The Belchies” is a parody of The Goonies in which the kids go in search of treasure in the abandoned taffy factory. It’s a great start to season 2 and even featured a cameo by Cyndi Lauper. One episode that most fans really love is “O.T. The Outside Toilet,” a parody of the classic film, E.T. Extra-Terrestrial. Instead of an alien, Gene stumbles upon a talking toilet who he befriends and tries to save. What makes this episode so special is that it features Jon Hamm in an uncredited role as the toilet.

The ’80s aren’t the only decade that gets love as older and newer films have been parodied. A nod to the ’70s comes via “The Deepening,” a parody of Jaws in which a mechanical shark starts destroying the town and Bob saves the day. “The Oeder Games” is a parody of The Hunger Games which is a double whammy as it could be a movie or book parody. Another modern example is “Tina Tailor Soldier Spy” in which Tina tries to find the mole in her Thunder Girls troop as a parody of the 2011 film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Of all the parodies the show has done, a few stand above the rest, though. The season 5 premiere, “Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl” parodies the film Die Hard and Working Girl yet somehow still makes them something new in the form of a crossover. No doubt it’s an incredibly unique way to parody yet still appreciate the films. The next example takes parody to the next level because it parodies both a show and a trend. “The Equestranauts” parodies both the show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and the “brony” trend of men loving My Little Pony. This episode is easily a fan favorite and does a great job of analyzing the phenomenon without being too disrespectful which isn’t hard to do.

Bob's Burgers
Photo Credit: Bob’s Burgers/Fox, Acquired From Fox Flash /

One parody stands above the rest in all of Bob’s Burgers history and it doesn’t even constitute an entire episode. A part of “The Gayle Tales,” Bob’s Burgers took on the fantasy TV show giant, Game of Thrones and somehow managed to give us possibly the best-GOT parody of all time. It starts with the kids getting in trouble because of something they did to Linda and they are taking their punishment until their Aunt Gayle comes in.

Since Gayle thinks she’s being stood up, she agrees to take one of the kids with her to the theater if they can write an essay where she falls in love with Scott Bakula. Louise’s episode is themed around Game of Thrones where Gayle is the queen of Catsteros and Louise must battle her terrible sister to get Gayle’s cat dragons back.

Of all the parodies the show has done, “Gayle of Thrones” is one of the best because it doesn’t rip off the show but shows respect to it. In just a few minutes, it manages to set the scene and tell a compelling story which isn’t easy. It’s also funny which isn’t normally a word that GOT is described as. Considering how season 8 of Game of Thrones was received, some might even prefer Louise’s version. Even though it’s just a piece of the episode, “Gayle of Thrones” remains one of the best, if not the best parody Bob’s Burgers has done yet.

dark. Next. Will the new time slot give Bob’s Burgers a boost?

Season 10 of Bob’s Burgers premieres September 29th on Fox at 9/8c. 

Which Bob’s Burgers parody is your favorite? Any you think I missed? Be sure to let me know in the comments!