9. Season 4: “A River Runs Through Bob”
Next up on the list is another episode that feels a little out-in-left-field for the Belchers and that’s season 5’s “A River Runs Through Bob.” The episode features the Belcher family as they go camping to make up for Tina missing her Thunder Girls trip and Bob is determined to prove that he’s one with nature, ultimately ending up as an absolute failure for the entirety of the trip.
Objectively, this episode isn’t bad but something about it doesn’t fit with season 5. “A River Runs Through Bob” ends up feeling disjointed as it features two different plotlines. The first is Tina, Gene, and Louise on the hunt for Bob and Linda while they’re trying to make it back to the campsite. Maybe it’s because the family is split up but Bob and Linda start to turn against each other and it isn’t fun to watch.
By the end of the episode, everyone is reunited and they work together to take down the creepy camping couple. This is another case of the episode not having as much substance and instead, feeling more like filler. The episode the magic of the family working together in the restaurant and it didn’t even feature a “Burger of the Day” if I’m remembering correctly.
Regardless, “A River Runs Through Bob” wasn’t strong enough to start the season out with and would have been a better fit around mid-season.