Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Girl power heals a broken heart on an empowering Bob's Burgers

Photo: Fox
Photo: Fox
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Tina’s obsessive on-again-off-again relationship with Jimmy Junior is one of the most nuanced portrayals of young, modern love on television. Tina’s a strong independent woman who just happens to be obsessed with boy’s butts and sick dance moves—her heart wants what it wants and she isn’t ashamed to go after it. So it’s always heartbreaking to see how devastated Tina can become in the “off-again” stages. “V for Valentine-detta” shows Tina at peak angst which in turn highlights her best qualities.

Bob’s Burgers brought the heart big time in this Valentine’s Day episode about familial love and female friendship. The episode opens with the Belchers immediately coming together over the longest-running, most dramatic Tina groan yet. Twerpy Jimmy Junior not only dumped Tina and asked out another girl on a Valentine’s Day date, he put a photo of himself and a newly debraced Becky in a frame that Tina made him, classic terrible teenage boy behavior. Bob and Linda give up their romantic Groupon-esque gifts for each other to cheer up Tina as she deals with her woes.


The girls get dolled up—which in Louise’s case includes a full face of nightmare-inducing makeup—and plot to ruin Jimmy Junior’s date with the help of a vengeful limousine driver named Nat, played with hilarious intensity by Jillian Bell. She is the grown-up version of Louise, ready with everything from stink bombs to a dead-horse guy to take all the romance out of J-Ju’s date during a meal at the wonderfully-named Tiramisu Warehouse. When all is said and done, Tina ruins things by helping Becky realize what a jerk Jimmy Junior really is, and turns the holiday into a girl’s night complete with an empowering girl’s rock jam.

Bob’s Burgers does original music so well, and “Girl’s Power Jam” is an instant classic. This show never gets particularly political, and there isn’t a direct statement being made, but it feels especially powerful at this societal moment to show young women supporting each other and valuing their time together. Tina is mature enough to recognize that Becky didn’t get a heart-shaped enchilada with Jimmy Junior because she was out to get Tina. Even though Tina barely knows Becky, she brings her along to finish out the night sticking their heads out of the sun-roof of the limo together.

Meanwhile, Bob and Gene get stuck in a precarious situation on a trapeze, a story that is really only a blip in this episode, but a very sweet blip. Whenever Bob and Gene are paired together, it’s clear that they have very little in common to start, but they love and support each other just the same. The show keeps proving the Belchers to be one of the most loving families on television.

Stray observations:

  • Burger of the day: “Shut Up and Swiss Me Burger”
  • Teddy has 400 episodes of Law & Order on his DVR
  • “Just make sure to wait to call me until three days afterward so you don’t seem too desperate to be my dad.” -Gene
  • Tom Hanks got paid $12,000 dollars to keep quiet about limo decapitations caused by Big
  • “I just to want you to know I ate the perfectly wrong things for this activity.” -Gene (he was the most quotable in this episode by far)

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Loves David Bowie and flamingos more than everything else.

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