“Every Which Way but Goose”, season nine’s fourteenth episode of “Bob’s Burgers”, aired and left us feeling more open. Gretchen fans were in for a delightful treat as this semi-popular character, known for her over the top personality, made an appearance in this weeks episode. Fans who ship Tina and Jimmy Jr also found themselves with new fuel for arguing the validity of their relationship as these two worked through some communication issues. We also wanted to mention that Tina’s specific writing made another appearance on the series after going unmentioned for a while so that was an interesting add on. With all that being said, well will now begin our review of the episode.
The Belcher children’s school is having a dance and Tina’s theme (zombies of course) is selected. At first, things seem to be going well with everything aligning in Tina’s favor but it was that kind of calm that made audiences wait for the inevitable down fall. Despite Jimmy Jr promising to take her to the dance, he states he will not be taking her but there were subtle hints that this decision was not due to a lapse in his character (note that these are the moments that make fans go against this couple in the first place) but rather for an undisclosed reason. Audiences watch as he attempts to talk to Tina throughout the episode but Tina shows no interest, pulling herself away emotionally.
In her anguish, Tina finally finds herself in the park and somehow befriends a goose. Fed up the the problems and frustrations that are associated with human interaction, Tina chooses to further her relationship with the goose (even writing some romantic stories about them) at the expense of her human relationships. People start to take notice in Tina’s increasing disconnection with her world eventually influencing Gene and Louise’s intervention. The two younger siblings uncover Jimmy Jr’s secret (an interesting twist given that its a Tina story) and capture the goose to try and convince their big sister to rejoin reality. Some more things happen, including a touching act by Jimmy Jr that may have brought him up a bit given his last few bad impressions, eventually leading to Tina leaving the goose permanently knowing she needs to accept humans again and that their interactions were not the healthiest.
While Tina was dealing with her problems, a certain blonde friend of Linda’s (Gretchen) was have troubles facing her own problem.
Gretchen’s sister was getting married and her family wanted her to bring a decent date who wouldn’t ruin the occasion as her past dates have leaving her feeling defeated. Fans got their hopes up and quickly dashed as Teddy was not going to be her date even though she had asked him. This sets Linda on a mission to find her someone acceptable. Gretchen goes on several dates all of which are not leading to any sparks. Some feelings are hurt and revelations are made. Eventually, Linda apologizes for her behavior and offers to be her date to the wedding and the two friends make up ending this duos struggles. (Just as a side note, we felt a bit confused as we previously thought Gretchen worked in a doll store but was found working in a hair salon again)
The two things we took from this episode was, one, people need to except the ones they love for who they are along with believing they will find happiness on their own terms and two, this was a positive addition to the pro Tina Jimmy Jr ship. Gretchen spent the whole episode trying to find a respectable date but none of the men Linda approved of spark her interest. We felt the end decision to take Linda to the wedding was a nice compromise and also showed that a romantic partner is not a requirement and finding companionship in friends can also be rewarding/ fun.
“Bob’s Burgers” isn’t really know for the variety of shipping possibilities, which can be a fun part of fandom debates, so Tina and Jimmy Jr are usually the main ones we thing about when it comes to shipping. These two are never officially a couple despite Tina’s unwavering affection throughout the season mainly due to Jimmy Jr. Depending on Jimmy Jr’s feelings towards her determine if they will be on or off and this often can cause negative feelings toward him as a character by the fandom. This happened to be an episode where he genuinely cared for her without the use of jealousy/ possessiveness but we hope that future episodes will address this issue he has or make his feelings more consistent/ understandable to the audience.
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