From the ever-changing adjacent shop in the opening credits to the Burger of the Day’s clever wordplay, Bob’s Burgers has crafted some particularly funny bits over the course of its six seasons. Music, too, has played a significant part in the show, allowing characters to go off-script at times or reveal their inner motivation through song. Even though Bob’s passion may be burgers, his family and the show’s cast of colorful supporting characters clearly have a penchant for song. Whether that means Linda’s quirky ditties or Gene’s impressive compositions or even the show’s background music, there seems to be no end to how Bob’s Burgers integrates music into the show. So long, of course, as it’s done humorously.
Paste already documented several memorable musical moments from the show. Now, here are 10 more songs that highlight the type of good-natured but goofball humor Bob’s Burgers brings to the table.
In the season 5 episode “Father of the Bob,” tensions run high between Bob and his father Big Bob, which naturally leads Linda to highlight Christmas’ magical tendency to alleviate animosity. As the family hangs around the restaurant gearing up to go visit Big Bob at his own restaurant, Linda begins singing “Christmas Magic” while Teddy joins in as her backing vocals. “This time of year/ All the cold hungry people/ They’re dying the streets/ Me and my family will be warm tonight,” she sings. The song lovingly highlights how much she cares about her family, and how oblivious she is to the fact that “Christmas Magic” might be a little less potent for anyone outside that unit. Like they did with her famous “Thanksgiving Song,” The National recorded their own version—animated and all.
Ever fascinated by noise, Gene might be the most musical character in his show. Unless, of course, you’re counting Linda’s endless observations set to song. Armed with his portable keyboard, Gene creates tunes, whether it’s for the girl group he puts together in the third season, or the musical he writes for Wagstaff School in the fifth. Appearing in the fourth season’s episode “The Frond Files,” Gene’s ditty to all things humanly gaseous came as a result of his response to the question, “Why I love Wagstaff.” Gene imagines a Fart School for the Gifted, and of course all kinds of euphemisms for the human butt and its power follow.
8. “Date Night Tonight”
No one loves Bob quite as much as Linda. Even with three kids and constant financial pressure to make the rent, they have managed to keep the fires burning long into their marriage. And so what better way to reconnect than date night? Sure, the opportunity might not come around that often, but when it does it leads to one of Linda’s strikingly honest song bursts. She knows how to dream and dream big, so when envisioning her night out on the town with her Bobby, she lets her imagination run wild. “Date night tonight/ Going to go out, get some food/ Have a few drinks/ Forget we have kids for a little bit,” she sings forthrightly. Parents everywhere might agree with the sentiment.
Boyz 4 Now originally showed up in the third season, and it wouldn’t be the first time the show turned to the boy band to make fun of popular music and commercial holidays. Take “I Love U So Much (It’s Scary)”, for instance. The boyz attempt to de-commercialize Halloween and turn it back into the love fest it was originally supposed to be. How do they achieve the perfect blend of fright and feeling? Thanks to a music video that visualizes lyrics like, “When I see you I fall apart/ Like a zombie.” The boyz dance around a cemetery while trying to woo the girl of their dreams in a page straight out of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” But with typical Bob’s Burgers humor.
The family’s landlord Mr. Fischoeder, voiced by Kevin Kline, has had his fair share of wild escapades as he’s gotten increasingly drawn into their shenanigans. When he sits down to sing “The Spirits of Christmas” while his brother Felix ice skates around the piano, Mr. Fischoeder provides a funny take on the traditional Christmas song normally meant to highlight the spirit of the season. Technically the song premiered outside the show, and so perhaps it shouldn’t appear on this list, but anyone who has survived the holiday season understands the importance alcohol—at least the occasional drink—plays in that success. At the :40 mark, Mr. Fischoeder begins what becomes the song’s trademark phrase, “Oh bourbon.” Raise your glass in salute.
Kicking off the fifth season, “Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl” was not simply one song, but an entire episode dedicated to two musicals, each of which underscored the show’s penchant for clever lyrics, fun melodies and, of course, cultural references. When Gene competes with Courtney Wheeler to write an original production for Wagstaff School, they both turn to the 1980s for inspiration. Gene pens a musical based on Die Hard, while Courtney pens a musical based on Working Girl. Even though the school eventually puts on Courtney’s musical, Gene stages a counter production in the school’s boiler room. Where “Electric Love” put the show on the map for its songwriting capability, Word Hard or Die Trying, Girl took things to the next level.
Bob doesn’t often sing, but when he does it tends to be a therapeutic way to describe emotions he otherwise feels uncomfortable sharing. In the fifth season, he sings about finding his happy place when he’s permitted to eke out a small space in the local community garden. Appearing in “Late Afternoon in the Garden of Bob & Louise,” the song cuts between two storylines to contrast Bob’s happiness with Linda and Louise’s increasing misery as they have to put up with the restaurant’s new unpaid intern Logan. With its plucky rhythm, and understated vocals (on behalf of Bob), “Happy/Crappy Place” is a sentimental tune that builds on Bob’s paternalistic relationship with food.
Leave it Linda to keep it real. Her “Thanksgiving Song” became an instant hit for the show thanks to its realistic, if goofy, lyrics that lovingly encompass everything she stands for as a wife, mother and woman, and her straightforward observations once again emerge with “Together Forever.” When she sets up a speed-dating parlor in the restaurant while Bob takes off to search for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift with the kids, she can’t help but share her feelings on being single. And why shouldn’t she? Linda has found the love of her life in Bob, and her sweet inclination to meddle only means she wants the same for everyone else in her life. “Two people together forever/ Security in life, someone to love ya/ Instead of being all alone, such a lonely existence/ I’d kill myself,” she sings in the short tune that the show used again for its closing credits.
Boyz 4 Now was the girly experience Louise didn’t see coming, and their infectious—if strangely honest songs—proved to be her downfall. After Louise accompanies Tina to the group’s concert, she ends up becoming obsessed with the youngest member and lead singer Boo Boo. Boyz 4 Now provids endless fodder, whether it’s the honesty in their names (they will, after all, grow up at some point), or the songs they sing, which satirize the type of fare boy bands typically put out. In “(I Wanna Hear Your) Secrets,” the boyz all profess how much they want to know about their girls. Things like what they had for breakfast and lunch, how their bowel movements went and everything else regular boys are just dying to know about girls.
A strong percentage of the music on Bob’s Burgers originates from its characters either coming up with quick ditties or bursting into longer songs. But there’s a fair amount of background music that arises as a means to propel a storyline forward. That’s exactly what “Lifting Up the Skirt of the Night” does during the first season when family man Bob takes a second job as a nighttime cabbie. Along the way he meets intoxicated men, randy couples and transvestite hookers, all of which to serve to “lift up the skirt of the night” and reveal all the seedy—but hilariously colorful—events that take place after hours. As Bob shuttles around town, “Lifting Up the Skirt of the Night” becomes the funky music to punctuate his montage. With lyrics like “Pulling down the pants of the night/ Don’t laugh, it’s not right, to make fun of the night,” the show tests its own musical boundaries, and provides viewers with a taste of what’s to come.
Amanda Wicks is a freelance journalist specializing in comedy and music. Follow her on Twitter @aawicks.