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'Bob's Burgers': Why the Belchers are the Most Relatable Family on TV

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Oct 03, 2013 | 8:00am EDT

Bob's BurgersFOX

It’s not often a popular adult cartoon isn’t filled with over-the-top sex jokes or crude humor. In Fox’s four-season old series Bob’s Burgers, however, this isn’t the case. Yeah, you get the occasional poop joke from middle-child Gene, or eldest daughter Tina’s random sex comments as she navigates puberty, but the gist of the humor is deeply rooted in the reality of raising three kids and the oftentimes hilarious issues and immature comments that go along with it.

The universal humor of the issues that Bob and his family of five handle are so funny because everyone has experienced them at one time or another. As a parent, you can probably remember the awkward tension of your daughter proclaiming she has a yeast infection (well, maybe not to the extent that Tina does) or the huge fights that go along with taking rights away from one of your youngest children, no matter how reasonable of requests they may be.

Bob and Linda, the two heads of household, are both truthful and delusional as most parents can be. As Bob often exclaims, his children are “horrible at what they do” (help run the burger joint), which is something every parent wants to say at one time or another. With Bob though, it often comes with love. And extreme aggravation. Linda, on the other hand, tries her very best to support her children and husband, even if it isn’t exactly the best choice: telling her daughter to read erotic “friend-fiction” out loud or paying a large amount of money to help her son improve his little league skills despite his total inability to play the game.

Their three crazy kids all seem to represent both a new generation of youngsters while still maintaining stereotypes that everyone can relate to. Gene, for example, is the classic middle child in his constant desire to be paid attention and can often be heard saying “Notice me!” However, although his sexuality has never been clearly addressed, he has had episodes where he both “dates” and talks about girls, and episodes where his comments can be and are repeatedly looked at as “stereotypically” gay. While shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons approach issues such as homosexuality in a much more comical, extravagant manner, Gene’s lines, such as “They're jealousy noises! You got your legs waxed and I didn't” are subtle and not entirely caustic.

If you want a safe space to reflect on your own children's bizarre, embarassing comments without those rude looks from other parents, or wonder about your wife's love of wine, Bob's Burgers airs Sunday nights on FOX at 8:30 PM ET.

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