Bob’s Burgers Season 3 Review “Tina-rannasaurus Wrecks”

It’s fair to say that the opening for tonight’s episode of Bob’s Burgers, “Tina-rannasaurus Wrecks,” probably made me laugh more than any other thing I’ve seen on television so far this season. Tina behind the wheel of the Belcher family car, uuuuuhhhhhh-ing while they lurched towards the only other parked car in the empty lot, became progressively funnier as Bob’s coaching went from positive parent-child bonding to stupefied panic.

Had Bob dinged Jimmy Pesto’s car on his own, he might have felt a little guilty, but I doubt that he would have bothered to leave a note. Tina’s involvement complicated Bob’s adult world and I loved watching Bob try to carefully handle Tina while simultaneously trying to wiggle his way out of an insurance issue. As much as Tina wanted to help her dad, she was unable to control her guilt over her part in Bob’s white lies.

Watching Tina squirm under the pressure of her dad’s lie made me feel a little bit bad for her, but she was so adorably awkward that it was impossible to hold back laughter as she tried to pull off her “everything is OK face” or her casual “ha-ha-ha” laughter. When Tina started to think of herself as a jinx to the family, Bob realized that things had gone too far and decided to make things right for her sake.

Bob’s decision to come clean was foiled when Chase Kaminsky, the Belcher’s insurance adjuster, admitted to intentionally setting up the Belchers for an ongoing insurance fraud scheme. Bob’s little white lie had blown up in his face and now he was risking much more than high insurance premiums.

Like a lot of the other members of the Bob’s Burgers community that we’ve met thus far, Chase was somewhat cheerful in his criminal quest. I really enjoyed him as an unexpected antagonist and his reaction to Bob, Linda, and the kid’s attempt to scare him away added another comical twist to his character. I know the Feds got him thanks to Tina recording on Gene’s keyboard, but I’d love to see him back on Bob’s Burgers whenever he gets out of prison (like Mickey did earlier this season.)

There was a tiny subplot with Mort driving Gene and Loui8se around town while Gene and Louise drove Mort nuts. Mort eventually started feeling a bit taken advantage of by the Belchers and had a mini-melt-down before discovering that the Belchers had left him a thank you gift for all his help while their car was in the shop. There wasn’t much to this little story, but I liked what it did to give us a better idea of the relationship the Belchers have with their neighbors. The Belchers might be broke, but they’re not complete jerks and they are aware enough of social graces to thank a neighbor for helping them out.

I’m always so impressed with how smartly Bob’s Burgers treats Tina centered story lines like this one. Born of a child-like naivete at odds with her raging hormones, Tina Belcher has become the animated poster child for awkward adolescence. Of all the characters on Bob’s Burgers, Tina is the most gentle and genuine so they treat her character with a certain tenderness. You might catch Bob scolding Gene or Louise for the trouble they cause, but Bob knows he has to take a much more roundabout approach with Tina. Tina is allowed to be herself in all her unabashed awkward glory and her family accepts her for that even if they know the rest of the world might not. It gives us the freedom to laugh at Tina (and that secret awkward part of ourselves that is just like Tina) knowing that she is treasured by her family and loved for everything that she is.

Favorite lines of the night:

Bob: “Turn one way or the other. You’re just swerving back and forth. Turn one way and stick with it Tina. Tina, for the love of god TURN AWAY OR STOP!”

Gene: “You’re pregnant. You sit down, dad”

Tina: “I’m going to jail. Or hell. Or hell jail.”

Tina: “What’s for lunch today?”
Demon Lunch Lady: “Your lies!”
Tina: “Nooooooo! That’s what we had yesterday!”

Linda: “Sorry we’re late. Bob had diarrhea.”

Bob: “Stay with me here by the grill, that way your sweat will look more natural.