Bob’s Burgers Season 3 Review “O.T. The Outside Toilet”

It’s been a very long time since I’ve watched E.T., but this week’s Bob’s Burgers episode, “O.T. The Outside Toilet,” got me feeling a little nostalgic for a fantastical childhood adventure. I suppose that the odds of me stumbling across a toilet with Siri-esque capabilities are quite a bit higher than the odds of me running into an extraterrestrial, but Bob’s Burgers still managed to turn a story about a boy and his toilet into something heartwarming and whimsical.

In seeing some of the episode previews, I was a bit worried that Bob’s Burgers was going to step outside of the incredibly weird, but still realistic world that they’ve developed by introducing a sentient toilet into the mix. It wouldn’t have been the first time a sentient bathroom fixture has appeared in the Animation Domination lineup, and while I’m sure I would have laughed at Gene befriending a toilet with feelings, it was so much more gratifying to have Gene’s affections stem from his imagination and fascination with a really cool gadget.

As much as it might have been appropriate for Gene and his toilet story to be padded with potty humor, Bob’s Burgers opted to avoid the obvious opportunities for raunchy humor and keep the gags relatively clean. It worked really well and we got the most laughs from the kids just being themselves and completely getting wrapped up in the excitement of a special secret discovery.

Tim Jones, aka. “Max Flush” was the kind of completely creepy bad guy that kids imagine when grown-ups tell them about stranger danger, making him the perfect villain for Gene’s adventure. I was expecting Mr. Flush to be a misunderstood delivery guy, but the fact that he turned out to be a legitimate baddie made the kid’s mission to save the toilet an unusually meaningful mission.

Bob’s time in a fancy suit borrowed from a dead man was largely an opportunity to show us what Bob’s life might be like with a little respect. I loved seeing him and Linda relax together and just enjoy one another’s company as adults without the kids around. In the end, Bob’s suit adventures crossed with Gene’s toilet adventures and both father and son had to part ways with the things that brought them a little closer to the kind of life that the people living at the other end of the ferry ride take for granted.

The folks behind Bob’s Burgers definitely know how to write a kid’s adventure story for adults. Both “The Belchies” and “O.T. The Outside Toilet” were about kids being kids in a way that we, as adults, might relate to our own childhood adventures. We were probably not as witty or quirky as the Belcher kids, but we can all relate to their sense of wonderment, their excitement, and the seriousness with which they approached their seemingly silly task. Very few of us have childhood stories worthy of being turned into a feature film, but we can all relate to being a kid and finding and treasuring something that would only be truly precious to a child. Bob’s Burgers can tap into that feeling and tell us an engaging and entertaining story about kids doing what kids do while making us laugh out loud with hysterical writing and the usual brilliant comedic delivery, and it’s episodes like this that make me realize just how special Bob’s Burgers really is in the animated TV world.