There are a few constants in the life of harried small-time restaurateur Bob Belcher, eponymous hero of Fox’s Bob’s Burgers: the homey smell of burger grease, his daughter Louise’s pink bunny ears, a seemingly endless parade of exterminators with punning names, and an equally ceaseless succession of failed business ventures in the blighted location right next door to his ever-struggling restaurant. Those last two constants have become running jokes in the show’s opening credits, emerging as Bob’s Burgers’ equivalents of the famed “couch gags” and “chalkboard gags” from The Simpsons, which proceeds it on the Fox Sunday night schedule. Now, Fast Company has done fans of the quirky, convenience-food-themed animated series a great service by compiling what it is calling “The Ultimate Collection Of All 82 Failed Businesses On Bob’s Burgers.” Here, in slideshow or mega-GIF format, one can see the many, many, many failed businesses that made the mistake of setting up shop next to the Belchers over the course of the show’s first five seasons. Bob’s neighbors have not always kept it classy. In fact, like a certain infamous tire store, they’ve often done the very opposite.
Seeing this sad carousel of entrepreneurial failure, is reminiscent of a monologue Jerry Seinfeld performed on a 1991 episode of Seinfeld called “The Cafe,” during which he theorized that some locations are simply doomed, no matter what opens there.
There’s always that one location in your neighborhood, one store location that’s constantly changing hands. Everybody has this in their neighborhood. It’s a leather store, it’s a yogurt shop, and it’s a pet supply. It’s constantly changing, and nobody can do business there. It’s like some sort of Bermuda Triangle of retail, you know? Stores open up and then they just disappear without a trace. Nobody knows what happened to ’em. I guess eventually when like aliens land in the mother ship from Close Encounters, the bottom will slowly open and all these store owners will come wondering out in a daze going, “I thought there would be more walk-in traffic, didn’t you?”
In the case of this particular spot, though, one might think that the continual presence of cheekily-named exterminators would have been a major red flag. Not to mention the fires.