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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Bob's Burgers returns from a weeks-long hiatus with a schoolyard sensation

Illustration for article titled iBobs Burgers/i returns from a weeks-long hiatus with a schoolyard sensation
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When the last episode of Bob’s Burgers aired, the Minnesota Vikings still had a chance at the Super Bowl, Hope Hicks was still the White House Communications Director, and no one knew what Vero was. Maybe that’s why Fox decided to re-air the season premiere before this week’s new episode: to remind us in a never-ending news cycle that even though the Belchers have been on hiatus for nearly two months, they do indeed still exist. And “Y Tu Ga-Ga Tambien” reminds us that the fads that popped up between then and now will fade while Bob’s Burgers sits back and waits to be appreciated again.

“Y Tu Ga-Ga Tambien” took a while to find its legs (maybe because all its energy was focused below the knee), but once it became clear that this episode was all about Gene, things clicked into place. In so many ways Gene has often represented the counter-culture: he doesn’t care about anyone else’s opinions and lives by his own rules of gender, music, and food. So it makes sense that when a new sensation takes over Wagstaff that he’s the one to speak truth to power.


It’s unclear why the dodgeball-esque game ga-ga ball first piques anyone’s interest because, as Louise points out, “This can’t be working, this is a Frond idea.” Once things get going, however, regular-sized Rudy’s rise to prominence proves that it’s a popular sport because the underdogs can win. Tina is immediately in because Jimmy Junior wants to play and once Louise is on board once she realizes she can game the system. That leaves Gene without his team, lamenting the days when he could spend recess pruning shrubs into animals with human attributes, like a monkey with boobs or a hippo with a manbun. To put an end to the madness, Gene must beat everyone at the game he’s come to hate so the rest of the school will listen to him during a megaphone speech only awarded to ga-ga ball winners.

Elsewhere the adults are having a mini-adventure of their own involving a story-telling wizard and Linda’s alter-ego Punky Bookster, all of which is not nearly as exciting as it sounds and ends up taking away from the magic of the rest of the episode. It does however offer a beautifully hilarious moment where Bob and Mort are the only ones in a silent, uneventful restaurant while the kids, Linda, and Teddy are off doing their own thing. Without the others, maybe Mort and Bob could live a peaceful life.

In this episode Gene finds an unlikely ally in Zeke. Seeing these two characters briefly team up was a reminder of how well this show breaks down stereotypes and is able to give depth to all the characters it introduces us to. In another universe, Zeke, the jock, would be destroying everyone at this game. But here, he sees as Gene does that mob mentality isn’t good for anyone—going against the grain should be celebrated.

Stray Observations:

  • Burgers of the day: “Havarti Like It’s 1999 Burger” and “Corn This Way Burger”
  • Things Zeke dreads: recess, climate change, vampires
  • Things everyone loves: food, air, Matt Damon
  • “Let’s eat our lunch over a trashcan somewhere like dad does.” -Louise
  • “Whoopi Goldberg wasn’t a nun until she went in witness protection and she turned that choir around.” -Gene
  • Tina’s use of “banging” in ga-ga ball
  • Another new Bob’s next week! We don’t have to wait two months!

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Loves David Bowie and flamingos more than everything else.

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