Bob’s Burgers — which was just renewed for seasons 14 and 15 — is currently on a brief hiatus in its 13th season. It’ll be back on February 19, which likely means there’ll be no Valentine’s Day-themed episode in store. But don’t despair, all riiiight? There’s plenty of Belcher family love from earlier seasons to go around.
It’s the Thought (and the Effort) That Counts
In the first Bob’s Burgers Valentine’s Day episode — season three, episode 13, “My Fuzzy Valentine” — Bob realises Linda has grown weary of his annual habit of lazily creating something into a heart shape (a pancake, a burger, a drawing on a foggy mirror) and calling it an expression of his love. With the kids goading him on, he sets out on a wild hunt to find a present that will wow her… only to realise that Linda doesn’t really care about what he gets her. Instead, she’s much more charmed by the idea of him exerting effort to make her happy.
Lead With the Worst
While Bob and the kids are chasing down the perfect gift for Linda in “My Fuzzy Valentine,” she turns the restaurant into a speed-dating game for lonely customers. To her horror, late arrival Sergeant Bosco declares it’s best to just loudly announce all your worst flaws to any potential partner, and gets everyone else to do the same. Linda disapproves… but has a change of heart when Teddy (“I dress up as Santa every night, it’s the only way I can go to sleep”), of all people, comes away with a phone number and a possible new flame.
Don’t Fall for Your Fake Boyfriend
In season five’s eleventh episode, “Can’t Buy Me Maths,” Tina and maths geek Darryl agree to a fake date, hoping that the “double nerd angle” will help them win “Cupid’s Couple” at their school’s Valentine’s Day dance, thereby making them irresistible to the people they really want to be dating after they fake break up. Alas, Tina finds herself falling for Darryl despite the fact that he’s only pretending to be into her… then regrets messing up his chance with the girl he was actually trying to impress. Uhhhhhhhhgggggg.
Don’t Fret About Carnations
In season six, episode seven, “The Gene and Courtney Show,” Tina finds that coming up empty-handed in the school Valentine’s Day carnation-sale fundraiser, which she also happens to be organising, is the loneliest feeling ever… until her perpetual crush, Jimmy Jr., unexpectedly presents her with a rose instead.
Limit Your Chilli Intake
Another Tina lesson, learned the messiest way possible (as always). In season seven, episode nine’s “Bob Actually” — which won an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program — her rebelling digestive tract clashes with Jimmy Jr.’s Valentine’s Day plan for them to kiss mid-air while jumping on the school’s trampoline. Fortunately, a pair of stilts help her save the moment at the episode’s smooch-filled finale.
Dark Chocolate Is Good, Actually
Another one from “Bob Actually”, courtesy of Gene, whose candy-eating palate expands immensely after tasting dark chocolate made by an alluring baker he encounters in his school cafeteria.
“Boys Come and Go, But Your Girls Will Always Be There for You”
In season eight, episode eight — “V for Valentine-detta” — the Belcher ladies (with the help of a hilariously well-equipped limo driver, voiced by guest star Jillian Bell) set out on a girl’s night to help Tina mend her broken heart. But after crashing Jimmy Jr.’s date with his new girlfriend, Becky, Tina realises Becky’s actually pretty damn cool… and who needs wishy-washy Jimmy Jr. anyway?
Suck It Up and Apologise
Season nine, episode 13 — “Bed, Bob & Beyond” — sees the Belcher family heading to a Valentine’s Day movie. The kids are hoping rom-com magic will soften the tension between their parents, who are in an extended fight over dirty laundry. When a popcorn fire shuts down the theatre, the kids take turns inventing creatively embellished endings for the movie during the car ride home. Though the story contains generous helpings of Speed, Titanic, The King’s Speech, and Notting Hill, it’s Louise’s Sharknado-inspired laundry tornado grand finale that somehow nudges Bob and Linda to realise they’ve been silly, and to set aside their differences at last.
It’s OK to Be Anti-Valentine’s Day
Season 11’s eleventh episode, “Romancing the Beef,” finds Tina in an emotional tailspin after Jimmy Jr. heads to an out-of-town wrestling meet on the big day. Good thing Tina’s schoolmate Tammy is planning a “hearts are farts” party for singles. It’s the perfect bit of counter-programming, at least until it devolves (perhaps inevitably) into a make-out party instead.
“Valentine’s Can Just Be With the One You Love, and It Doesn’t Matter Where”
“Romancing the Beef” also sees Bob, Linda, Louise, and Gene — with Teddy’s help — transforming the restaurant into “Urge” (covering up the unnecessary letters in the Bob’s Burgers sign), a fancy restaurant catering to Valentine’s Day couples. It’s a surprising success, but Bob and Linda soon realise the true meaning of the day is who you spend it with, not how much you spend on it. As a bonus, there are multiple scenes of Bob sweet-talking the hamburger meat as he’s prepping it. Ah, true love!
While you’re here, why not check out Gizmodo Australia’s guide to what’s streaming this month on Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Stan, Binge and more. We’ve also got one for all the good movies coming out in 2023 if that’s more your thing.