This week’s episode of Bob’s Burgers used the common theme in animated sitcoms of random stories, making references of other intellectual properties, but unlike other animated shows, Bob’s Burgers gave us context for these “Gayle Tales.”
We discover that the three kids (Tina, Louise, and Gene) did something to earn their mother’s wrath but we don’t know what they did yet. As Linda’s about to explain why she grounded the three to Bob, Aunt Gayle walks into the store to save the day. This is the first appearance for Gayle this season, but even if you’ve never seen the show or forgot who she was as a character, you learn everything you need to know about her in an instant when Louise says, “Hey, there’s Aunt Gayle and surprise, surprise, she’s crying again.” Gayle needs cheering up and a new date for the theater. The kids are more than happy to accompany Gayle, and a conflicting Linda wants to make her sister happy but also wants to uphold her punishment of the kids. Eventually, Linda challenges the kids to write essays that include their Aunt Gayle and a Scott Bakula reference (because Gayle loved him in Quantum Leap), and that’s where the goofy stories about other intellectual properties come into play.
I won’t go into detail about each of the three stories—I will say that one of them prompts Bob to butt into the tale and ask Louise (his youngest child) if she’s been watching Game of Thrones—but in less than three minutes, Bob’s Burgers established well-defined motivations before launching into these story parodies. Once we get to the various tales, we see how each child views the other characters in town and in their family, and we get the payoff at the end of what the kids did to tick off Linda. I won’t spoil it but it’s pretty minor and involves Linda feeling embarrassed and having to purchase a month’s supply of maxi pads.
Verdict: Other animated sitcoms have used the retelling of other intellectual properties before, but Bob’s Burgers does it the best.