‘Tis the season to be jolly, and what show is jollier than Bob’s Burgers? One of the most feel-good animated shows on TV, Bob’s Burgers has no shortage of holiday-themed episodes to get you in the festive spirit this holiday season. From psychotic candy cane trucks to poorly knit Christmas scarves, Bob’s Burgers‘ Christmas-themed episodes feature the burger-slinging Belcher family in their element: Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) dreading yet another painful interaction with the in-laws, Louise (Kristen Schaal) scheming to get the best Christmas gifts, and Linda (John Roberts), the spirit of Christmas itself reincarnated in mom-form, living her best life.
To get you ready for the approaching holidays, we’ve ranked all of the Bob’s Burgers Christmas episodes, from least to most likely to get you in the holiday spirit. Get your hot cocoa and bundle up for a warm and toasty holiday celebration with the Belchers!
9. Season 9, Episode 10: “Better Off Sled”
“Better Off Sled” is really a snow-themed episode more than it is a Christmas episode, but that doesn’t mean it won’t put you in the cozy holiday spirit. In “Better Off Sled,” Louise, Gene (Eugene Mirman), and Tina (Dan Mintz) battle with Louise’s high school nemesis Logan (Kurt Braunohler) after he and his punk friends take over their perfect sledding hill to have their snowball fights. Any episode where Louise and Logan face off is a stocking stuffed with epic kid-approved comebacks (“Your face is crap! You’re the crappest face!”). The B-plot brings a subtle Christmas touch as Linda races to knit the three Christmas scarves of her dreams for the kids, until she discovers that knitting is not as easy-breezy as she thought it would be. Tina, Gene, and Louise fighting over her wonky purple scarf will melt your cold, icy heart this holiday season.
8. Season 11, Episode 10: “Yachty or Nice”
In “Yachty or Nice,” Bob and his family, to Bob’s surprise and apprehension, get invited to be one of the caterers at the esteemed Yacht Club’s exclusive holiday event, “Yacht-mas.” When he learns that Jimmy Pesto (Jay Johnston) was the one who nominated him, Bob becomes convinced it is all part of Jimmy’s secret plan to “pants” him in front of all the ritzy Yacht folks. Meanwhile in the B-plot, Louise schemes to get her hands on the best of the free presents “Santa,” a.k.a. Uncle Father Santa Teddy (Larry Murphy), gives to the kids who wait in line all night at the event. Like the next episode on this list, “Yachty or Nice” shows that despite all of her plotting and scheming, the naughtiest Belcher kid, Louise, definitely belongs on Santa’s nice list.
7. Season 6, Episode 5: “Nice-Capades”
“Nice-Capades” is a Louise-centric episode, and an adorable one at that. In this holiday-themed episode, Louise, Gene, and Tina leave a bad impression on a man hogging the massage chair at the mall who, to their absolute horror, is a mall Santa. When Mall Santa tells the Belcher kids that he reports to the real Santa Claus, Louise scrambles to come up with a plan to convince Mall Santa that she doesn’t need to be on the “naughty” list. “Nice-Capades” is another heart-warming episode of Bob’s Burgers, but there is an extra dose of sweetness since it features a rarity: Louise dropping her mischievous antics and showing that she has a little heart of gold. As an extra bonus, there is plenty of scenes of Mr. Fischoeder (Kevin Kline) being his usual iconic self, from his festive jingle about the wonders of bourbon to the heartfelt gift of envelopes that he gives Bob to help him finally pay their rent on time.
6. Season 4, Episode 8: “Christmas in the Car”
“Christmas in the Car” has got it all: an aggressive candy cane truck on a mission, fluffy Dutch baby pancakes, and a Christmas song called “Jingle in the Jungle.” Linda, the portrait of celebrating Christmas one day after Halloween, puts up their Christmas tree on November 1st, only for it to die by Thanksgiving. After their second tree dies on Christmas Eve, the Belchers hop in the car and drive to a Christmas tree farm an hour away to get the pick of the pathetic Charlie Brown trees. On their way back, they almost get run off the road by a candy cane truck after Linda aggressively honks at it to the tune of “Jingle Bells.” “Christmas in the Car” is the perfect Belcher family episode where Bob, Linda, and the kids have to problem-solve as a family. Wild antics inevitably ensue, and the episode concludes with an oddly touching exchange in which Bob allows the truck driver, who turns out to just be a sad, tiny man on Christmas, to punch him to make him feel better.
5. Season 3, Episode 9: “God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins”
Bob’s Burgers first-ever Christmas episode, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins” is a weird and wonderful episode characteristic of the earlier Bob’s Burgers years. Zach Galifianakis guest stars as Chet, an eccentric man who believes he was a mannequin and is desperate to reunite with his mannequin wife, Nadine. He builds elaborate, festive window displays in the restaurant that attract the townspeople and even the media. At the end of the episode, the Belcher kids track down Nadine who is now displayed in the Spanks A Lot sex shop and Chet is reunited with his lost love. This first Christmas Bob’s Burgers episode will not only take you back the olden Bob’s Burgers days and its slightly Adult Swim humor, but it will also inspire you to upgrade your Christmas decor this year in a display that would impress even Chet, the weird, kooky king of window displays.
4. Season 10, Episode 10: “Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas”
Linda is hands down the queen of Christmas cheer, so only she would find spending a few hours working at the post office on Christmas Eve night a magical night of miracles. When Linda notices that a man’s last-minute gift for his nephew failed to make it onto the truck, she takes it upon herself to make sure the package gets to the boy. The episode’s B-plot and C-plots are also a complete delight. Bob is stuck being the mediator between Gayle (Megan Mullally) and Linda’s loud, phlegmy parents while Linda races to deliver the package, and Louise and Gene race to figure out the perfect gift to get Tina for the first annual Belcher Kids’ Gift Exchange after Louise finds out that Tina has gotten them something incredibly thoughtful. “Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas” is a perfect Linda-centric episode, but it is also a hilarious Bob episode and an adorable Belcher kids episode that will be sure to give you warm, fuzzy feelings like a steaming cup of hot cocoa on Christmas morning.
3. Season 8, Episodes 6: “The Bleakening Part 1″/ Season 8, Episodes 7: “The Bleakening Part 2”
This is not up for debate: musical-themed Bob’s Burgers episodes are the best Bob’s Burgers episodes. One of Bob’s Burgers‘ few hour-long episodes, “The Bleakening” is a festive musical full of Christmas cheer in two parts. Linda has a dream that she throws the most epic Christmas party ever in order to spread some much-needed Christmas cheer. To her horror, someone at the party steals her Christmas tree with the kids’ homemade ornaments. She goes on a rampage to find the Christmas thief, whom the kids firmly believe is “The Bleaken,” the devilish anti-Christmas legend. Their search leads the Belcher family to an underground rave on Christmas Eve, where stolen Christmas decorations were repurposed to bring Christmas cheer at the ultimate Christmas celebration at a closed nightclub. Between Miss Triple X-Mas’s iconic performance (we will be singing “Twinkly Lights” every Christmas from now on) and the rest of the holiday-themed episode’s festive original bops, “The Bleakening” is sure to get you in the holiday spirit this year.
2. Season 7, Episode 7: “The Last Gingerbread House on the Left”
A Christmas episode that is also Mr. Fischoeder-centric? It’s too good to be true. In “The Last Gingerbread House on the Left,” Mr. Fishoeder bribes Bob to intentionally lose in his traditional gingerbread-making contest with his rich friends, including his brother Felix (Zach Galifianakis) who loves to gloat when Mr. Fishoeder loses every single year. The game quickly descends into chaos when Mr. Fishoeder pulls out a gun and shoots Bob’s gingerbread house, which, to Mr. Fishoeder’s annoyance, is much better than his. All of Mr. Fishoeder’s snooty guests pull out their guns and shoot each other’s houses in the most intense gingerbread contest ever. “The Last Gingerbread House on the Left” is one of the best Mr. Fishoeder episodes there is, and the fact that it is a holiday-themed episode is just an added bonus.
1. Season 5, Episode 6: “Father of the Bob”
Christmas magic is in the air in the champion holiday episode on this list, “Father of the Bob.” The first and only time we see Bob’s father, “Big Bob,” “Father of the Bob” is a perfect Bob’s Burgers episode, not just the perfect holiday-themed episode. When Bob reluctantly visits his dad on Christmas Eve at his dad’s diner, “Big Bob’s Diner” with the intention of following his 15-minute rule, Linda volunteers him to help his dad in the kitchen to his utter dismay. We are gifted with Little Bob in a flashback at the birth of his inventive “Burger of the Day,” the driving source between Bob and Big Bob’s decades-long rift. Little Bob’s “Baby You Can Chive My Car Burger,” Linda and Teddy’s “Christmas Magic” duet, and the Belcher kids’ disastrous efforts to find their dad the perfect gift in Big Bob’s basement all come together like a perfectly wrapped present on Christmas morning. The touching moment Bob finds out that his dad saved the first review of their restaurant is just the bow on top.
These episodes remind us of why we love the Belchers.
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