Bob’s Burgers 5×11 ‘Can’t Buy Me Math’: Sexy Cooking

Source: FOX

Faced with the prospect of taking remedial math, Tina must help Darryl land his crush in exchange for tutoring. Meanwhile, Linda takes charge of Valentine’s Day planning with disastrous results.

Tina-centric episodes are always pretty high quality and this is no exception. The episode not only has some good laughs, it has momentum. It moved briskly. I was surprised by how early in the episode the school dance took place, figuring it would be part of the climax, but it made total sense as the story unfolded. Aziz Ansari’s Darryl and Dan Mintz’s Tina have not had a lot of interaction, so it was a treat to see the show dedicate the whole A-plot of an episode to those characters. Overall, a solid outing.

Linda taking over planning Valentine’s Day festivities for Bob continues the running gag of Linda wanting to get frisky in the kitchen but instantly making it weird. The Belchers’ attempts at marital romance are a gold mine of awkwardness and impropriety,  and I mean that in a good way. Interestingly, Linda was the cause of much of the Valentine’s week calendar’s missteps, even after poking fun at Bob’s previous Valentine’s failings. It was good to see Bob make earnest attempts to please Linda instead of flatly denying her some fun.

Finally, I appreciated the restrained use of Louise and Gene in this installment. Don’t get me wrong, I love those two, but putting them on the sidelines as passive blackmailers of Tina is smart here. Louise is the troublemaker, the capricious 9-year-old goddess of the Bob’s Burgers universe –  constantly bending reality to her will. Getting her deeply involved would have taken the spotlight off the Tina-Darryl dynamic. The same applies to Gene. The writers just let Tina be Tina, and it paid off.

Some highlights for me:

Tina: Another “D” on a math test, and if I don’t get at least a “B” on the next one, I have to go to remedial math.  UGH!
Louise: Remedial math, huh? On your first day in there, steal the biggest kid’s pencil.
Gene: Yeah! And then sharpen it and give it back.
Tina: But what’ll I tell my grandchildren?
(flash forward, Tina has 4 grandkids, one on her lap)
Grandma Tina: I used to be bad at math.
Little Girl: Oh grandma!

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

(Louise and Gene are walking by Tina and Darryl in the hallway after blackmailing her)
Louise: Cupid sure hit that couple in the rump, huh?
Gene: It’s the romance of the century! And it has nothing to do with yogurt!

(Tina is fake-breaking-up with Darryl)
Tina: I wish I knew how to tame you, you wild stallion! Have a great life!
Darryl: You too, soulful wonder-lady!

Bob: But if I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna really do it, Lin. I’m gonna go all-in.
Linda: Bobby!
Bob: If Bob Belcher strips, he’s gonna strip serious!
Linda: Like what? Like how?
Bob: Like crazy! Like you’ve never see-like you wa-you won’t even want it.
Linda: Yeah!
Bob: After 20 seconds of my strip-tease, you’re gonna-you’ll want to leave!
Linda: Woo!

J.P. Laub

is a pop culture connoisseur, politics wonk, sometimes gamer and consummate nerd. To give you some idea, he is an avid reader of Wikipedia entries about fictional and theoretical faster-than-light drives. Seriously, he once saw a random Dune reference on a website and spent 45 minutes reading about the Holtzmann effect and related entries.

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