So there are a lot of reasons why Bob’s Burgers is such a great show but today, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite parts of the show: Tina.
Or more specifically: How the family treats Tina.
I stand by a statement that I once made: Tina Belcher is everything that Meg Griffin could have been in Family Guy hadn’t screwed up.
Tina is an awkward thirteen-year-old girl and the oldest of the Belcher siblings. The show doesn’t hold back at showing some of her awkward moments. She frequently fantasizes about boys but she never knows how to act around them, she writes erotic fan/friend-fiction, she’s socially awkward, she easily panics, she often says the wrong things, etc.
And yes, members of the family have occasionally pointed out how awkward she is. But here come the best part. They don’t care! They still love Tina! She is rarely the butt of a joke and the Belchers would never tell her to shut up or otherwise abuse her unlike some other shows on FOX.And the family is always going out of their way to do things for her because that’s what a family does. Especially Bob. Bob is such a great father and the way he’ll do anything for his kids (especially Tina) proves it. ‘Fighting’ the teacher of a Capoeira class because he refuses to give Tina her yellow cord. Driving a cab at night to make extra money to throw her a birthday party. Getting his legs waxed alongside her so that she’s not afraid. Going to the equivalent of a Brony convention to get her favorite toy back. Etc. Linda treats Tina just like the rest of the kids and fully embraces Tina’s ‘weirdness’. Even when Gene and Louise tease Tina, it’s made clear that they still love her and that teasing each other is just what siblings do. Most of the series shows the three of them doing things together and the episodes always equally involve all three siblings and using them to their full potential. All three are hilarious, all three have their moments, and all three shine. And when Tina is upset, Gene and Louise are always there to try and save the day. Whether it’s getting her to her favorite concert, getting back at a bully, letting her have her time to shine at a Bat Mitzvah, etc.
Also, her weight is never mentioned. I don’t think anyone’s weight is mentioned in Bob’s Burgers, other than a scene where Bob cheers Teddy up.
Anyway, the point of this post is to show how amazing a show can be when they have an awkward character who still has great moments, has a family who loves her, and is actually funny, instead of making her the butt of the jokes by having her constantly be abused by her family and the writers of the show, DO YOU SEE?
Girls and women I know (and myself included) relate to Tina a lot. We identify with at least some part of her as a reflection of ourselves. We laugh with Tina because we’re laughing at ourselves at the same time, in a comfortable lighthearted way. With Meg, everyone is asked to laugh at her, and she rarely gets a chance to redeem herself or grow.