As much as I love the Thanksgiving episodes of Bob’s Burgers, they are nothing compared to their Christmas episodes. While there’s no running gag, like Bob talking to the turkey, the episodes are a lot of fun and they usually have a lot of heart.
But let’s be serious for a minute – I’m all about the zingers from Louise and Gene. Though Bob and Linda have some good ones in these episodes as well. Below I’m sharing my definitive ranking of these episodes, from my least favorite to my favorite.
8. Season 9, Episode 10 “Better Off Sled”
While this is a fine Bob’s Burgers episode, it just doesn’t have that same feel as all the other Christmas episodes. Sure, you can argue that it’s just a “holiday” episode but that’s lame.
The focus of this episode is the showdown between the younger kids (Belchers and friends) and the older kids (Logan and his merry band of chumps) over the sledding hill.
The only real Christmasy part of this one is that Linda starts knitting to make presents for the kids, but she’s not really very good at it. Then, Bob offers to help and he’s a natural, much to Linda’s dismay. She actually throws his scarves in the trash can!
Louise has one of her heartwarming moments at the end when she gives Logan a head start against the teen girl athletes who wanna pelt him with snowballs. But the best part is when the Belcher kids open their Christmas presents and fight over Linda’s gimpy scarf.
7. Season 10, Episode 10 “Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas”
This episode starts with Linda singing a song about going to her second job because they’re poor. And ends with her saying “Everyone wants a little Christmas cheer from Linda’s big sack.”
Linda’s parents and Gayle are coming over for Christmas and Bob is worried about being left alone with them. There’s a funny scene with the three of them as the three wise men.
Linda assures Bob she’ll be home in time, but of course, we know she won’t be. She ends up going on a quest to deliver a Christmas package that got left in the mail sorting room at her temp post office job.
Louise and Gene end up going with her on the quest because they need to get a better gift for Tina for the first annual Belcher kid gift exchange. Linda calls them on it by asking if they half-assed it.
Meanwhile, Linda’s parents and Gayle show up early and we’re introduced to the web of lies that Gayle has been feeding her parents about her lover and her giant house. Oh, Gayle!
The best part of this episode is at the end when the kids do their gift exchange and Gene and Louise give Tina her present – a hug. During the hug she’s searching their pockets for her real gift.
6. Season 6, Episode 5 “Nice-Capades”
This is a pretty great episode simply because it involves one of Louise’s schemes. When the Belcher kids kick an old guy, who just happens to be the mall Santa, out of a mall massage chair, Louise fears they’ll get coal for Christmas.
They attempt to fix this Santa wronging, but just end up getting banned from the mall.
Louise gets the brilliant idea to put on an ice capades show in the mall ice rink to tell Santa about all the good things they’ve done. The nice-capades show involves everyone, including Teddy.
But then, Louise has her signature moment of heart during her performance and admits that it’s all lies.
5. Season 5, Episode 7 “Father of the Bob”
Two great things about this episode that you notice early on is that 1) it’s a Bob origin story and 2) Nick Offerman is doing the voice of Pete, the guy who own’s the gay bar next door to Big Bob’s diner.
But before we even get to that, we get the best line of the episode from Louise when the kids are talking about what they want from Santa by praying to him.
“Santa, bless me with an internship at your company. Preferably something in the flying animal or breaking and entering department.”
Then Gene delivers a laugh out loud moment when the family is talking about the last time they went to Big Bob’s for Christmas.
Gene: I remember. I was still breast-feeding.
Linda: No, you weren’t.
Gene: Not with you!
The kids end up having a friendly competition for who can make Bob the best present while at the diner, because of course they didn’t have anything for him. gene ends up filling a box with beans from cans and soaking in a bean bath.
This later leads to him going upstairs into the diner and suggesting that he run around and everyone try to catch him like a pig at the fair.
Meanwhile, Bob and his dad don’t get along as Bob expected and it ends in a fight with Big Bob going next door to the gay club. They end up reconciling while line dancing and then the kids won’t let them back into the diner.
4. Season 7, Episode 7 “The Last Gingerbread House on the Left”
The laughing starts immediately with this episode when Bob exclaims, “We’re so poor and it’s Christmas, again!”
Linda has dreams of the family going door to door to go caroling, where they will be served hot chocolate after finishing at each home, but Bob just isn’t into it. Luckily for him, Fischoeder talk him into joining his gingerbread house competition.
Bob has to lose the competition in order to get paid by Fischoeder, to which Louise tells him, “Good luck losing Dad, you’re definitely in your element.”
Teddy takes Bob’s place with the caroling as the family goes door to door in Fischoeder’s neighborhood only to have no one offer them hot chocolate…until the last house, the creepy one with the murderer Teddy has told them about.
Turns out the recluse in the house sings like an angel and has mugs of hot cocoa to offer them.
Meanwhile, back at Fischoeder’s, Bob ends up aiming to win the competition because the prize is a private cuddle session with the new baby polar bear at the zoo – and he wants that to give the kids. A shoot-out happens at the table and Bob’s house is the only one left standing, so he does win.
At the end, we see the Belchers at the zoo, along with the rich dudes from the competition.
3. Season 4, Episode 9 “Christmas in the Car”
This episode starts with Linda putting up a Christmas tree the day after Halloween. She ends up having to replace it more than once, with Christmas Eve being the last time.
Meanwhile, the kids have hatched a plan to catch Santa this year, which Louise is very excited about.
Linda makes Bob drive them an hour away to get a tree, the only place one is left, and he ends up having a road rage incident with a candy cane truck that is reminiscent of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when Chevy Chase does the same and ends up driving under the truck.
The running gag is that Bob keeps mentioning that he has a ham in the oven, which is his reason for needing to get back home. Gene thinks it’s a reference to being gassy and tells him, “Just fart, dad, it’ll be okay.”
Bob ends up calling Teddy to have him go turn the oven off where the ham is cooking. Of course, Teddy being Teddy, he gets caught in Louise’s Santa trap.
The family car gets stuck in the snow while they’re hiding from the candy cane truck, only to have it find them. When the driver gets out, he’s a teensy little dude looking to fight.
Turns out, he just needs some Christmas cheer and Linda ends up making Bob give him their tree. When the family gets back home, they discover Teddy trapped under the refrigerator in the Santa trap.
2. Season 3, Episode 9 “Bob Rest Ye Gentle-Mannequins”
For the longest time, this was my favorite Bob’s Burgers Christmas episode.
The family inherits a storage unit from a dead uncle and there is a guy, Chet, living in it who thinks he used to be a mannequin. Rather than pay the storage facility monthly fee, Bob lets the guy live in their basement through the holidays.
Chet ends up creating amazing Christmas window scenes in the restaurant that bring them a lot of business and publicity. The night before the final window, Chet tells them about the love of his life, Nadine (another mannequin), to which Bob replies that she’s probably in a dump somewhere.
This upsets Chet and leads to a hysterical scene between Linda and Bob where Linda is telling the kids to go to bed and Bob is begging them to stay cause he knows Linda is mad at him. The scene ends with him begging the kids, “Don’t leave me.”
As expected, they wake up to a horror of a Christmas window the as a result of Bob upsetting Chet. This leads Bob and kids on what Louise calls “the traditional Christmas mannequin hunt” to find Nadine.
They find Nadine in the window of a sex shop, but the owner won’t sell her to Bob. So, the kids create a distraction by setting off all the vibrators on the floor so they can make a getaway with the mannequin.
Having Nadine back helps Chet regain his Christmas spirit and he creates a nice window scene (until he makes out with Nadine) and the kids end up giving up their Christmas present money so that they can buy Nadine off the angry sex shop owner.
It’s got lots of heart, a weird guy making out with a mannequin, and a set of kids unleashing an army of vibrators – what more do you need for Christmas?
1. Season 8 Episodes 6 & 7 “The Bleakening, Part 1 & 2”
Hands down the best Bob’s Burgers Christmas episode. Maybe even their best episode ever.
This two-parter starts out with a song from Linda, who just awoke from a dream, about how she’s going to put on the Christmas party of her dreams. The next morning, she gets to work on planning the impromptu party by cutting off the top of their tree to make a baby tree for the restaurant.
Gene hilariously exclaims, “She’s circumcising our tree!”
At the party, Teddy tells the kids of the story of the Bleaken, who comes to steal kids presents. This is the Bob’s Burgers version of Krampus.
Linda’s little tree gets stolen from the party, which leads her to turn detective and try to find the culprit and get the tree back. Meanwhile, Louise convinces the kids that it was the Bleaken.
We get an amazing song from the kids, with some Game of Thrones style sequence, about how they’re going to get the Bleaken.
The use of music in this episode is nothing short of amazing. It is just so fucking excellent.
One of my favorite lines from this episode, and the whole serious is the following exchange between Linda and Bob:
Linda: You wrap like a drunk, blind bear.”
Bob: That’s how I live.
In part two of this episode, the kids head out to an abandoned warehouse to try to catch the Bleaken and get back Linda’s tree. It’s a really cool quest with hidden doors and passages under the staircase.
Meanwhile, we’re seeing Teddy hiding in his inflatable Santa hoping to catch the Bleaken when he comes to steal his decorations. What a lovable weirdo.
He ends up singing a version of “Do You Hear What I Hear” that is just too freaking awesome. Did I mention the use of music in this episode is perfection?
Bob and Linda end up at the warehouse with the kids, going through the spooky tunnels and thinking they saw the Bleaken. Then they discover that it’s just a rave.
Linda still wants that damn tree and she wants to give all the ravers a piece of her mind. Even Gene remarks, “Mom is literally raving mad.”
Turns out the rave is a gathering of people from the recently closed Wiggle Room gay bar and the Bleaken is just a guy in a costume. And Linda’s angry rant get’s cut off by Miss Triple X-Mas (who normally goes by “Cleavage to Beaver”), singing her song, “Twinkly Lights.” You can hear the song in the clip below.
The song makes Linda realize that Christmas didn’t give up on her, but she gave up on Christmas. Art, the party crasher, confesses to stealing the tree, and Linda confesses to calling the cops on the rave because she didn’t realize how wonderful they all were.
Not to worry though, Bob saves the day by putting on the Bleaken costume and luring the cops away. He ends up hiding in the inflatable Santa with Teddy, cause that weirdo wanted to do that instead of going inside with Bob to hide.
Linda ended up having the Christmas party of her dreams in this Bob’s Burgers rave episode, with her still dancing in the living room when the family wakes up. Then she promptly passes out face-down on the floor.
What an amazing Christmas episode. I’ve already watched it twice this year, how about you?