As a 28-year-old, it’s hard for me to ever think about my life without The Simpsons, and well, that’s because The Simpsons premiered right around the time my brain was like, “Hey! You will remember stuff!” At 25-years-old, The Simpsons are the longest-reigning First Family of animated dysfunction. Though many-a-fan will tell you that the “great” years ended somewhere around season 12 or 13, the series remains as iconic as ever. In my lifetime of Simpsons fandom, endless quoting, and the belief that Lisa Simpson and I are the same person, I never thought I’d see the day where another cartoon family could steal my heart. That was until I met the Belchers and Bob’s Burgers.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “But Internet writer: The Simpsons created the archetype for whatever drivel you’re about to espouse...also, Family Guy sucks!” I’ll agree with you on the latter part, but at the end of the day The Simpsons is really a sitcom and we can compare Homer Jay Simpson to Ralph Kramden for hours on end. There’s a system to Springfield that existed long, long before Hans Moleman and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Or as Homer would say, “If at first you don’t succeed, give up.”
Where Bob’s Burgers takes the torch and really runs with it, so to speak, is in how the series has as much heart as its predecessor. Sure, it’s funny to see cartoon characters say and do lewd or crude things, but it’s not really any good unless it’s smart and worth caring about. I watch South Park for its biting political commentary, not so much for the warm fuzzies. But Bob’s Burgers really hits on that high note The Simpsons held for so long in its prime — flawed, but lovable characters, a whole town of (lovable) nuts, and it’s just obscure enough that it can be used as a litmus test to judge someone’s (read: a first date’s) humor. Now let’s explore all the wonderful ways Bob’s Burgers has totally Miyagi’d The Simpsons:
A Matriarch With a Flare for the Dramatic
Sing it Linda, SING IT!
"A Streetcar Named Marge"
A Patriarch With a Mind for Food
A man can dream!
...And Other Substances
Don't harsh their vibes, man.
A Millionaire Who Desperately Needs Love...or Someone Else's Kids
An indecent Thanksgiving proposal, indeed.
And exhibit Burns! As per usual, The Simpsons did it!
Outstanding Musical Numbers
From the "Gravy Boat Song" to "The Monorail Song," there are just too many incredible tunes to pick my favorites.
Plucky, Trouble-Making, Smart-Talking Kids
Ladies and germs, meet Tina, Gene, and Louise.
And the OG's of sibling shenanigans.
Young Feminism at the Forefront
Tina Belcher, your modern feminist hero.
Lisa Simpson, your soul sister.
And Their Feminist Role Models
Lastly, a Cast of Characters You're Always Rooting For
Bart may have been a wise-ass, but he always cared. Homer might be a buffoon, but he has a heart made of chocolate-covered gold. Bob might get obsessive and flush a turkey down a toilet, but it's for his love of Thanksgiving. Maggie might have a lifelong rivarly with Bab rivalry d, but she's the apple of her daddy's eye. Linda might indulge in as much wine as she damn well pleases but...well, you catch my drift. Bob's Burgers took all the things that made The Simpsons great and put their own weird, wholly original, and completely endearing twist on it. Long live the Belchers! And long live The Simpsons! Happy 25th Birthday.