Of the first ten seasons of Bob’s Burgers, which has the best IMDb rating – and which episodes are the standouts?
Long running adult cartoon Bob’s Burgers has always been special in the world of adult animation. It’s a unique show with a quirky and confident voice that has entertained and delighted audiences since it first began ten years ago. Based around a loving family, the characters are relatable and the humor oddly wholesome. While similar adult cartoons like BoJack Horseman and Rick and Morty have risen to great popular and critical acclaim in recent years, there’s something extra special about the hilarious feel-good style of Bob’s Burgers.
The show, created by adult animation veteran Loren Bouchard, has achieved a cult following since its premiere in 2011. The show is currently in the middle of its eleventh season, so we’ve ranked each of the first ten.
Season 10 (7.4)
The latest season may be ranked last, but that doesn’t mean the show is in decline. Season ten started strong with the excellent premiere episode “The Ring (But Not Scary)” (8.1), but was quickly hampered by the following three lackluster episodes. Fans were especially disappointed by the Halloween episode “Pig Trouble in Little Tina” (7.5), which was an unusually weak display for a holiday that had traditionally been one of the show’s greatest strengths. The rest of the season had ups and downs, but with all-time series lows like “All That Gene” (6.8), “Yurty Rotten Scoundrels” (6.9), and “Local She-Ro” (6.9), it’s no surprise season ten ranks last on the list.
Season 9 (7.6)
Another recent season low on the list, this entry still shows a substantial improvement over the last one. The 2018-2019 season had a host of good episodes, from the adored heist homage “The Taking of Funtime One Two Three” (8.5) and the Halloween mystery episode “Nightmare on Ocean Avenue Street” (8.1), to the Louise-led “The Fresh Princ-ipal” (8.0). However, aside from three or four highly rated episodes, the rest of the season disappointed fans, with most of the 22-episode run achieving little more than a lukewarm reception. The season was further hindered by an uncharacteristically bad Valentine’s Day episode in which the usual characters were forsaken in favor of an awkwardly narrated fantasy in London.
Season 8 (7.84)
The rating gaps between Seasons Nine and Ten as well as Eight and Nine are the two biggest of the show, and the fact that each gap is still so small is a testament to the consistency and quality of the series as a whole. Season Eight was notable for a number of reasons, the first of which was its premiere episode, titled “Brunchsquatch” (7.8). That episode was unique due to the decision to animate every scene differently using animation styles inspired by fan art. In addition to the creative and well-received fan art episode, Season Eight also contained a two-part, double-length Christmas mystery episode called “The Bleakening” (8.2). While only one episode in the season fell below a rating of 7.5, enough of the season was mediocre enough to land it the number eight spot.
Season 1 (7.85)
Many fans may be surprised to see the season that started it all ranked so low on the list. While it’s true that Season One was oddly one-of-a-kind, even compared to the rest of the show, the utter hilarity of episodes like “Art Crawl” (8.1), “Sheesh! Cab, Bob?” (8.4), and the bizarrely The Shining themed “Crawl Space” (8.2) was balanced out by more average misfires like “Sexy Dance Fighting” (7.5) and “Hamburger Dinner Theater” (7.6). There are no truly bad episodes in Season One, but the fact that it was only a 13-episode run meant there was less time to make up for the subpar ones.
Season 6 (7.86)
Season Six began with a strong anthology episode in which the Belcher children imagined what life would’ve been like if things had been different when their parents first met. “Sliding Bobs” (7.9) may have been one of the series’ sillier offerings, but it was an appreciated light-hearted start to a solid season.
Aside from two relatively low rated holiday episodes, “Gayle Makin’ Bob Sled” (7.6) and “Nice-Capades” (7.5), and the poorly-received “Sacred Couch”(7.3), the rest of the season was fairly strong. Season Six even included the two highest-rated episodes of the entire series, the excellent Halloween episode “The Hauntening” (9.1) and the stellar season finale and 100th episode “Glued Where’s My Bob” (9.0).
Season 7 (7.89)
Season Seven takes us into the top five, and looking at the ratings, that’s no surprise. Season Seven had a whole roster of episodes rated eight or above, with very little dead weight. Notable for being the only season so far to include an Easter episode, Bob’s Burgers hit the ground running in 2016 with the back-to-back release of the two excellent adventure episodes “Flu-ouise” (8.0) and “Sea Me Now” (7.9). The season’s Halloween episode “Teen-a-witch” (7.7) was disappointingly weak, and some episodes fell into the realm of mediocrity. However, with very strong offerings like “The Last Gingerbread House on the Left” (8.2), “Bob Actually” (8.5), and “Eggs for Days” (8.2), Season Seven easily made up for its deficiencies.
Season 4 (7.95)
Season Four is unique for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is the only season to include a Superbowl episode. Secondly, it is the season that first introduced the now nearly annual tradition of anthology episodes, in which the Belcher kids each tell a made-up story from their imagination. That first anthology, titled “The Frond Files” (8.1), is still the best anthology of the series. The final reason Season Four is so special is because it included the first two-part episode of the show. The two-part season finale episodes, titled “Wharf Horse” (8.1) and “World Wharf II: The Wharfening” (8.5), are still among the best episodes in the series, and they marked one of the few times the Belchers ever faced life-and-death stakes.
Season 2 (7.99)
Season Two may have the shortest run of the show with only nine episodes, but those nine contain some of the best of the series. Bob’s Burgers was still finding its voice and developing its style back in 2012, and many episodes of Season Two seem unpolished when compared to more recent offerings. But while the animation may have been more raw and the humor edgier, the characters and writers were every bit as funny. Episodes like The Goonies homage “The Belchies” (8.3) and Dog Day Afternoon spoof “Bob Day Afternoon” (8.6) are still some of the wittiest and most hilarious Bob’s Burgers has ever produced. Combine that with the fact that the short season run allowed the creators to put out only high-quality episodes, and it’s no wonder why Season Two snags the number three spot.
Season 5 (8.02)
Season Five represents Bob’s Burgers in its prime. It is the bridge between the early seasons, when the show was hilarious but still finding itself, and the later seasons, when it had the confidence and ambition to push forward with its distinct voice, silly humor, and zany cast of characters. The 2014-2015 run was packed full of great episodes, including the best musical episode the show has ever done.
That musical offering, “Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl” (8.2), showcased the talent of the writers and voice cast in a truly hilarious and touching story involving Gene and a battle for control of the school musical. The stellar season also provided a list of excellent holiday episodes and a killer streak of very well received outings at the end of the season, including the brilliant “Housetrap” (8.7) and “The Oeder Games” (8.7).
Season 3 (8.04)
Fans of the series are probably not surprised to find Season Three at the top of the list. Similar to Season Five, the 2012-2013 run represents a turning point in the history of Bob’s Burgers. It is the longest season, at 23 episodes, and it exhibits a maturation, both in animation and in humor. Season Three is a distinct improvement over those before it because it was when the characters and writers really found their voices. For the first time, fans started seeing touching father-daughter episodes like “Carpe Museum” (8.3) and “Tina-Rannosaurus Wrecks” (8.5). Bob and Linda’s relationship was explored in episodes like “My Fuzzy Valentine” (7.6) and “Lindapendent Woman” (7.9). The season introduced holiday episodes for the first time, and many of them are still among the highest rated holidays episodes of the series. It was a season with many extremely high ratings and no lows. There’s no question about it, Season Three is the best the show has ever been.