FOX's Bob's Burgers Season 12 went oddly deep on the topic of friendship and of growing up in two stories, one featuring Gene and the other with Linda. The jokes were smart, the dialogue hit the heart of this millennial, and it felt like this season was tackling some very relevant stuff in fantastic ways. As Gene convinces, or he thinks he does, a daycare at the local recreation center that he's seven and not eleven years old, he discovers the highs and lows of completely rejecting growing older. A school project he works on with his friend Alex (who I loved seeing in the series again) gets rough as it coincides with Gene witnessing the growth of a singular hair on his chest.
By running away from this project and lying to those around him, he may get that moment of bliss from gathering joy in activities deemed as ones for children, from playing with clay to nap time, Gene actually doesn't see at first how much he can still have fun growing up. I like to think it's the fear that growing up requires the complete rejection of your inner child within a lot of people in my generation and those younger than me. It honestly felt like the reality of that fear was being seen, even if in an episode focused on eleven-year-old Gene Belcher.
As I saw the topic of growing up being discussed, friendship and familiarity were also looked at in Bob's Burgers. Linda feels torn as she attempts to get a nice haircut at a new fancy salon that has popped up next to the restaurant. Fear rises for her as she considers the longstanding client/friend relationship she's had with Gretchen. While Bob has a hilarious experience with too much complimentary wine when he takes Linda's appointment, Linda realizes in hers that she doesn't feel right in letting her friend down. Bob's Burgers made a hilarious joke at one point when Gene is asked how old he is by the daycare attendant and uses his fingers to say seven, the problem being the characters typically have four fingers on each hand. It's the small nods to details like this that make this series so great.
Episode Store & Van Titles: "It Had To Be Ewe: Wool Clothing", "In-Gory-Ous Bugsters", and "Frolicles"