There are not a lot of show, animated or otherwise, on TV right now that are as good as Bob’s Burgers. The dysfunctional family comedy is simultaneously ridiculous and possibly the most realistic family ever portrayed on the small screen. With a show this popular, there are going to be fan theories and conspiracies. One that has been gaining traction online is that Linda and all three kids are dead and all the adventures we see are delusions that Bob cooks up in his head as a coping mechanism. Followers of this theory claim that this is why the kids don’t age.
The theory goes on to claim that the show’s opening credits tells the tale of each member of the family’s death in a series of accidents that necessitated the closing and re-opening of the restaurant. It also claims that Mort is a regular because he did all the funerals and now checks in from time to time to see if he’s OK.
There’s more to it, but it always seemed like kind of a stretch to me. Amazingly, the theory has picked up so much traction that it came up in an interview between the show’s creator, Loren Bouchard.
In his interview, Bouchard admits that when your show doesn’t have a straight, serial continuity, it can definitely be open to interpretations like this.
“They’re not supposed to be dead. But we do have this problem, where, if a show is really grounded, our fans understandably start to kind of expect a little bit of serialization. Or, at least, continuity. And that would be fine. I would give them that. But the problem then becomes, well, it’s not really an episodic sitcom.
In a way, what we have to do is tell a ‘Groundhog’s Day’ kind of story, where these people are going to live the same year over and over again. You know what I mean? We have a couple of birthdays in there, but basically, they’re going to stay the same age, they’re going to live in this ever-present now, and yet they’re going to have more than one Christmas, more than one Thanksgiving, and so on. So, I get it. I get that it feels a little bit like limbo. They’re not supposed to be dead, but obviously there’s something going on here. It’s not quite the way we experience time.”