Many viewers who watch Bob’s Burgers may only watch the show for it’s witty humor, but beneath the surface level of the show there are many social themes present throughout each episode.The show follows a family of five who own a burger joint in the middle of Ocean City, New Jersey. Bob and Linda Belcher are the parents of three children: Tina, Gene, and Louise, who all have very different personalities. Tina, the eldest, is the awkward adolescent, who writes zombie and unicorn fan fiction. Louise, the youngest, is an intelligent con artist and comes up with crazy ideas to make a profit, while Gene, the middle child and only son, believes in his heart he is a girl all while providing sassy commentary and creating jiggles from his Casio keyboard.
The Belcher family is always involved and find themselves in some pretty sticky situations. In season 4 ep. 20 “Gene It On”, the show plays off of an the classic movie Bring It On highlighting the gender roles of male cheer-leading and the cattiness and dramatics of Bring It On. Tina wants to try out for the school cheer-leading team, but her performance was so dull that it was overshadowed by Gene cheering her on in support from the bleachers. Though some families are opposed to their sons being cheerleaders the Blecher families supports Gene’s decision to join the cheer-leading team only for the silk cheer shorts.
“Still from Bob’s Burger’s, “Gene It On” (Season 4, Episode 20, 2004.)
Throughout the rest of the show, Gene’s character in this particular episode shows how the family accepts Gene’s coming out, but sadly Gene’s character does not stay this way throughout this season, but does change. Gene is a special character in the show, because he seems to always challenges the norm in the and refutes stereotypical gender roles. In later seasons Gene becomes more gender fluid than in earlier seasons, which to me seems to be more progressive than most animated sitcoms on air today.