Ranking the Bob’s Burgers Christmas Episodes

Bob's Burgers is a show that does Christmas episodes better than just about any show. Their Christmas episodes are traditionally season-best episodes for one of TV's best-ever animated programs. The show is great year-round, but its holiday episodes always manage to stand out. Here's all eight Christmas episodes, ranked from worst to best.

8- Father of the Bob
There's nothing bad about Father of the Bob, but it's far from the show's best. The plot of the episode is fairly basic, focusing on Bob's tumultuous relationship with his father. That's a good premise, but the problem is that it doesn't allow for much focus on the Christmas spirit. It's an episode that just happens to take place on Christmas, which doesn't make it a contender for anything but last on this list. Aside from that, the episode itself is just average. I enjoy it, but it's not one of the show's best and upping the Christmas magic probably wouldn't have moved this up from last place, despite great guest spots from Bill Hader, Nick Offerman, and Carl Reiner.

7- Better Off Sled
Based on episode quality alone, this one's probably higher than #5. However, this was more of a winter episode than a Christmas episode, knocking it down a slot. It still did have a Christmassy feel to it (thanks to the Linda plot), but the main plot wasn't really about the holiday at all. It was still a fantastic episode though, and a very, very funny one, too. Linda's knitting-centric plot didn't get all that much screen time, which kept the Christmas spirit to a minimum, but it's still going to be viewed annually in my house. The ending scene was also one of the best endings to any episode on this list, with the kids fighting over who gets to keep Linda's raggedy old scarf while poor Bob looks on, feeling insulted because nobody loves his scarves. That's a classic scene in the making.

6- God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins
As the first of the show's line of Christmas specials, God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins gets some nostalgia points. It started the show's most wonderful tradition, and we can all be thankful for that. The episode is definitely an enjoyable one, with tons of funny moments (Louise wanting her own apartment and Gene wanting the Cool Running Bobsled are highlights) and a zany plot. It's really fun, but it's lacking a special "something" that the all-time great episodes have. It's a little weird for my tastes as well, as other Bob's Christmas episodes tend to be a bit more grounded in reality. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I still prefer those episodes. This is definitely an episode that I'll watch during my now-annual Bob's Burgers Christmas episode marathon, but I won't be begging for seconds like I will be with others on the list.

5- Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas
The show's most recent episode is a solid entry into the Bob's Christmas collection. One thing to credit the show on is that its Christmas episodes are never the same from one year to the other. This episode reinforces that by bringing in Linda's family for a side plot with Bob, while the main plot focuses on Linda getting a holiday job to pay for the holiday. Both plots work very well, and since I'm a sucker for any episode featuring Megan Mullally's Gayle, I particularly enjoyed seeing her appear in the annual Christmas special. Linda attempting to deliver a piece of mail to a child on Christmas Eve could've taken a turn (there could have been some poop in the package as was suggested, or the kid could have never existed at all), but per usual, the show took a more heartwarming approach by having Linda convince Mike the Mailman to give the gift to the child (who was real, and not getting poop for a present!), even if it wasn't the proper method of mail delivery. It's those kind of heartwarming moments that are the reason this show is so good at holiday episodes in the first place, and even if this episode doesn't compete with some of the classic Christmas episodes just yet, it fits in so well with the other seven Christmas entries.

Henry Winkler's guest voicing makes this episode great. It surely wouldn't have been as good with a different actor filling the role of Santa, as he added his special charm to the classic character. The kids putting on a show to prove to a mall Santa that they're good is great on its own, but the fact that their examples of goodness were so pathetic left me laughing hysterically. Viewers know that the Belcher kids are flawed, but Louise's grand Nice-Capades show proved that even they know that, and that was some character development that I enjoyed. Another great aspect was Bob's search for a gift in the closing mall, and his settling for a calendar is just the icing on the cake there.

3- The Last Gingerbread House on the Left
Starting with this episodes, we've reached the elites. The ones that will be Christmas classics that I'll make sure to watch each year before December 25th. It took me a second look to feel that way about The Last Gingerbread House on the Left, but I got there eventually. This one got better with age, going for an episode I felt was just average to one that I thought was truly great. I might have just needed a second look to get all of the jokes, but this one really worked after the second watch. The plot, starring Bob and one of the show's best recurring characters (Mr. Fischoeder), was really hilarious, and I loved the caroling subplot with Lin and the kids. That subplot was probably my favorite in any Bob's Christmas special, with a simple and fun nature to it that made it a treat to watch. The main plot was obviously great as well, and I loved the gingerbread contest's judge, Godfrey.

2- The Bleakening
The newest, longest, and most musical of the Bob's Christmas episodes, The Bleakening is a thoroughly entertaining episode for the show. It's not the show's best holiday episode, but that's an incredibly hard feat to accomplish. I was skeptical of this episode for many reasons, as I wasn't sure it could sustain itself for so long or make the musical aspect a meaningful addition to the show. It did both of those, far exceeding my expectations and delivering a season-best show. The length allowed for it the fully flesh out its plots, leaving nothing half-baked and feeling unfinished. The episode also incorporated all of the main characters in meaningful ways, with the kids and the parents all having something to do that impacted the plot. Teddy also provided for some hearty laughs, despite playing a minor role in the episode.

1- Christmas in the Car
The ultimate Bob's Burgers Christmas episode, and, in my opinion, the greatest Christmas episode of any show, Christmas In the Car is one of the funniest and best episodes of Bob's Burgers, period. Its plot is great and never drags, and I actually wish this one was an hour-long special. The episode is peppered with fantastic one-liners and jokes, such as Linda's Dutch Baby obsession, or Teddy's adventure with the Belcher fridge. The episode is plotted so well, with a great beginning, middle, and end and a natural progression for the storylines. Nothing was resolved quickly, and the writers clearly crafted this one very carefully. It's a masterpiece, and was, in fact, my first ever Bob's Burgers episode. My love for the episode, though, is far more than mere nostalgia. It holds up to this day.

What is your favorite Bob's Burgers Christmas episode? Vote in the poll below and let me know your personal rankings below!

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