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Bob’s Burgers is More Family Friendly | Screen Rant

Bob’s Burgers started out as a cartoon that was raunchy and unsuitable for most children but has morphed into a show filled with morals.

While Bob's Burgers started off as a raunchy animated comedy, it has since morphed into a show filled with frequent heart-warming moments - why? Bob’s Burgers first debuted on FOX in 2011 and recently finished off its 10th season with a movie in the works for April 2021. Created by Loren Bouchard, Bob’s Burgers follows the Belcher family of five running a burger business and with the kids attending school. Bob, his wife Linda, and their kids - Tina, Gene, and Louise - are followed through a series of never-ending comedic adventures. There are also strong supporting characters interspersed, including Bob’s best friend Teddy, Linda’s cat lady sister Gayle, and Tina’s mostly unrequited love interest, Jimmy Jr.

When the show began airing, it was raunchy to the point that it earned many mixed reviews. Critics felt the jokes were done just for the sake of being edgy without a lot of substance. Risque subjects that were explored included the kids joking about molestation, Bob being friends with prostitutes, and him going on several drug benders. Tina, the eldest daughter, was having regular dreams about making out with zombies and the grandparents were swingers with odd fetishes. The show also had cringe-worthy moments, including multiple uses of outdated language, like "transvestites". Critics likened the show more to the style of Family Guy than The Simpsons; this is largely how the first couple of seasons presented themselves. Over time, the sexual, overly adult themes have evolved to a show with pointed endings to every episode.

Related: Bob's Burgers: How Kevin Kline's Mr. Fischoeder Lost His Eye

The reason for these changes can only be speculated upon, but there are a couple of likely main factors. For one, it's natural for shows to take time to figure out what it wants to be. Bouchard initially planned for the Belcher family to be cannibals and make human meat burgers, but FOX implored him to drop that aspect of the story. From there, he had to bring the story and character development down a notch. It likely took some time for Bouchard and his team to get used to characters that were different than they had planned; as with anything, it's been a progression, and the overly adult storylines have been reduced, although not eliminated. Every episode provides a clear moral to a story, with characters that are ever-evolving but never aging.

Another likely reason is simply that Bouchard and the writers wanted to reach a wider audience. The creator has two children of his own who are now around Gene and Louise's ages, which could also account for the subtle changes in language and material. In more recent seasons, the kids still tell dirty jokes but without realizing they’re dirty. Bob’s Burgers also presents storylines that are more relatable across generations. For example, in season 10, Louise struggles with sleeping away from home because she’s not comfortable with pooping somewhere else. The story is almost an elevated version of an episode from season 1, where Bob poops his pants at a public place.

The subtle changes to the show haven't diminished any of the humor, and Bob's Burgers proves that an animated show can appeal to a cartoon-loving adult audience without graphic violence or swearing. So continuing on this path isn't wrong for the show; it's just a new direction for it to take as it passes its milestone of being on the air for a full decade.

Next: Bob's Burgers: Tina Was A Boy Character In The Original Pilot

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