Linda Belcher Is The Worst, And That's Why She's The Best

Diply 24 Sep 2018

With the new season of Bob's Burgers airing so soon — September 30, in fact — I couldn't help but think about one character that always get a reaction from me — the wife and mother of the Belcher family, Linda.

Linda Belcher isn't a regular mom, she's a cool mom! And she will spend every waking hour of her life forcing you to believe this if you tell her you don't — then she'll polish off a bottle of wine, sing a song at the top of her lungs, and go to bed.

Does this remind you of another television mom? Probably not, actually, and that's kind of the point!

Linda Belcher is the worst — which is what also makes her the best.

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Her in-your-face attitude and her over-the-top hijinks may be understandably off-putting for some people, but she's exactly the kind of foil the Belcher family requires.

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Just think about how different she is from Bob and how that makes both their family (and the show in general) work!

Reddit | KingOfCranes

Unlike the character of Marge Simpson, for example, Linda is a wacky, impulsive woman who is brought back to reality by her husband, Bob.

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As far as the kids go, she clearly loves them and would do anything for them...except change who she is, of course. 

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Tina, Gene, and Louise all still love her despite her faults, but they're still very conscious of how embarrassing and annoying she can be.

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In fact, in an interview with Complex, H. Jon Benjamin (the voice of Bob, among others) stated, "It's funny. I can't conceive of how anybody likes her."

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So then why do so many of us like her so much?

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Linda is, for better or worse, a breath of fresh air. 

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Instead of the played-out trope of the "perfect mother," we see a hilarious glance into someone who seems a lot more real — as far-out as she is.

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In a lot of TV sitcoms, like The Simpsons or Family Guy, the mother is the rock of the family and often the moral voice of reason. 

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While they definitely having episodes that show their characters' edge, they almost always cement the stereotypes of moms on TV.

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More often than not, they're also "the Straight Man" when it comes to the humor of the show. 

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According to TV Tropes, "Somebody has to set up the joke so the funny guy can deliver the punchline. That's the Straight Man." Lois Griffin has definitely shown her wild side before, but her main job seems to be rolling her eyes at Peter's wacky antics and nagging him back to reality.

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Honestly, I can't picture many sitcom moms doing half the stuff Linda Belcher does.

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It's Homer and Peter who are constantly embarrassing Marge and Lois, nine times outta 10.

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This isn't the case with Linda, however, as most of the time, it's Bob playing the Straight Man in the show.

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Instead of Marge rolling her eyes at Homer, or Lois shaking her head at Peter, we get Bob facepalming at pretty much everything Linda does.

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But what I think makes her real, relatable, and hilarious are her many faults. 

Reddit | KingOfCranes

From excessive drinking to unabashedly smothering her kids, Bob's Burgers flips the script and seems to say, "Hey, not all moms are perfect!"

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In fact, she rarely learns a lesson at the end of her episodes.  

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One episode that comes to mind is "Mother Daughter Laser Razor," where it's shown that Louise has a particular distaste for her mother.

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Of course, this comes as earth-shattering news to Linda, and she forces Louise to attend a mother-daughter bonding seminar with her. 

YouTube | Louise Simpson

Long story short, by the end of it, Linda simply makes Louise feel bad for not liking her. She does nothing to change anything for Louise or ask how she feels, she just guilts her into tolerating her as a mother.

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Somehow, however, this still works so well for the show. It doesn't just tell Louise she has to live with this character, it tells us, the audience. 

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Like most sitcoms, things are bound to go back to the way they started at the beginning of the episode.

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It seems Linda will never change. She'll always be a bit conceited and spend more time roasting her husband than supporting him.

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And maybe the fact that she is so horrible is why we love her so much. And why do we love someone so insane and obnoxious?

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Well, in a sense, we want to live vicariously though her. 

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We want to have fun, not apologize for speaking our minds, and let our personalities out in a big way. Do that in the real world, however, and you might be less than welcome at dinner parties, etc.

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So, when we cheer for Linda, we're kind of cheering for our own dark sides. The part of us that wants to drink in the morning, dance when we feel like it, and yell what we're thinking when we'rethinking it.

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Yes, she has some wonderfully lovely personality traits from time to time, but what makes Linda Belcher awesome is that she's truly awful.

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