Welcome to the next article in this year’s spooky series! Throughout the month of October, the staff here at Nerds and Beyond are revisiting some of our favorite Halloween themed TV episodes. Today’s article features season 9, episode 4 of Bob’s Burgers, aptly named “Nightmare on Ocean Avenue Street.”
It’s Halloween, and the Belchers are (mostly) ready to celebrate. Bob’s themed burger of the day is “My Bloody Kale-entine Burger.” The kids are excited to trick-or-treat along Ocean Avenue, citing that all the stores will have good candy. Teddy, however, has learned that the owner of the shop next door (Those Who Can, Dle Candle) hired a handyman, Glen, to decorate the storefront. Feeling threatened, Teddy tells Bob to hire him to decorate the front of the restaurant, wanting to outdo Glen. Bob agrees.
The kids prepare to go trick-or-treating, donning their costumes that are clever as always. Gene is dressed as André 3000 the Giant, Louise is a dragon with the girl tattoo, and Tina dresses as nun of your business (a nun with a briefcase). As they prepare to leave, Teddy and Glen are going to head to head, but Glen has a slight edge, as the bat he placed on the store can fly, but Teddy’s spider does nothing.
Though each Halloween episode of Bob’s does an excellent job setting the tone, this episode in particular sets a distinctly Halloween vibe for me. It pulls you into the atmosphere of Ocean Avenue. It’s imbued with the excitement you felt as a kid when trick-or-treating: everyone is out enjoying themselves, their candy, the costumes, and the decorations. Ah, simpler times.
While the kids are trick-or-treating, they bump into Zeke and Jimmy Jr., who are more into tricks this year. Soon, a frantic Andy and Ollie (dressed as peanut butter and jelly) run over, crying that a devil stole their candy. Then Rudy comes up with the same dilemma, only an astronaut took his. Finally, Darryl joins, also saying his candy was stolen by a “hockey goalie with a knife,” or as horror fans know him, Jason Voorhees. They all work through the information they know, thinking Jimmy Jr. and Zeke are the culprits until Gene’s candy is stolen next. Louise decides the actual street is the thief’s hotspot, declaring that the street is lava. That is until Tina’s candy disappears while they’re inside of a store.
Of course, Halloween isn’t Halloween without a spooky little mystery. While there were no ghosts or zombies here, the candy thief was still the perfect touch. It created a sense of paranoia and fright for the kids, leaning more into the trick side of things. It also emphasizes the importance of candy for the holiday. A particularly noteworthy moment was Gene’s dramatic reaction to losing his candy, as he said, “I think I’m dying” just before falling to the ground. (You know what? Me too, Gene.)
Louise is the last one standing with candy. The group ventures back to Ocean Avenue, surrounding her until a person in a gorilla costume infiltrates and runs off with her candy. They chase after the person all the way to Mutilation Mansion at Wonder Wharf. The kids, sans Tina and Gene, go inside. Eventually, Tina and Gene arrive, tackling the person to the ground, and it’s revealed that their dentist, Dr. Yap, is the candy thief. They interrogate him and find out the candy is being incinerated. But the kids make it to the incinerator just in time, retrieving their candy and redistributing it to other kids who had theirs stolen.
Interspersed throughout the episode were also scenes of Teddy’s ever escalating decoration battle with Glen, adding to the humor. Their celebration turned competitive, as they tried to outdo each other’s spooky décor and Bob eventually joined. It soon leads to disaster, when Teddy’s chainsaw-rigged spider eviscerates Glen’s bat, creating their own mini-horror story. They make up by the end, realizing that they just wanted to impress each other. We love a happy Halloween ending.
As a whole, “Nightmare on Ocean Avenue Street” is a must-watch this spooky season. Linda’s resignation over Bob’s less-than-ideal candy choice offers a few laughs, contrasting well with Bob’s excitement. You’ll be drawn into the happy nostalgia of trick-or-treating and the scary atmosphere of Halloween, through the kids solving the candy mystery and especially the Mutilation Mansion. This is a Halloween episode you won’t want to miss.
The other Halloween episodes include:
- “Full Bars” (Season 3, Episode 2)
- “Fort Night” (Season 4, Episode 2)
- “The Hauntening” (Season 6, Episode 3)
- “Teen-A-Witch” (Season 7, Episode 3)
- “The Wolf of Wharf Street” (Season 8, Episode 3)
- “Pig Trouble in Little Tina” (Season 10, Episode 4)
- “Heartbreak Hotel-oween” (Season 11, Episode 4)
Watch the new season of Bob’s Burgers every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on FOX and find the rest of the show on Hulu. Look out for the next installment of the series, coming tomorrow!