In the original pilot for Bob’s Burgers, Mintz’s character was a teenage boy. That fundamental difference aside, Daniel Belcher and Tina Belcher are the same character—but looking back, that choice had enormous implications for the show, because a TV audience has never seen a girl growing up like this. She’s nothing like an archetypal teen, but she’s also unmistakably one. She daydreams about kissing her crushes—and also about touching the butts of all the cute boys in her class. She fantasizes about being a prettier, bolder version of herself, who talks politics with adults and is an object of affection among the guys at Wagstaff School. Her efforts in this direction lead her to hide in the dairy section of a grocery store in season three’s “Lindapendent Woman,” waiting for a handsome boy to stop by. In season four’s “Turkey In A Can,” she shows up to Thanksgiving dinner wearing baggy pantyhose and too-big high heels. Puberty and dating have a typical arc on shows about teenage girls, but Tina’s arc on Bob’s Burgers is something else entirely. It’s gross. It’s messy. It occasionally encourages threesomes. And it’s hilarious, but the show is careful to never make Tina the butt of any jokes. (Tina touching butts, however, is okay.) If the viewer is laughing, it’s most likely with Tina—or at the very least, with the people who love her.
Lord be praisdah! #austinpsychfest