"Burger War" is the tenth episode in Season 1, being the tenth episode overall.
When Bob's eccentric landlord, Mr. Fischoeder, pays the family a visit, he informs Bob that his rival across the street, Jimmy Pesto of Jimmy Pesto's Pizzeria, wants to take over Bob's lease so that he can expand his gift shop. With little time and not enough money, the Belcher family must cook up some business or luck to save the restaurant.
Bob and the family are waiting at the restaurant for their eccentric landlord Mr. Fischoeder, to see if he will renew the business lease. When Fischoeder arrives he warns Bob that his business rival, Jimmy Pesto wants to build a gift shop on the current site of Bob's restaurant. And unless the rent is paid in full within the next few days his lease won't be renewed.
As they are always late with payments, Bob and Linda are unsure of how they will make the deadline. Bob complains that Tina is in love with Jimmy Jr. and Louise is friends with the twins, Andy and Ollie Pesto. These relationships are at odds with Bob's own feud with Pesto. When the kids arrive home from school, Jimmy Sr. puts a banner on his restaurant saying his restaurant is now also serving burgers. Bob and Linda head over to Pesto's to complain. Meanwhile, the kids sneak into Jimmy Pesto's and reveal that Bob's regular customers Mort and Teddy eat at Jimmy's restaurant as well. As Jimmy continues trying to get Bob's Burgers close, the Belchers devise methods of obtaining the rent money, with Bob and Linda taking suggestions from the kids. Gene suggests live music, Tina suggests slow dancing and Louise suggests voodoo. Linda suggests putting out flyers stating that the food will be half-price. Later that night, Jimmy tastes his own burger, criticizes it, and takes it off the menu.
On the day the rent is due, Louise plans to get Jimmy's hair to control his mind (through voodoo). Tina wants Louise to help her dance Jimmy Jr. back into remembering that they are dating and Gene wants her to get a music gig. Louise accepts the idea but states she needs a lock of their hair (even Gene has to cut off his rat's tail). Louise makes a voodoo doll out of a potato with Tina's hair on it and asks Andy and Ollie to get their brother's hair for Tina, which they do. Louise comes back home with the twins who need to work on the voodoo dolls made out of potatoes, so Bob gets Gene and Tina to hand out the "half-price" fliers to the public.
Gene and Tina return home and mention that they gave a flier to Jimmy Pesto, who subsequently decides to sell his own food that night at half-price to customers with a Bob's Burgers flier. This leaves Bob with no customers; even Mort's mother decides to go to Jimmy Pesto's instead of Bob's (where Mort was going to take her). As a last resort, Bob's attempts to construct the difficult-to-make burger called the Meatsiah in bite-sized pieces. Bob gets Gene to sample them at Jimmy Pesto's restaurant, as a ploy to get customers to return to Bob's Burgers to have more.
Louise completes her voodoo potatoes in the basement but needs to get Jimmy Pesto's hair. Lying that the hair she wants is a donation for mustache cancer, she finds out that his restaurant's piano player is sick. Louise decides to tell Gene that he can perform a gig there. Gene arrives for his gig and Louise plays the drums with him. As Gene's wish comes true, Tina slow dances with Jimmy Jr. Linda discovers that Gene is playing his first gig so she goes there to watch.
Bob finishes making his burger only to realize that his family went to Jimmy Pesto's. Bob goes over, wearing Gene's burger suit with the burgers as samples. Bob gives the customers burgers and ends up having a fight with Jimmy outside the building. Mr. Fischoeder arrives after Bob and Jimmy have stopped fighting, and he lets them and the others go to Bob's Burgers to get the rent. Bob claims that he does not have the rent money, so Mr. Fischoeder announces the restaurant lease will not be renewed. However, as he is doing so, he smells the Meatsiah burgers and tastes them. Mr. Fischoeder realizes that Bob does not care about high-volume business, but rather, cares about the quality of his food, so he lets the restaurant lease be extended under some circumstances.
The episode ends with Gene playing music, Tina slow dancing with Jimmy Jr., Then Louise realizes that voodoo that he worked as Jim finally got his first played live, Tina finally able to dance with Jimmy Pesto's son, then Louise believed to be God. Andy and Ollie getting out of the basement and dancing along with the other dancing customers as Jimmy Sr. angrily walks back to his restaurant.
- "Burger War" on IMDb
- "Burger War" press release via The Futon Critic
- "Burger War" script via Springfield! Springfield!
- "Burger War" review at The A.V. Club