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General
''Christmas in the Car''
Season 4, Episode 8
Production Code: 3ASA17
317 11D 01 tk1-0001
Written by
Steven Davis
Kelvin Yu
Directed by
Bernard Derriman
Jennifer Coyle
TV Rating - TV 14 DLV
First Aired: December 15, 2013
List of Season 4 Episodes
Previous
Bob and Deliver
Next
Slumber Party

Christmas in the Car is the eighth episode in Season 4, being the fifty-third episode overall. It is the second Christmas-themed episode, with the first being God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins.

Plot

On November 1, Linda sets up the Christmas tree. When it dies on Thanksgiving, the Belchers get a new one the next day. When it dies on Christmas Eve, the family is forced to seek out a Christmas tree at a far off lot an hour away. Bob asks Teddy to check on the ham he is cooking, but Teddy is inadvertently caught in a trap set by Louise to catch Santa. Teddy finds himself pinned under the refrigerator as the Belchers search for their tree.

While pulling out of the tree lot, their car is almost hit by a large semi truck decorated to look like a candy cane. Linda tries to spread Christmas cheer to the irritated driver by honking the horn in time to "Jingle Bells", but, as Bob tells her, all the driver can hear is honking. The semi takes off and the Belchers head home. However, Bob notices that the candy cane truck was actually waiting for them and tries to run them off the road. The rest of the family believe it's all in Bob's head and that the candy cane truck was just driving past them. Linda has them pull over at a diner that specializes in dutch baby desserts and orders one to go. Bob attempts to report the truck to an irate police officer, but to no avail.

Back on the road, the candy cane truck reappears and nearly runs them off the road again, with the family now believing Bob. They pull off into a side road into the woods to hide as the candy cane truck pursues them, but find their car is stuck in the snow. They are unable to call for help because Gene has used up the cellphone's batteries waiting on hold to request a Christmas carol, "Jingle in the Jungle", on the radio. The candy cane truck finds them and begins approaching them. Bob tells Linda and the kids to stand back and prepares to confront the driver, who turns out to be a tiny man named Gary. Gary tries to fight Bob, telling him that he is alone on Christmas because he must drive the candy cane truck across the country in one night from a Christmas Eve parade to a Christmas Day parade the next day. The rude honking made him snap. Recognizing that Gary is no threat and having a difficult Christmas, Bob and Gary come to an understanding. Gary helps tow their car out of the snow and Linda gives him her dutch baby to enjoy during his cross-country drive, which touches him. The Belchers return home and are shocked to find Teddy trapped under the fridge, who asks them to read his Christmas card to them.

Homage to Duel

The entire episode is an extended allusion to Steven Spielberg's 1971 movie Duel in which a man from the city is confronted by a larger truck. The movie chronicles the protagonists battle in his small city car with the larger truck. The episode contains scene for scene "reshoots" of duel, notably that the second interaction with the larger vehicle is an unsuccessful attempt to pass. When the smaller vehicle is given a chance to pass it turns out a snow plow is in the other lane around a blind turn. Furthermore both stories have contain an intermission of sorts at a dinner where the leading male character's masculinity is confronted by a decidedly more country and tougher kind of man. In Bob's burgers it is a police officer, in Duel it is multiple cowboy esque figures. The Belcher's also order quite unmasculine food, a Dutch baby, in Duel the protagonist orders an equally meek cheese sandwich. The main difference between the two stories is that "Christmas in the Car" set during Christmas and that the Belcher's do eventually see the face of the driver of the larger vehicle. This is likely because the Bob's Burgers story is more about unity and togetherness (hence the Christmas backdrop) where as Duel is a much longer piece exploring the relationship between old and new masculinity as well as the man vs machine motif.

Episode Navigation vte
Season Episodes
0 The Demo
1 Human FleshCrawl SpaceSacred CowSexy Dance FightingHamburger Dinner TheaterSheesh! Cab, Bob?Bed & BreakfastArt CrawlSpaghetti Western and MeatballsBurger WarWeekend at Mort'sLobsterfestTorpedo
2 The BelchiesBob Day AfternoonSynchronized SwimmingBurgerbossFood Truckin'Dr. YapMoody FoodieBad TinaBeefsquatch
3 Ear-Sy RiderFull BarsBob Fires the KidsMutiny on the WindbreakerAn Indecent Thanksgiving ProposalThe DeepeningTina-Rannosaurus WrecksThe Unbearable Like-Likeness of GeneGod Rest Ye Merry Gentle-MannequinsMother Daughter Laser RazorNude BeachBroadcast Wagstaff School NewsMy Fuzzy ValentineLindapendent WomanO.T. The Outside ToiletTopsyTwo for TinaIt Snakes a VillageFamily FracasThe Kids Run the RestaurantBoyz 4 NowCarpe MuseumThe Unnatural
4 A River Runs Through BobFort NightSeaplane!My Big Fat Greek BobTurkey in a CanPurple Rain-UnionBob and DeliverChristmas in the CarSlumber PartyPresto Tina-OEasy Com-mercial, Easy Go-mercialThe Frond FilesMazel TinaUncle TeddyThe Kids Rob a TrainI Get Psy-chic Out of YouThe EquestranautsAmbergrisThe Kids Run AwayGene It OnWharf Horse (or How Bob Saves/Destroys the Town - Part I)World Wharf II: The Wharfening (or How Bob Saves/Destroys the Town - Part II)
5 Work Hard or Die Trying, GirlTina and the Real GhostFriends with Burger-fitsDawn of the PeckBest BurgerFather of the BobTina Tailor Soldier SpyMidday RunSpeakeasy RiderLate Afternoon in the Garden of Bob & LouiseCan't Buy Me MathThe Millie-Churian CandidateThe Gayle TalesLi'l Hard DadAdventures in Chinchilla-SittingThe Runway ClubThe Itty Bitty Ditty CommitteeEat, Spray, LindaHousetrapHawk & ChickThe Oeder Games
6 Sliding BobsThe Land ShipThe HaunteningGayle Makin' Bob Sled · Nice-Capades · The Cook, The Steve, The Gayle, & Her LoverThe Gene and Courtney ShowSexy Dance HealingSacred CouchLice Things Are LiceHouse of 1000 BouncesStand by GeneWag the HogThe Hormone-iumsPro Tiki/Con TikiBye Bye Boo BooThe Horse Rider-erSecret Admiral-irerGlued, Where's My Bob?
7 Flu-ouiseSea Me NowTeen-a WitchThey Serve Horses, Don't They?Large Brother, Where Fart Thou?The QuirkducersThe Last Gingerbread House on the LeftEx MachTinaBob ActuallyThere's No Business Like Mr. Business BusinessA Few 'Gurt MenLike Gene for ChocolateThe Grand Mama-pest HotelAquaticismAin't Miss Debatin'Eggs for DaysZero LARP ThirtyThe Laser-inthThelma & Louise Except Thelma is LindaMom, Lies, and VideotapeParaders of the Lost FloatInto the Mild
8 Brunchsquatch
Unknown season The Wolf of Wharf StreetSit Me Baby One More TimeThe Silence of the LouiseCheer Up Sleepy GeneBoywatchY Tu Ga-Ga TambienThe Taking of Funtime One Two ThreeThanks-HoardingThe BleakeningThe Date EscapeThe Secret Ceramics Room of SecretsSleeping with the FrenemyMission Impos-slug-bleV for Valentine-dettaThe Hurt SoccerGo Tina on the Mountain
See also: Episode Guide

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