|''Christmas in the Car''|
|Season 4, Episode 8|
|Production Code: 3ASA17|
| Written by |
| Directed by |
|TV Rating -|
|First Aired: December 15, 2013|
|List of Season 4 Episodes|
Bob and Deliver
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.