Bob’s Burgers, Season 3, Episode 9: God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins, Review

The Belchers take in a new, fun friend who happens to used to be a . . . mannequin . . . (Perhaps a shout out to Andrew McCarthy??)

Another parent gets fed up with the kids’ ridiculous Christmas lists, as Bob shoots down everyone’s gifts (even a dry erase board, as requested by Tina). Mike the mailman arrives, hinting at getting a tip, which Bob tries to negotiate (passing a piece of paper over the counter with a number on it). Only after he gets the tip does Mike give Bob a letter saying that Bob has received an inheritance from their late Uncle Ernie. The family goes to a storage unit, wondering what could be inside (Bob lamenting that if there’s anything good, they’ll have to pay taxes on it). When they open the door, they find…A PERSON, living inside. Gene exclaims, “We won a caveman!”

The man’s name is Chet (voiced by Zach Galifianakis) and Linda wants to let him live in the basement, which Bob agrees to after he learns that the storage unit lease is $150 per month. Chet immediately gets to work creating displays for the restaurant’s front window, which helps boost business…but Chet is a little strange, not moving for hours at a time, even when spoken to. The kids all want to be part of the displays, so they end up finding props and dressing up (including Tina as a dreidel in the Hanukkah display). Business goes through the roof, with anticipation building as to what the final display on Christmas Eve will look like.Up in the apartment, however, Chet is getting depressed over his ex-wife, Nadine. When he shows everyone her picture, they see that she is…a mannequin. And Chet says he used to be a mannequin too, until he came to life. Bob is now rethinking their decision to let him live in the basement. He tells the story of how he met, courted and married Nadine, who broke one of her hands (and ended up with two lefties). She was sold and never seen again. Chet was placed in storage and believes he came to life so that he could feel real pain. Tina wants to help reunite them; Bob insults Chet, who runs off crying. He’s so upset, the next day he makes a gory window display that expresses his feelings. They all decide they have to find Nadine and put up flyers, looking around town while Linda stalls the growing crowd by making up a poem about Christmas. Nadine is located in the window of a sex shop; the owner refuses to let Bob borrow her for one night, so the kids unleash the, um, assorted “personal massagers” to distract the owner while Nadine is swiped and taken back to the restaurant. Chet is reluctant to see her, but once he does, he creates a Nativity scene with the entire family, to the delight of the crowd.  Well, at least initially…until the sex shop owner shows up and a fight ensues, wrecking the display. The kids decide to give up their Christmas gift money to buy the mannequin and Chet is allowed to stay until the new year. He kisses Nadine and her head falls off (“Five second rule!” Gene cries). The episode ends with the kids opening gifts that were found in the storage unit; Louise’s seems to be the best…a security tag remover. “Next Christmas is on me!”  she says.Of course, Chet being one of the weird people the Belcher family encounters, it turns out that his loft in NYC was being renovated and he can’t WAIT to get back there. The mannequin love story was pretty elaborate, though.
Final review:  
Not one of the funniest Bob’s Burgers, but it had its moments. Zach Galifianakis was perfect as the looney Chet, providing his trademark deadpan humor. Glad to see that they included Hanukkah in the displays as well.
Best moments:  
Bob writing out gift certificates on napkins as business picks up. Linda crying during the mannequin wedding story and Tina saying, “This is the greatest love story ever told.” Chet saying, “This was no movie…this was retail.”  Gene saying that if anyone wants to give the mannequin Sal anything for Christmas, “he needs a penis.” And the laugh out loud moment when the vibrators all go across the sex shop floor…brilliant!