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An animated family plays various kitchen utensils as instruments in this image from Wilo Productions.
The Belchers on “Bob's Burgers” have a gift for music of all genres. (Image: Wilo Productions)

The concept behind the animated FOX sitcom “Bob’s Burgers” doesn't scream “music” at first glance. The beloved series follows the Belchers — father and owner of the titular restaurant Bob (H. Jon Benjamin), wife Linda (John Roberts), and children Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman), and Louise (Kristen Schaal) — as they cook burgers and get into hijinks as a family. But the writers of the show have a knack for songwriting, and music is a huge part of the series.

Most episodes have some form of original music, whether it’s a full song or a simple tune playing over the end credits. The songs range from heartfelt to hilarious, and all are fantastic. As a music lover, I am delighted every time I turn on an episode and hear something that could make me laugh or move me, if not both.

It can be daunting parsing the dozens of songs on both “Bob’s Burgers Musical Albums” or keeping track of the music as you stream the show on Hulu. To help you out, I’m ranking 30 of the best songs from “Bob’s Burgers” to liven up your playlists.

30. 'Happy Birthday We Forgot'

The beauty of a lot of the “Bob’s Burgers” songs is in their simplicity. There are some more complex musical ideas going on in some places (more of that later in the list), but many of the tracks shine through just a funny idea and catchy hook. “Happy Birthday We Forgot” is a perfect example of this, as it’s just Linda giving a simple recap of Bob’s birthday: The family forgot about it, then Bob threw up. And as someone who has had a couple of not-great birthdays in his life, I can relate to the pain here.

29. 'Lifting Up the Skirt of the Night'

“Bob’s Burgers” embraced music almost from the very beginning. In its sixth episode, it gave us “Lifting Up the Skirt of the Night,” a funky disco track to score Bob’s second job as a nighttime cab driver. This is no poor imitation of disco either; it’s something that wouldn’t feel out of place in the ’70s. Besides fitting in with the episode’s exploration of nightlife, “Lifting Up the Skirt of the Night” is the first indication of just how integral music would be to “Bob’s Burgers” over the course of the series.

28. 'The Diarrhea Song'

I like to think I have a pretty evolved sense of humor, but I’m still a sucker for the classics. In this case, the classic is a poop joke in song form. Farts and poop can be extremely funny, and “Bob’s Burgers” doesn’t shy away from the low-hanging fruit when the time is right. No show nails those easy jokes like this either, with “The Diarrhea Song” never failing to make me laugh from the first line. The lyric “Running down the gutter with a piece of bread and butter” is incredibly vivid and gross, which means I giggle every time I hear it.

27. 'Nobody’s Getting In'

While many songs in “Bob’s Burgers” are simply jokes, what I love about the show and its music is that both are deceptively deep. Take “Nobody’s Getting In,” one of several songs from the Season 7 premiere, “Flu-ouise.” While plotting and devious on the outside, Louise has always housed an inner sensitivity. “Nobody’s Getting In” serves as a setup for the episode to explore that side of her and also gives us a cameo from her toy Kuchi Kopi, a delightful moment whenever he appears.

26. 'Gravy Boat'

When you think about it, why aren’t there any iconic Thanksgiving songs? Fortunately, “Bob’s Burgers” is known for its spectacular holiday episodes. Season 4’s “Turkey in a Can,” which follows someone trying to ruin Bob’s holiday but repeatedly dropping his turkey in a toilet, is a classic. One of the B-plots follows Gene attempting to write a Thanksgiving track with Linda and Aunt Gayle (the hilarious Megan Mullally), and the result is “Gravy Boat.” Extremely catchy? Check. Mixed metaphors that somehow end up with lyrics about “sailors in your mouth”? Also check. Hilarious? Of course!

25. 'I Want Some Burgers and Fries'

If you watch enough “Bob’s Burgers,” a large part of your brainspace will end up devoted to certain jokes and songs that get trapped in there just because of how catchy they are. The writing on the show has an easy to follow and captivating cadence in both lyrics and dialogue. It’s the greatest strength of “Bob’s Burgers.” One of those earworms always trapped in my head is “I Want Some Burgers and Fries.” This song has no frills; it's just a little ditty about wanting fast food.

24. 'Hot Pants Rain Dance'

Over the course of 14 seasons (and counting), there are themes and story beats “Bob’s Burgers” has found that they come back to semi-regularly. This is not a bad thing; every show that runs this long does it. One of my personal favorites is any time Bob is a curmudgeon, only to realize his wild family has the right idea and he needs to loosen up. Season 7 episode “Paraders of the Lost Float” is a great example, and its song “Hot Pants Rain Dance” is the exact type of danceable, silly track that embodies Bob’s need to have fun.

23. '(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life'

“Bob’s Burgers” isn’t afraid to make pop culture references. It’ll touch on modern pop culture, but given the characters’ eccentricity and especially Gene’s wide-ranging taste in music, the show pulls out a lot of deep-dive and throwback references. Sometimes that results in covers of songs, like ’80s staple “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” You have not lived until you’ve heard Teddy (Larry Murphy) and Bob sing this “Dirty Dancing” track to each other, with Bob of course taking the high harmonies. I can no longer listen to the original without thinking of this hysterical version.

22. 'Bad Girls'

As the show’s resident teenager, Tina’s storylines often revolve around the angst of growing up. The Season 2 episode “Bad Tina” is an early example that also introduces Tina’s foil Tammy (Jenny Slate), who is as loud and arrogant as Tina is soft-spoken and awkward. This introduction gives listeners the perfect mall-pop song “Bad Girls,” a punchy ode to teenage rebellion. It also involves calling someone a “boob punch,” a turn of phrase that makes me laugh every time I hear it.

21. 'The Bleaken'

Another holiday entry on the list, “The Bleaken” is part of a rare “Bob’s Burgers” two-parter, “The Bleakening.” As the kids investigate a spate of Christmas-related thefts, Teddy alerts them to “The Bleaken,” a Krampus-like mythical creature. The result is a surprisingly hype power-rock song as the kids decide to hunt the creature down. Of course, it’s also got a couple of jokes thrown in, like Gene declaring he only asked for experiences for the holiday before Louise reminds him that the Bleaken could steal the gift cards enabling those experiences.

20. 'The Right Number of Boys'

The first appearance of Boyz 4 Now on the list! In previously exploring some of the best fictional bands film and television has to offer, I talked about how much I love Boyz 4 Now, so expect more of them as this list goes on. In the Season 9 premiere, the band is down to three members after Boo Boo left and is attempting to audition a new member. But Boyz 4 Now is nothing without the “4,” resulting in a reunification and this extremely catchy pop song extolling that the right number of boys is in fact four. Like all Boyz 4 Now songs, I love the lengths they’ll go to rhyme, here rhyming “thirteen” with “hurt teen.”

19. 'Derek Dematopolis'

This is another Gayle entry on the list, one that really lends itself to the character’s complete lack of filter or social graces. Delivered at Linda and Gayle’s high school reunion, “Derek Dematopolis” is an ode to Gayle’s titular high school crush. Think a “Wedding Singer” type ballad, but way more cringe. “Won’t you enter my acropolis and make my yogurt Greek” is a phrase I can never unhear, yet at the same time is one of those completely off-the-wall comments that makes “Bob’s Burgers” so funny.

18. 'The Nice-Capades'

I love a song involving all three Belcher children because it gives “Bob’s Burgers” the room to show each of their personalities in musical form. Take “The Nice-Capades,” the kids’ attempt to convince a mall Santa they’ve been good by embellishing their deeds. Gene tells a food-related story that evolves into a B-movie story of evil chicken nuggets, Tina can’t help but attempt to tell the truth but gets strong-armed into going along with the ruse, and Louise finishes by going completely over the top with tales of world peace before realizing she needs to own up to save her siblings from the naughty list. It’s funny, smart, and tender — everything I need from “Bob’s Burgers.”

17. 'Bad Stuff Happens in the Bathroom'

You know “Bob’s Burgers” had to have a song for its 100th episode. After Louise accidentally glues Bob to the toilet right before a big magazine is on the way to profile him, we get “Bad Stuff Happens in the Bathroom.” As someone with a sensitive stomach, I related immediately. The song is a more somber, piano-based track, showcasing the musical range of the writing. And it explores what I consider to be one of the most important relationships in the show: Louise as the “problem child” just seeking validation and understanding and Bob as the father who understands her perfectly.

16. 'How Many Sandwiches Can You Name?'

This is another entry that's here because it's supremely catchy. I am a big sandwich guy; I would even say 80 percent of my lunches are sandwiches of some variety. Tiffany Haddish naming a bunch of different sandwiches is right in my wheelhouse, and the heavy percussion focus on this track makes it so easy to groove to. There’s also a 69 joke because when you’re rattling off menu numbers, of course there would be, and I could listen to the cadence with which Haddish says “Swiss, salami and aioli, queen” every day for the rest of my life.

15. 'Taffy Butt'

Given its impressive episode count, “Bob’s Burgers” has naturally had a fair number of guest voice stars over the years. Some of them are big comedy names you might expect to show up at some point, from Bob Odenkirk to Sarah Silverman. The show can get some deep pulls too. In the Season 2 premiere “The Belchies,” the kids go on a quest for treasure heavily inspired by “The Goonies.” A “Goonies” episode needs a “Goonies” song, and you can’t have one of those without Cyndi Lauper. Enter “Taffy Butt,” a song that naturally rules because all songs by Cyndi Lauper rule.

14. 'Coal Mine'

In Season 3, the world was introduced to Boyz 4 Now in the “Bob's Burgers” episode of the same name. Naturally, it’s one of my favorite episodes. From their first appearance, band members Griffin, Matt, Boo Boo, and Allen were dropping bangers one after another. “Coal Mine” is goofy because boy bands by nature are a little goofy (to be clear, I love boy bands in all their charms), but it works because the writing is good and the charisma is on display. “Coal Mine,” a love song with a mining metaphor, is just so earnest that it works unironically. And the harmonies in the chorus are actually great.

13. 'Twinkly Lights'

Another track from “The Bleakening,” “Twinkly Lights” is the payoff for the whole story. It turns out the Bleaken was actually just a guy stealing decorations for a Christmas night underground rave, which the Belchers end up attending and embracing at the end. “Twinkly Lights” wraps it up with a big funky power ballad about how the world and Christmas need all sorts of different lights to make them shine. If you don’t think I love “Bob’s Burgers” forcing a metaphor a little bit, then you haven’t been paying attention, and this is no exception.

12. 'This Is Working'

Linda and Bob are ultimate marriage goals. They may get on each other’s nerves sometimes but they are always a team together, always deeply in love. So, when Linda gets a job in “Lindapendent Woman” (great title), it’s genuinely heartbreaking to see them begin to strain. “This Is Working” does some interesting things with syncopation and rhythm, but it’s Benjamin and Roberts’ performances that sell this track. The trepidation that creeps into their voices as the song goes on will bring a tear to any eye.

11. 'Let My People Rock (Part 1)'

I have never been to a planetarium laser show, but I like the concept. In “The Laser-inth,” Bob and Gene travel to one for Bob’s birthday to see a show set to the music of Zentipede, a Rush-esque power-rock band from Bob’s youth. While the night takes many unexpected twists for father and son, the music is as awesome as advertised. “Let My People Rock (Part 1)” is all meaty power chords and operatic rock vocals. It goes extremely hard, to the point I put it on a couple of my running playlists to get myself pumped up.

10. 'None of Your Business'

We’re getting into the extraordinary stuff now. Halloween and horror are two of my favorite things, so I love any “Bob’s Burgers” Halloween episode. Season 9’s “Nightmare on Ocean Avenue” is an amazing installment, and it gives us an incredible closing credits song. It’s a cover of Salt-N-Pepa’s “None of Your Business,” which is about the group's sex lives, but in this case, it’s about eating copious amounts of candy. It’s a clever twist on an established track, and it perfectly fits Tina’s journey during the episode. Plus, the added pun of Tina’s costume being a nun's outfit while singing gives it another layer of humor.

9. 'Nice Things Are Nice'

“Bob’s Burgers” is one of the rare shows that is good pretty much from the start, only taking a couple of episodes to find its stride. That said, the Season 4 finale “How Bob Saves/Destroys the Town” is one of the highest peaks of the show’s early seasons. Tempted by the nefarious Felix (Zach Galifianakis) to get landlord and town overlord Mr. Fischoeder (Kevin Kline) to sell out for a lot of money, Bob pitches a dream to both Fischoeder and himself with “Nice Things Are Nice.” It was, at that point, the most integral a song had ever been to the plot of an episode, and it gives insight into the goals and aspirations of Bob and many of the other characters.

8. 'The Fart Song'

Another standout from the fourth season, “The Frond Files” is one of my favorite types of “Bob’s Burgers” episodes. It gives each Belcher child a segment to tell a fictional story, each paying tribute to seminal movie genres. Gene’s is naturally a “Grease” school musical parody, and the crowning achievement of it is “The Fart Song.” If you’ve ever wondered how many ways a fart can be described, “The Fart Song” will answer that question. Is it highbrow comedy? Not at all, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hysterical. I lost it the first time I heard farts described as “that loot in your chute,” a truly incredible lyric.

7. 'Nothing Makes Me Happier'

I am a fan of the silly “Bob’s Burgers” songs and the incredibly earnest “Bob’s Burgers” songs, which creates a fascinating ranking like “Nothing Makes Me Happier” appearing right next to “The Fart Song.” Another interaction between Fischoeder and Bob, “Nothing Makes Me Happier” finds Bob explaining why he cooks and what makes him happy. As a person who also loves cooking for other people, this ballad hits home. It’s got a big, powerful hook, and Bob’s reveal that as much as he loves cooking, he loves his family more, is moving.

6. 'It’s Not Magic It’s Tragic'

It might seem strange to have what is essentially just an end credits tag this high on the list, but just listen to it. Jazz is hard to do well, and “Bob’s Burgers” absolutely nails it. The drums are superb, the blaring horns exhilarating, and the scatting on point. The piano riff at the end is truly impressive playing, and the fact the show puts this much effort into a 30-second track is what has made it endure as long as it has. “Bob’s Burgers” does not do anything halfway, including this — what I consider its best outro song.

5. 'Bad Things Are Bad'

The companion to “Nice Things Are Nice,” things have taken a rough turn for Bob on “Bad Things Are Bad.” Left under the pier to drown with Mr. Fischoeder, the tune returns with a darker twist. On a personal level, I like the lyrics to this one more, as “maybe a lion is eating his face” as a possible location for Bob is hilarious. “Bad Things Are Bad” is also just smart musical writing, a perfect reprise that gives the earlier song new meaning while standing triumphantly on its own.

4. 'This Wedding Is My Warzone'

Benjamin has been asked to do a lot with his voice throughout “Bob’s Burgers,” and this song is his best singing performance. The Season 8 finale “Something Old, Something New, Something Bob Caters for You” finds the Belchers catering a wedding for a couple who met at the restaurant. Insecure after hearing about other “more important” professions, Bob sings “This Wedding Is My Warzone,” his declaration that his job matters and means something. The high notes Benjamin hits during the chorus are impressive, and the whole song is beautifully put together. More than anything, it gives us deep insight into Bob’s anxieties and the ambitions that define him, making it an important entry in the “Bob’s Burgers” annals.

3. 'I Love You So Much (It’s Scary)'

“I Love You So Much (It’s Scary)” is a perfect pop song. Boyz 4 Now’s Halloween track for Season 6’s “The Hauntening” has everything I adore. Spooky organs give atmosphere alongside shimmering synths that any modern boy band would be envious of. It has extremely forced rhyming schemes (rhyming “zombie” with “prom-bie”) that are charming and easy to sing along to, as well as an incredible chorus. This is Boyz 4 Now’s crowning achievement and a staple on my Halloween playlists.

2. 'Electric Love'

“Electric Love” is the song where the music on “Bob’s Burgers” truly came into its own. While the tracks from the first two and a half seasons are good, Season 3’s “Topsy” is the moment where I realized the music of this show was something special. As the kids put on a play based on the infamous electrocution of the titular elephant, they recruit Gayle and Fischoeder to sing for them. The result is an epic piece of music with a billowing chorus and a ton of heart. This is the moment “Bob’s Burgers” fully embraced its status as a musical powerhouse.

1. 'Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl'

Of course Gene would be the mastermind behind the top entry on this list. In the Season 5 premiere, “Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl,” Gene and his rival/ex Courtney put on competing musicals, based on “Die Hard” and “Working Girl,” respectively. By the end of the episode, they’ve decided to combine their shows into the titular production. The result is the song “Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl,” the show’s best track of them all. It’s a true epic, with thrilling lyrics, complex musicality, and a Carly Simon appearance. In a show with many amazing tunes, “Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl” is the crowning achievement.

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