Fan Theory: Is ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Based in New Bedford?
I'm a huge fan of Bob's Burgers, the hit animated show on FOX. It's cleverly written with humor of almost every sort. I've watched the entire series a total of three times. Yes, I have a life. But it's really that good!
Watching the show, I wondered where the fictional town the Belcher family lives in is supposed to be located. Adding up a few clues, I can't help but think that Bob's Burgers is actually based on New Bedford!
Here are a few reasons why my theory may just add up:
It's a Shoreside Community
I know what you're thinking. There are a lot of shoreside communities in America. The show's creator, Loren Bouchard, talked about where the show is loosely supposed to take place and says it is set in the Northeast. While it seems to be a culmination of New England-ish towns, there's a lot more New Bedford to it than even he realizes.
In one of the episodes in the first season, appropriately titled "Lobsterfest," Bob Belcher doesn't understand the town's fascination with lobster. The people love the crustacean so much, they hold a festival complete with a parade and many lobster-based treats.
Hmmm, kind of sounds a little bit like New Bedford's own Chowder Festival, or even the Taste of Southcoast. Being a fishing community, we have many great chefs that create meals so tasty that we hold actual festivals to gather and gorge ourselves.
We had a Wonder Wharf....Kind of
Did you know that New Bedford once had a seaside amusement park?
Sure, everybody remembers Dartmouth's Lincoln Park, but New Bedford's Acushnet Park was pretty awesome. It was located right across from Fort Taber Park. The location is now a parking lot and a residential area, but it used to have a roller-coaster, various other amusement rides, and Dan's Pavilion where you could eat and dance the night away.
Acushnet Park was destroyed by a hurricane in 1944, but I think it may very well have given some inspiration to Wonder Wharf, which is right down the street from the Belchers.
In the episode "Glued, Where's My Bob?," Bob's restaurant is set to be featured in Coasters Magazine, which appears to be a local publication that spotlights eateries and other happenings in the area?
Remind you of anything? How about SoCo Magazine? SoCo obviously stands for South Coast, and features many of the same things the ficticious Coasters magazine might publish.
In Season 3, Episode 2, "Full Bars," the Belcher kids are disappointed with their candy harvest from their usual neighborhood stops on Halloween. Ever the schemer, Louise convinces Gene and Tina to hop the ferry to the much more affluent community on King's Head Island, where the residents are sure to pass out king-size Snickers.
Anybody know an island full of rich people that's accessible via ferry ride from New Bedford? That's right. Martha's Vineyard.
Probably the most conclusive and concrete evidence on this list is the mascot of the Belcher kids' middle school. Gene, Louise, and Tina attend Wagstaff Middle School where their team name is the Whalers, with the mascot resembling Captain Ahab (without the wooden leg) holding a harpoon.
Gee, I wonder what school around here also shares the same team name. Of course! The New Bedford High School Whalers! Coincidence? I think not!