Bob’s Burgers, “Can’t Buy Me Math,” (5.11) - TV Review


Bobs Math

Bob’s Burgers, Season 5, Episode 11, “Can’t Buy Me Math”

February 4th, 2015, 9:30 PM, FOX

Oh Tina Belcher. You’ve always been a lady of letters, quick to spin us a vivid portrait of erotic zombie-related butt touching. It turns out your weakest spot is the one thing quick clever wordplay can’t help you with: math. Under pressure to perform and knowing that another D means a summer of remedial math, she goes looking for a tutor, and ultimately turns to her friend Darryl. But Darryl’s got something else on his mind, and only agrees to tutor Tina if she’s willing to go to the Valentine’s Day dance with him. It seems that Darryl has ulterior motives – he wants to date eighth grader Rosa Bautista, who doesn’t know he exists. Darryl’s solution to the situation is simple: he’ll take Tina, they’ll win the school’s Cupid’s Couple contest, and when they break up – as per yearly tradition – both will be hot dating commodities, and he’ll be able to get Rose while Tina can reunite with her on again-off again crush Jimmy Pesto Jr. But Darryl lacks dating skills, so Tina offers to tutor him in turn – in being a boyfriend, but Tina soon finds herself attracted to Darryl for real.

Meanwhile Linda responds to Bob’s years of buckling under the pressure of trying to give her the perfect Valentine’s Day by announcing they’ll be doing “Valentine’s Days” this year; a full week of advent calendared goodness. While Linda thusly goes into overdrive planning a host of Valentine’s Day activities for herself, they both end up failing together in the romance department, until a final gesture from Bob sends them swooning.

This episode is adorable; as adorable as a fluffy kitten, mostly because it involves Tina at her romance-deluded but kind and forthright best. < The friendship she and Darryl develop is somehow downright rootable even when it becomes one-sided – you want to see them reach their goals, and besides, it’s always nice to see her flirt with a boy who isn’t Jimmy Jr. Her mistakes are forgivable, the moral lesson the episode delivers is honestly an excellent one, and something valuable that I hope any tweens watching the show will take to heart. The storyline is messy in the best way – it feels like the sort of thing a kid really would come up with to try and just the sort of thing to fail spectacularly in front of a large audience of their own peers. And then there’s Zeek trying to pick up the thirty year old bowling alley attendant

Bob and Linda’s story lies on the opposite crest; it’s downright raunchy fun, with their final scene being a knee-slapper with an injection of real heart. Those two crazy kids love each other in a way we haven’t seen in an animated married couple since Hank and Peggy Hill, and it’s a joy to behold their antics.

“Can’t Buy Me Math” is a kind-tempered and gently funny foray into burger fed romance that’s palate pleasing for all ages. The end result is a lovely episode that’s worth a second look.
The Roundup

  • Darryl appeared for the first time in season two’s “Burger Boss”, and has often appeared as a friend of the kids ever since teaching Bob how to succeed at video games. He’s voiced by comedian and actor Aziz Ansari.
  • Darryl also once peed down the slide in the second grade, which isn’t as embarrassing as admitting he spies on his elderly neighbors as they undress – which he did during the episode “Nude Beach.”

  • This week’s credit gags: Building Next Door: I’ve Got Crabs Hermit Crab Emporium Exterminator’s Truck: My Fair Spray-De Exterminators (Both repeats from Speakeasy Rider). Chalkboard: Let it Snow Peas Burger, Credits: Darryl performs his song in the .
  • That imaginary flash-forward of an elderly Tina with her grandchildren was adorable.
  • Linda’s romantic Valentine’s Days activities: sexy cooking, some misfires (and an actual fire), stripping and a bubble bath.
  • The movie’s plot is very loosely based on the 80’s Patrick Dempsey comedy ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’.
  • Next Week: Tina and Louise team up to help run Jimmy Pesto Jr’s class presidential campaign to keep Millie from winning and thus running the whole school. Meanwhile Bob grows obsessed with a $300 kitchen knife in “The Millie-churian Candidate”.

Cuteness counts, especially when we’re talking about Valentine’s Day episodes.

  • GREAT 8.5

About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of, has been watching television for all of her thirty-plus years, and critiquing it for the past seven. When she's not writing, she can be found in the wilds of the Northeastern United States.