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[S4E5] Turkey In A Can



The next morning, Bob finds his turkey dumped in the toilet. Furious, Bob scolds everyone, but the family insist that none of them did it. Meanwhile, Gene tries to write a "Thanksgiving carol" and enlists his mom and aunt to help him sing it. In an attempt to be considered adult enough to sit at the adult's table, Tina begins dressing more maturely and using what she perceives to be sophisticated catch phrases on adult topics, such as the economy and current events. The next morning, Bob is horrified to find his second turkey in the toilet again and no one steps forward.




[S4E5] Turkey in a Can



In order to do a one-day brine, Bob goes to purchase two turkeys, one to serve as a decoy for the turkey saboteur and one to be the real turkey. The butcher mistakes Bob's return as an excuse to see him. He tells Bob that he has a boyfriend, but tells him not to let his rejection discourage him, offering to set him up with his friend, who's into "sloppy bears." As Bob prepares the two turkeys, he describes his plan to Linda: the decoy turkey will be in the apartment fridge, but the real turkey will be hidden in the restaurant fridge. He swears her to secrecy, so that the turkey "terrorist" won't know. Bob also decides to hide in the kitchen, staying up late in order to catch the culprit, but falls asleep at midnight. The next morning, Bob finds both turkeys in the toilet. Bob is convinced Linda, the only other person to know of the two turkeys, is the saboteur, but Linda swears it was not her and the family reveals that Linda blabbed about the two turkeys, making all of them potential suspects once again.


Bob is determined not to let the culprit prevent him from cooking a turkey and purchases one more at the grocery store. The butcher once again mistakes this for Bob's affection toward him, and breaks down, stating that things with his boyfriend, Tony, haven't been good for a long time and that perhaps he is indeed ready for a change. He excitedly asks Bob where he wants to go for a date, but Bob, flustered, tells him that he's "straight...well, mostly straight" and not romantically interested in him, but that even if he was, the butcher is way out of his league. Bob runs away, saying that he probably won't see him tomorrow, but that he'll call him. Tina continues to try to win her way into the adults' table, while Bob successfully cooks the turkey in time for dinner. Before dinner starts, Gayle and Linda sing their sexually euphemistic Thanksgiving carol, but Bob, exhausted from staying up late, falls asleep and begins sleepwalking with the turkey. The family follows him, where he takes the turkey into the toilet, referring to the turkey as Tina, and trying to potty train it, causing it to fall into the toilet.


The mystery is then revealed: a side-effect of the cat allergy pills is sleepwalking. Bob's accrued anxieties over Tina growing up so quickly manifested as him taking the turkeys in his sleep, and trying to relive potty training Tina when she was an infant... just as he had potty trained all the kids when they were little. Tina assures her father that even though she's getting older, she'll always be his little girl, then the entire family hugs.


  • There's a Thanksgiving saboteur in the house, and Bob's attempts at catching the culprit and salvaging what he can drive him to madness. Meanwhile, Louise attempts to clear her name, Gene and Linda work on a Thanksgiving song, and Tina tries to prove herself worthy of the fabled adults' table.Tropes in a Can: Abhorrent Admirer: Mort is not interested in Gayle. She doesn't take the hint.

  • Ambiguously Bi: By the time Bob outright states he's "mostly straight", the only thing keeping his bisexuality ambiguous is that the show hasn't outright used the word "bisexual". It helps that Bob makes it clear that he would actually consider the deli guy's offer to go on a date if not for already being married (as well as thinking that he's not good enough for the deli guy).

  • Bottle Episode: Aside from a few brief scenes of Bob buying a replacement turkey, the entire episode takes place within the Belcher residence.

  • Brutal Honesty: When Linda offers her services to Gene's Thanksgiving song, Gene quickly tells her that he's keeping the profits and he's going to be very critical.

  • Call-Back: Tina is seen thrashing in her bed, just like "Bed & Breakfast".

  • The Comically Serious: As the deli guy continually flirts with Bob, Bob's focus is just on getting a turkey and trying to claim he's not a bad cook.

  • Crazy Cat Lady: This episode really hammers home how obsessive Gayle is with her cats since she drags all of them with her to the Belcher house for Thanksgiving. She also includes one she found on the way over, which was abandoned "On someone's porch".

  • The Ditz: Gayle's genuinely unable to realize she basically stole someone's cat.

  • Dreaded Kids' Table: Tina wants to sit at the adult table with the adults for Thanksgiving dinner, instead of at the kids' table with Gene and Louise. Despite her efforts to act more mature, Bob still refuses to let her eat at the adult table. When someone has been putting turkeys in the toilet, Tina is suspected of doing so as revenge for being denied her chance to eat at the adult table. While she didn't do it, she was indirectly responsible for Bob putting turkeys in the toilet, due to Bob's allergy medication making him sleepwalk and have dreams about potty-training Tina.

  • Forceful Kiss: When chaos occurs in the bathroom, Gayle kisses Mort. He tries to get her off of him.

  • Foreshadowing: Bob is seen sneezing and taking allergy pills as he rants about his ruined Thanksgiving, hinting to the reason he's sleepwalking.

  • Funny Background Event: When Bob claims that he's mostly straight, four shoppers in the background can be seen turning to directly look at him, as if they overheard him.

  • Group Hug: The Belchers get into a particularly sweet one at the end. Gayle, Mort, and Teddy join them, though Teddy hugs a bit too hard.

  • Here We Go Again!: The episode ends on a shot of Bob sleepwalking again, this time mistaking one of Gayle's cats for baby Gene.

  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Teddy's dad toilet trained him for seven years. From ages 7 to 14. Yikes.

  • Implausible Deniability: Louise dramatically concludes that it was actually Tina and Gene working together to ruin the turkey, in an attempt to frame Louise as revenge for her slowly stealing their allowances over the past five years. Then Tina and Gene reveal that they didn't know about that. Louise immediately retracts her accusation and assures them that she hasn't been doing that. The two sigh in relief.

  • Insists on Being Suspected: While Louise is listing off everyone's motives for putting the turkey in the toilet:Gayle: Maybe it was me!Bob: Was it?Gayle: No. I just started to feel left out.

  • Interrupted Bath: During Louise's presentation, her photo of Linda was taken while the latter was in the shower.

  • Jerkass Has a Point: Louise does have a point when she claims to have no motive for putting the turkeys in the toilet. She was the only one Bob didn't lash out at in the opening scene, leaving her with no reason to retaliate besides For the Evulz.

  • Karma Houdini: To this day, Gayle goes unpunished for kidnapping someone else's pet.

  • Loose Lips: Linda tells everyone about the second turkey Bob intended to keep secret. He actually didn't want to tell Linda because he knew she would do this.

  • Mistaken for Gay: Bob's repeated return to buy turkeys lead the deli guy to assume he's into him. He doesn't seem entirely wrong.Bob: Who am I kidding, you're out of my league.

  • Never Wake Up a Sleepwalker: Teddy advises Linda against waking a sleepwalking Bob, telling her he could get violent. This is Truth in Television, the real reason you never wake a sleepwalker is that they might attack someone from being startled, though Teddy seems to take it a bit too far.

  • No Sympathy: Poor Bob really doesn't get much help from the rest of the family when his turkeys keep ending up in the toilet, nor do they really take his concerns very seriously. The only reason Louise tried to figure out who did it was because everyone thought she was the culprit.

  • Not Me This Time: Louise is rather offended everyone automatically believes she put the turkeys in the toilet.

  • Only Sane Man: Bob seems to be the only one who recognizes that a turkey that's soaked in the toilet and covered in cat litter is completely inedible.Bob: Why does everyone want to eat food from the toilet all of a sudden?

  • The Reveal: It turns out Bob has been putting the turkeys in the toilets. The allergy medication he's been taking because of Gayle's cats made him sleepwalk while he was dreaming about helping Tina potty train.

  • Shout-Out: The Store Next Door is "Dr. Rangelove".

  • Bob's turkey recipe is called the "Father of the Brine".

  • While it's not seen in full, the Burger of the Day is the "Gourdon-Hamsey Burger".

  • They Just Don't Get It: The deli guy doesn't really let Bob explain that he really is just there to buy replacement turkeys, constantly thinking that he's there because of an attraction and it's clear he's just trying to get out of the rut of his current relationship. Whilst Bob say's he'll call him at their last encounter, this is never given a resolution at the episode's end, the deli guy having set himself up for inevitable disappointment.

  • Thought They Knew Already: Louise claims Gene and Tina were framing her for putting the turkey in the toilet as revenge for stealing their allowance, only they never knew about that, leading Louise to retract.

  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Had Gayle not brought all her cats with her (including one she outright stole) to the apartment, Bob wouldn't have been taking the allergy medication that made him sleepwalk, meaning no turkeys would've been placed inside the toilet.

  • Vegetarian Carnivore: Gayle mentions her cats being vegetarians.

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