Bob’s Burgers considers the hidden dangers of flirting with aliens

It was never going to be aliens. A lot of Bob’s Burgers’ animated siblings have an elastic enough continuity that it would be at least possible for actual aliens to pick up the kids’ signal—even The Simpsons did kind of canonize Kang and Kodos, to say nothing of still more off-the-wall shows like South Park or Family Guy—but the Belchers’ suspension of disbelief tops out at right around a two-butted goat. Since there’s no actual danger Tina and her science fair partner Susmita will actually contact extraterrestrials, the trick for “UFO No You Didn’t” is giving their story some semblance of stakes or a point. Otherwise, the episode risks being just too silly to work, reliant entirely on the solid but minor amusement of watching Tina and Susmita painstakingly lay out a detailed first contact procedure that will obviously fail. Indeed, that’s still the source of a good chunk of the episode’s low-key humor. Tonight’s episode doesn’t hide the fact that nothing much is happening outside the kids’ fervent imaginations. It’s just that, by story’s end, “UFO No You Didn’t” offers a simultaneously funny and heartfelt argument for why Tina and company’s wild imaginings matter.

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