My Favorite Scene: 'Bob's Burgers' Creator Loren Bouchard on the Inspiration Behind Tina's Horse Obsession
By Stacy Lambe
No one loves a great scene more than the person who first
dreamed it up -- the writer. We're asking iconic shows' creators and writers to
tell ET all about the moment on their series that they most cherished getting
to see make it from script to screen.
Ahead of Bob’s
Burgers’ 100th episode and season six finale, Loren Bouchard, creator of the Fox animated comedy about the
dysfunctional Belcher family running a burger restaurant, opens up about his
favorite moment involving eldest daughter Tina (Dan Mintz).
For Bouchard, it’s when she “breaks up” with her
imaginary horse, Jericho (Paul Rudd), in the season six episode, “The Horse
Rider-er.” Sitting in her room on the morning of her first day of horse camp,
Tina informs Jericho that she’s not going to need her imaginary friend now that
she’s going to ride a real horse. It comes as a shock to Jericho, who, as
Bouchard puts it, is a “super-confident heartthrob black stallion who never
thought he’d be left behind.”
To me, this scene is reminiscent of scenes that we’ve
written for Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) in the past, where he gives a voice to an
inanimate object and then appears to have an argument with it. I love this idea
-- that you’re essentially having a conversation with yourself but you’re
disagreeing with yourself and even surprising yourself. I think we all do it
far more often than we think. In this case, poor Jericho just didn’t see it
coming and he didn’t even have the right outfit on -- Tina had him in cut-off
jean shorts for some reason.
Nora Smith wrote this episode and the sad, beautiful fact of
the matter is she had an imaginary horse when she was younger. Apparently his
name was Oaky, and her friends humored her when she proposed that they all ride
their imaginary horses. I thought giving this story to Tina made perfect sense,
because she lives so much in her head. And this is what great writing looks
like, in my opinion -- a new idea that makes you say, “Of course," as soon
as it’s set down. Of course Tina has
an imaginary horse named Jericho. Of course she does.
Tina is self-conscious and unselfconscious in a beguiling
combination that I think I and our writers and our fans understand in a very
basic way. She has a really rich
internal life but she’s always being drawn out of her shell by her heart and
her sense of what’s right and what’s going to feel good. I like to think that
all of the characters on the show follow their hearts, but a 13-year-old girl
figuring out what she wants and going after it without any embarrassment is
especially poignant, I think.
For instance, why does any girl become obsessed with horses?
I’d guess mostly because it’s about a relationship -- and the success of your
relationship is revealed in the ring. In theory, if you take the time to understand
your horse and build trust, you’ll get the blue ribbon. That’s why I love
this episode -- because Tina feels all of this going into it and romanticizes
it all, but then she doesn't bond with her horse (and it’s not for lack of
trying). And how she deals with that situation is what makes her a great and
interesting character, in my opinion.