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Bob's Burgers Theory: The Show Takes Place in Massachusetts
Bob’s Burgers Theory: Why the Show May Actually Take Place in [SPOILER]
In a network dominated by two animation titans in The Simpsons and Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers was the little engine that managed to become the third part of Fox’s adult cartoon trifecta. Like plenty of its peers, Bob’s Burger would not exist without The Simpsons and, like the latter, the former takes a page from their book by not specifically revealing exactly where their little town takes place.
The reason why the Springfield model works well in Bob’s Burgers is that it allows all Americans to identify with the dysfunctional but lovable Belcher family. However in 2017, a writer name Taylor Cormier wrote and published a theory on his local news site explaining why his own hometown is where Bob’s Burgers is based on. That town is New Bedford, Massachusetts, not too far from Family Guy’s setting, Quahog, Rhode Island.
While it’s easy to dismiss a fan who can identify with the show and theorize that it takes place in their hometown, Cormier lists out some interesting similarities between New Bedford and the show’s location. First off there’s the fact that it’s a shoreside community like New Bedford, he also sites an EW article in which the show’s creator Loren Bouchard confirmed that the show does take place in the Northeast area. His next point are the parallels between New Bedford’s Chowder Festival and Bob’s Burgers Lobsterfest, which was the title of one of their earliest episodes. Both settings have a festival dedicated to crustacean food because that’s how much the locals love it.
New Bedford also had its own Wonder Warf theme park at one time called Acushnet Park. Although that amusement park was destroyed by a hurricane, the theory argues that Wonder Warf may have been inspired by New Bedford’s old park. Then there are the similarities between their local magazines. In an episode titled “Glued, Where’s My Bob?”, Bob Belcher is on the cover of his town’s publication called Coasters Magazine. New Bedford has its own local magazine called SoCo Magazine which stands for South Coast.
Perhaps Cormier’s best reasons as to why Bob’s Burgers is based in New Bedford is the fact that in the Season 3 episode “Full Bars”, the Belcher kids take a short ferry ride to King’s Head Island for better Halloween treats. In New Bedford, people can take a ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard, a place worthy of a name like King’s Head Island. And finally, there is the most concrete proof that the show takes place in New Bedford. The Belcher kids go to a middle school where there school team nickname is the Whalers, and New Bedford’s high school team name is also the Whalers.
So each of those points Cormier made have some merit to them. Bob’s Burgers comes off no different than any shoreside town in the Northeast. But what does the show’s creator have to say about where it was inspired from?
Co-creator Loren Bouchard did grow up in New England, hence why the show’s setting is inspired by that area, but in the same Entertainment Weekly interview from earlier, he also confirmed that he doesn’t want it to be exactly in New England because, “Family Guy has Rhode Island sewn up. But basically I picture it somewhere in the outer boroughs or on the northern Jersey Shore.”
So overall Cormier isn’t wrong to think that his hometown inspired Bob’s Burgers, and had it not been for Family Guy, maybe the show would have been specifically placed in New England. Either way, millions can still identify with Bob’s Burgers because it draws inspiration from several parts of the North East.
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