Okay so I really want an episode of Bob’s Burgers where Tina is actually diagnosed with autism.
Because let’s face it, she’s probably on the spectrum.
Like, let’s assume that maybe one day a doctor of some sort (pediatrics?) comes to the restaurant and after some time there observing the weird family dynamics, casually makes a comment about Bob’s autistic daughter. Bob, of course, is confused at first, then realizing that Doctor is talking about Tina, of course denies it. Because naturally he would, since he believes she isn’t.
Doc: Well, but she’s doing that thing-
Bob: What? Oh, you mean that? That’s just a Tina thing. She does that. Like, yeah, she’s kind of weird, but that’s just what she does.
Doc: Normal kids don’t do that, Bob.
Bob: They don’t?
Doc: No. Of course they don’t. That’s pretty typical behavior for a child with autism. I would know. I’m a doctor. It’s my job to know. I have several autistic patients. I know these things.
So suddenly the family acknowledges, with a measure of shock, that Tina is on the autism spectrum. Bob’s reaction is something like this:
Bob: Oh…my god. Tina, you’re autistic! I can’t believe I never realized that before. Like, of course you are. How did I not see it before this moment right now?
Linda naturally gets upset and becomes worried about her “little baby!”
Louise, of course, knew the whole time and is far from surprised at the diagnosis. Actually, she’s more surprised that no one else figured it out.
Louise: Of COURSE Tina’s autistic! I told you guys, like, forever ago! But no one listens to me apparently, even though I have SOOO much knowledge. I’m just this …OCEAN of knowledge over here! But no one listens to me, noooooo! I know so many things! Especially about Tina.
Gene probably has no idea what autism even is, and probably thinks it’s contagious and starts to freak out. Louise of course plays off his fears.
Gene: Tina, do we need to take you to a hospital? Are you going to DIE??
Louise: What? No, Gene, Tina’s not going to die…although…YOU could. Watch out, Gene, do you realize how contagious autism is? Why are you that close to her, for god’s sake, get away from her! You were so worried about HER dying now YOU might die, Gene! In fact, it’s not even a question in my mind anymore, Gene! You are DEFINITELY going to die. Might as well get your affairs in order.
Gene: *screaming in fear of death by autism*
Tina, poor thing, feeds off the shock and fear of her family and feels all those things but worse.
And of course she’s probably afraid of what the kids at school will say when they find out she’s autistic, especially Jimmy Jr. Turns out, though, that Jimmy Jr. is totally not fazed by it at all.
Jimmy Jr.: I’ve…never had an autishtic friend before. That’sh pretty cool ackshually.
His reaction is a total relief for Tina, who at this point begins to accept her diagnosis and move on.
Meanwhile, Gene is busy at Mort’s picking out the most comfortable coffin for himself, with Louise’s help. Mort thinks it’s a little weird, but decides not to argue. Louise is a little intimidating, after all.
Somewhere towards the end of the episode, though, Teddy makes some offhand comment that goes something like this:
Ted: Wow, you know, Tina’s just not the same since she got autism. Like, she’s suddenly so…AUTISTIC, you know? Like, she keeps doing those…autistic…things…
Bob: What? No. Teddy, what are you talking about? Tina’s exactly the same as she’s always been. She does the same things, and likes the same things, and makes the same weird noises and ohmYGOD. TINA!
Bob: You’re TINA!
Bob: No, I mean, you’re you! You’re the same Tina you’ve always been. Just because we know you’re autistic now, doesn’t make you any different. You’re still the same person you always were before, we just…have a word for it now. No, that’s not true either. We’ve always had a word for it. And that word is TINA!
And basically everyone ends up happy and accepting of Tina’s new status on the autism spectrum, and realizes that she’s exactly the same person she always was.
Also, Gene charges the cost of a coffin to the restaurant.