Bob’s Burgers by Simon Carpenter (Simon-Carpenter) won Threadless’s Bob’s Burgers challenge, and it’s easy to see why. This is a design that encapsulates the two most prominent themes of the cartoon (burgers and community) and does so with gusto. From afar all you see is the minimal icon of a hamburger, but up close a whole world of faces is revealed. For fans, each face brings with it memories of the episodes in which those characters appeared. And even if you don’t remember the specific details, I like the way this image represents the true purpose of a restaurant- bringing people together with food. It’s the kind of shirt Bob Belcher would get excited about.
Erotic Friend Fiction Book Club by JBaz (JBaz) centers on one of Bob’s Burgers most memorable details, Tina’s oddball hobby of writing “erotic friend fiction.” It works as a shirt because it looks perfectly normal at first glance, since the Book Club text and book imagery is the most prominent. It’s only when people bother to read the top line that they’ll raise an eyebrow. The silliness of the writing is magnified by the seriousness that the design treats it with, which is a smart choice. Plus, by including Tina’s face peeking over the pages of the book, you can almost hear her awkward monotone voice reading aloud…
Gene Belcher Superstar by Mike Lopez (postlopez) calls attention to Gene’s habit of drastically changing his look and then declaring “This is me now!” It’s a relatable sentiment, since kids and teenagers do often try on different roles (albeit usually in a less exaggerated way), but the sheer exuberance and odd style choices make it okay to laugh at that part or yourself. This assortment of five looks does a good job of capturing his wide-spanning range of influences, and since it ends on a mini-Bob look where he imitates his father it’s kind of a feel-good piece as well. Seeing that, it’s easy to picture him growing up to take over the restaurant, keeping it mostly unchanged (but with more musical burger names).
Wonder Wharf by Nicholas Ginty (Gintron) is the kind of shirt I always love, because it feels like an authentic relic from the Bob’s Burgers universe and therefor lets you feel like you’re a part of that world when you’re wearing it. Wonder Wharf is where so much of the show’s action takes place, and this feels plausibly like the kind of design you’d find in a t-shirt shop at that location. With its white ink print, soft edges and light distress texture, it’s a vintage tee about a piece of modern pop culture for a place that never existed. Sounds fun to me!
Skullouise by tides (tides) takes a traditional skull and crossbones and, with a couple of minor edits, makes it perfectly Louise. The skull and crossbones is a symbol that makes sense for the character, since like a pirate she can be quite mercenary and dangerous. In that sense, her trademark pink bunny ears hat sort of suckers you into seeing her as innocent, when in reality she’s the source of the siblings’ most outrageous schemes. I like that her favorite stuffed animal is also along for the ride, nestled below the bones- she is a kid, after all, no matter how many evil plans she concocts. A little sweet, a little scary- yup, that’s Louise Belcher, alright.
Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Most winners earn $1 minimum per item sold (learn more about Threadless artist payments).