The Bob's Burgers Writers Are Still Figuring Out Marshmallow's Return - Exclusive

Marshmallow, a transgender sex worker who "comes and goes as she pleases, answers to no one, and is truly free," became a fan favorite character over the course of the first eight seasons of "Bob's Burgers." She's one of the friendliest supporting characters on the show, and the Belcher family's acceptance of her was progressive when so many other TV comedies have — and still — balk at the idea of casting both trans women and sex workers. Since Season 8, however, Marshmallow hasn't made a single appearance on the show.

In June 2020, following the recasting of several Black cartoon characters that had been previously voiced by white actors, series creator Loren Bouchard confirmed that Marshmallow was also going to be recast, per CBR. While Marshmallow is a Black trans woman, she was originally voiced by David Herman, a white cisgender man. Gender may be less important than race in regards to this particular casting, given that "Bob's Burgers" is an animated show where men play women and women play men regularly, but growing sensitivities towards the broader problem of trans woman roles being given to cis male actors might also factor into recasting equation.

Two years later, Marshmallow has yet to return to the series (she appears in a non-speaking role dancing during the end credits of "The Bob's Burgers Movie"). Looper got to speak with Bouchard, writer/producer Nora Smith, and director/producer Bernard Derriman about "The Bob's Burgers Movie," and we asked about the status of Marshmallow's eventual recasting and return.

Marshmallow's return is a challenge for the writers

Those hoping for Marshmallow's return to happen soon might be disappointed, but rest assured that the "Bob's Burgers" crew is doing their best to make sure they do justice to her when she does come back. "We'd love to recast [her]," said Bouchard. "We are still finding our Marshmallow and we are still excited to do that. That character means a lot, and we love when a character means something. It feels a little like handling a live wire, and it's a little bit humbling when you find out that this character means more than a vehicle for a writer to write a funny line and walk in and walk out. That's a character that means something."

Bouchard and Smith say that everyone wants to do Marshmallow's return right: The writers, the animators, the board artists, the designers. According to Smith, it's something that the writers are particularly occupied with: "It's almost like a challenge to all the staffed writers, like who can come up with the best re-entrance of Marshmallow. It's a challenge for ourselves."

"The Bob's Burgers Movie" is now in theaters.