Peter and Lois are in a meeting with the principal of Chrisí school to discuss his recent bad behavior. At home, Peter and Lois have a talk with each other about Chrisí future and Lois admits that she feels embarrassed about him. Unfortunately, Chris overheard them and his self-esteem is destroyed. Feeling bad about what they said, Peter and Lois decide to send him to a camp and he picks a space camp in Cape Canaveral. Chris fails to fit in and calls his family to pick him up. When they arrive, Chris gives them a tour of the space shuttle before they leave, but Stewie pushes the launch button and the Griffins are lauched into space.The words gets out of the Griffinís predicament and mission control tries to get them to safety, but when the reception is lost, Peter attempts to fix it, but only succeeds in losing communication entirely. As the family tries to land the shuttle themselves, the shuttle spins out of control. Chris uses what he learned at space camp to straighten out the shuttle and he successfully gets the family back to Earth. Chris is declared a hero and his family thanks him for saving them.
"Space Cadet" contains examples of (YMMV goes here)
- Brick Joke: Consuela is interviewed by a reporter over how she feels about the Griffins possibly being dead and she takes the house. When the Griffins finally return to Earth and come home, they find the house in Consuela's neighborhood (which is run-down, has chickens in the yard, two Latino thugs on the sidewalk, and a bonfire burning from an oil drum).
- Butt Monkey: Chris surprisingly more than Meg in this episode, though the writers do acknowledge that she does get treated like crap (and Meg does tell off Peter with a well-placed "Fuck you").
- Captain Obvious: In the spaceship when the Griffins are unwillingly launched into space:Brian: I think we're launching!
- Chekhov's Classroom
- Genius Ditz: Chris
- Hypocritical Humor: Lois points out how she was ashamed of calling Chris stupid, yet they verbally abuse Meg all the time and don't seem to mind (unless the writers decide to shed some reality on it and show that the verbal abuse is not okay).
- Konami Code: Peter says the code while trying to fix the shuttle.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Lois when she finds out Chris heard her and Peter secretly badmouth him.
- Special Edition Title: The usual title sequence is replaced with a parody of the opening to Monty Python's Flying Circus.
- Take That!
- Chris' principal shows a drawing Chris sent in as his advanced art project, which is a picture of Bob Belcher. Peter and Lois are ashamed and embarrassed, and the principal says, "Someone should be."
- Peter watches Breaking Bad, which is shown to hypnotize people to constantly say that Breaking Bad (and The Wire) are the best shows on TV.
- When Peter mentions the family passed a Down Syndrome camp, Lois corrects him that it was the University of Florida.
- When Chris' camp counselor sees him with a Russell Brand haircut and voice, he is amused by his Cockney British accent and gives him money to be on TV.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: As a prank, Chris and Stewie open the shuttle's payload doors while Meg is in the cargo hold, blowing her into the void of space. Naturally, she appears later with no explanation.
- What Does This Button Do?: When Chris shows the family the launch button in the shuttle, Stewie is intrigued and presses it, sending the family into space.
- Whole Plot Reference: The plot is a lot like the film Space Camp.