Recap / Family Guy S 12 E 4 A Fistful Of Meg
November 10, 2013
School bullying is a serious topic affecting many junior and senior high schools. Responses have been varied, depending on how the school administrations decide to deal with it. Most of them use their "zero-tolerance" policy effectively and have the bully expelled or suspended and sentenced to psychiatric counseling and/or time in juvenile hall. Other schools don't do such a good job and either ignore the problem or blame the victim.
That's the focus of A Fistful of Meg
, a semi-Very Special Episode
of Family Guy
that deals with fighting back against those who bully/harass you, as seen with Meg in the main story, as well as Brian in the sub-plot.
Mike Pulaski, a transfer student who presumably had been expelled from other high schools, transfers to James Woods High School, where Meg is a student. The administration is so stupid they admit him without question and let him get away with everything ... including making a very dark and ominous threat against Meg's life when she makes the mistake of spilling her lunch on him. Mike tells Meg to show up on Friday ... and it isn't going to be good note
Meg complains to Principal Shepard, but he won't help her, because he's wagering on the outcome of the upcoming fight (with Meg sure to lose). Meg then goes crying to Lois, begging to do something, even transferring to another school where she'll be safe, but Lois shouts her down and tells her that transferring is too expensive (never mind that Lois's parents are filthy rich and have the connections to send Meg to a private school, as they did so with Chris on "No Chris Left Behind").
Meg tries making a sex tape of herself to show on the school's closed-circuit television, but nobody watches ... except Stewie! Meg then (somehow) gets $1,000 to pay four of the toughest jocks to beat Mike up ... but Mike is up to the challenge and easily dispatches them. He even takes some of their blood and wipes a message on a wall reminding Meg that there is a fight on Friday.
When Meg goes crying to the bathroom, her last line of support — the few friends she actually has — abandon her, fearing their own safety. Meg is driven to despair when she hears a familiar voice: Glenn Quagmire, who has set up an office in the bathroom, a la
The Fonz on Happy Days
. Quagmire is willing to help Meg out, admitting that he was bullied (by a girl) as a teenager. After training, Meg is finally given the courage to face Mike in their long-anticipated fight.
Meg holds her own but then gets the upper hand by forcing a kiss on Mike, which grosses him out. She them pops a pimple in his face, which causes him even more distress before the coup de grace: She flashes her breasts at Mike. What would turn on a normal man obviously is so hideously horrifying when Meg does it ... so much so that when Mike sees it, he gruesomely melts in a manner similar to what happened to the Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark
Meanwhile, Peter keeps sexually harassing Brian by appearing nude in front of him, making crude jokes all the while. Wanna hear what the jokes were? No? Good — they're crude, let's just put it that way. In the end, Brian, at Stewie's suggestion, gets the upper hand by shaving his hair off, traumatizing Peter and giving him the hint to knock his behavior off.
"A Fistful Of Meg" contains examples of (YMMV goes here):
- Adults Are Useless: Played straight with the principal, who actually encourages the fight between Meg and her bully; averted with Quagmire, who actually helps her out.
- Also, as shown in Quagmire's past story in high school.
- Alliterative Name/Added Alliterative Appeal: Mental Mike. It also suits him well, because he's well, mental.
- The Bully: Mental Mike and Quagmire's former female bully.
- Body Horror: Brian's hairless body, and Mental Mike's death and his body.
- Butt Monkey: Both Meg and Brian, who actually win in the end (though Meg still dies, only it's because she masturbated with a hot dog and died of an infection from it).
- The Dreaded: Mike Polaski, a.k.a "Mental Mike"
- Dude, Not Funny!: This is Brian's reaction to Peter's constant nudity.
- Fan Disservice: Peter always showing up naked in front of Brian.
- Forceful Kiss: Meg gives one to Mike during their fight.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Peter suffers this when Brian shaves off his fur, and gives Peter a taste of his own medicine.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Peter taunts Brian by mailing his penis, collapses after losing too much blood, which he didn't pay attention to.
- Off Model: Brian is arguably this after he shaves himself. He's been shown without fur during the episode where the family goes swimming in a toxic lake (as well as a cutaway gag) and is drawn differently. More likely Played for Drama, however.
- The Pig Pen: Peter, as shown in the cutaway scene when he doesn't shower for six months.
- Please Put Some Clothes On: Brian to Peter throughout the episode, and Stewie to Brian in the final scene after Brian shaves himself.
- Put on a Bus: A year later, Meg's friends still have yet to reemerge from the shadows. Of course, that's assuming she forgives them for abandoning her.
- Running Gag: Peter showing up naked in front of Brian. Also, the "Menstrual Cycle" bike.
- Truth in Television: The uncaring administration when Meg complains that Mike has threatened her personal safety is, sadly, a real-life occurrence in too many junior high and senior high schools in America.note There is also the fact that Meg's friends deserted her because they could "be targeted for association" and the fact that, when Quagmire was being bullied, his classmates did nothing, both of which also occurs in real cases of bullying.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Brian thanks Stewie for suggesting he shave himself, to which Stewie simply snarks that he can't believe Brian went through with it, even though Stewie was clearly serious when he suggested it to Brian!
- With Friends Like These...: Meg's friends (the nerdy girls who sometimes hang out with her, despite many jokes and references to Meg not having any friends at all) refuse to help Meg in her hour of need.
- Would Hit a Girl and You Wouldn't Hit A Girl With Glasses: Mike had no problem fighting Meg Griffin.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Quagmire reveals he was hit several times by his bully – a girl – but he doesn't hit back.
- Subverted, as he claims he wished he had stood up to her (although there were other ways he could have done so).