Peter meets his new neighbor, a wheelchair-bound cop named Joe Swanson, who wins everyone over with his athleticism and harrowing tales of being a police officer. While Peter sets out to be as big of a hero as Joe, Stewie thinks Joe is a cyborg and deduces that his wheelchair is the secret to his powers and Meg tries to flirt with Joe's son, Kevin.
"A Hero Sits Next Door" contains example of:
- Aesop Amnesia: Occurs immediately to Peter at the end:Peter: I guess being a hero isn't always about saving lives and catching bad guys. It's also about just being there for the people you love.
Old woman: Help! Someone just stole my purse!
Peter: Who cares? I don't even know you.
- Bank Robbery
- Characterization Marches On: When Meg hits on Kevin, he's slow to respond, but that's because she was so awkward. By the end of the episode, he seems to genuinely enjoy her company. Compare to present day when boys will do anything to stay away from her, like commit suicide or murder a sibling so they can be too busy with an upcoming funeral.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In this episode, Peter cares what his family thinks about him and Joe has self confidence and doesn't let his disability get to him. Plus, he's popular around town, as opposed to being treated like a joke for his disability.
- Hollywood Tourette's: Peter's cover for why he got upset at Joe asking to borrow a screwdriver. note
- Tongue-Tied: "Holy crip, he's a crapple!"