Recap / Family Guy S 2 E 12 Fifteen Minutes Of Shame

Original air date: April 25, 2000

Embarrassed over Lois and Peter's antics at the Quahog Founder's Day carnival and her own slumber party, Meg gets Lois, Peter, and Chris invited on Diane Simmons' daytime talk show to call them out on their behavior. After the show, Peter meets a TV producer who makes a reality show out of the Griffin family's life (or, as Meg calls it, "The 24-Hour Loser Channel") — and replaces Meg with a Hotter and Sexier teen actress, which cuts into Peter's time onscreen.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Annoying Laugh: When Fran Drescher takes over the role of Lois on the reality show, she frequently emits her trademark laugh. Lois, annoyed, grumbles, "Ugh, I do not sound like that."
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Wilshard informs Lois and Peter that they can't quit the reality show because they signed a contract, Peter says, "Here's what I think of your contract!" You think he's going to rip it up (which would be the cliched thing to do), but he merely hands it back to him and says, "I think it's awful and I don't much care for it at all, good sir."
  • Bowdlerize: Free-TV syndication cuts the entire sequence of Peter stopping at the gas station and getting out of the car butt-naked (after he loses his swimming trunks at the Quahog Founder's Day carnival).
    • The scene where Meg walks in on Quagmire having sex with a woman on his kitchen counter is also cut in syndication (and was cut when FOX reran this show around the time that Family Guy was coming back and the network aired reruns — and the banned episode "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" — to prepare for its return).
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In-universe at the restaurant. Meg demands the cameras be turned off, so Chris says not to break the fourth wall.
  • Confession Cam: Naturally used on the Griffin reality show.
  • Continuity Nod: The replacement actors recreate the "drank at the stag party" scene.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Implied at Meg's slumber party; Lois spots Chris behind the couch and tells him to get out; he says he can't, so Lois compromises: "OK, finish up and then come out."
  • Hint Dropping: At a seafood restaurant, Lois tells Meg to put her bib on. Meg is confused why a teenager would need a bib; Lois persists, and Peter is blunt: "She means your nipples are sticking out."
  • Hypocritical Humor: Lois insists she sounds nothing like Fran Drescher. That's not the real Drescher, though; that's Alex Borstein (Lois) imitating her.
  • Informed Flaw: Parodied. The replacement for Meg bemoans not being attractive.
  • Literal-Minded: When Meg is embarrassed by her family at her slumber party, she says, "God, kill me now." Cut to Heaven where God is about to shoot her with a sniper rifle. Luckily for Meg, God is interrupted by a phone call from someone named Karen.
  • Naked People Are Funny: After the Griffins' trip to the beach, Peter stops at a gas station and exits the car fully nude (a Brick Joke from the fact that he lost his trunks earlier while playing the Quahog Clam). He even runs into Kevin from next door.
  • Non-Answer: When Wilshard informs Lois that she's very popular amongst the 25 to 49 female demographic:
    Peter: What about me?
    Wilshard: (laughs) You?! Look, the bottom line is you folks are still under contract, OK?
  • The Other Darrin: In-universe, this is what happens to Meg; she's replaced by a more attractive version of herself to increase ratings. When the rest of the family quits, Tom Arnold plays Peter, Fran Drescher is Lois, "that fat guy from Boogie Nights" is Chris, and the Olsen twins play Stewie and Brian.
  • Out of Focus: When the new Meg is a hit on the show, the camera crew doesn't want to focus on anybody else. In one scene, new Meg barges into a scene and whines about her day, and runs up to her room; the camera crew follow in hot pursuit, leaving the rest of the Griffins downstairs.
  • Overly Prepared Gag: Peter wants to make a sitcom about being a retired baseball umpire who opens a bar at the center of the Earth just to make this joke: "You, are, OUTTA HERE!"
  • Prank Call: Stewie and Brian prank call Diane's talk show, using the old "Do you have Prince Albert in a can?" joke.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the Cold Open, Peter paints a portrait of the family from Family Ties.
    • A scene from the "Abyssinia, Henry" episode of M*A*S*H is recreated with the Griffins.
    • The ending of the episode, where Meg types her diary on a computer while synthesized music plays, is a reference to Doogie Howser, M.D..
    • Diane's talkshow format and set could be a reference to Jerry Springer and or Maury
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: When Lois is given an unflattering subtitle on the talk show, she says, "Oh, go (fuck) yourself, Diane."
    Stewie: She said a swear!
  • Spin-Off: Peter was hoping for one and has a cutaway about it: he's a retired baseball umpire running a bar at the center of the Earth.
  • Stock Footage: The cutaway where Peter remarks that Jesus must have been wasted 24 hours a day from having blood made of wine is recycled from the first episode, "Death Has a Shadow". Subverted in that, when "Shadow" first aired, that gag wasn't shown due to censorship, so its inclusion here was new at the time.
  • Take That!: To Cybill Shepherd:
    Stewie: You! Cameraman! Make sure you use that Cybill Shepherd filter. If it makes her look half-human, it'll take six months off my face.