"We're off, on the Road to Rhode Island"
: May 30, 2000.
On a farm/puppy mill in Austin, Texas, there is one puppy in a litter that can walk and talk, and is trying to open a bottle of Excedrin for his headache ("Excedrin headache number one: puppy mill"). The puppy tries to get milk from his mother, when he is pulled away, screaming for her.
"...and that was the last time I saw her."
Flash foward to seven years later. Brian is relaying the story of his last seconds with his mother to his psychiatrist, who he previously talked to about his romantic feelings with Lois. Apparently, this has turned him into even MORE of an alcoholic. He decides to get away from it all and pick up Stewie from his grandparents summer home in Palm Springs, California.
He goes to pick Stewie up from the grandparents house, and winds up grabbing a drink and flirting with a woman at the airport bar. He gets so drunk, Stewie loses the plane tickets as he goes to get Brian, so the two wind up at a seedy motel. The next day, they are chased from the motel for having a bad credit card. They hotwire a car, which is eventually towed as they are not looking. The two then decide to try and fly a plane home..... and wreck it within seconds.
Stewie and Brian then hitch-hike to Austin, where the two wind up at Brian's old puppy mill. He tries to find his mother, which he does... as a end table. The two wind up taking Brian's mother to give him a proper burial.
On a train ride home, Brian tries to apologize to Stewie. Stewie responds that he liked the trip, and the two wind up singing a duet on the train. They wind up at home without any other hitches, and Brian thanks Stewie for covering for him, as the latter states that the trip was "Smooth sailing through calm seas".
Meanwhile, Lois tries to improve her communication skills with Peter by ordering VHS tapes that appear to be relationship tapes. However, the tapes contain an instruction that women leave the room... and the psychiatrist turns out to be a stripper-cum-porn star. Peter becomes addicted to the tapes, yet is found out by Lois... who then overwrites one of the tapes with HER stripping. ("If you wanted to see a woman acting nasty... you should have told me
It is worth noting that this episode is considered by fans and critics alike the peak of FamilyGuy
's writing. It is the only episode to get a 10/10 on IGN, representing that the episode is a "Masterpiece". The episode was also nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Then One Hour)".
"Road to Rhode Island" contains examples of (YMMV goes here):
- All Men Are Perverts: The "Men-only" part of the tapes that Peter and Lois get contain pornography.
- Bait and Switch:
Brian: Hey kid, thanks for not ratting me out. Is there anything I can do for you?
Stewie: It's on this afternoon, you can tape it for me. And put a nice label on it.
- Black Bra and Panties: Lois surprises Peter with this after finding out about the tapes.
- Foreshadowing: As the two sleep, Brian is licking Stewie, causing the latter to proclaim "That's it, Mr. Giraffe. Get all the marmalade". This was as Stewie began shifting from an evil genius bent on killing his mother and/or taking over the world into a Bisexual Jerk with a Heart of Gold who pretty much abandoned his mission to kill Lois and/or rule the world.
- Freudian Slippery Slope: Peter, when he talks about the tapes:
Peter, $49.95 for a counselin' tape? Peter:
Now Lois, our marriage can't be measured in nipples and dimes
. I mean nickels and boobs. ...money.
- Gigantic Gulp: Brian drinks wine out of one.
- Shout-Out: The episode (and it's sequels) is similar to the "Road To" film series from the 1940s. This episode, however, bears the most resemblance to the film series, especially "Road To Morocco". In fact, the song "Off on the Road to Rhode Island" is a modern remake of "Off on the Road to Morocco"
- Too Soon and Keep Circulating the Tapes: When this episode originally aired pre-9/11, there was a scene in which Stewie sings The Good Ship Lollipop to distract airport security officers from finding weapons in his luggage. After Stewie distracts him, he mutters, "Let's hope Osama bin Laden doesn't know showtunes," followed by bin Laden appearing and singing, "God I Hope I Get It". Following the 9/11 attacks (and news that Seth MacFarlane was supposed to be on the flight that crashed into the World Trade Center, but missed his flight because his agent gave him the wrong flight info), this scene was cut. It remained cut on Cartoon Network airings and on the season two DVD set, but is present on Netflix, in all languages.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: Since Brian and Stewie are out of the house, they get the A-plot to themselves.