main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Recap: Family Guy S 3 E 17 Brian Wallows And Peters Swallows
Airdate: January 17, 2002

After another bad date with a dumb blonde, Brian comes home depressed and Lois tells him that he must lower his standards to find someone he really loves. She then encourages him to go with Peter and his friends to a laser show. After the show, Brian is drinking behind the wheel and gets pulled over by Joe, who arrests Brian for driving while intoxicated. In court, Brian is sentenced to 100 hours of community service and is forced to take care of Pearl Burton, an elderly woman who has been shuttered in her house for 30 years. When Brian meets up with her, she proves to be a huge jerk to him and drives him crazy. When he finally has it with Pearl, he leaves and tells her to “drop dead”. Later, he watches E! Mysteries and Scandalsnote  and discovers that Pearl was once a famous commercial singer whose one attempt to sing professionally bombed with the audience and disappeared from public view. Feeling guilty for what he said, Brian goes back to Pearl’s house to apologize and arrives just in time to stop her from hanging herself.

When Brian says he loved the way she sang in the past, Pearl is thankful to Brian and the two get on even terms. When Brian suggests they go out together, Pearl admits she’s afraid to go outside after being cooped up for so long. Brian shows her through song that things have changed in 30 years and there are so much new things to see, but the minute Pearl goes outside, she runs into the street and is run over by a truck. Brian feels horrible for letting her outside, but Pearl reminds him that besides the truck, this was the happiest day of her life, but wishes she could spend more time with Brian. Brian then says he can and shows he brought over virtual reality glasses for them and they present a simulation of the two getting married and living happily together. After the simulation ends, Pearl quietly dies and Brian says a tearful goodbye.

Meanwhile, after watching The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams on TV, Peter decides to grow a beard. While eating at a restaurant, a bird makes a nest in Peter’s beard, but he can’t get it to go away because the bird is considered endangered. Peter tries to put up with the bird until he can’t stand it anymore and tries to shoot it. Lois stops him, but the bird finally flies away, leaving its just-hatched babies in Peter’s beard. Peter instantly takes a liking to them and raises them as if they were his own, but when they’re old enough to leave the nest, Peter tries to prevent them, but Lois convinces him to let them go and Peter releases them in a sad farewell. The episode ends with Brian and Peter at the Drunken Clam depressed over their losses, saying they’re not ready to go back to their types yet (women and birds respectively).

"Brian Wallows and Peter Swallows" contains examples of:

  • Bittersweet Ending: Seth Macfarlane considered this (at the time of the DVD release) the one episode that contained "real human emotion". Essentially, Pearl dies, yet gets to spend her last moments imagining what her life would be with Brian. Peter, meanwhile, has to release his birds, yet does so knowing they grew up.
  • Brick Joke: At the laser show, Mayor West is seen in love with his left hand. Later after Brian's court case is dismissed, West and his hand arrive in court to be wedded.
  • Butt Monkey: Brian
  • Chekhov's Gun: The virtual reality glasses from the show Peter and the guys go to plays a very important role in the final scene.
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger: Some versions of this episode cut to commercial just before Brian saves Pearl from her noose.
  • Disappointed In You: Joe tells Brian this when he arrests him.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: "You've Got a Lot to See".
  • Diving Save: Brian saves Pearl from hanging herself.
  • Double Entendre: In a Cutaway Gag, we see Brian selling food at a Hickory Farms store at the mall asking a man if he wants to taste his "smoked meat log", which gets him punched in the face.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Lampshaded when the ornithologist who tells Peter that his bird is endangered points out the irony of him going to a restaurant that exclusively sells poultry.
  • I Wished You Were Dead: Brian told Pearl to drop dead, only to feel bad when he finds out about her past and comes back just in time to stop her from committing suicide.
  • Interspecies Romance: Brian and Pearl. One simulation in the virtual reality scene is them having children both being humans and puppies.
  • Just Testing You: Pearl yells that she fell and can't get up and Brian comes to her aid, but it turned out to be a test.
    Pearl: Five point three seconds! I could have been dead by now!
  • Mood Whiplash: After Peal dies.
    Dr. Hartman: Hey, who wants to see a dead body!?
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Brian feels this way for letting Pearl go outside only for her to get run over.
  • Real Time: The scene with the de-lousing powder.
  • Shout-Out
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: When Mayor West marries his left hand in court, the judge asks this and West raises his right hand.
    Mayor West: Shut up! You had your chance.
  • Status Cell Phone: Brian sings a song about how society has changed since the 50's. He sings a line about a businessman with a cell phone and how busy his life must be, then mentioning how the phone will give him a tumor, but his doctor will see it and admit how cool he is.
    Those fancy cellphones, make people mumble "gee whiz, look how important he is, his life must rule!"
    He'll get a tumor, but on the surgery day, the doc will see it and say "Man, you must really be cool!"

Family Guy S 2 E 2 Brian Does HollywoodRecap/Family GuyFamily Guy S 3 E 19 Stuck Together Torn Apart

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy