Recap / Family Guy S 5 E 4 Saving Private Brian

Original air date: November 5, 2006

Brian and Stewie end up in the military after trying to get Chris out of a contract that calls for him to be drafted when he turns 18. Meanwhile, Chris gets into Marilyn Manson's music.

Tropes used in the episode:

  • Ambiguous Gender: Peter's initially unsure whether Marilyn Manson's a man or a woman.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Delivered by Marilyn Manson, of all people.
    Manson: So I see you're in a band.
    Chris: Yep.
    Manson: Listen, your parents tell me you've been acting out a little bit. And I just wanted to tell you, rock n' roll music is cool, but respect for your elders is a tune we can all dance to.
    Chris: Really?
    Manson: Sure. And the best way to start a fun-filled day of being a good citizen is with a healthy breakfast rich in breads and grains. And fruits are important, too.
    Chris: You mean like apples, oranges and bananas?
    Manson: Any of 'em, Chris. You can't miss.
    Manson: Peter, when was the last time you and Chris here did something together?
    Peter: Boy, I guess it's been a while.
    Manson: Here's something you might not know: Children crave structure. They enjoy the fun of planned activities in which they and their parent or guardian can share a common goal. Maybe you could take Chris fishing.
    Peter: What do you say, Chris? You want to go fishing with your old man?
    Chris: Do I?
    Manson: (holds up fishing poles) Can't go without these!
  • Bowdlerisation: On Channel 4 in the UK, the scene where Vern and Johnny are shot by Stewie is cut.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    Stewie: They'll come after you like Peter went after that hockey coach. [no cutaway] Oh, no clip? Oh, thought we had a clip. Nope. Okay.
  • Continuity Nod: When Brian's about to quit boot camp, Stewie chides him for never following through on anything, like dropping out of college and not finishing his novel, both of which were covered in episodes from season 4.
  • Killed Off for Real: Vern and Johnny meet their end when they get shot by Stewie.
  • Line Boil/Squigglevision: During the Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist cutaway. Also lampshaded:
    Peter: What the hell's wrong with you? Your skin's, like, movin' around or something.
    Dr. Katz: I believe I'm having some sort of seizure.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Scary, androgynous white guy Marilyn Manson is actually soft-spoken, down-to-earth and cares deeply about American youth (not too far from the man himself, but obvious exaggerated for comedy, and because the writers clearly don't know much about him outside of him having once been The New Rock & Roll).
  • Precision F-Strike: Lois thinks the Army is overrated:
    Lois: Now the Marines, those are the men you want to fuck.
  • Riddle Me This: A guard is distracted by one of these: "What gets wetter as it dries?" (answer: a towel)
  • Shout-Out: During the boot camp final exam, the theme from Stripes plays.
  • Spin-Off: In-universe, Everybody Loves Raymond gets a spin-off called Robert.
    Robert: (to Amy) I bet you Debra really gave it to Ray today. I bet you she made a sandwich that wasn't very good, but he ate it anyway. And then she got mad at him 'cause he gave her a funny look. (downbeat) I miss Ray. Ohhhhh...
  • Take That!: To Chris Gaines:
    Brian: It's so stupid! It's just Garth Brooks in a wig!
  • Toilet Humour: The Mickey Rooney's Crazy Pills cutaway features Rooney dumping down a chimney.
    Rooney: Hold out your stockings, kids!
  • Totally Radical: The army recruitment ad Chris is shown, which features, among other things, a soldier winning an Oscar in front of an audience of beautiful bikini-clad women.
  • Use Your Head: One cutaway featured Zinedine Zidane headbutting an old lady as a birthday telegram.
    Zidane: Bon anniversaire. [throws the birthday cake on her]