March 29, 2009
At a Star Trek
convention, Peter makes Meg take a picture of what appears to be a fan dressed as a Klingon, but he actually has the mumps and since Meg didn't get a mumps shot, she contracts them. While Meg is sick in bed, she gets a TV rolled in and watches the religion channel. On the channel, she watches a show where Kirk Cameron preaches that God loves and cares for everyone on this earth, which makes Meg feel happy about herself and as a result, she becomes a born-again Christian.
When she gets better, she spreads new new-found wisdom to her family, where she starts getting on their nerves, especially atheist Brian. When Brian lets slip he’s an atheist, the Griffins are outraged and Meg tries to convert him to no avail. She then goes and tells everyone in town about Brian’s beliefs and he instantly becomes a pariah.
Since he’s banned from every bar in town for being an atheist, he has difficulties living without his precious booze, so he decides to pretend to be a born-again Christian so Meg and everyone else can respect him again. All goes well until Meg takes Brian to a book burning she wants to participate in. Brian is shocked and reveals his facade to Meg. When Meg asks him why he doesn't believe in God, Brian rebuffs by asking Meg why her “caring” God would put her on this earth to be treated like crap by everyone around her. Finally coming to her senses, Meg apologizes to Brian, but asks if there is no God, why does everything exist? Brian replies that that is the most exciting part of life and it will probably be a big thing once we find out. The camera then pans out to reveal that the entire Family Guy universe is inside a lamp in the bedroom of a live-action Adam West and Rob Lowe.
Meanwhile, at the convention, Stewie attends a Q&A session in hopes of asking questions to the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation
. However, he doesn't get a chance to ask any question and all the questions the fans ask are for menial problems not even related to Star Trek
. Furious, Stewie uses his teleporter to kidnap the cast and makes them spend the day with him. Throughout the day, the cast acts selfish and childish, which gets on Stewie’s nerves. At the end of the day, Stewie scolds the cast for ruining Star Trek: The Next Generation
for him and wishes that they all die.
"Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" contains examples of (YMMV goes here):
- Author Filibuster: Brian near the end.
- Author Tract: The popular audience reaction to this episode. On the DVD commentary, Seth MacFarlane and the other writers defend that the heavy-handedness was a mistake, as he was trying to be as evenhanded as he could with the moral, as religion and atheism are touchy subjects to approach for a TV show. Apparently, there was a hitch in the plan, if the Internet complaints on this website and others are indicative of anything.
- Book Burning: Meg attends one. Among the books burned are The Origin of Species, A Brief History of Space and Time and Logic for First Graders.
- Bowdlerization: Besides the usual bleeping for swearing being unbleeped on DVD, the part where Meg tosses a cross at Brian to get him to fetch it like a stick has it as a crucifix (and, as all Christians should know, the difference between a cross and a crucifix is that a crucifix has Jesus on it). Considering the content of the episode and the audience reaction, it seems silly that that Brian gnawing on a replica of Jesus would be one of the things that stuck in the censors' collective craws.
- Broken Aesop: "Religion is for intolerant jerks who don't believe in logic or science and following religion is for mindless sheep." (compare to The Simpsons season four episode "Homer the Heretic," which has the polar opposite Aesop, in that not following organized religion — be it Christianity, Judaism, or Hinduismnote — is a bad thing worthy of being scorned. Guess Family Guy and The Simpsons have more in common than fans think).
- Butt Monkey: Meg, moreso than usual. Heck, even Brian, considering he is goaded into accepting Christianity so he can have liquor again.
- Call Back: Brian previously mentioned to being an atheist in "Love Blactually".
- Car Meets House: When word gets out Brian is an atheist, a car gets thrown trough the wall.
Brian: I though he who is without sin can cast the first Prius.
- Demonization: Christianity
- Downer Ending: For Meg and Stewie.
- Godwin's Law: When word gets out that Brian is an athiest, his image appears on the news with the caption "Worse Than Hitler!".
- Jerkass: Meg for publicly shaming Brian. Brian's attitude for some. Peter also acts like one, although this is par for the course for him.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Brian's speech to Meg at the end.
- Kick the Dog: Meg makes the public hate Brian. Brian ends up retaliating by telling Meg that God doesn't exist with shallow points.
- Spell My Name with an S: Or pronounce, rather. "Hwil Hweaton!"
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech
Brian: Okay, fine, then let me ask you this. If there were a God, would He have put you here on Earth with a flat chest and a fat ass?
Meg: I'm...created in His image.
Brian: And if there is a God, why would He give you a smoking hot mom like Lois and have you grow up looking like Peter?
Brian: And what kind of God would put you in a house where no one respects and cares about you, not even enough to give you a damn mumps shot?!
- At the end, the TNG cast manages to piss off Stewie to the point where, as he's about to beam them back, he dishes one out to them.
"That... was.... exhausting. That whole experience.... was absolutely.... exhasusting! You people have ruined Star Trek: The Next Generation
for me. You are absolutely the most insufferable group of jackasses that I have ever had the misfortune of spending time with. I hope you all FUCKING die!"
- Take That: A massive one towards religion(and Kirk Cameron by proxy), YMMV on whether the episode was too mean-spirited or not.
- Tempting Fate:
Brian: Okay, this is the 21st century, people are tolerant. What's the worst that can happen?
(brick gets throwh through the window)
Brian: Probably just a random act of violence.
(car gets thrown to the wall)
- Trailers Always Lie: Most episode summaries in cable and TV guides and promos play up the whole "Stewie hangs out with the Star Trek: TNG cast" story, and viewers who just wanted to see that were very displeased that (a) the main story was about Meg, and (b) it portrayed religion as being for mindless idiots and atheism as being for smug idiots.
- Writer on Board: The episode has been criticized for being a soapbox for Seth MacFarlane to preach atheism, but if you listen to the DVD commentary, MacFarlane and the other writers (some of which are religious or had a religious upbringing, but aren't as devout) were actually trying to be as even-handed as they could with the whole religion vs. atheism argument, but do regret that they came off a little heavy-handed. As for regretting making the episode, they really don't, contrary to what's been heard, if only for the fact that they got to reunite and work with the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation.