Recap / Family Guys S 5 E 6 Prick Up Your Ears
November 19, 2006
After catching Chris and his friends watching stolen porno videos and Chris telling her that the school doesn't have sex education classes, Lois is hired as James Woods High's sex ed teacher, but soon loses her job when the parents protest her lessons on how to use condoms and the school switches over to a religious-based purity ring program, where Meg and her boyfriend for the episode
find a new way to show intimate love while staying pure. Meanwhile, Stewie loses a tooth and, after being told that the Tooth Fairy comes to kids' houses to collect teeth, begins to safeguard himself against her.
"Prick Up Your Ears" contains examples of:
- An Aesop: You shouldn't have sex until you're ready, but everyone has urges and premarital sex is OK, but only as long as it's practiced safely.
- Anti-Role Model: Peter as a money management teacher to drug addicts:
Peter: There's a lot of ways for you guys to save money. For example, you're all shooting up, why not share needles? That's a no-brainer. More money in your wallet, more drugs in your veins. My second piece of advice: Have as many kids as you can, 'cause that makes it more likely that one of those kids'll grow up and make it big in Hollywood. Then who's paying the bills, eh? Hollywood kid.
- Backhanded Apology: Mel Gibson delivers one to Jews at a press conference in a cutaway:
Mel: I'm really sorry about your big noses. I'm really sorry about how greedy you are. But most of all, I'm really sorry for your dirty, underhanded, backstabbing ways. Your number one "dirty Jew" fan, Mel Gibson.
- Bait and Switch: See Totem Pole Trench below.
- Black Comedy Rape: How Lois snaps Peter out of abstinence.
- Bowdlerization: The DVD and Cartoon Network version has a lot of scenes that were toned down on FOX and (surprisingly) Netflix:
- When Peter vows to be abstinent: On FOX, the scene ends with Peter mispronouncing "abstinent" as "obstinate" and "absinthe." Meg corrects him both times, and Peter sends her to her room. On Cartoon Network and DVD, the scene ends with Peter declaring that he'll be as untouched as the turn signal on an Asian woman's car, followed by a cutaway of Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Lois finding Meg and her boyfriend having ear sex: Brian comes in and asks Lois why his jelly sandwich tastes funny. On FOX, Peter yells from off-screen, "Yeah, it's been on my crotch!" On Cartoon Network and DVD, "crotch" is replaced with "penis."
- Lois roleplaying as Grimace and mistaking him for the Hamburglar: Peter refers to Grimace as "Ronald McDonald's autistic friend" on FOX. On Cartoon Network and DVD, "autistic friend" is changed to "retarded friend."
- Peter having ear sex with Lois: On FOX, the viewer hears Lois fighting Peter off her when the lights are out. When they come back on, Peter is naked and on the bedroom floor. On Cartoon Network and the DVD, when Lois turns on the lights, Peter is seen naked and curled around Lois' head (since he convinced himself to be abstinent and into ear sex too).
- Captain Obvious / Comically Missing the Point: The porno film that Stewie, Chris and his friends are watching involves a woman who is diagnosed with nymphomania. One of the male doctors tells her the treatment: "Take two of these and call us in the morning." When it's implied that the woman and the two doctors are having a three-way, Stewie says, "Oh, now that's not going to help her nymphomania. It's only going to exacerbate it."
- Clueless Aesop: The episode's intended moral is "practice safe sex, not abstinence," but doesn't show anything particularly detrimental about abstinence. The worst thing to come of it is the "ear sex" which is certainly strange, but doesn't seem to be harmful. The actual message seems to be "practice safe sex, but only if it's vaginal penetration."
- Description Cut: Near the end, Doug says he can't wait to see Meg naked. Cut to Meg crying after the breakup.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: About as blatant as it gets, especially because Lois gives the literal definition of rape when she tells Peter that she isn't asking his permission to have missionary sex with him. Not only that, it's to "cure" Peter of his abstinence, meaning it's "Double Standard Corrective Rape: Female On Male." It's safe to say that this wouldn't even get past a pitch if Peter were doing this to Lois.
- Fake Interactivity: At one point, Stewie tells Brian, "To catch a fairy, I have to think like a fairy." The audience is then prompted to choose between three responses for Brian, the first two of which are rational reactions ("Well, that'll be a stretch," and "I'm not touching that one"). Of course, the anwser is always the third option, saying "Arriba!" and dancing around a sombrero. The gag is repeated at the end, when Meg runs into her room crying over her breakup, and Brian asking Lois to give him a little of her speech. The choices this time were the speech, Meg talking about her day, or something completely irrelevant (which was of course chosen) which leads to...
- Mandatory Line: Parodied at the end, which gives the viewer the choice of how to end the episode. The "audience" choose to give Cleveland his first line in the episode.
Cleveland: Hey y'all, sock it to me!
- What Could Have Been: On the animatic (which can be seen on the volume five DVD), the third choice wasn't giving Cleveland his only line for the episode. It was seeing Peter and Lois toss Brian out the window.
- Moral Guardians: The town's parents don't like Lois' sex ed class (not because of Peter's messed-up lessons, like using a bust of William Shakespeare and a Rainbow Brite doll to simulate intercourse, but because Lois was teaching safe sex and the use of protection like condoms instead of scaring them into not having sex), which gets her fired and replaced with a purity program.
- Noodle Incident: After Peter has sex with Lois, he asks her when she got the tattoo on her back. Lois replies nonchalantly, "I don't know, Peter, meth is a hell of a drug."
- Primal Scene: Parodied when Lois catcher Meg and Doug performing "ear sex" as a substitute for intercourse.
- Running Gag: "They're our rivals!"
- Space Whale Aesop: Parodied with the "lessons" at the abstinence assemblies. For example...
- "If you have sex, your penis will fall off and land in another dimension populated entirely by dogs, who will eat it."
- "Premarital sex turns straight people gay and gays into Mexicans! We all go down a notch!"
- "If you have sex, you're automatically in Al Qaeda."
- Take That!: At conservatives, Christians, abstinence-only sex ed programs, and the teens who give in to them.
- Totem Pole Trench: To crash the abstinence lecture, Peter tries to think of an idea. It cuts over to a tall man whose face looks like Peter's wearing a long trenchcoat and high heels. It pans to Peter and Lois still in the bushes, with Peter suggesting they sneak in behind the man.