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Recap / Family Guy S10 E5 "Back to the Pilot"

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Stewie and Brian travel back in time to the pilot episode, but when Brian tries to tell his past self about 9/11, he inadvertently creates a worse future.

Tropes:

  • Back to the Early Installment: Brian and Stewie go back to the first episode and observe the Early Installment Weirdness, while Brian uses the time to warn his past self about 9/11. Unfortunately it backfires.
  • Boring, but Practical: After the trip to WWII Germany, Stewie reconfigured the Return Pad to use D batteries instead of uranium so it can be easily refuelled.
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  • Contrived Coincidence: Due to the low power of the Return Pad's D Battery supply, it instead takes Brian and Stewie to the Super Bowl XXXIII. Despite the now simpler means of power, none of them has any money to buy batteries... until Brian remembers that he and Peter were in a blimp above the stadium and dumped a huge amount of cash from the sky.
  • Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness: Brian and Stewie do this, complete with lots of Lampshade Hanging.
    "That's odd. It looks like our house, but different somehow..."
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Brian's attempt to avert 9/11 results in the Southern states seceding from the union as Bush wasn't able to hold on to power without the terrorist attacks to exploit peoples' fears, and a few years in the future the United States are now engaged in civil war after a nuclear war.
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  • Noodle Incident: Quite a few seem to apply to the various 'future' Brian and Stewies that appear at the end, including two that have somehow become stuck in barber shop twirls and a Stewie with a Brian whose throat has been slit even though all the other Brians are still alive.
  • Second American Civil War: Brian warns his past self about 9/11 during a time travel adventure to the first episode of the series, leading to him preventing the destruction of the World Trade Center. As a consequence, George W Bush loses his re-election campaign and instead ends up leading several southern states into forming a second Confederacy and seceding from the U.S. This spirals into a second Civil War and eventually reduces the East Coast to an irradiated wasteland.
  • Status Quo Is God: In the end, Stewie and Brian's various other selves all vote not to stop 9/11.
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  • Time-Travel Episode: Brian and Stewie travel back to January 31st 1999, the day the pilot episode aired.
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