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Recap / Family Guy S 12 E 15 Secondhand Spoke

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After finding out that a deaf coworker named Stella (voiced by Marlee Matlin, who is actually deaf in Real Life) is allowed to take smoke breaks, Peter takes up smoking so he can get out of doing anything, including talking to his family, but his new habit is wreaking havoc on his health. Meanwhile, after seeing Chris unable to stand up for himself against bullies, Stewie decides to help his brother by hiding in his backpack and feeding him comebacks for the bullies' insults. Chris becomes so popular that he is nominated for Class President, but when Stewie tries to end the tutorship, Chris locks him in his backpack as his own personal speech-writer.



  • Aesop Amnesia / Canon Discontinuity: Peter previously spoke out against smoking in "Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington" and learned that smoking is bad for you (especially if you're a child), yet he's just figuring that out in this episode. This is justified, as Family Guy has little to no episode-to-episode continuity. On top of that, "Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington" was a pre-2002 cancellation episode and those episodes are very rarely mentioned in the post-cancellation episodes note 
  • Bowdlerization: The following changes were made between the TV version and the DVD version:
    • Peter punching in to have oral sex with Lois: The TV version has a close-up of Peter's hand punching in on a time clock. On the DVD version, viewers actually see Peter punch in and slide under the covers with Lois laying back.
    • Lois finding out that Peter is smoking during oral sex: On the TV version, Peter has underwear on. On the DVD version, Peter is naked.
    • Peter saving the cigarette as it falls out the bedroom window: Again, Peter has underwear on in the TV version and is butt-naked in the DVD version.
    • The end where Peter tries to fix the damage done to his health by cutting to the outside of the house while music plays: On the TV version, Peter's cry of "Fuck!" is bleeped. On the DVD version, it isn't.
  • Bully Hunter: With Stewie's help, Chris becomes one of these in a way of being able to make comebacks to their insults, that is until he starts bullying Stewie to gain more popularity.
  • Call-Back: Peter previously became a shill for the D.C. tobacco lobbyists in "Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington".
    • Joan had previously found a carton of cigarettes in Peter's bellybutton while working as his maid in "I Take Thee Quagmire", and Peter previously smoked during a cutaway break in "Back to the Pilot" and in a second cutaway gag in "Family Goy".
  • Jerkass Woobie: Chris is shown as being frequently bullied at school, but when Stewie helps him stand up for himself and he becomes popular, he turns into a jerk himself.
  • Karma Houdini: Chris keeps Stewie prisoner in his backpack for five days. When he lets Stewie out, there is no punishment, which is rather Out of Character for Stewie, unless he's saving it up.
  • The Pig-Pen: Stewie complains about the faeces buildup inside Chris's backpack. Chris shows little inclination towards cleaning it out.
  • Pun-Based Title: The title is a pun on the phrase "secondhand smoke."
  • Status Quo Is God: Double-Subverted, Peter believes that after he quits smoking that he'll just go back to normal no problem, until Lois and Brian point out the irreparable damage he's done to himself (not even cutting away to the outside of the house with music playing works). However, going by the previews (and the fact that Family Guy's continuity is looser than The Simpsons in its heyday), he'll be back to normal come the next episode.
  • Take That!: Peter says to have watched every single YouTube video, and that there is not a bad one on the site.
  • This Is Your Index on Drugs: Peter does one of these types of commercials as part of his anti-smoking service, by taking what might be a real human heart and smushing it into a full ashtray. He cuts and runs when questioned where he got the heart.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Lois quickly accepts Dr. Hartman's offer to go away in exchange for the narcotic drug Vicodin. She also proposes getting a couple of bottles of wine after visiting the stop smoking clinic.

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