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Recap / Family Guy S13 E1 "The Simpsons Guy"

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"I think you and I are going to get along just okay."
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In this crossover episode (one that, for a lot of fans, has been a long time coming), the Griffin family, on the run after Peter publishes an offensive comic strip in the newspaper, finds themselves stranded after their car is stolen and happen upon the town of Springfield, where The Simpsons reside. While there, Homer and Peter Griffin fight over who drinks the best beer (then go to court after discovering that Pawtucket Patriot beer is really a knock-off of Duff), Meg bests Lisa at the saxophone, and Stewie takes a liking to Bart's pranks.

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Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Harry Shearer is completely absent from this episode, as he opposed the crossover and refused to do it out of protest. Some of his characters appear, but they have no speaking lines. Even Lenny's "eh" doesn't sound like his natural voice.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Stewie kidnaps Bart's enemies, he also kidnaps Apu, just so he can say he "took Apu". Bart agrees that it's a good joke, but is horrified at everything else.
  • Always Someone Better: Meg's saxophone playing. Lisa gets over it in the end.
  • Amusing Injuries: Per Family Guy tradition, these show up. Peter gets hit twice by a car in one scene. The "chicken fight" between Peter and Homer is also a stunning example; at the finale, Homer gets crushed under Kang & Kodos' UFO, lying there in a pool of blood for a minute, then opens his eyes and crawls out functionally unscathed.
  • Art Shift: When Homer and Peter take their fight to the Nuclear Power Plant, the nuclear gas they accidentally release briefly causes them to switch art styles.
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    • Can also apply to the episode as a whole. Both Simpsons and Family Guy characters move as they do in their respective shows.
    • The difference in skin colours between the two series is noted in-universe. Peter thinks everyone in Springfield has Hepatitis, while Homer thinks the Griffins are albino.
  • Aside Comment: When Roger shows up in Kang and Kodos' UFO, he tells the audience they're friends from summer camp.
  • Author Filibuster: Just before his fight with Homer, Peter voices Seth MacFarlane's own opinion that The Simpsons has sucked for years.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kinda. Homer and Peter somewhat make up but agree to keep their distance from another. Meg finds something she's finally good at with Lisa's help and Peter ruins it, like he always does. Duff wins the trial over Pawtucket Brewery's plagiarizing. But as it was only in Springfield, the decision won't hold water in Rhode Island, allowing the company to stay afloat and Peter to keep his job. And Bart breaks ties with Stewie after seeing how psychopathic he can be. Upon returning home, Stewie claims to Brian he's over it. But once alone in his room, Stewie starts crying while imitating Bart's chalkboard gag.
  • Black Comedy: Both shows have their own share of it to begin with, but this episode makes very clear they have different standards - Peter getting the most gruesome injuries such as when he gets run over twice, et cetera; additionally, the Springfieldians react to the FG humor accordingly. Perfectly summed up by Bart as he says goodbye to Stewie:
    • Related to the entry above, Lisa is visibly disturbed at Meg not only cutting Lisa's name deep into her arm so the scar tissue can serve as a reminder of their time together, but also Meg's cheerful enthusiasm about doing this. It's sort of justifiable since Meg is treated like dirt by her family, so she wants to cherish the memory of someone who was genuinely nice to her.
    • The fight scene, which involves Peter and Homer giving each other gruesome injuries, as well as killing numerous people.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: It's more violent than the average episode of The Simpsons, on par with the Treehouse of Horror episodes (although technically this is a Family Guy episode, which have been known to rely heavily on violence).
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Many between the characters.
    Peter: Woo-hoo!
    Homer: (kicks him) Roadhouse!
    • Shortly after meeting, Homer teaches Peter how to do his 'Mmmm, something" catchphrase.
    • After seeing what Stewie has done, Bart says "What the deuce?" Stewie lampshades this one.
  • Bound and Gagged: Bart's enemies as well as Apu after being kidnapped by Stewie.
  • The Cameo:
    • Fred Flintstone is the judge during the trial, as a gag and a nod that he was the template Homer and Peter were adapted from.
    • Roger shows up on Kang and Kodos's ship during the Homer and Peter fight, explaining they're friends from summer camp.
    • Bob Belcher in a Cutaway Gag. According to Peter, they have to carry him because when they tried letting Cleveland carry himself he ended up crashing his plane.
  • Conspicuous CG: During the fight scene, the School Bus looks CG in several scenes.
  • Continuity Nod: The final brawl, which itself was a take on the Giant Chicken fights, had its own Shout Outs.
    • The fight's end at Springfield Gorge.
    Peter: We're gonna make it!
    Homer: Trust me, we're not.note 
    • In the latter's case, he and Bart made it.
    • References to the dead:
    Homer: Say hi to Maude Flanders!
    Peter: No, you say hi to Muriel Goldman!
    Homer: Who?
  • Creator Cameo: Matt Groening and Seth MacFarlane both appear in the courtroom scene as journalists standing at the back of the room. Fittingly, each is standing on opposite ends of the courtroom, on the same side as the central family they own.
  • Cross Counter: During their radioactive fight, Homer and Peter do one that creates a Kung-Fu Sonic Boom and sends them both flying across town. They do another one later that sends Teeth Flying.
  • Crossover: There are also cameos by Bob Belcher, Cleveland Brown, Roger the Alien, and Fred Flintstone.
  • Deconstruction Crossover: To an extent. The Simpsons may be dysfunctional, but they react the way any normal person would to the Griffins, namely with both horror and pity.
  • Derivative Differentiation: Lampshaded between the Simpsons, the Griffins, their various supporting characters and Fred Flintstone.
  • Discontinuity Nod/Canon Discontinuity: Before the trial, Homer points out he doesn't know Quagmire ("Quagmire who?"). To fans of The Simpsons (but not necessarily of Family Guy), this is a huge source of relief.note 
  • Disney Death: Homer being crushed by Kang and Kodos' flying saucer. Yeah, he manages to walk that off.
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    • Peter makes a misogynistic joke in his newspaper comic which results in him and his family fleeing from the mob of angry women in Quahog until the controversy simmers down.
    • Bart's reaction to Stewie "phone prank" to Moe consisting of telling Moe his sister was being raped is to stare at him, mouth open in shock and plainly appalled.
    • When Meg not only cheerfully reveals that she's carved Lisa's name into her arm so that the scars will form a permanent reminder of their time together, but then shows off the bleeding wounds, Lisa looks about ready to puke.
    • Towards the finale, when Bart finds out Stewie has rounded up all of Bart's "enemies" to give them to Bart for torture, he outright asks what the hell is wrong with Stewie before setting them all free.
  • Evasive Fight-Thread Episode: Homer vs. Peter. Peter wins (technically, he just got out of the way of the falling saucer, Homer had him dead to rights otherwise) but Homer recovers and they squash their beef.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Bart has this reaction towards Stewie when he kidnaps Nelson, Jimbo, Skinner, Sideshow Bob, and Apu. This despite the fact that two of them regularly cause physical harm to Bart and another frequently wants to kill him. His stunned reaction to Stewie's rape comment on Moe's sister qualifies as well.
    • Peter is shocked to learn that Homer strangles his son, despite doing much worse things as a parent. Homer even calls out Peter for his hypocrisy.
  • Eye Scream: Near the end of the fight, Peter punches Homer in the face so hard his right eye temporarily pops out of its socket.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Homer and Peter drink gasoline, figuring they have to 'think like a car' to find Peter's car. Then they see a car coming into the gas station and its driver fitting the gas pump into the car's backside and drop their pants... Fortunately, the scene cuts away to a German sex shop, where a customer asks for a DVD of their antics with the gas pump.
    • The Homer and Peter car wash. Wiggum enjoyed it, though.
  • Fingore: Peter crushes Homer's entire left hand with a rock at one point during the fight.
  • Flintstone Theming: Fred Flintstone say his favorite beer is Budrock.
  • Foil: Due to this episode being a Crossover certain differences do stand out between franchise to franchise:
    • Brian and Santa's Little Helper are both the family dogs of their respective series. But while Brian is sapient, capable of human speech, and walks upright, Santa's Little Helper likewise is pretty much an exaggerated epitome on how Real Life dogs are for the most part.
    • Meg and Lisa. Both are unpopular female students at their respective schools, both are often portrayed as the misunderstood No Respect Guy, both suffer from social issues (Meg especially), and both have an Abhorrent Admirer (Neil in Meg's case, Milhouse in Lisa's). But while Meg is the eldest child of her family, and gets mistreatment from both of her parents therefore having a lot of psychological and self-esteem issues understandably, Lisa on the other hand suffers from the Middle Child Syndrome, but is otherwise well respected and is treated well by her parents by comparison, and despite her social issues she is quite otherwise confident and does not have nearly as much psychological issues for obvious reasons. Also, Lisa is a Child Prodigy whose unpopularity mostly has to do with Intelligence Equals Isolation, while Meg is an unpopular Generic Girl who is never implied to be smarter than average.
  • Furry Confusion: Brian doesn't understand why Santa's Little Helper isn't sapient.
  • Groin Attack: Homer bites Peter in the nuts during the Chicken fight scene.
  • Grossup Close Up: Peter and Homer cross counter and we get a very detailed look as the impact hits their faces and knock out a few teeth.
  • Hope Spot: During the gorge reference:
    Peter: We're gonna make it!
    Homer: Trust me, we're not.
    [crash]
  • Hulking Out: Peter and Homer briefly do this upon being exposed to Nuclear Waste during their fight. It's only temporary however.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Chris criticizing the Squeaky Voiced Teen as sounding ridiculous.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: The aforementioned Hulking out scene
  • Instant Expert: When Lisa lends Meg her saxophone to find out what she can be good at, Meg immediately begins to play blues on it expertly. Lisa, being the jealous person she is, takes the saxophone back. By the end of the episode, Lisa gives away her saxophone to Meg so she can play it and shine. Unfortunately, Peter throws it in a garbage can.
  • Internal Homage: The ending fight and the Springfield Gorge drop.
  • In the Style of...:
    • The nuclear plant Peter and Homer get superpowers from briefly makes them exchange drawing styles.
    • Peter's reactions to being injured by Homer are reproductions of Homer's reactions.
    • The episode ends with the ending theme played in the style of The Simpsons'.
  • Karma Houdini: Peter and Homer don't receive any sort of punishment for the destruction they caused during the fight.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Chris does this in the first minute of the crossover, and this happens on many occasions throughout the episode.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Peter's attempts for Homer to set up the cutaway gags.
    • How long has Nelson terrorized Bart?
    Bart: About 24 years.
    • Homer weaponizing the show's 31 Emmys.
    • At the start of the trial, Peter snaps at Lois when she warns Peter what's at stake for the Pawtucket Brewery. He then apologizes, stating he's tired and not used to doing hour-long specials.
    • During the Homer VS Peter fight, when the fight leads to Kang and Kodos' ship and it sucks out both them and American Dad!'s Roger, Roger says "Thanks for having me!", a nod to the fact that the American Dad was moving to TBS.
    • Lois and Brian about Springfield:
    Lois: Well, this Springfield place seems nice. We should visit here again.
    Brian: I don't know, Lois. This seems like a one-shot deal.
    • In the end, Bart refuses Stewie's friendship because even Bart thinks that Stewie's misdeeds go too far. After a cutaway gag in an earlier episode featured Quagmire raping Marge and murdering all five Simpsons, the friendship between Matt Groening and Seth MacFarlane was nearly destroyed.
    • While insisting he doesn't miss him at all, Stewie says Bart sounded like a girl.
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: Marge and Lois respectively. One is a sweet-natured, modest woman who isn't into edgy media and is frightened when she sees penguins surf in animated films. The other is perverted, snide, bitchy, and doesn't wear a bra.
  • Logo Joke: The Gracie Films logo comes on before the credits roll, with Peter singing "And now the show is over now" over the music sting.
  • Menace Decay: Lampshaded with Dennis the Menace.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Homer, after he realized he cost Peter and other their jobs after the Pawtucket Brewery trial.
  • Our Product Sucks: One common interpretation of the episode is that it was an attempt on the Family Guy writers' part to say outright that they completely agree that their show isn't good any more, even compared to some of the weaker Simpsons episodes, by putting the two side-by-side and playing up the former's flaws as much as possible.
  • Overly Pre-Prepared Gag: Stewie kidnaps Apu just so he can say "I took Apu".
  • Recursive Reality: In a previous episode, Stewie mentioned watching The Simpsons.
  • Self-Deprecation: There's a lot of Meta Humor on Family Guy being considered the Poor Man's Substitute of The Simpsons, from the court case of plagiarism being ruled in "Duff's" favor to Homer using his plentiful Emmys to attack Peter while the latter complains about not having any (despite actually having five). Even The Simpsons gets in on the fun by having Fred Flintstone declare both show's beers are rip-offs of his own.
    • And, in the beginning, Chris sums up what skeptical people may think of this episode's set-up:
    Chris: Yay! A crossover always brings out the best of each show! It certainly doesn't smack of desperation. The priorities are always creative and not driven by marketing or—
    Stewie: Okay, that's enough.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skewed Priorities: During the fight, Peter crashes into Krusty's set. Krusty notes how excessive TV violence is given a pass so long as viewers don't see a nipple.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Averted for this episode, since while Family Guy saw increased use of censored profanity since being uncancelled, instances of bleep-worthy dialogue on The Simpsons were much, much rarer.
  • Status Quo Is God: Pawtucket Beer is successfully sued for copyright infringement. But since the discovery wasn't anywhere near Rhode Island, they suffer no repercussion for it allowing Peter to keep his job. Something which Lois smugly lampshades.
  • Stock Scream: Wilhelm scream, in the nuclear plant during the fight between Homer and Peter.
  • Stout Strength: Despite both Homer and Peter being overweight characters, the fight between each other shows that they have equal strength and durability with Peter only barely winning after the UFO falls onto Homer (even then Homer miraculously survives).
  • Straw Feminist: The "For Pete's Sake" protesters who drive the Griffins out of Quahog over a very misogynistic cartoon.
  • Stylistic Suck: The cartoon Peter made, which is crudely drawn pictures with poor spelling and misogyny in place of humor.
  • Take That!:
    • To the internet fans, by having them get overly upset over Peter's cartoon.
    • Also to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as Peter and Homer agree that it's best to keep "a pile of garbage" in between them.
  • Tempting Fate: At the end of the episode, Lois points out that there's no way The Simpsons will be coming to Quahog. It almost sounds like they're trying to set up a Sequel Hook.
  • Title Drop: For both shows after the fight.
    Peter: You see, I'm a Family Guy.
    Homer: I understand, I'm a The Simpsons.
  • Token Minority: At the trial, Cleveland and Carl are shown together. They agree they were seated together because they're the funniest guys in town.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Homer is dumber here than on his own show, especially during the scene where he drinks gasoline to find Peter's car. (But he did think about it once in canon...)
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The "For Pete's Sake" protesters.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Peter recovers immediately after being hit by two cars. Both Peter and Homer also suffer very gruesome injuries throughout the fight scene (Homer even gets crushed by a flying saucer) and are none the worse for wear.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Nelson's reaction to Bart freeing him from being kidnapped is to punch him in the gut.
  • Ur-Example: Another Lampshaded gag. Fred Flintstone is the judge of the court case and he mentions that he considers both shows to be a rip off of his own.
    • The gag reveals another layer when you consider that The Flintstones was based on The Honeymooners. Even better is that this fact was pointed out on the Simpsons' episode "The Day the Laughter Died," which also dealt with plagiarism in animation.
  • Variations on a Theme Song: Family Guy's ending theme is In the Style of... The Simpsons theme.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Naturally, but with a twist - while Peter and Homer's "sexy car wash" makes Snake Jailbird puke, the camera is cleverly placed outside of the very car window Snake throws up on; in other words, he's hidden behind his own vomit.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Peter and Homer go from best buds to hated enemies over the course. By the end, they reconcile but agree to stay out of each other's way.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Brian states he can't imagine they're allowed to say which state it's in.
    • A prime opportunity for Kool-Aid Man to burst through the wall of the court is missed because he's in the wrong Springfield.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: Comic Book Guy drops by after Homer and Peter fight to drop a variation of this.
    Comic Book Guy: Worst... chicken fight... ever.
  • Writing Lines: Stewie does this in his room at the end, crying as he writes, "I will not think about Bart anymore". which is a direct reference to The Simpsons' opening sequence.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Lisa admits Meg is good at playing her saxophone and gives her saxophone to Meg. Peter immediately throws it in the trash, saying the car is full.

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