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Recap / Family Guy S 1 E 2 I Never Met The Dead Man

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Original air date: 4/11/1999

Production code: 1ACX-02

Peter teaches Meg how to drive in time for her road test. When Meg fails for racing a Police car, Peter gets distracted by the FOX reality special, Fast Animals, Slow Children, and hits the town's cable satellite, causing all of Quahog to go without TV, which slowly drives Peter crazy...until Lois rescuing him from an angry mob makes him realize that there's more to life than television. Meanwhile, Stewie uses the town's banged-up satellite to create a weather machine so it can snow all around the world and wipe out the broccoli plant.

"I Never Met The Dead Man" contains examples of:

  • Adam Westing: Frank Welker voices Fred Jones in The Scooby-Doo Murder Files cutaway.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Just an early example of Peter being one where he bursts into Meg's class to reprimand her for not cleaning out the shower after shaving her legs.
  • Bowdlerization: On Channel 4 in the UK (and some free-to-air TV channels in the United States), the part where Tom Tucker and Diane say politically incorrect things now that Quahog has no cable (until the cameraman tells them that they're still on the air in Boston) was edited. Tom's line, "I'm The Lord Jesus Christ. Think I'll go get drunk and beat up some midgets" was shortened to "Think I'll go get drunk and beat up some midgets," while Diane's "Well, Tom, I just plain don't like black people" was cut entirely, making it look as if Diane was laughing at what Tom was saying.
  • Characterization Marches On: This is one of the first episodes to convey Meg as a Butt-Monkey. However this is long before she was designated the de facto punching bag of the Family Guy universe, with her abuse in this episode more down to Peter being Peter and the town's Serious Business attitude towards television.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Lampshaded with a heavy dose of Meta Humor: Peter has given up TV and Lois tries to entice him back by talking about the broadly-drawn characters, cliché storylines, and convenient coincidences that bring the plot around just in time. Immediately after she says this, William Shatner enters the house, his car having broken down outside on his way to give a speech on how TV keeps families together. (And yes, Shatner's appearance does resolve the plot and get things back to status quo.)
  • Darker and Edgier: Parodied with The Scooby-Doo Murder Files, albeit not Bloodier and Gorier because the violence is only described.
    Fred: Gee whiz, gang. Looks like the killer gutted the victim, strangled him with his own intestines, and then dumped the body in the river.
    Velma: Jinkies, what a mystery.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Ensign Ricky's reaction to William Shatner getting killed by Meg's driving.
  • Dirty Coward: Peter blames the accident with the cable satellite on his daughter.
  • Discriminate and Switch: Meg laments how if she doesn't get a driver's license, she'll never get married and end up adopting a kid like Rosie O'Donnell.
    Meg: Dad, I have to take my driver's test and get my license. If I don't get a license, I won't drive, I'll never get married and I'll have to adopt a kid like Rosie O'Donnell!
    Peter: Meg, are you implying that Rosie O'Donnell can't drive?
  • Does Not Like Spam: Stewie hates broccoli to the point of trying to wipe it off the face of the Earth.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The German sausage clerk taking over a Polish sausage booth and eyeing a Czech one. To make it more obvious, the German clerk looks like a fat version of Adolf Hitler.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Judging by Peter's line after he meets Quagmire ("Him and his crazy get-rich-quick schemes"), it looks like Quagmire was intended to be a greedy character, instead of the Casanova pervert we all know today.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Parodied (naturally) during Peter's driving lesson with Meg where they end up racing an amish man on a horse-drawn wagon. At a sharp curve, the horse and wagon go over the ledge (as the man leaps to safety), and among rolling over the wooden wagon blows up, and then the horse gives a nervous look and then he, too, blows up after a few seconds!
  • Everyone Has Standards: Though the town is already an unruly mob after finding out it was Peter that destroyed television, some sound even more outraged that he blamed his own daughter for the accident.
  • Failed a Spot Check: "Holy crap! Uhura's Black?!"
  • Hypocritical Humor: Peter claims that nothing gets past him, only to suddenly notice that Uhura is black.
  • Implausible Deniability: During a Cutaway Gag of Peter in Willy Wonka's factory, the latter asks him if he ate any of his candy. Peter denies it, despite being swollen and purple like Violet in the movie.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite passing the blame for the accident off to Meg, Peter winds up caring about his family more once he learns to live without TV.
  • Kids Hate Vegetables: Stewie spends the entire B-plot attempting to destroy his plate of broccoli Lois made him eat for dinner. He ends up trying to feed them to Brian, but Brian just dumps them back onto Stewie's plate.
  • Mythology Gag: The entire Star Trek parody came from Seth Macfarlane's short, Life of Larry. However, Ensign Ricky initially said, "Aw, shit" instead of "Aw, crap."
  • Noodle Incident: Brian reminds Peter of his trip to the southwest where Peter accidentally ran over The Road Runner from the Looney Tunes while driving. His passenger, Wile E. Coyote, didn't mind (of course).
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Ensign Ricky (the Red Shirt guy) when he's one of the people picked for the landing party.
    • When Peter and Meg crash into a cable dish and then realize they've accidentally cut the town's cable.
    • Peter and Meg's reaction when they are confronted by an angry mob.
    • Lois' reaction when she and Peter are confronted by an angry mob at Meg's school.
    • Meg, when driving home in the rain and realizing she accidentally hit both Peter and William Shatner.
  • Police Are Useless: The cutaway gag of CHiPs, where Ponch (Eric Estrada's character, in playing up his Casanova character from the show) is so focused on sweet-talking a beautiful woman he stopped (apparently for a minor traffic offense) that he fails to notice blatant examples of crime behind him, including a drive-by shooting and a truck carrying a large shipment of cocaine.
  • Red Shirt: Wonderfully parodied.
    Kirk: All right, men, this is a dangerous mission, and it's likely one of us will be killed. The landing party will consist of myself, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.
    Ensign Ricky: Aw, crap.
  • Sanity Slippage: Peter starts wearing a cardboard TV monitor in front of him and becomes convinced that everything he sees is a TV show.
    Peter: (seeing townspeople advance toward him menacingly) Oh man, look at these guys. Looks like some boob's about to get lynched.
  • The Scapegoat: Peter blames the accident on Meg and promises to buy her a car if she keeps quiet. After all the abuse she receives, though, she cracks and tells the truth.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Splitting Pants: When Peter is watching Star Trek: The Original Series, this happens to Captain Kirk, whose underwear reads "Captain's Log" on the seat.
  • We Need a Distraction: After the accident, an angry mob descends on Peter and Meg. Peter tries to distract them by pointing over to Bigfoot. It doesn't work because Bigfoot simply says he doesn't want to be dragged into this.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: The family once they get tired of Peter making them do wholesome activities.
  • "We're Live" Realization: Played With twice. After Peter knocks out Quahog's television service, Tom Tucker and Diane Simmons feel free to say and do things they can't during their newscast, since no one will be watching... only to be informed that they're still on in Boston. A little later, Tom takes a shot at his wife, confident that she won't hear because she lives in Quahog... only to be told that that the town's service was restored.


Video Example(s):


Peter Embarrasses Meg

Peter Griffin tends to say or do things without thinking, much to the chagrin of those around him- especially his daughter Meg.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents

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