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Recap / Family Guy S 1 E 7 Brian Portrait Of A Dog

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Airdate: May 16, 1999

To win money for a new air conditioner, Peter urges Brian to compete in a dog show, but quits when he's forced to beg for a treat balanced on his nose as he feels it's demeaning to canines. And things get worse when Brian is put in jail for drinking from a human water fountain because of his species...

"Brian, Portrait Of A Dog" contains example of (YMMV Goes Here):

  • The Alcoholic: Tom Tucker, who had a few too many Bloody Marys before going on the air.
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  • Anti-Humor: Peter accuses Meg of this:
    Meg: It is so hot out there!
    Rest of family: How hot is it?
    Meg: I don't know. Like, around 98, 99.
    Peter: I don't get it.
  • Art Shift: When Lois says that Peter and Brian should "go back to the way things used to be", a Cutaway Gag shows Peter and Brian as 1930s-style cartoon characters.
  • Bait-and-Switch: A cutaway is about Liza Minnelli taking a blue pill to get ready for a performance. You're made to think it's a drug, but then we see a scared Blue M&M in the corner.
    "Lady, for God's sake, I'm just a hard-shelled chocolate candy! Get help!"
  • Cats Are Mean: Peter's replacement for Brian was a cat. However, the cat is constantly nasty and violent.
  • Characterization Marches On: Brian's first spotlight episode revolves around him being talked down to for being a dog. Lois chastises Peter for treating Brian this way and the family learn to treat Brian with dignity. Later episodes slowly make a Running Gag of the family manipulating or mocking Brain's forcive dog-like tendencies and at least once pointing he is semi human and disposable to them, usually with Lois herself being the most condescending and bullying towards him.
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  • Comedic Sociopathy/Domestic Abuse: The Eight is Enough reunion show features a scene where Tom slaps one of his daughters eight times after she made a snarky remark about how he thinks he can fix every problem by making a sandwich. He's calmed down by being told, "Eight is enough!" The Griffins (minus Stewie) are appalled.
  • Fantastic Racism: Brian's plights parallel the Civil Rights Movement. He even mentions the Plessy v. Ferguson case in court. Because of this, this episode has been banned in network syndication (but not cable syndication) from airing during the month of February (which is Black History Month).
  • Flashback: We see how Peter and Brian met. Brian was homeless and washing windshields. Peter felt bad for him and brought him home.
  • Flipping the Bird: When Brian leaves the dog show, Peter acts like it's All Part of the Show and commends him off-screen for doing this. "Yeah, flip me off. Good boy".
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  • Hidden Heart of Gold: The ending has Brian threatening to kill Peter if he tells anyone that he licked him.
  • Hope Spot: Out on the street for a while, Brian finally loses it and begins acting like an out of control dog. Peter arrives and intends to bring him home, just as Brian is taken away by the dog catcher.
  • I "Uh" You, Too: When everyone welcomes Brian home at the end, Stewie merely says, "Dog?" and then bows.
  • Montage: Of Brian studying for his trial.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Brian is acquitted because Peter bribes the judges with twenty dollars for each one of them. It was even funnier because an earlier confession by Lois implies they were bribed with fake money.


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