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Recap / Family Guy S8 E1: "Road to the Multiverse"

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Airdate: September 27, 2009

When Stewie enters a genetically engineered pig at the carnival, Brian asks him where it came from. Stewie reveals to Brian that with an interdimensional teleporter, he can travel to different universes and takes Brian on a journey through several universes and realities.

"Road to the Multiverse" contains examples of:

  • Alternate History: Some of the universes, like the Japan-dominated universe and the World War III universe.
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  • Alternate Universe: Brian and Stewie visit many alternate universes in this episode, including one where they are seen in live-action.
  • Anachronism Stew: The Disney universe appears to be based on Disney's Golden Age from the 1930s to the 1950s (particularly Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as Lois looks like Snow White and Peter looks like Doc). However, Disney Meg is based on Ursula from The Little Mermaid, and Disney Joe is based on Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast. Both movies are from Disney's "Renaissance" era (which is the late 1980s into the 1990s).
  • And I Must Scream: While not taken seriously, Stewie and Brian are still conscious while they are in a block of ice.
  • Animation Bump: The Disney sequence.
  • Artistic Licence – History:
    • In the Japanese universe, the Griffins live in a Japanese-style house. In real life, Japan had Westernized during the Meiji Restoration (though Japanese-style houses can be found in some parts of Japan, albeit not as widespread as what's depicted in the media, both Western and Japanese).
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    • Stewie mentions that "Japan never quit" WWII because America never dropped the nuke. In reality, other factors like the Soviets invading Manchuria also contributed to Japanese surrender, and the allies were not about to let Imperial Japan go unpunished with or without a nuke. Also, there's the implication that Japan took over the world without nukes, even though the Point of Divergence was when Japan was practically defeated and on the brink of ruin, and would be in no position to invade anyone for years.
  • Artistic License – Religion:
    • The first universe shows what the world would look like if Christianity never existed, in which the Dark Ages never happened and science was able to progress by 1000 years. However, the Dark Ages weren't caused by Christianity being imposed on other cultures, but rather the fall of The Roman Empire.
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    • The Sistine Chapel still exists in the ultra-advanced no-Christianity universe, even though if it weren't for Christianity, the Sistine Chapel wouldn't have been built in the first place. Played for Laughs, since the ceiling was just decorated by John Hinckley, Jr., who covered it with pictures of Jodie Foster.
  • Art Shift: Many, from the Disney-esque animation to stop-motion and even into live-action.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Brian gets called a freak for enjoying a human woman licking him a bit too much, with this being a dimension where the master/pet roles of human and dog are reversed.
  • Bowdlerization: The following changes were made between the TV version and the DVD version. Most of these scenes were left untouched on Cartoon Network as well:
    • Brian and Stewie in the universe where Meg is hot, but still considered ugly compared to Lois: Stewie's line about Lois is "If you saw Lois, you'd have to put your penis in a wheelchair". On the Cartoon Network and DVD version, the line is, "If you saw Lois, your penis would shoot right off your body."
    • Brian and Stewie visiting the Flintstone world: Wilma!Lois' line about having sex with Fred!Peter included an extra line about having four "rock-gasms" on the Cartoon Network and DVD version, but both the TV version and the DVD version have the line about Wilma!Lois being glad Fred!Peter wore a "rock"note  ring.
    • Chris yelling "Fuck you!" after Stewie's burn on Robot Chicken being on a mainstream channel was bleeped on the TV and the Cartoon Network version.
    • Another bleeping of the word "fuck" was done on the TV and the Cartoon Network version of the scene with Stewie and Brian in the world where everything is a pretentious political cartoon for The Washington Post.
  • Brick Joke: Stewie removes Brian's poop in the futuristic universe and tells him it goes to another universe. Later, when the two are trapped in an iceberg, Stewie notices the poop.
  • Butt-Monkey: Meg. Even in the futuristic alternate universe, where she's smoking hot, she's still considered ugly compared to Lois (Stewie says, "If you saw Lois you'd have to put your penis in a wheelchair." On DVD, the line is, "If you saw Lois your penis would shoot right off your body.") Of note, and probably obvious to many, this universe's Lois doesn't appear.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The Disney universe is a fun and cheerful place where everyone gets along, and even when Herbert (as the hag from Snow White) tries to spoil the fun, he is defeated in a comical way. Stewie honestly can't think of a reason not to stay there... until Mort walks in. The Disneyverse is a magical place... but if you're a Jew, you're dead.
    Stewie: Oh, yeah. I forgot. This is a Disney universe.
  • Dog Stereotype: In the dog universe, Peter is a Labrador Retriever (dumb but friendly), Lois is a Cocker Spaniel (red wavy hair), Chris is a sheepdog (same as Labrador Peter), Meg is a bulldog (physically repulsive), and Stewie is a poodle (pompous and evil). Joe is a Doberman (aggressive guard dog).
  • Disneyesque: The Disney universe shifts into a more fluid, softer animation style; in addition, the characters are largely anthropomorphic and break into song.
  • Elemental Plane: The episode features quite a few of these. For example, in one universe, the whole world is frozen over. In another, everything is technologically advanced, and one universe is just a giant White Void Room.
  • Human Popsicle: Stewie and Brian enter a universe where they are completely frozen in a block of ice.
  • Look Both Ways: At the end of the episode, human Brian promptly gets hit by a car as he crosses the street.
  • Male Gaze: There is a slow, upwards panning shot of Sexy Meg in the alternative universe that Brian and Stewie visit.
  • Motor Mouth:
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently, Dog Stewie and Human Brian have had a universe-hopping experience of their own.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: In the first alternate universe visited, "Christianity never existed, which means the dark ages of scientific repression never occurred, and thus, humanity is a thousand years more advanced."
  • Pie in the Face: Herbert (as the hag from Snow White) gets this treatment from the rest of the characters in the Disney universe.
  • Rock Theme Naming: Parodied in the Flintstone universe with Rock-Peter and Rock-Lois, who basically just say "rock" in front of everything. Stewie and Brian leave the universe in annoyance, though they briefly join in the theme.
    Stewie: Hey, Brian, want to get the rock out of here?
    Brian: Rock yeah.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: After human Brian makes it to the universe where people are in change he is quickly run over by a truck before he can start his new life.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smurfing: Exaggerated in the Flintstone universe.
    Stewie: Hey, Brian, wanna get the rock out of here?
    Brian: Rock yeah.
  • Slasher Smile: While the rest of the Disneyfied characters look at Mort with sheer malice, the Tom Tucker bunny has an evil grin on his face.
  • Stealth Pun: In the Disney universe, Joe appears as a coffee pot. So he's "a cup of Joe".
  • Take That:
    Stewie: How does it feel like to be on a major network for 30 seconds?
    Chris: FUCK YOU!!!
    • The punchline of the Disney universe (where everyone beats the crap out of Mort) once more reflects rumors of Walt Disney's alleged Antisemitism.
    • In the Flintstones universe, Brian describes the universe as looking cheap and lazy, a shot at the animation quality of 1960's Hanna-Barbera cartoons.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: In the World War III universe, Lee Harvey Oswald shot Mayor McCheese, with Jackie Kennedy eating the scattered head.
    Brian: That joke's not in bad taste, right?
    Stewie: Who cares? He's a cheeseburger.

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