When the Griffins meet The Simpsons
By Kevin Mercado
The highly anticipated “Family Guy/The Simpsons” crossover episode has finally premiered on Fox, having first been announced back in July 2013.
The episode, listed as the season premiere episode of “Family Guy,” begins with Peter Griffin deciding to start a newspaper comic strip after “Dennis The Menace” was deemed not funny. He humorously gets his first strip done in seconds. Problems arise when Peter publishes an offensive strip about women where a man throws a woman onto a store counter and says, “I need a new dishwasher.”
The Griffin’s get run out of town and end up at Springfield after they all fall asleep in the car, including Peter, who was driving. After they make a pit stop at a gas station, their car gets stolen. The family omniously ends up at the“Kwik-E-Mart,” a staple of The Simpsons series. When they cannot afford to buy food, Homer Simpson walks through the shadows, after an imposter Homer comes out of the shadows, to help them buy donuts.
Homer invites the Griffins to his home where the families meet and quickly bond, Marge being happy that they are “not a band of hippie murderers.” Stewie Griffin, the youngest of the Griffin clan, is quickly in awe of Bart Simpson and his catchphrase, “Eat my shorts!” which he utters when he comes home after being kicked out of summer camp for gluing the counselors butt-cheeks together. Stewie becomes obsessed with Bart and ultimately captures all his enemies, making Nelson, the bully, literally eat his shorts. Bart finds him creepy and Stewie tries to get over him by writing on a chalkboard, “I will not think about Bart anymore” several times.
Lisa Simpson tells Meg Griffin that she “matters,” which Meg is not used to hearing in her family, being the butt of the jokes. Lisa helps to find Meg a talent because she is not good at much, including “volume control.” Eventually Meg finds a talent in the saxophone, which intimidates Lisa because she plays the saxophone. Lisa comes around by the end when it’s time for Griffins to leave and gives Meg the saxophone, which Peter dumps in the trash.
Peter and Homer form a fast friendship figuring out plans to get the Griffins’ car back. They have a sexy car wash for people with stolen cars. They did not find the car this way, but the funny scene had both men washing cars and playing with a hose while being “sexy” a-la-Daisy Duke. All the other men in the lot are completely disgusted and start vomiting and running away.
The car comes up when Hans Moleman, who is always involved in a fatal event, hits Peter with his own car. Homer’s father, Abraham, also backs over Peter while pulling into the driveway.
The men celebrate by going to the bar, Moe’s Tavern. This results in an argument between the two over beer. Homer states that Peter’s favorite beer, Pawtucket Patriot Ale, is an imitation of Duff, Homer’s favorite beer. Moe removes the label on the bottle, proving Pawtucket Patriot Ale to really be Duff. The Blue-Haired Lawyer, who happens to be in the bar, sues the Pawtucket Brewery for patent infringement.
At the courthouse, presided over by Fred Flintstone, the show goes through side-by-side comparisons of all the similar stereptypical characters from both shows: the best friends of the main characters, the gay guys, the African-American men, the mayors, and more. The court ruled that both beers imitated “BudRock” and Peter is forced to find a new job.
As the Griffins prepare to leave in what is probably the best scene of the show, Homer tries to explain what happened and why he did what he did. Peter initiates a fight that takes them from the driveway to a dirt road to the Nuclear Waste Plant where Homer works, granting them super powers similar to “The Incredible Hulk” and they start their own nuclear explosions. They end up in space and crash back down to earth where they lose their powers and realize that they admire each other.
This “chicken fight style” scene, popular in “Family Guy” was a great way to end the show. It brought out the best of both shows. Homer throwing his 31 Emmys at Peter, and Peter shouting, “Hey I don’t have those,” should be inducted into classical TV moments.
Throughout the show they cleverly acknowledge that this is a crossover episode. The episode began with The Griffins watching a crossover of “All in the Family” and “Modern Family” and saying that is a good marketing strategy. Peter makes note of the Simpsons’ characters having yellow skin saying they all look like they have “hepatitis” and Homer says “Welcome Albino visitors.” Brian has to interact with Santa’s Little Helper, the Simpsons’ family dog who does not speak or act like Brian does. He ends up losing the dog, but he comes back at the end.
The show also included cameos from Roger the Alien from Seth Macfarlane’s other show “American Dad” interacting with Kang and Kodos, the aliens from “The Simpsons.” Another scene shows Peter and Homer carrying Bob from “Bob’s Burgers,” also from the Animation Domination block on Fox, on a plane because he cannot carry himself as they watch Cleveland, formerly of “The Cleveland Show,” crashing in his own plane.
Peter’s job is still in tact as Lois Griffin states that they will never come back to Quahog to enforce the rule. By the end, the men agree to always live 30 minutes away from each other, “with garbage in the middle.”