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Brian & Stewie (Family Guy)

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Brian & Stewie (Family Guy)
Brian & Stewie.jpeg
“You give my life purpose, and maybe, maybe that’s enough. Because... that’s just about the greatest gift one friend can give another.”
Series: Family Guy
Part of Season: 8
Episode Number: 17
Air Date: May 2, 2010
Writer: Gary Janetti
Director: Dominic Bianchi
Previous episode: April in Quahog
Next episode: Quagmire's Dad

"The episode is essentially Seth MacFarlane talking to himself for a half hour, with no cutaway gags, very little music, and no characters other than Brian and Stewie. It's a big change from the usual and I have to say I like it. The old shtick was getting very tired, and the past few episodes showed a remarkable lack of ingenuity and real humor, but the story here has a lot going for it."
Ramsey Isler, IGN

Brian & Stewie is the 17th episode of the eighth season of the American animated television series, Family Guy. It originally aired on Fox in the United States on May 2, 2010.


Brian and Stewie try to hatch an escape plan after they are locked in a bank vault; includes fan-favorite and previously unseen musical numbers.

Why It Rocks

  1. It’s a unique episode that takes a break from what modern Family Guy does nowadays.
  2. There are no cutways at all, which is a relief, considering that most cutaways have become boring, bland, and overused nowadays.
  3. Despite being 1 voice actor, Seth MacFarlane, the voice acting is still passable here, especially with the serious dialogue between Brian and Stewie.
  4. The comedy is mostly funny, with Brian and Stewie making clever jokes at each other, and the scene where they are both drunk.
  5. The plot is interesting, as it’s Stewie and Brian being locked in a bank safe for the night, and they try to survive it while trying not to tear their friendship or each other apart.
  6. Stewie and (surpisingly) Brian are still likable in this episode, as they keep each other company.
    • Brian isn't flanderized like he usually is.
  7. Stewie and Brian’s awesome bond is given development, as they were at first arguing with each other about their lives, but come to admit they like each other and couldn’t live without the either.
  8. Some heartwarming moments, like when Stewie and Brian apologize to each other while hiding under the table to avoid the accidental gun shot, when they were sleeping together, and when Brian reads Stewie a story.
  9. The cute and ok ending where the safe opens, and Brian exits the building while carrying Stewie in his arms.
  10. There was a nice musical montage afterwards which includes fan-favorite songs, and even some new ones never before seen on TV which are:
    • The "NAAFP Anthem" cut from "The Fat Guy Strangler";
    • The Jerry Lewis parody cut from "Business Guy";
    • "All I Really Need is the Boy" cut from "Play It Again, Brian".
  11. Funny ending for the musical portion where Stewie talks about how the real-life FCC actually applauded the Freakin' FCC song (a real life fact by the way), and how they said goodnight to the audience, because Stewie’s rant meant they couldn’t play the song.

Bad Qualities

  1. There was a really gross out moment, where Brian eats Stewie’s poop and then proceeds to vomit. This scene unsurprisingly attracted controversy and criticism from the Parents Television Council.
  2. The dead bird and the bit with Stewie getting his ear pierced are quite disturbing.


In an improvement over the previous six episodes, the episode was viewed in 7.68 million homes in its original airing, according to Nielsen ratings, despite airing simultaneously with Desperate Housewives on ABC, Celebrity Apprentice on NBC and Cold Case on CBS. The episode also acquired a 3.7 rating in the 18–49 demographic, beating The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, as well as the accompanying musical special, which received a total rating of 3.3.

The episode received mixed reviews from critics and viewers. Reviewers disliked the episode's moments of gross-out humor, but frequently lauded its serious tone and subject matter, as well as its break from the show's formula. Emily VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club believed that the show's concept, which allowed only two characters and a single scene, was "ambitious" but that the end result was "flaccid." She commented that with no cut-away gags or side plots, the episode was "basically everything critics of the show would like the show to have" but was deprived of Family Guy's trademark fast pace and reduced to "a series of what amounts to grossout comedy sketches." Television critic Ramsey Isler of IGN added that the gross-out humor "didn't work for me" and found the "more serious stuff" in the episode to be the most entertaining. Said Isler, "the addition of more dramatic themes and the elimination of the cutaway gags really showed what this show could be if Seth [MacFarlane] and team put more effort in." In a subsequent review of Family Guy's eighth season, Isler listed "Brian & Stewie" as being "surprisingly dramatic," and, "had it not been for the extended poop-eating jokes and rehashed musical numbers in the second half, I'd say it was one of the better efforts the show has ever put out." Jason Hughes of TV Squad was also "more than a little disturbed" by the amount of time spent on Stewie's soiled diaper. However, he noted, "I didn't laugh much at 'Brian & Stewie', but I found myself absolutely captured by their discussion throughout the episode." Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly described the episode as "tedious, predictably vulgar, and, by the end, sentimental." Adam Rosenberg of MTV wrote, "Beneath all of the more disturbing elements there's actually some very thoughtful, mature discussion of suicide and what love means amidst it all." Andrew Hanson of the Los Angeles Times found the soiled diaper gag "too sick to watch" and "the grossest" moment featured in Family Guy so far, but conceded that that may have been the producer's intention. Still, Hanson described Brian's suicidal confession as "deep" and stated, "It’s nice to see that Family Guy is still trying new things and going out on a limb even at episode No. 150." Tom Eames of entertainment website Digital Spy placed the episode at number seven on his listing of the best Family Guy episodes in order of "yukyukyuks" and said he "loved" this episode due its feature of Brian and Stewie's relationship.[19] He added that the episode was "particularly great" because it featured no cutaway gags and was a two-hander, noting that "Clearly, the writers know exactly what the fans want."

The Parents Television Council, a conservative media watchdog group and frequent critic of MacFarlane-produced programs, called on the Federal Communications Commission to investigate Family Guy after the episode aired, citing the scenes where Brian is talked into eating Stewie's feces and vomit. PTC president Tim Winter said that, "Given the patently offensive depictions of one character eating excrement out of a diaper, then eating vomit, and finally licking the remaining excrement from a baby’s bottom – while the baby expresses physical gratification from having his bottom licked – we believe that the broadcast decency law has been broken. It seems as though Family Guy creator, Seth MacFarlane, carefully reviewed the legal definition of broadcast indecency and set out to violate it as literally as he could." The Parents Television Council went on to name the episode as its "Worst TV Show of the Week", ending the week of May 7, 2010, citing the extreme indecency of the episode.


It was ranked #1 on JemReview's List