Road to Rhode Island (Family Guy)
"Road to Rhode Island" is the 13th episode of the second season and the first episode of the Road to ... series of the American animated television series Family Guy. It originally aired on Fox in the United States on May 30, 2000.
The episode begins with a flashback set seven years ago, where it is revealed that Brian was born in a puppy mill and taken from his mother. Back in the present, Brian tells his psychiatrist about the memory. Afterwards, Brian volunteers to pick up Stewie from his vacation at his grandparents' summer home in Palm Springs, California, where Stewie frames a maid for stealing to amuse himself at dinner.
At the airport bar, Brian gets drunk and, when Stewie comes to find him, their plane tickets are stolen. They stop at a decrepit motel, where Stewie tries calling home, but fails because he believes his phone number is 867-5309. The next day, they have to escape and hotwire a car due to their credit card being rejected. To get home, Stewie and Brian masquerade as crop dusters to steal a plane, which they immediately crash.
As the pair continue hitchhiking back to Quahog, they pass by a puppy mill near Austin, Texas, Brian's birthplace. Upon arrival, they discover that Brian's mother died one year prior to their arrival, was taxidermied and turned into a table by the puppy mill owners as a memorial. With Stewie's half-hearted help, Brian gives his mother a proper burial. The pair eventually complete their journey home by riding in an open boxcar, where Brian attempts to apologize to Stewie for all of the trouble he has put both of them through, only to have Stewie reply that he actually enjoyed it. In high spirits, they perform a musical duet "Off On the Road to Rhode Island" as the train takes them home.
When Stewie and Brian return home, Lois asks Stewie about the trip, and Stewie covers up for Brian by saying the trip was "Smooth sailing through calm seas". Lois leaves and Brian tells Stewie that he is thankful to Stewie for covering for him, and asks Stewie if there's anything he can do to repay him. At first, it appears that Stewie wishes to make him his servant by providing an example with an episode of The Brady Bunch, although it turns out that Stewie wants Brian to tape that episode for him.
Meanwhile, Lois urges Peter to watch relationship videos with her, but the videos turn out to be pornography hosted by Dr. Amanda Rebecca, who strips after asking the women to leave the room. Peter becomes addicted to the videos, much to Lois's chagrin. She gets herself on the end of one of the tapes in black lingerie and entices Peter. While kissing, Peter rewinds the tape, playing the part of Lois taking her robe off over and over.
Why It Rocks
- Starting with this episode, it kick started the awesome series that is known as the Road To... Series which is generally considered some of the best episodes of Family Guy.
- The chemistry between Brian and Stewie is awesome and truly shows the great friendship they have. Scenes such as the Road to Rhode Island Song especially shows the best of it.
- Great Animation and Voice Acting like always.
- This episode also deserves credit for bringing more depth into Brian's character as the beginning shows how Brian was taken away from his family. We also get to see Brian's true love for his mother as well.
- The side plot is also pretty good with Peter and Lois trying to improve their sex life.
- The song, Road to Rhode Island is one of the series best songs of All-Time and is very catchy.
- Overall, this left a great impact on the Road to... Series as thanks to this, it would kick off Family Guy's best moments between Brian and Stewie. Not only that, it started the Road to... Series on a heartwarming note.
The episode received largely positive reviews from television critics. It was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less than One Hour)". In his 2009 review, Ahsan Haque of IGN, rating the episode 10/10, praised the episode, saying: "Great writing, hilarious jokes, a catchy musical, and a story that's both hilarious and touching at the same time – Family Guy doesn't get much better than this." It is one of the only three Family Guy episodes that has ever been given a "Masterpiece" (10/10) rating by IGN, the other being "I Never Met the Dead Man" and "Da Boom". IGN also placed the episode at the top of their list of "Stewie and Brian's Greatest Adventures", and again in the list of "Top 20 Family Guy episodes" to celebrate the show's 20th anniversary.
The episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming less than One Hour), but lost to The Simpsons episode "Behind the Laughter".
Tom Eames of entertainment website Digital Spy placed the episode at number thirteen on his listing of the best Family Guy episodes in order of "yukyukyuks" and despite describing the episode as "hilarious", he said that Brian discovering his mother's body was "ultra emotional" and "one of the rare emotionally-charged moments in the show." He added that he "can never get enough" of Brian and Stewie and their bromance.
It received an 8.3 on IMDb. PhantomStrider called it his favorite episode of Family Guy.