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Family Guy: A Hero Sits Next Door

Peter searches for a replacement pitcher for Happy-Go-Lucky Toys' softball team and finds one in his new neighbor, Joe Swanson, which he welcomes with open arms...until it's revealed that Joe is wheelchair-bound.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x5
Production Number: 1ACX05
Airdate: Sunday May 02nd, 1999

Guest Stars
Seth MacFarlaneSeth MacFarlane
voiced Kevin Swanson
Butch HartmanButch Hartman
voiced Various
Carlos AlazraquiCarlos Alazraqui
voiced Mr. Jonathan Weed
Jennifer TillyJennifer Tilly
voiced Bonnie Swanson
Patrick WarburtonPatrick Warburton
voiced Joe Swanson
Suzie PlaksonSuzie Plakson
voiced Various
Wally WingertWally Wingert
voiced Various
Michelle KwanMichelle Kwan
voiced Herself
Main Cast
Seth MacFarlaneSeth MacFarlane
voiced Peter Griffin | Stewie Griffin | Brian Griffin | Various Characters
Alex BorsteinAlex Borstein
voiced Lois Griffin | Various Characters
Seth GreenSeth Green
voiced Chris Griffin | Various Characters
Mike Henry (1)Mike Henry (1)
voiced Cleveland Brown | Various Characters
Lacey ChabertLacey Chabert
voiced Meg Griffin
Episode Notes
This episode introduces the characters

Joe Swanson

Bonnie Swanson

Kevin Swanson

Episode Quotes
Peter: You’re not supposed to admire wheelchair people. You’re supposed to feel sorry for them.

Joe: I just suggested a line of handicapable toys – ya know, to show the kids the fun of being physically challenged!

Chris: When the kids at school see this, they’re gonna think you’re a total psycho.

Chris: He’s cool, Dad…he killed a guy.

Peter: My whole family worships the ground he can’t even walk on…

Peter: Holy crip, he's a crapple!

Brian: Gosh, I'd like to help you, Peter, but I've got to go out in the hall and chew on the back of my ass for about five minutes.

Lois: Stewie, say hi to our new neighbor, Officer Swanson.
Stewie: You will bow to me!

Episode Goofs
Joe says that he is crippled from fighting the Grinch ten years earlier, but when in the flashback we see Bonnie was still pregnant back then. However, in "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin Christmas", Joe implies that he has been impotent since becoming crippled.

When watching the Wheel of Fortune, Peter believes the answer to the puzzle will be "Go (F Word) Yourself", when it turns out to be "Go Tuck Yourself In".

However, it would have been impossible for the answer to be "Go (F Word) Yourself", since the F in (F Word) would have been revealed when the F in Yourself was revealed.

In the cutaway scene of the Super Friends playing strip poker with Wonder Woman, Peter asks Robin why he's looking at him and not at Wonder Woman.

In the wide shot however, The only Super Friends seen are Superman & Batman who are seated. Flash, Black Vulcan & Green Lantern are on Peter's right. Hawkman is behind Peter & Aquaman is on Peter's left.
Robin is not there.

The trophies Joe has placed in the bookcase have switched shelves when Peter goes to leave

Stewie is seen reading in the center of the living room rug but when Lois comes in and takes the books, he's sitting on the edge of the rug

Brian returns from Joe's house to find Peter sitting on the front stoop but when Brian tells him about Joe finding a place on him that made his leg shake, the sidewalk is missing

When Peter starts his improv with the robber and bank teller, the big bag of loot has been set down but when Peter gets the gun away from the robber the bag of money has vanished

There is no chain link in the fence when Peter is standing by it but it appears suddenly when Mr. Weed walks up

Cultural References
Stewie: “Oh Machiavelli, you've told me nothing I don't already know. Ahh Sun Tzu's The Art of War”

Stewie reads “The Prince” by Niccolò Machiavelli & “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu

Lois: “Here, watch the Teletubbies”

Stewie becomes hypnotized by the PBS show “Teletubbies”

Peter: “A&E Biography is doing the life of the other guy from WHAM”

The “other guy” is Andrew Ridgeley the lesser known member of the pop group WHAM! that formed in 1981.
The other half of the duo was George Michael, who after WHAM broke up in 1986 went on to a very successful solo career while Andrew faded into obscurity.

Also, “A&E Biography” is a TV show that began in 1987 on the A&E cable network that profiles different celebrities or historical figures.

The long running Korean War based sitcom “M*A*S*H” (1972-1983) & it's star Alan Alda are mentioned by Peter as something he hates more than their opposing softball team.

Peter: “Hey Mr. Weed, I have a great ides for a new line of action figures. Facts of Life Transformers”

As Peter says he's invented a line of toys based on the characters from the TV sitcom “The Facts of Life” (1979-1988). The one we see is of “Blair”.
He also mentions “Tootie” who transforms into a stink bug, “Natalie” who transforms into “one of those spitting lizards” from 1993's “Jurassic Park” & “Mrs. Garrett”.

The toys transforms like the “Transformers” from the TV series of the same name (1979-1988).

Chris, Peter & Brian watch the long running game show “Wheel of Fortune”

The 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton (1993-2001) is mentioned

Peter: “Oh man what am I gonna do if I get fired? I'll have to go back to my old job as a Calvin Klein model”

Reference to a real series of commercials for “Calvin Klein” products from the 80s

Peter: “What was the name of the bad guy from TRON?”

Peter tries to recall the 1982 scifi Disney movie “TRON” starring Jeff Bridges & Bruce Boxleitner.
Incidentally, the bad guy's name was “Sark”.

Peter: “Uh, me love you long time?”

A reference to a quote from the 1987 movie “Full Metal Jacket”

Peter: “ should be illegal, like copyright infringement”

Peter (obviously) transforms into iconic Disney character Mickey Mouse

Peter: “First he takes my friends, then he takes my job, but the way I wear my hat. No no, he can't take that away from me”

Allusion to the 1937 song, “They Can't Take That Away from Me”, written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin and introduced by Fred Astaire in the 1937 film “Shall We Dance”.
It's been recorded many time throughout the years, most notable by Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra & Tony Bennett

Grinch: “You think you have won, you think all is well, but kiss my green ass, I shall see you in hell!”

We learn that Joe became paralyzed when he stopped the Grinch from stealing toys from an orphanage.
“The Grinch” of course is the character from Dr. Seuss' book and popular 1966 animated Christmas special “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

Peter: {singing} “Jesus loves me, he loves me a bunch, cause he always puts Skippy in my lunch”

Skippy is of course the popular brand of peanut butter and the second part of the lyric, “cause {she} always puts Skippy in my lunch” was part of series of commercials in the 80s & 90s

Peter: “They're about to see a real hero in action. To the Batcave!”

Peter lifting the head of the bust, pressing the button and sliding down the pole is the same way Adam West (who played Batman) & Burt Ward (who played Robin) entered the Batcave on the “Batman” TV series (1966-1968)

Peter: “...I thought being a hero would be all fun and games”

The cutaway shows Peter as part of the “Super Friends” (1973-1977) playing strip poker at the Hall of Justice.
It even includes the same type of scene change and music used in the series.

Kevin Swanson says he is a fan of the alternative rock bands Garbage, Phish, Blur & Radiohead

Silver medal winner at the 1998 Nagano Olympics & Bronze medal winner at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, Michelle Kwan plays herself thanking Peter for driving her to the skating rink

Other Episode Crew

CreatorSeth MacFarlane
DeveloperDavid Zuckerman  |  Seth MacFarlane
Executive ProducerSeth MacFarlane  |  David Zuckerman
Supervising ProducerCraig Hoffman  |  Danny Smith (1)  |  Gary Janetti
ProducerSherry Gunther
Co-ProducerMike Barker (1)  |  Matt Weitzman
Consulting ProducerJohn Riggi
EditorJohn Walts  |  Rick McKenzie
CastingKaren Vice  |  Linda Lamontagne
Line ProducerKen Dennis
Staff WriterMike Henry (1)  |  Andrew Gormley
MusicRon Jones (1)
Story EditorNeil Goldman  |  Garrett Donovan
Supervising DirectorRoy Allen Smith  |  Peter Shin
Executive Story EditorRicky Blitt  |  Chris Sheridan
Main Title ThemeWalter Murphy
Animation ProducerDavid Pritchard  |  Lolee Aries  |  John Bush (1)
Writing AssistantSteve Callaghan  |  Dave Collard  |  Ken Goin
AssistantRich Rinaldi  |  Lane Schnaitter
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