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'Family Guy' recap: Stewie, Brian, and Chris board the Titanic

Season 13 | Episode 7 | “Stewie, Chris & Brian’s Excellent Adventure” | Aired Jan 4, 2015

Stewie and Brian step up to help Chris pass his history final so he won’t have to repeat ninth grade. Even after a night of studying, Chris can’t absorb anything from his history textbook, so Brian and Stewie use Stewie’s time machine to show Chris history as it happened. The time machine episodes are among the best and most irreverent in the Family Guy canon, because you just know Seth MacFarlane and his staff are scrolling through Wikipedia, looking for ways to take awful digs at famous/beloved people in history.

Stewie and Brian show Chris several important moments in history: Paris in 1920 (where Brian drives Ernest Hemingway to commit suicide), George Washington bravely crossing the Delaware (with inflatable floaties) and the 1990s (one white guy, dancing badly by a boom box in front of some graffiti). “This is the entire 90s?” “Yup, yup, this was it.”Brian and Stewie come to help Chris pass his history final.Stewie and Brian warn Chris not to do anything drastic, so as not to alter the course of history, but they take some liberties with the curriculum, stopping to let Stewie pass gas at Jane Austen’s house and let Brian beat up Ivan Pavlov for his conditioning research on dogs. Stewie even gives a young Charlie Chaplin lookalike a dollar, who turns out to be a young maybe-Hitler.

After several jaunts through time, Chris reveals he’s absorbed zero knowledge from the trip. Stewie yells at Chris after they visit Parliament in London. He calls him a moron, and Chris runs away crying. They find him sailing away on the Titanic, having stolen their time machine. Stewie and Brian jump aboard as it sails away from the dock.

As they search for Chris, Brian points out they could warn the crew about that fatal iceberg and save hundreds of lives. But that would be too much work: “Saving this ship would mean talking to like, 80 people, and I’m not just in the mood for that right now,” Stewie reasons. Stewie and Brian find Chris just as the Titanic scrapes the iceberg, flooding the ship and waterlogging the time machine. “This would make a great movie,” Chris remarks, marveling at the chaos. Indeed.Chris, Stewie and Brian take a time-travel adventure.In an effort to board one of the lifeboats, the trio dresses as women of noble birth, but one of the ship’s crewmen refuses to let them on a lifeboat, saying there’s no more room. Stewie tries to argue their way on, then tries to bribe the crewman with sexual favors, but he won’t budge. Suddenly, in a bold move for a high school freshman in a pink dress, Chris throws the crewman overboard and storms on to the lifeboat (just like Kathy Bates!) with Stewie and Brian in tow. Stewie takes back his moron insult, praising Chris for saving the day. As the brothers hug, Brian quips, “Looks like one ship was saved today … a relationship.” The rest of the survivors on the lifeboat promptly jump into the water, and now Brian’s puns have successfully driven about two dozen people to kill themselves on this adventure. Not as bad as usual.

Stewie fixes the time machine and the trio returns home safely. Chris still hasn’t retained much history (“We went on a boat called the Gigantic!”) and seems doomed to repeat ninth grade. Luckily, the crewman he killed on the Titanic turned out to be Nigel Harpington, the ancestor of his history teacher, Mr. Harpington. With the Harpington bloodline erased from history forever, Chris now has a guitar-playing hippie history teacher who doesn’t believe in final exams. Victory for the underachievers!

Cutaway of the Week: Stewie tries to dress Jonah Hill for the Oscars, but he just won’t stay the same weight, damn it.

Insult of the Week: “What are the chances those states suck?” —Thomas Jefferson, in his speech to get the Louisiana Purchase passed in 1803

Family Guy airs Sundays at 9/8C on Fox.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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