The Long-Awaited Family Guy/Simpsons Crossover: A Nice Place to Visit, But...

Family Guy S13E01: "The Simpsons Guy"

Can you believe Fox made it all the way to 2014 before staging a crossover episode between its two animation juggernauts, Family Guy and The Simpsons? Just the idea of such a combo was probably the stuff of wet dreams for slashfic writers with animation fetishes. The two series' long-overdue collision in "The Simpsons Guy" was a mixture of pinkish fleshy color and bright yellow skin, typical Family Guy shenanigans and Simpsons humor, and blatant fourth-wall destruction. In other words, it was pretty much everything you might've expected.

"The Simpsons Guy" was technically a Family Guy episode, but let's make it an honorary Simpsons episode as well, since Peter Griffin and his family left Quahog for Springfield. Given its locale, it certainly looked like a Simpsons episode for most of the hour, but overall it fit within the canons of both shows, as they've started to find more common ground over the years. Once the initial shock of seeing the Griffins in Springfield wore off, what should have been weird ended up feeling almost natural. Heck, the hardest thing to get used to was the difference in skin pigmentation (is that racist?); I hadn't really noticed how ill Homer Simpson looks until he was juxtaposed against Peter's "healthy" skintone.


It made total sense for each character to be paired off with his or her Animation Domination counterpart. Stewie idolized Bart and then kidnapped Bart's bullies (and Apu) to impress him; Maggie hung out with her intellectual equal, Chris; Lisa discovered the one thing that Meg can do (play saxophone) and wasn't pleased about it; Brian and Santa's Little Helper went for a walk together despite having nothing in common; and Homer and Peter spent the bulk of the episode palling around town. (Sorry all your Lois-Marge sapphic fantasies went unfulfilled, perverts.) 

Ultimately, despite being so obvious, the jokes that blatantly acknowledged the crossover were the best. That's what we all paid to see, right? The cutaway gag to Bob Belcher from Bob's Burgers was probably the highlight for me, thanks to Peter's jab that The Simpsons and Family Guy are carrying Bob's show. Meanwhile, Seth MacFarlane even squeezed in some self-deprecation as we saw Cleveland Brown crashing a plane he tried to fly on his own, an admission that Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show crashed and burned. Also drawing major laughs from me was the courtroom scene in which Duff sued Pawtucket Brewery for intellectual theft and the camera panned around the courtroom to reveal corresponding Simpsons and Family Guy characters sitting together in pairs, with Simpsons originals matched up with their Family Guy knock-offs (including Bee Man and Consuela, Cleveland and Lenny, James Woods and James Woods). For someone who hasn't given either show a lot of thought recently, it was a rather eye-opening experience.


Of course, everything ended in an epic fight between Homer and Peter as they laid waste to Springfield and even went to space, which was a true-to-form way for Family Guy to use the extra time afforded by the hour-long episode.

Some fans may be disappointed by "The Simpsons Guy" or view it as a missed opportunity to create something truly great. However, Family Guy and The Simpsons have been on television for almost four decades combined; expectations should've been tempered. As Chris, the dumbest character in either Quahog or Springfleid, said at the beginning of the episode, "Yay! A crossover always brings out the best in each show! It certainly doesn't smack of desperation. The priorities are always creative and not driven by marketing." Chris, you idiot.

What did you think?


NOTES

– "The Simpsons Guy" contained a rape joke that has the Parents Television Council up in arms. Stewie tried to play a prank on Moe using Bart's famous fake-name formula, but all he said was, "Your sister's being raped." Is that an offensive joke, or is it merely what you'd expect from Family Guy? I'm not saying that being typical for Family Guy makes it okay, but it doesn't seem any worse than what the show has done in the past.

– For Pete's sake!

– That car wash scene went on forever! I'm not even so sure it was funny to being with.

– Well Mr. Fred Flintstone, weren't you just a knock off of The Honeymooners?


Comments (84)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Feb 28, 2015
I finally got to see it and it was pretty good! I liked them having Fred Flinstone as the judge, such a shame they did not have Barney, Wilma, Betty, Bam Bam, and Pebbles in their respective places as they went around the courtroom.
I loved it when Stewie said "How long has he been treating you like this?" and Bart said " Twenty four years!" Classic. I smiled as I watched it, but what made me laugh out loud was the very end when Peter sang "And now the show is over now" A perfect redundant end to a show about redundancy.
Reply
Flag
Nov 16, 2014
I enjoy both shows, but that crossover was pretty weak. The end fight was okay, but I guess it must be because I love the chicken fights. Also, Stewie replicating the board gag from the opening of the Simpsons. But otherwise, it was rather "meh".
Reply
Flag
Oct 06, 2014
It was a very entertaining episode. The only thing I didn't like about it was how long the chicken fight went on for but then again that's Family Guy for ya.
1
Reply
Flag
Oct 02, 2014
That was disappointing. Way too much focus on Homer and Peter.
Reply
Flag
Sep 30, 2014
I haven't laughed that hard at either show in years! It was really entertaining. The rape "joke" didn't seem out of place for Family Guy and it honestly didn't jump out at me as scandalous. In typical Family Guy fashion the car wash scene and the slugfest went on too long but at this point I'd expect nothing less.

1
Reply
Flag
Sep 30, 2014
Lurrved it!!! Especially all the knocks at how Family Guy is a rip of Simpsons, Homer opening the cupboard of Emmy's, and Stewie idolising Bart... But my ABSOLUTE FAVE: the whole Brian/Dog scenario - laughing all the way through!
Reply
Flag
Sep 30, 2014
This show could end right now. I don't think they can do better than that.

Reply
Flag
Sep 30, 2014
This would have been a great episode...if it had been in the Golden Age of Family Guy. Instead we got the shitty current Family Guy, Peter being horrible even though he was equally in the wrong, and fighting Homer to the death even though Homer was trying to make amends. And the Meg Bashing was just in bad taste.
Reply
Flag
Sep 30, 2014
It was great!!!! love both these shows too much
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 30, 2014
LOVED IT! Haven't really watched either show in years. Pleasant surprise!
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 30, 2014

Oh and don´t you think The Simpsons just overall kinda won? I was expecting more mean jokes from Peter of how The Simpsons have been awful for 10 years.. But there were a lot more "Family Guy is plagiarism" jokes... Feels like Seth pulled a few punches there.
Reply
Flag
Sep 30, 2014
Yeah.. it was a good episode, I liked it.

Cool how Homer was confused by the flashback trigger ¨a greater team thannn...¨

And ¨I´m a The Simpsons¨

Several highlights!
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
I don't watch either of these two shows anymore and I just stopped by to see if it might be any good. It seems it was, so I'll be watching it tonight. Thanks guys
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
I really enjoyed this one, it was both shows at their best, it looked really good and it was voice-acted well, it didn't shy away from anything the other series had over theirs, and it felt more irreverent than The Simpsons has felt in decades. And oh god, James Woods and James Woods was such a huge laugh for me. This to me was something truly great, if both series ended tomorrow I'd have fond memories of them thanks to this crossover event.

Stewie's inability to understand the prank phone call was priceless, especially Bart's reaction. Stewie is messed up and this wisely highlighted the differences between the series. The thing that shocked me most was that Bart Simpson knows what rape is enough to know how horrible Stewie's mistake was.
2
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
The car wash scene... Best ever... LOL!!
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
This crossover was entertaining. nuff said
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
wasn't the joke Bart made about "i wasn"t the only one to get kicked out of campa also de joke about rape, yet it doesn't seem to bother people so much...
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Yep. I was a bit shocked to hear that coming from Bart. It was funny though.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
The entire second half of the episode was great. The Duff/Pawtucket argument made very good points on behalf of their respective shows. The only thing I disagreed with was the "pile of garbage between us" crack or the allegation that Bob's Burgers needs to be carried. I, like Peter, haven't enjoyed Duff in like 13 years, so if anything in the 8:30 slot fails, it's because The Simpsons hasn't been the greatest lead-in lately. The whole "people like The Simpsons and Family Guy enough that they'll stay tuned for whatever airs between them" mentality doesn't work if The Simpsons is subpar. And that whole strategy in general has been kind of outdated since the invention of the remote control.
1
Reply
Flag
Oct 08, 2014
"And that whole strategy in general has been kind of outdated since the invention of the remote control."

In other words, the slam you just made against The Simpsons is irrelevant. People change the channel after The Simpsons because they don't want to watch Bob's Burgers and it is easy because of the remote control not because of the quality of The Simpsons.
Reply
Flag
Oct 08, 2014
Actually, it was more a reference to whatever airs between them. I'm sure back in the old days, when you actually had to get up and touch the television to change the channel, and you had to scroll through every channel to find something, people would be more likely to watch something just because it aired between two other shows they wanted to watch. Now, not so much.
Reply
Flag
Feb 27, 2015
Actually wayyyyyy back in the old days, before remote control, we only had three, perhaps four if you were lucky, channels to surf. Also, getting off of the sofa was not considered hard work either...we looked at the tv guide and if something looked good, we went to that channel, or chose to get something else done for the half hour if we did not want to watch anything.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Also... South Park kind of did the whole "Bart - the original bad boy - meeting his replacements" with Eric Cartman.

Sure back in the DAY Bart was considered edgy and bad. But that was when it all started.

Stewie and Eric Cartman make Bart look like Charlie Brown.
Reply
Flag
Feb 27, 2015
I think Fred Flinstone as the judge was to show that neither one of them were the "original", in fact, they have been around ever since cartoons began.
Reply
Flag
Feb 28, 2015
I never suggested that Family Guy or whatever was "original."

Just that South Park already had "Bart meeting his new replacement and realizing how dark and crazy his replacement is."

Reply
Flag
Feb 28, 2015
Ah, I see. I don't watch South Park, so I did not understand that. :) I have heard that I should watch it... do you like it?
Reply
Flag
Feb 28, 2015
M'eh

The early seasons were fun and "shocking" but after umpteen years it becomes a bit boring. The episode where Cartman meets Bart was like 5-7 years ago.

Now-a-days it's probably less cool, since Family Guy and various Adult Swim cartoons already desensitized us.
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
The whole episode felt very forced. The Simpsons characters forced into doing Family Guy things - car wash, chicken fight, Stewie's torture area, etc. These shows don't mix well. The Simpsons has been the same forever, our perceptions of what should/shouldn't be on TV have changed, so the drunken, slovenly, kid-strangling Homer has gone from controversial to lovable. Whereas Family Guy has just kept getting more wtf (even though there are some very tame episodes in there). Both shows would have been better if this never happened
4
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
This was a much better season premiere than The Simpsons. The "we're going to kill someone off" hubbub culminated in a total cop-out. How many Krusty-centric episodes do we need in 24(?) years? Seems like Seth & company knew that the counterparts we need to see really interact were the fat guys and the troublemakers along with some added stuff to show that Meg really is a loser even when compared to nerdy Lisa. I think they also wanted to show that even though Bart may have been the default animated bad boy 15 or 20 years ago (even Dennis was no longer a menace), he doesn't have the stones to take on his enemies like Stewie does.
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
I give it a giant "Meh"

It had some funny bits here and there, but it wasn't that great.

And I agree with Comic Book Guy... Worst. Chicken. Fight. Ever.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
That PTC article: "...he was particularly concerned about its exposure to younger viewers who may be fans of "The Simpsons," but are not familiar with the "Family Guy" style of comedy."

I'm not going to go find the Picard facepalm picture, just know that it goes right about here.
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 30, 2014
I didn't read the article because I prefer to decide for myself what I find acceptable for my kids to watch (I know, the gall!) but, and I hate to criticize other people's parenting (no I don't), maybe don't let your kids stay up that late in the first place and/or watch the show before they do and make up your mind if you think your kids should be watching it.

Badically, I agree.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
The PTC is impossible to take seriously, and that's just more evidence on the pile as to why.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Agreed.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
One other thing:

Meg's got some solid sax skills. For a girl who's never had lessons.

4
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
i was disappointed. i only laughed at all during the car wash scene. i think what was the biggest let down was that they grossly under used marge and lois. i think that it would have been interesting to see those 2 interact and they really wasted that. the best partnership really was stewie and bart. i dont know but i didnt like the homer/peter pairing. both of them are incredibly stupid and peter is hard to take for half an hour so an episode where the majority of the focus was on him and homer was worse.
also..i feel like they ran out of material so just threw a 6 minute long fight scene at the end to make up for it
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Yeah, Marge and Lois. That's what it needed more of. My eyes just fell out of my skull they rolled so hard.

Also, don't sell it short. That fight was about 7 minutes even.
2
Reply
Flag
Oct 01, 2014
well it certainly wasnt great watching the moronic homer and peter bumle around. the small scenes bart and stewie and lisa and meg had were better than most anything homer and peter did
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
The two worst main characters on both shows didn't need more screen time.
Reply
Flag
Oct 01, 2014
peter is the worst character on both shows by FAR. ranking family guy's main 6 it'd go like this:
1. stewie
2. brian
3. lois
4. meg
5. chris.
6. peter

and homer is the worst on the simpsons.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
That was the joke, Marge and Lois are the housewives so they don't get much to do on either show, they went and saw a movie together and that was their highlight.
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
I agree that the self-awareness of the whole thing was just about the funniest part of the episode, as were the character comparisons, but other than that I found it rather tedious. I really only found the Bart/ Stewie pairing to hold any interest, but the others fell flat for me. And the fight between Peter and the chicken Homer was so painful that I fast-forwarded through most of it.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Nice little crossover.

I like how both versions of James Woods met in the courtroom.

And I have to disagree with Comic Book Guy. BEST chicken fight ever. Minus the chicken.

Although, Stewie torturing Nelson creeped me out.
2
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
"Cleveland and Lenny"

Might want to check your facts, I'm pretty sure the black one is named Quagmire...
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
The black guy on the Simpsons is not Lenny, but Carl
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Loved it PMSL
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
It was a fun episode with a lot of humorous moments.Now I'm ready for a Futurama/American Dad crossover!
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
The next one is Futurama/Simpsons. American Dad has been banished to a space where no crossovers can happen.
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
But one can dream that the two networks can work together for a crossover.
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
I had thought the Parents Television council had gone extinct. WWE fans remember them well.
2
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
The PTC never had all that much respect from me, but once I found out (via Foley is Good) that their founder was the grandson of Joe McCarthy's speechwriter, all bets were off.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
"Judge" Fred Flintstone (spell his name, Tim. Spell it!) obviously used this law book...



And that ONE joke with Italian Sideshow Bob was funnier than most of last night's crossover episode.

3
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
I liked it a lot. It was way better than The Simpsons' season 26 premiere. FOX should had used both as seasons premieres. I can't wait to see Futurama crossover for The Simpsons!
4
Reply
Flag
Oct 08, 2014
Technically, The Simpsons premiere was a holdover episode from season 25. Episodes from season 26 haven't aired yet. Both the Halloween and Futurama episodes are also from season 25. The first season 26 episode to air may be the Christmas episode ("Won't Be Home for Christmas").
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
I watched the Simpsons premiere just before this episode, and it barely held my attention. I know it had something to do with Krusty, but I can't even remember how it ended. This was a much better premiere, I was glued all the way though.

And a Futurama/Simpsons crossover? Is this a thing?? Please let it be so.
3
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Futurama/Simpsons crossover is indeed confirmed for Nov 9th of this year!

I totally agree on your point about not even remembering how the Krusty's dad dying episode ended, while this was enthralling.
2
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
I hope it is an hour (actually 42 minutes) long like with Family Guy!
2
Reply
Flag
Oct 08, 2014
No, a single episode production number SABF16. The Family Guy premiere's production numbers were BACX22/BACX23.
1
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
What?!? I LOVED the car wash scene!
4
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Me too, I was cringing the whole way through it though. Peter, we've seen in that particular light before, but Homer.... omg haha. I don't think I've seen Homer that...um, sexualised(?) before, if you know what I mean. Which is why I was laughing and cringing and 'oh gawd my eyes!!!' all the way through that scene. lol.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Just the idea of such a combo was probably the stuff of wet dreams for slashfic writers with animation fetishes.

I immediately thought, "Is this Tim's?" I looked up and it was Tim's.
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
I did the same thing!
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Seeing Springfield and the Simpsons from a different point of view gave me a much greater appreciation of that fictional Universe that's been sort of a part of my life for just about all of it. It's funny that I spent the episode wincing whenever The Griffins did something really crass like I was personally embarrassed though. I even started wondering about whether the voice actors for The Simpsons were having fun with it or were uncomfortable with crossing lines they don't normally cross.

I liked most of it except the fantasy stuff at the end with the flying, radiation, and UFO. By doing that they basically made it non-canon like the Tree house of Horror episodes which basically undermined it. I
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
I didn't care for the fight scene either.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Except it's a Family Guy episode and that is the norm for "chicken fights", it's likely canon.
2
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Now, let's have a reversed episode with The Simpsons coming to Quahog.
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Peter: Woo hoo!
Homer: Roadhouse.

Yeah, I know that was too simple, but I was sleepy and thus easily amused.
5
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
I loved those little tidbits, that could be easily missed. That one in particular had me giggling as having it come from Homer, and the look on his face was just priceless.
1
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
this episode proved once and for all that Simpsons was funny and relevant 20 years ago...whereas Family Guy is funny and relevant now.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
Actually, I'd say this episode proved that both series COULD be relevant today if they tried, but their best years are indeed behind them because they don't try to push that envelope in their scripts anymore, usually leaning on gags and nonsense alone.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
they could..but theyre on network tv so they'll always be far inferior to the genius of South Park where Matt and Trey basically do anything they like and it never get stale.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
I disagree, Matt & Trey lost me as a loyal viewer a few years ago when it became utterly lazy and unrepentant, leaning heavily on Cartman's increasingly over-the-top hate-antics. Around that time, I started noticing how many young people on video game chat use the phrase "dirty jew" emulating Cartman. Seeing the documentary of how they make the show confirmed why it's so uneven lately on SP, they generally phone it in at the last minute instead of putting in more time.

South Park uses more timely and extreme methods to get attention which is a cable aspect, but in terms of quality and genius, I would not put it any higher than The Simpsons or Family Guy. And this is coming from someone who eagerly went to the theater on South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut on opening day and still considers it one of the best theatrical experiences ever.
Reply
Flag
Sep 29, 2014
No, it's not offensive. It's not a joke that trades on the idea that rape is funny. Rape isn't the punchline of the joke. The joke is that Stewie doesn't get the formula of a prank call. It's an interchangeable line. It could have been "Your sister's being murdered," or "Your sister's a whore." But really, Family Guy is always trying to push buttons and the Parent Television Council is always looking for things to get mad about. They're both just doing what they do.
15
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook