American Dad!

Season 3 Episode 3

Failure is Not a Factory-installed Option

Aired Monday 9:30 PM Sep 24, 2006 on TBS
out of 10
User Rating
171 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stan loses his confidence, and his job, when a car salesman gets the best of him in a negotiation. Meanwhile, Roger and Steve set up a makeshift drive-in to try to get to first base with popular schoolgirls.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Stan loses his confidence (and job) when a car salesman gets the best of him

    Stan loses his confidence, and his job, when a car salesman gets the best of him in a negotiation. Meanwhile, Roger and Steve set up a makeshift drive-in to try to get to first base with popular schoolgirls. It been ages since I watched and reviewed an American Dad episode. The American Dad After School Special was the last time I reviewed a season 2 episode since like almost a year ago (!). But the last time I reviewed was the season 8 premiere. So, in order to get back on track, I now review this episode. This was a great episode of American Dad in my opinion. It could have been a better episode with some LOL moments (there wasn't any) but at least there were some minor humor here. This include Stan losing his confidence when he kept getting the wrong car and accidentally giving the terriost a *** and several CIA secrets, Stan suddenly appearing on the kitchen while a pan flute music play, Francine and Hayley cleaning the restroom, and the last part of the episode. The continuation of the golden turd was pretty good since it told us what happens after the last time we saw it. Overall a great episode of AD. 8.5/10moreless
  • Could have been a little better but still a great episode

    Stan loses his confidence, and his job, when a car salesman gets the best of him in a negotiation. Meanwhile, Roger and Steve set up a makeshift drive-in to try to get to first base with popular schoolgirls. I thought that this was a great episode of "American Dad". It wasn't my favorite episode and it could have been a little better but it was enjoyable though. Some of the scenes in this episode were a little boring and did seem to drag. Like I said, this episode could have been a little better. then again, it could have been a little worse. I did laugh at some parts though. There were some very parts that I did get a very good laugh at. Francine and Haley working to clean some woman's restroom by cleaning toilets and all that was hilarious. Steve's plot trying to get the popular girls into their drive-in was very funny as well. The funniest part in this episode was definitely the very ending of the episode when Stan beat the car salesman into signing him a deal. Stan saying "Oh yeah... I won, I won, I won" which leaves the family in shock that he put them in a situation like that on purpose was funny as well. The storyline was very good for the most part with some very funny parts. Overall, it's not my favorite episode but it is an enjoyable way to spend 30 minutes of your time... fans of this show might like this episode just as much as I did though. 8.5/10moreless
  • Another perfect episode

    Stan loses his confidence, and his job, when a car salesman gets the best of him in a negotiation. Meanwhile, Roger and Steve set up a makeshift drive-in to try to get to first base with popular schoolgirls.

    Read Full Recap

    (warning: possible spoilers!)

    Stan interrogates a man the CIA believes to be a terrorist. Stan figures out that the man's wife doesn't care for him anymore and is able to relate to him and find out his terrorist secrets. Steve and the nerds eye the popular girls at school. The nerds don't think the girls will talk to them, but Steve has confidence. When the guys approach the girls, but the girls tell them that they only date guys with cars. Francine tells Stan that her car broke down again and Stan promises to buy her a new car. Stan enters the show room and hopes to use his negotiating skills to outsmart the salesman. Stan begins to analyze him, but before he can, the salesman finds Stan's weakness. Stan brings home a sports car, which isn't want Francine wanted. Stan realizes that the salesman turned the tables on him. Every time Stan leaves, he returns home with a new car. Roger finds an old movie projector in the attic, but no movies. Steve walks upstairs and realizes that he can use his dad's new cars to impress the girls. At the CIA, Stan starts to interrogate a terrorist, but ends up giving him a passport and several CIA secrets before sending him on his way. Bullock suspends Stan without pay. Stan mopes around the house, and Francine suggests that Stan visit his sensei, the man who taught him everything he knows about interrogation. Stan flies to Nepal and is welcomed by his sensei. Steve invites the girls over and they're impressed to see all the cars. Steve admits that they can't drive the cars. Hayley delivers a box of films to Roger. Roger projects the movie on the garage and the girls think Steve has his own drive-in movie theater. Stan returns from his trip. His skills are honed and he will return to the car dealership in the morning. Steve's drive-in is a hit. The nerds sit in the cars with the girls, but the girls tell the guys that they don't understand why the guys didn't make any advances. Stan appears at the car dealership and announces his arrival. Francine serves dinner, but the house goes dark. Steve, Hayley and Francine run outside to see that Stan has been tricked into buying the dealership blimp. Stan realizes his mistake and tells his family he's removing himself from the family because he's an embarrassment. Francine tells the family that she doesn't know where Stan is or when he's coming back, but they shouldn't worry. The electricity in the house suddenly shuts off and the family has to work to pay the bills. Hayley and Francine take jobs as house cleaners. After the home owners refuse to pay, Francine pawns her wedding ring. In front of the pawn shop, Francine sees Stan. His sports car is filthy and packed with belongings, and he's grown a full beard. Francine climbs in and begs Stan to come home. The girls return to Steve's drive-in. Roger fires up the movie and just as Steve makes his move, a repo-man shows up to take all of Stan's cars. Francine, Hayley and Steve head to the store where they find Stan trying to sell candy bars. Stan sees the man who sold him all the cars and the man offers to set things right with the cars and the bank. At the dealership, Stan peels off his filthy costume and beard revealing that he did it all to beat the salesman

    10 out of 10moreless
  • great

    What I liked: Steve's plot of the drive-in, Barry in the backseat of the car and his girl in the front seat, Roger reciting the line to the movie they were all watching, Stan sneaking up on people and scaring them after seeing his sensei, Stan finally getting back at that car salesman, amongst other things.

    Good episode. I can't believe I did not see the ending coming, but then again, I never pick up on things like that. I thought it was really clever how Stan pretended to leave the family and how that was just part of his shtick. Good episode overall, my final grade is a solid "B".moreless
  • Stan has mad negotiating skills

    This is a great episode with a very random twist, with some terrific moments, such as Stan’s negotiating skills at the start, continually falling for the car salesman’s trap, Roger trying to work an old movie projector, Stan’s sensei and Hailey whoring herself out for grocery money.

    Steve and his friends trying to become men was also a very funny plot, which ties in well with the ending, where it’ revealed that Stan purposely screwed up his family’s life to save ten dollars a month.

    Overall, this is a great episode focusing on Stan’s negotiation skills, and the ending is definitely worth watching the whole episode.moreless
Scott Lowell

Scott Lowell


Guest Star

Christine Baranski

Christine Baranski

Homeless Woman

Guest Star

Elias Koteas

Elias Koteas


Guest Star

Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart


Recurring Role

Curtis Armstrong

Curtis Armstrong


Recurring Role

Eddie Kaye Thomas

Eddie Kaye Thomas


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Repo-man: Here to repo the cars.
      Steve: You can't do that - we're about to become men!
      Repo-man: Well, you may have planned on becoming men through sexual conquest, but an equally valid preparation for adulthood would be a night filled with disappointment and compromise.

    • (Mysterious music plays and Stan disappears. Then shows Stan with his head in the letterbox.)
      Stan: Damn, I can't even exit mysteriously anymore.

    • Roger: Ah, Steve. Your first grope-fest. You won't truly appreciate the awkwardness of this moment until you're fondly reminiscing as a 35-year-old homosexual.

    • Steve: Chicken pot pie! My favorite!
      Francine: Actually, it's turkey.
      Steve: Oh, gross! Why don't we just eat a big pile of vomit?

    • Francine: Turkey pot pie or chicken pot pie? Turkey pot pie or chicken pot pie? Turkey pot pie...
      (pan flute plays; Stan appears)
      Francine: Oh!
      Stan: Perhaps the answer is not what is inside the pie, but what is inside you.
      Francine: Stan, you scared me half to death.
      Stan: Better to be scared half to death, than to death half scared be to.

    • Hayley: (looks at Roger's films) Porky's? Meatballs 2? Enjoy your crapfest!
      Roger: Oh, go read The Bell Jar, you poser!

    • Steve: Hey, what are you doing with my dad's movie projector?
      Roger: If I'm living in a storage unit so he can buy 20 cars, I'm going to get something out of it.
      Steve: Get something out of it... Cars... Yes! The girls would go crazy over these cars. That's it!
      Roger: Hey, Algernon, what's wrong with you? Can't you get an idea without saying it out loud?

    • Stan: So, what do you think of your new car? Do you love it?
      Francine: I told you I wanted the Femwagon. This is the Phallus.
      Stan: No, it's the Phallus ES. Felix said it was the last one on the lot. I had to act fast or this other guy was totally going to buy it. (Pauses) Son of a bitch! He mind-raped me! Don't worry, honey. No car salesman is going to get the better of me. (Drives off in the Phallus ES; comes back in Francine's old car) Is she a beauty or what?
      Francine: Stan, that's my old car.
      Stan: Correction: it's your new pre-owned car, and I got it for a sweet ten grand.
      Francine: We sold it to him for seven.
      Stan: Yeah, but he let me keep the Phallus for no extra charge.
      Francine: Because you already paid for it!
      Stan: Francine, there's a lot of math - man math - involved in a car purchased that... (Pauses) Damn it!

    • Francine: Hey, you know how we were talking about getting a new car? Well, I know exactly what I want: The Femwagon. It's a little pricey.
      Stan: Hey, you've got one of the CIA's top negotiators on your side. You know, I negotiated my way through negotiator training. I should have failed the hell out of that class. That's how good I am.

    • Steve: Look! It's Jenny Bowen. She's got the body of Lara Croft, the pouty good looks of Resident Evil's Jill Valentine, and the frank eroticism of Rosie O'Donnell.
      Snot: God, I'd love to bend Rosie O'Donnell over a buffett table and just let her eat all she wants.
      Steve: Yes, Rosie O'Donnell is every teenage boy's Mrs. Right.

    • Achmed: It's no use, CIA man. I will never talk. Never!
      Stan: Shh! (Thinking) Every man has a weakness. What is his? His teeth are yellow, so he's a smoker. The handcuffs around his wrists mean he's in some sort of trouble. The haunted look in his eyes suggests that he doesn't know what Eric McCormack's going to do after Will & Grace either. He's got a wedding ring, but his shirt doesn't match his pants, which means his wife has stopped caring. Gotcha! (To Achmed) Oh, man, another spot on my tie! It's like my wife doesn't even care anymore. I'm sorry. You shouldn't have to listen to my complaints. It's not like you could relate.
      Achmed: Actually, you might be surprised. My wife and I haven't been getting along for quite some time now. It's like she's no longer the woman I traded goats for, you know?

    • Bullock: His name is Achmed al-Paula Abdul al-Paul Anka al-Casey Kasem bin-Shakira. We must find out who he works for.
      Stan: Leave it to me, sir. I'll crack him faster than Condoleezza Rice cracked the glass ceiling with her beautiful, straightened hair.

    • Achmed: I thought we were friends!
      Stan: You thought what I made you think.
      Achmed: I still want to get the wives together!

  • NOTES (1)


    • Bullock: His name is Achmed al-Paula Abdul al-Paul Anka al-Casey Kasem bin-Shakira.
      Achmed's name has within it the names of the singers Paula Abdul, Paul Anka and Shakira and the radio personality/voice actor Casey Kasem.

    • Spanglish
      In the scene where Francine and Hayley are cleaners, their employer acts like the character, Deborah, from this movie. Both characters treated their workers as immigrants with no knowledge of English.

    • Algernon: Flowers For Algernon
      Roger's little jab at Steve calling him Algernon is from a book titled Flowers For Algernon. In it, a mentally retarded man undergoes an experimental procedure that turns him into a genius, only to discover the process is temporary.

    • George Formby: Song
      When Stan's boss suspends him and then plays the banjo, he sings George Formby's "When I'm Cleaning Windows". George Formby is an English singer and actor from the 1930's.

    • Pan Flute
      The pan flute tune playing when Stan appears dressed in oriental garb is the opening to the song "The Lonely Shepherd", recently used in the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill.

    • Episode Title: Failure is Not a Factory-Installed Option
      This is a pun on "Failure is Not an Option," a memorable line from the movie Apollo 13, spoken by NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz (Ed Harris). Gene Kranz didn't say this during the real Apollo 13 mission, but he liked the line and used it as the title of his autobiography in 2000.

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