Fox’s “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons” have had their issues over the years — namely as diehard fans accuse each powerhouse animated comedy of stealing content from the other. So naturally, they took some shots at each other during the heavily-promoted crossover episode on Sunday night, though they also teamed up to mock their other animated competitors as well.
This week, the biggest headline going into the crossover was the already-infamous rape joke in the beginning of the episode, when “Family Guy” baby Stewie called Moe’s Tavern with Bart Simpson to make a prank phone call. (“Hello, Moe? Your sister’s being raped,” Stewie said gleefully after Bart taught him about prank calls.) Given that horribly offensive jokes on “Family Guy” are nothing new, that bit was overshadowed by all of the other inside jokes skewering the Fox animation line-up.
The set-up for the crossover: Peter starts drawing a cartoon for the local paper but is run out of town when it takes a misogynistic turn. The Griffins wind up in Springfield, having nowhere else to go when their car gets stolen, and the Simpsons welcome them into their home. Peter and Homer bond over donuts and beer but get into an epic fight; Stewie is enamored with Bart; Lisa tries to help Meg find a talent; Chris steals Maggie’s pacifier; and Brian has nothing but disdain for a real dog, Santa’s Little Helper.
Anyway, here are some of the things they mocked:
* Crossovers in general.
The episode was technically the “Family Guy” season premiere (and written almost entirely by “Family Guy” writers). At the very beginning, the Griffins were sitting around watching a “Modern Family”/”All in the Family” crossover.
“Yay! A crossover always brings out the best in each show,” Chris says. “It certainly doesn’t smack of desperation. The priorities are always creative and not driven by marketing or — ”
“Okay, that’s enough,” Stewie interrupts.
* Lack of “Family Guy” Emmy Awards.
During an epic fight with Peter, Homer opens a case of Emmy trophies — of which “The Simpsons” have many — and starts hurling them at Peter’s head. “Hey that’s no fair,” Peter yells. “I don’t got none of them!” (That’s only unfortunate timing because “The Simpsons” was left out of the Emmys race this year.)
* The fact that “The Simpsons” isn’t funny anymore.
After Homer accidentally causes Peter to lose his job, Peter goes on a not-so-subtle rant against him: “You know, when I first met you, I thought, ‘Hey! I love this guy. This is the funniest guy I’ve ever met, I’m gonna quote this guy to all my friends. I love his town, I love his family,'” Peter rages. “But now, I think I speak for all of us when I say ‘I am over the Simpsons.'”
“What are you saying?” Homer gasps.
“I’m saying ‘The Simpsons’ suck!” Peter yells.
* “Bob’s Burgers,” “The Cleveland Show” and Fox scheduling.
Looks like Seth MacFarlane might be a little bitter about his series “The Cleveland Show” getting canceled while Fox’s animated “Bob’s Burgers” flourishes. (“Bob’s Burgers” eventually bumped “The Cleveland Show” to land a coveted Simpsons lead-in on Sunday nights.) During a bit while Homer and Peter are flying in an airplane, they look behind them and see Bob of “Bob’s Burgers” in the seat behind them.
Homer: “What’s he doing here?”
Peter: “We gotta carry him cause he can’t fly on his own.” (zing!) “We let that other guy try and look what happened.”
Cut to: Cleveland of “The Cleveland Show” in an airplane on fire, going down in flames.
* Claims that the shows steal from each other.
There were lots of classic “Simpsons” lines uttered by “Family Guy” characters (Peter got to say “Mmmm, donuts,” while Stewie tells school bully Nelson to eat his shorts) but the episode also managed a self-deprecating dig about joke theft.
“Stewie! What the deuce?” Bart yells (borrowing Stewie’s catchphrase) after he finds out Stewie kidnapped Nelson.
“Oh, that’s nice, you got that from me,” Stewie says. “Because you know, I was starting to worry this was a one-way thing.”
* The ultimately real — but peaceful — rivalry between the shows.
At the end of their fight, Peter and Homer decide to remain friends and reference their rivalry once more. “Even if we don’t work as best pals, I respect you,” Peter says.
“You too. Let’s just agree to stay a half hour away from each other,” Homer replies.
“With a pile of garbage between us,” Peter adds.
That would be another burn on “Bob’s Burgers,” formerly nestled on the schedule between the two shows — except that “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” got the time slot this year.