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Play It Again, Brian

"Play It Again, Brian" is the tenth episode of the sixth season of Family Guy. The episode originally broadcast on March 2, 2008. This is the first episode produced for the sixth season.


Peter and Lois are having marital difficulties, as Peter would much rather spend time with his friends than with his wife. Brian, who has announced that he won an award for an essay he wrote and was invited to Martha's Vineyard to receive it, offers to take them with him on vacation to ease the anxiety. Peter and Lois agree, and when the three arrive at their fancy hotel, Peter immediately begins enjoying himself. As such, he fails to arrive on time for the party at which Brian receives his award. Brian reads an excerpt from his poem, which is about Lois, and touches her heart. When Peter does arrive, he is completely drunk and consequently chastised by Lois.

The next morning, Lois decides to put the issue with the other night behind her, but agrees to spend the day with Brian as Peter has already made plans for himself. Toward the end of the day, Lois is dismayed to find that Peter is gone yet again, as he has soiled himself from laughing so hard from watching Three's Company so she decides to spend the evening with Brian. As Brian makes preparations, he begins experiencing fantasies of himself kissing Lois and declaring his passion for her. That evening, Brian loses his self-restraint and attempts to make a pass at her aggressively; Lois is greatly troubled by this, so she forces him out of the room.

Brian mulls over the severity of his own actions, even calling himself a rapist, and asks Stewie for help (who mistakenly believes that Brian and Lois actually had sex). Lois remains concerned for both Peter and Brian, and tells Peter about what happened the next morning. Peter confronts Brian at the hotel bar, warning him as lightly as he can to stay away from his wife. Brian says that Peter is too stuck-up to be good enough for Lois; Peter counters by saying Brian has never had a long-term relationship with any woman he has ever been with. Their argument quickly escalates to extreme violence, but Nathan Lane appears and breaks the two up (saying "get off my husband"). Things quickly settle down as Peter and Brian agree to resolve this problem another way. Brian ultimately promises never to let Lois come between their friendship ever again, and they forgive each other. Brian formally apologizes to Lois for his actions and she forgives him as well, though she does admit that sometimes she feels the same way Brian does about her. As the three leave the harbor, they sing "The Spirit of Massachusetts" and the three happily return home as if nothing bad ever happened.

Back at home, since no one else was available, Peter and Lois have decided to hire Herbert to look after Meg, Chris and Stewie while they are away. Herbert makes several sexual remarks to Chris as he always does. Herbert surprises the children when after announcing it is bath day; not for the children, but himself. He is disappointed because Meg bathes him; he wanted to receive a bath from Chris. That night, after Herbert reads Chris "Peter and the Wolf" as a bedtime story, Chris finally asks him, "Are you a pedophile?" (Herbert's answer, if any, is not shown). During the ending credits, the Evil Monkey pops out of the closet expecting Chris, but instead sees Herbert sleeping, and backs into the closet, completely creeped out.

Cultural references

  • The title of this episode comes from the popular misquote, "Play it again, Sam" from the movie Casablanca, and more specifically the Woody Allen movie Play It Again, Sam, which has a similar plot, and which the episode directly references when Brian repeatedly has flashes of his hopes for the night with Lois. The song Sam is famously told to play is "As Time Goes By," which appears in the episode and is sung by Seth MacFarlane.
  • While trying to find someone to watch the kids, Peter says that Cleveland is busy touring with Black Box; the cutaway scene shows Cleveland and Black Box singing "Everybody Everybody."
  • The prize at the carnival game is a misshapen Stewie doll, which is a meta-reference to the fact that Stewie dolls are often given as prizes in carnivals. The doll also bears a resemblance to the depiction of Stewie in the South Park episode Cartoon Wars.
  • The street artist draws Lois and Brian as Jane Jetson (of The Jetsons) and Snoopy (of Peanuts).
  • Peter's fart while he and Lois are in bed is parodied from the movie Love Stinks.
  • The second half of Brian's essay—"no person I've ever known has ever done more to make me feel more sure, more insecure, more important, and less significant"—is taken verbatim from the book/film Summer of '42. At the end of the episode, Brian confesses to plagiarizing it (This is further shown as a copyright is shown for the book during the credits.)
  • Brian proposes to Lois that they spend more time that evening by watching bad movies like Vanilla Sky, a Tom Cruise movie. Lois declines with the response that what they need is a bad movie, not an abortion.
  • Peter discovers Nathan Lane is staying in the same hotel as they are, and in a state of drunkenness, he marries him, not realizing that gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts.
  • The film being spoofed while Lois and Brian are watching television is Roman Holiday. The reference also hits upon Family Guy's view on Gregory Peck's acting when he says "You bitch! I'm going to punch you in the face!" In a previous episode, "Saving Private Brian," Peck threatens to hit his children. It's possible the producers are portraying Peck as violent.
  • Peter mentions Brian being dumped by Jillian and calls her "dumber than Lou Ferrigno" (although mispronouncing his last name) - one of the many The Incredible Hulk references in Family Guy.
  • At the end of the episode, Peter, Lois and Brian break into a song backed by several locals much like several musicals, though the song they sing is a reprisal of one of only two songs in the episode. The final shot with the words "The End" over fireworks mirrors the ending of the legendary comedy movie Airplane!.
  • At the end when Peter, Lois and Brian are dancing, Quint from Jaws is behind Peter. This references the fact that Jaws was actually filmed in Martha's Vineyard.
  • Peter's song "The Spirit of Massachusetts" and its accompanying visuals derive from a 1980's television advertising campaign for Massachusetts tourism.
  • Also visible during the musical number are Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird, wearing a green jersey, and legendary Boston Bruins star, Bobby Orr.
  • While at a Grateful Dead concert, Stewie's eyes are (extremely) dilated, a common effect of LSD use. Selling the tie dye shirt he was wearing is a reference to Deadheads selling things on the road so they can continue traveling with the Grateful Dead.
  • Herbert reads his own interpretation of Peter and the Wolf to Chris as a bedtime story; he then whistles some of Prokofiev's incidental music for the story.
  • Stewie talks about exiting Lois's vagina and writing "Brooks was here," referencing the film The Shawshank Redemption. This is the fourth time the film has been mentioned; the first was in "One if By Clam, Two if By Sea," the second in "Sibling Rivalry," and the third in "McStroke."
  • After Lois tells Peter that Brian tried to have sex with her, Peter asks "Was he bigger than me?", a quote from Animal House.
  • Herbert mentions the show Boy Meets World when Stewie and the kids are playing Scattergories, and Stewie questions Brian whether NyQuil is a beverage or not. After Brian answers Stewie no, Stewie says, "Yeah, not gonna fly, old man!" When told this, Herbert can be heard over the phone saying, "Dammit, and I'm missing Boy Meets World for this?"
  • The roller coaster that Peter rides is a fairly accurate representation of Superman: Ride of Steel, located at Six Flags New England.
  • Peter turns on the television in his apartment and watches "Damn Nature, You Scary" on BET. It spoofs nature documentaries with an African-American explaining the actions of a leopard or cheetah.


This episode was watched by 7.1 million people and had a 3.7/9 audience share. Blogger Brad Trechak from TV Squad enjoyed this episode, saying "Overall, a good episode. I particularly liked the Disney-style ending. The show itself reopened and furthered some of the slowly-developing subplots of the Family Guy universe and proves that it is willing to go places that The Simpsons considers beneath them.



The guest star is actor Phil LaMarr, known for his voice over work. LaMarr plays the announcer for the BET channel.

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