"Nipple Ring-Ring Goes to Foster Care" is the thirty-fourth episode of the animated television series Drawn Together.
When Ling-Ling ODs on his 21st birthday, the housemates learn that he is actually only 3 years old (21 in battle monster years). Child Services puts Ling-Ling in foster care, where he ends up in the house of Uncle Benny, the most famous rice-related black stereotype ever. Ling-Ling and Benny become friends once they discover their mutual love of rice. All is well until Foxxy decides to save Ling-Ling from foster care and ends up on Benny's front door, where she realizes the old man is her real father. Sibling rivalry ensues between Foxxy and Ling-Ling until Benny finally takes off and deserts his family once again. In the meantime, Hero is jealous of Xandir's nipple ring and decides to get one himself. After he gets hit by lightning, Hero realizes he can use his nipple ring to communicate with himself from the past. Hero gets young Leslie into all sorts of trouble by feeding him lies, manipulating his younger self into increasingly more disturbing and humiliating situations, the trauma of which quickly warp Leslie's personality (into the sexually deviant Captain Hero). Eventually, Hero admits he was just messing with his younger self because some asshole did the same thing
to him when he was twelve. And the cycle continues.
Notes and inside references
- Ling-Ling's age has been established as 3 years old on his driver's license in "Super Nanny".
- "Uncle Benny's" Rice is a spoof of Uncle Ben's Rice
- Captain Hero's nickname came from sticking a hero sandwich in his pants and having intercourse with it.
- The Child Services woman makes her second appearance in the series; she first appeared in "Captain Girl". Tara Strong takes over as the character's voice actor; previously, she was voiced by Paget Brewster.
- Despite the fact that she holds up a copy of the Drawn Together Season One DVD, none of the clips the Child Services woman plays are from actual episodes.
- When Hero's nipple ring begins picking up transmissions from a 12 year old boy he asks if the kid has "A donkey and a penis cutter?". Part of the running gag that Hero's greatest wish is for a 12 year old girl and a donkey. First mentioned in the pilot episode Hot Tub his wish was finally fulfilled in The Lemon-AIDS Walk but he killed them both in a fit of rage.
- Foxy's middle name of Shaquafafa is mentioned by Uncle Benny. The name was previously mentioned was in Foxxy vs. the Board of Education.
- Foxy's absent father, who turns out to be Uncle Benny, has previously been mentioned in multiple episodes including; The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist, A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special and Freaks & Greeks.
- Odie who is Garfield's rival appears during a sequence where the Child Services woman discusses how, in addition to the many abuses Ling-Ling has suffered, he has also been denied lasagna; in the clip, Ling-Ling is animated to resemble Garfield while Xandir is animated to resemble Jon Arbuckle.
- When Foxxy appears on a blank slate tormented by an unseen animator (see Cultural references below), the camera pulls out to reveal Bugs Bunny. Bugs says, "Ain't I an asshole?", a reference to Bugs's catchphrase in Looney Tunes, "Ain't I a stinker?".
- Annie and Megatron (voiced by Jess Harnell) appear when Foxxy goes through the foster care system to look for Ling-Ling. Annie warns Foxxy that Daddy Warbucks will take out her eyes (a reference to how the characters are depicted without pupils). Megatron transforms into a gun and threatens Foxxy when she does not also transform.
- Ling-Ling's cake is a cat nailed to a board and covered in frosting. A play on the stereotype that Chinese food uses various animals such as cats and dogs and calls it Beef or Pork on the menu.
- Ling-Ling passing out after one shot of alcohol is a joke on the belief that people from the region of Asia have a low alcohol tolerance (which is because Asians, as well as North American Natives, have lower amounts of alcohol dehydrogenase which helps break down alcohol in the body). However, Ling-Ling's age and size may also play into effect.
- The scene where Wooldoor stands over Ling-Ling and plunges a hypodermic syringe directly into his heart is based on a similar scene in Pulp Fiction where Vincent Vega does the same thing to Mia Wallace. Ling-Ling's wallet says "Bad MotherFucker" on it, a reference to Jules Winnfield's wallet in the same film.
- Ling-Ling implores Uncle Ben to leave the window open "so sweet chariot can swing low and come to carry you home", quoting lines from the song "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot", a famous Negro spiritual.
- Ling-Ling states that his three-year age is equivalent to 21 battle monster years. This refers to the inaccurate but widely believed adage that every year of a dog's life is equivalent to seven human years.
- The "Hero Computer" is actually a See 'n Say, a toy created by Mattel.
- Captain Hero is revealed to come from a place called Smalltown, a reference to Smallville, the hometown of Superman. The girl he has a crush on, Letta Lame, is based on Superman's high school girlfriend Lana Lang.
- When the kids of Smalltown give young Leslie the name "Captain Hero", one of them says, "If we were in New England, he'd be called 'Captain Grinder.'"
- The giant sandworm that devours Toot is a reference to Dune, a series of novels by Frank Herbert.
- Foxxy states that in the group's malaise, they let their Tibetans have too much freedom. This is a reference to the Free Tibet movement.
- One of the "lies" Hero tells his younger self is that Sonny Bono is an Olympic skier, a reference to Bono's death in a skiing accident.
- Among the posters in the younger Hero's room are images of the video game Pac-Man, the film Star Trek III, and the legendary swimsuit photo of Farrah Fawcett, which appeared earlier in Little Orphan Hero.
- The walkie-talkie that the younger Hero uses to communicate with his older self is shaped like Alf.
- The character of Uncle Benny is based on real-life rice manufacturer Uncle Ben's.
- After seeing how well Ling-Ling cooks rice Uncle Benny say's Jesus H Snork; A reference to the 80's cartoon series The Snorks.
- While trying to find Ling-Ling, Foxxy makes her way through a variety of foster homes, including the home of Daddy Warbucks (from Little Orphan Annie), the home of a Transformer, and the blank slate from the Daffy Duck cartoon Duck Amuck.
- The younger Hero's matchbook says "Hard Rock Smalltown", a reference to the Hard Rock Cafe.
- When the townspeople form a mob to attack the younger Hero, one of them throws a Rubik's cube through the window. A Cabbage Patch Kids doll and a Vans shoe follow.
- At different times, the younger Hero says "Ice Ice Baby," "Walk Like an Egyptian," "Funky Cold Medina," and "Do the Bartman," each referring to a popular song from times past. Of the four, however, only "Walk Like an Egyptian" existed in 1986, the year in which that portion of the episode takes place. "Funky Cold Medina" would not be released until 1989, while "Ice Ice Baby" and "Do the Bartman" came in 1990.
- The Captain Hero subplot of two persons communicating with each other over time via radio is a spoof of the movie Frequency.
- The idea and depiction of the present Captain Hero dissolving if the younger Hero would commit suicide is a reference to the grandfather paradox of time travel, made famous by its use in the Back to the Future trilogy.
- Two of the live action clips Ling-Ling and Foxxy see are from the opening scene of Adaptation.
- Additional visual references to the eighties include an Energy Dome, leg warmers, ESPRIT, Boy George, a Patrick Nagel poster, videotapes and a compact Macintosh.
- When Ling Ling sees the rice, he says MSG, a reference to the flavoring used in Asian rice.
- Young Captain Hero has a pet rock on his desk, a popular novelty item in the 80's.
- Before donning a chef's hat to make rice, Ling Ling's face turns into Domo-Kun's.