"Believe It or Not, Joe's Walking on Air" is a season six episode of the FOX animated television series Family Guy. The episode title is a play on the title of the theme song from the television series The Greatest American Hero. This episode was the first episode of Family Guy that aired in October.
, Bonnie, and Bernice (Cleveland's first girlfriend since his divorce) start hanging out at the Drunken Clam, Peter
, and Cleveland
build a men's club in Peter's back yard. Eventually the women come there as well, and everyone (with the exception of Peter, who throws a hissy fit
) turns out to be okay with them hanging out there.
Bonnie doesn't really feel like dancing with the others because of Joe being disabled and unable to dance with her. Upset about this, Joe sees Dr. Hartman, who tells him that a leg transplant could allow him to walk again. The transplant is successful, and Joe is back on his feet.
Soon, he realizes he only hung out with Peter, Cleveland, and Quagmire because they were lazy and he was crippled. Now that he has new legs he decides to hang out with friends who enjoy exercise (and also resemble his old friends in names and facial features and of course he has a black friend named Portland based on Cleveland).
Since Joe seems to be moving on with his life, Lois suggests to Peter that he and the others should try finding a new friend, though that doesn't turn out too well. For example, Buzz Killington turns out to be a buzzkill.
Peter is soon outraged when he discovers Joe is leaving Bonnie because he feels that she is also holding him back, and everyone decides that they need to re-cripple Joe so he'll stop acting like a jerk. Peter, Cleveland, and Quagmire attempt to do this by ganging up on Joe, but he is able to fight them off brutally. Bonnie then tries to shoot Joe in the spine with his gun to get him back to his old self, but misses many times, prompting Joe to just shoot himself there, and become paralyzed again.
Joe apologizes to the guys and they begin to hang out again, despite them all having serious injuries.
- This marks the third time, continuity wise, in the series Joe has had a leg transplant. In "Perfect Castaway," after Peter eats his legs while at sea, Joe has a dead prisoner's legs attached to his stumps, who also happened to be paraplegic. In the alternate future depicted in Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, Joe receives Bonnie's legs after she dies.
- The show's frequent use of cutaways is lampooned. When Quagmire praises Scrubs, Cleveland expresses his dislike of "shows that cut away from the story for some bull crap," followed by a cutaway of Adolf Hitler riding a unicycle, juggling fish. Later, the same cutaway is used when Peter claims that re-crippling Joe is right, "like taking out Hitler". In this cutaway, Peter kicks him off the unicycle and knocks him out. He then tells the audience, "See? We had a plan for that all along." In another self-reference, Peter sets up a cutaway, stating that Joe's new legs and attitude are "like giving a monkey the keys to an amusement park". Instead of showing the cutaway, a confused Lois questions how the two subjects can even relate to each other.
- At the very end of the episode, Peter hums a segment of the Family Guy theme song.
- Carter Pewterschmidt and Dr. Elmer Hartman, both voices by Seth MacFarlane, appear and converse in the same scene for the first time. They make jokes about how they have the same voice, and even subtly imply that their voice actor is "too lazy".
- This is the second time that Joe can walk after his accident. In And the Wiener Is... after the sledding accident, Joe can walk again, until his son runs him over accidentally (almost immediately). Joe is then left paralyzed again.
- Joe makes Peter, Quagmire, and Cleveland sing and dance to the song "Good Morning" from Singin' in the Rain.
- When Peter shows his friends the picture of Lois' feces on the camera phone, FOX removes his line, "She should've handed out cigars after that one."
- On the FOX promo clip, and the adult swim airing, the newly-built Quahog Men's Club has a sign; "No balls, no entry." On FOX, there is no sign on the outside of the Quahog Men's Club.
- On Adult Swim, an extended version of the How-to tape that Dr. Hartman watches is shown.
- While waiting for Joe to come out of surgery, Cleveland wonders what's taking so long. On Adult Swim, Bonnie replies, "My Joe's a fighter. He'll come out of this."
- The scene where Joe and Bonnie are in bed is extended on Adult Swim, showing them having sex in the dark, complete with Joe screaming, "YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! GET SOME! GET SOME! YEAH! SEX! SEX!! SEX!!!"
- On Adult Swim, when the guys agree to help Joe live his new life with legs to the fullest, Peter asks Joe what happened to his wheelchair. Joe says that he gave it away, followed by a cutaway of Chris riding it downhill in the street. Chris crashes into Adam West's tulips, who exclaims "My tulips! You dick."
- One of Joe's new friends says, "I'm gonna do sit-ups till I crap myself!" When the episode aired on FOX, the word "crap" was changed to "poop". On Adult Swim, the original is used.
- On Adult Swim, the scene where Joe leaves Bonnie is extended, showing Peter asking Joe why he's leaving her, and Peter stating that Joe has become a jerk just like Peter did when he went through puberty (followed by a cutaway of Peter asking his friends if they want to play ball, but his voice suddenly changes and he blows them off so he can go masturbate). Also, when the scene goes to the bar, Peter's line mentioning that Joe left Bonnie is cut, and goes right to "...and then the bastard completely blew me off to hang with those new douchebags."
- The following were cut from the FOX and Adult Swim airings of the episode, but are seen in the Promotional clip on the Family Guy home page. It is unknown if any will make it to DVD:
- In the promo for this episode, there is a scene where Peter, Cleveland, and Quagmire are going to play tennis and Peter uses Joe as a sweater tied to his neck. This did not appear in the FOX episode, though the promo was shown during the new King of the Hill on FOX.
- When Peter and Joe are waiting to be seen by Dr. Hartman, Peter explains that he tore down the Quahog Men's Club. The cutaway that follows shows what happened to the wood; it was used to build a ridiculously small fence across the U.S./Mexico border. One Mexican tries to cross it, but is let across by the guard so he can help build the rest of it.
- In a cutaway, Stewie hangs out with Colin Farrell, and eventually shoots him with his laser. This gag was made available on the Volume 5 DVD set as a deleted scene, apparently cut for time, and used here.
- Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble were seen in the Quahog Men's Club.
- During the beginning scene at the Drunken Clam, Peter shoots himself in the head, and refers to it as one of his "Scrubs fantasy moments." Quagmire calls Scrubs "the best show you're not watching."
- One of Dr. Hartman's patients is Mayor McCheese, requesting cosmetic surgery but being denied because his head is "nothing but dead cow meat".
- The "How-to" video for leg surgery is hosted by Jamie Farr from M*A*S*H, who provided his own voice.
- Joe makes Peter, Quagmire, and Cleveland rehearse the number "Good Morning" from Singin' in the Rain.
- Spider-Man makes his second appearance in Family Guy history, the first being in Let's Go To The Hop. Spider-Man saves Cleveland during the rock-climbing scene, and uses the line "everybody gets one" (the same line he used the first time), and prompts Peter to repeat the line.
- My Name Is Earl is mentioned at the Men's Club.
This episode drew 8.4 million viewers on its first airing (4.9/7). Also, a repeat of the episode on the Fox network December 16, 2007 was #29 of 94 programs listed by Nielsen Media Research
for the week of December 10 to December 16, 2007.