Brian's Play

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"Brian's Play"
Family Guy episode
Episode no. Season 11
Episode 10
Directed by Joseph Lee
Written by Gary Janetti
Production code AACX08
Original air date January 13, 2013
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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Family Guy (season 11)
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"Brian's Play" is the tenth episode of the eleventh season and the 198th overall episode of the animated comedy series Family Guy. It aired on Fox in the United States on January 13, 2013, and is written by Gary Janetti and directed by Joseph Lee.[1] In the episode, Brian writes a play that becomes a hit in Quahog, but loses his confidence when he finds that the play Stewie wrote is better than his. But when Stewie sees how upset Brian is, he decides to try to set things right.


Brian writes a play, entitled A Passing Fancy, that is a hit in Quahog, but just as he lets his success go to his head, Stewie comes to him wanting him to read a play he has written. Brian humors him at first, and eventually reads the play after a night of drinking and philosophical discussion with aspiring writers, but his confidence is shaken when the play Stewie wrote, entitled An American Marriage, is much better than his. Brian tries to lower Stewie's expectations and attempts to destroy the only copy. But when Stewie finds it buried in the yard, he reveals that he knows Brian's work is inferior and that his play is Broadway bound. As Brian sinks into depression, Stewie invites him to escort him around New York. At a party for playwrights, Brian tries to ingratiate himself with big-name writers but finds that not only had they seen his play, they pronounce it the worst piece of writing they had ever seen. Stewie finds Brian even further depressed and Brian admits he knew Stewie's writing was better but had hoped that he could have at least had a chance to be the good writer in the family before his eventual demise. At the opening of Stewie's play, the crowd leaves unhappy and Brian is confused over why Stewie had changed it. Stewie claims that he just wanted to "tweak" it a bit but had gone too far, though he really wanted to make Brian happy again by making his own play a disaster. As they leave the theater, Stewie admires New York and professes a desire to live there one day until they are snatched by a Pterodactyl.


The episode received a 3.2 rating and was watched by a total of 6.01 million people, this made it the most watched show on Animation Domination that night beating The Cleveland Show, Bob's Burgers, American Dad! and The Simpsons.[2] The episode was met with generally positive reviews from critics. Kevin McFarland of The A.V. Club gave the episode a A–, saying "This is Family Guy at its most self-aware—and more importantly, self aware in the right way, taking stock of its place in the world and remaining honest, something it hasn’t done in years. Business-as-usual cutaways add a little bit here and there, but for the most part the standard building blocks of Family Guy humor gets in the way of the introspective main plot."[3] Carter Dotson of TV Fanatic gave the episode four out of five stars, saying "Yet I think because of the fact that the emotions were so complicated, that’s why it was hard to swallow. I certainly had trouble forming coherent thoughts on how to describe my thoughts on this episode, and still am not quite sure how I feel. Still, the fact that this series can pull off this trick of being more than just manatee jokes, I suppose I like being reminded of that fact more than perhaps what I actually watched, which I’m still not completely sure about my feelings on it, to be honest."[4]


  1. ^ "Family Guy Episode Guide 2013 Season 11 - Brian's Play, Episode 10". Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  2. ^ "Sunday Final Ratings:’Family Guy’ & ‘The Mentalist’ Adjusted Up; ’60 Minutes’, ‘The Cleveland Show’ & ‘Happy Endings’ Adjusted Down + Final Golden Globes Numbers". Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  3. ^ McFarland, Kevin (January 14, 2013). "Brian’s Play". The A.V Club. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Family Guy Review: The Dog Lies Down on Broadway". TV Fanatic. 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2014-08-12.