To Love and Die in Dixie
|"To Love and Die in Dixie"|
|Family Guy episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Dan Povenmire|
|Written by||Steve Callaghan|
|Original air date||November 18, 2001|
"To Love and Die in Dixie" is the 12th episode of the third season of the animated comedy series Family Guy. Country music singer Waylon Jennings, who died three months after the episode aired on television in the United States, guest-stars in his last ever appearance on the show. Dakota Fanning also guest starred on the episode. The title is a reference to a line in the traditional Southern song "Dixie".
The episode was written by future showrunner Steve Callaghan, and was directed by Dan Povenmire. It features the first appearance of the recurring character Mr. Herbert. This episode is rated TV-PG.
Needing extra money, Chris decides to get a newspaper route, to help pay for a birthday gift for a girl he likes. Among those on his paper route is an old man named Herbert who is sexually attracted to Chris. He gives his crush a present, but his clumsiness and over-eagerness scares her off. Nevertheless, he decides to stay with the paper route. Shortly thereafter, however, Chris witnesses a robbery at a convenience store, and his bike ends up being stolen by the burglar as a getaway vehicle (even though he takes the bike but runs on foot). Later, at the police station, Chris identifies the thief from a police lineup. However, Peter shows up and tells the thief (not knowing he is the thief) that he is here to pick up Chris who was going to "finger the guy who held up the convenience store" and then proceeds to give the thief a picture of Chris, along with a list of his school schedule, and his greatest fears. When the thief escapes and swears revenge on Chris, the family is placed in the Witness Protection Program. The Griffins are then relocated to Bumblescum, a tiny town in the deep South. Meg blames this on Chris despite the fact it was really Peter's fault. When they get there and see their house, Meg complains about it, and Lois says that "If we fix it up a bit it could be a piece of crap." While there, Peter becomes sheriff with Brian as his deputy. Stewie joins a hillbilly jug band, Meg becomes popular with her classmates, and Chris meets a new friend named Sam.
Later, when Peter interferes with a Civil War reenactment, claiming the North won the war, despite how they were being portrayed in the play, Sam's dad says Chris and Sam can no longer be friends and Peter and Brian have to answer to the civil war survivors. Not knowing of this, Sam unexpectedly kisses Chris, and Chris assumes Sam is gay. As Chris writes in a journal about what happened with Sam, Brian hears the story (as Chris was speaking out what he wrote), and he explains that kissing Sam seemingly felt right.
When the two meet again, Chris explains to Sam that even though he is flattered that Sam likes him, he is not interested in a romantic relationship and feels that they are probably better off as just friends. Just before the two go swimming, Chris realizes that Sam is a girl. Due to his bad experiences around girls, Chris now feels awkward around Sam. At a party that is held that night, Sam explains to Chris that he had no problem talking to her, when he thought she was a guy, so she tells Chris to think of her as a boy who he can make out with.
After the FBI agents who were hired to look over the Griffins home in Quahog accidentally reveal the location of the family (telling the criminal where Meg was, but not Chris), the criminal tracks the family down in Bumblescum, and attempts to kill Chris. During the confrontation, however, the criminal is shot by Sam's father.
With the criminal gone, the Griffins return to Quahog with Chris having to leave Sam behind. Once they are home, they realize that someone had left 113 messages on their answering machine, all of which turn out to be from Herbert, who is looking for Chris. 
Dan Povenmire, who directed the episode, was granted substantial creative freedom by series creator and executive producer Seth MacFarlane. Povenmire recalled that MacFarlane would tell him "We've got two minutes to fill. Give me some visual gags. Do whatever you want. I trust you." Povenmire praised this management style for letting him "have fun." Povenmire brought realism, and material from his own experiences, to the visual direction of Family Guy.
For this episode, Povenmire drew inspiration from his own childhood in the deep south for a sequence for a background scene where a "redneck" character nonchalantly kicks a corpse into the nearby river. Also, there was a running gag of raccoons jumping out of things and scratching Peter in the face.
In addition to the regular cast, actor Brian Dunkleman, voice actress Dakota Fanning, voice actor Ralph Garman, singer Waylon Jennings, voice actress Rachael MacFarlane, and actress Kathleen Wilhoite guest starred in the episode. Recurring guest voice actors and writers Mike Henry and Danny Smith made minor appearances.
- Callaghan, Steve (2005). Family Guy: The Official Episode Guide Seasons 1–3. Orion Books. ISBN 0-7528-7399-7.
- "Waylon Jennings marched to his own outlaw beat". USATODAY. February 14, 2002. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- "Family Guy: To Love and Die in Dixie episode on TV.com". TV.com. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- "Mark Hentemann and Steve Callaghan Take Over Family Guy". MovieWeb. September 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
- "Family Guy "To Love and Die in Dixie" Episode Guide". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- Callaghan, pp. 174
- Callaghan, pp. 142
- Callaghan, pp. 171
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