Burning Down the Bayit

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"Burning Down the Bayit"
Family Guy episode
Episode no.Season 10
Episode 15
Directed byJerry Langford
Written byChris Sheridan
Production code9ACX13
Original air dateMarch 4, 2012
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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Family Guy (season 10)
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"Burning Down the Bayit" is the fifteenth episode of the tenth season of the animated comedy series Family Guy. The episode originally aired on Fox in the United States on March 4, 2012 and was first in its timeslot. Overwhelmed with financial troubles, Mort asks Peter and Quagmire to help him save his pharmacy. However, things take a turn for the worse when the trio decides to burn it down to collect insurance money.

The episode title is a reference to the song "Burning Down the House", with "house" replaced by the Hebrew word bayit (בית).

This episode was written by Chris Sheridan and directed by Jerry Langford. Scott Bakula guest-starred as himself in a live-action cutaway.


After Peter hurts Quagmire when he runs over one of Brian's bones with his new riding lawnmower, they stop by Mort's pharmacy to get some antibiotics. There they find out that Mort is overwhelmed with financial troubles since Muriel died as she was able to cheat the customers successfully. They try to help out, at first Peter repeatedly opens and closes the cash register, but that doesn't get any customer. They then suggest that he do a "buy one get one free" sale (as a typical stereotyping of Jewish people, Mort does not understand the words "get one free" if it's referring to him, but does when it refers to some other business).

The three then work on the pill section where they have to put pills in specific containers, until the converter belt goes too fast. In response, they begin to eat the pills which results in Quagmire vomiting on the belt and Peter bleeding from his nose and slamming on the belt, passing out. Next, they try a flying banner advertisement, only for it to break from Quagmire's plane and fall onto a bus, killing a bunch of teenagers. Desperate, Mort tells of how his cousin's place burned down leaving him with a large settlement. Peter and Quagmire have recollections on how insurance companies have screwed them over in the past. Although Quagmire has reservations about the plan, they agree to it and burn down the pharmacy, taking the opportunity to do it while Joe is away at a paraplegic Cher impersonator concert.

After they successfully collect, Quagmire continues to worry and Joe seems to hang around more than they expect to discover the real reason behind the fire, which is his way of helping Mort (not realizing that they started the incident). When Joe starts to discover that things are amiss at the fire, the guys try to distract him. As Quagmire is about to crack at the Drunken Clam, Joe arrives after finding a voice mail of Peter talking about the crime after accidentally dialing Joe with his phone in his pocket and places the group under arrest. Mort threatens to run, but refuses after seeing his old gym teacher that has been stalking him since junior high school ready to laugh at him.

At the station, Joe interrogates the guys with varying degrees of success. When he points out they are going away for the crime, they question whether or not he had ever been screwed over by an insurance company. Joe recalls that after his paralyzing accident, the insurance company refused to pay for a $200,000 procedure that would have saved his legs; instead, they paid for the $60 wheelchair Joe is currently sitting on. While Joe still feels that the guys committed a crime, he erases the evidence and frees the guys. After Peter wraps things up with his family, Peter leaves to go wrap things up with his "basement family" (primitive, animal-skin-wearing equivalents of his "regular family" where he asks if they had learned their lesson about eating an uncooked antelope. Primitive-Stewie is depicted as being much like Gollum from the Peter Jackson movie version of the "Lord of the Rings" saga.


The episode received a 2.8 rating and was watched by a total of 5.33 million people, this made it the most watched show on Animation Domination that night, beating The Cleveland Show, Napoleon Dynamite, American Dad! and The Simpsons with 5.09 million.[1] Kevin McFarland on The A.V. Club gave a C, saying "When Family Guy tries to grandstand on a particularly skewed opinion, at least it carries some perspective. More often the show chooses to give on-the-nose positions to Brian instead of Peter and his friends, as was the case tonight. Regardless of whether anyone agrees with what Seth MacFarlane and his writing staff uses their soapbox to say, they usually project an unreliably informed opinion with such blind vigor that it merits a reaction. But lately Family Guy has been incapable of even drawing out that response, devoid of a clear point of view. I enjoyed the cutaways quite a bit tonight, but I think that was simply because the only plotline of the episode was so lacking in direction that cutting away from the story into an out of context clip was the only way to get laughs."[2]


  1. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 6, 2012). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Good Wife,' 'CSI Miami' Adjusted Up + 'Cleveland' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  2. ^ McFarland, Kevin (March 5, 2012). "Burning Down the Bayit". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 23, 2012.

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