Don't Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth
|"Don't Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth"|
|American Dad! episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||Rodney Clouden|
|Written by||Matt Fusfeld
|Original air date||January 3, 2010|
"Don't Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth" is the tenth episode of the sixth season of American Dad!. It aired on January 3, 2010 on Fox and was the first American Dad! episode to air in 16:9 720p high-definition.
In the episode, when Stan gets told by Francine to get rid of his gas-guzzling SUV, he and Roger hatch up a plan at the local horse track to avoid losing his car. Meanwhile, Steve and his friends help an obese man out of his bedroom.
Because of the economic recession, the Smiths are forced to make cutbacks. But when Roger tells Francine that Stan regularly spends $400 on gas for his SUV, she threatens to replace his vehicle with a Hybrid. In an attempt to save his SUV, Stan makes a bet on a local horse at a track stadium, only to find out that the horse finishes the race last. Outraged, Stan confronts the jockey, discovering that the jockey is Roger. Roger explains that he has been giving the horse tranquilizers to hold it back and reduce its odds. But when the horse owner plans to kill the horse in order to prevent further monetary loss, Roger offers to buy it from him. Stan is reluctant at first, but following Roger's promise that the horse is a guaranteed winner, he decides to buy it using his family's second mortgage.
Tired of hearing Roger reveal his actions to Francine, Stan thumps Roger's arm. In retaliation, Roger tricks Stan into masturbating the horse in order to boost its confidence. The horse afterwards engages in erratic behavior. The two consult the horse whisperer, who tells them that due to being molested by Stan, the horse is in a state of shock despite its body's peak physical condition, and as a result, will never race again. Using the CIA technology once used on Klaus in "Finances with Wolves," Stan switches his own mind with the horse's, reasoning that with its body's peak condition he can potentially win the race. Before Stan and Roger head off to the stadium, Francine approaches the horse waiting in the back of the car, unaware that the horse is Stan. Saddened, she questions why her husband prioritizes his SUV over his family, leaving Stan feeling remorsful. At the venue, Stan is unable to endure the grief of disappointing Francine. So instead of heading off to the start of the race, he rushes to Francine at the spectator seats, revealing himself to her as a horse. Stan expresses his sorrow to her in regards to his selfish actions. Francine then tells him to win, giving him confidence and an encouraging attitude, and allowing him and Roger to take first place (after Roger makes himself barf by sticking his finger down his throat).
Meanwhile, Steve and his friends get employed by an old friend, Mr. Tuttle, who has over time become an obese recluse after his wife's death. In order to receive their paycheck, Snot volunteers to retrieve Mr. Tuttle's wallet from his back pocket, but becomes trapped underneath him. Upon running to his dad for help, Steve learns from Klaus that Stan had switched his brain with the horse's. Steve uses the horse, in Stan's body, to help lift Mr. Tuttle and free Snot. Mr. Tuttle then reveals he had the money in his neck fat instead of his back pocket and that he tricked them into staying with him due to his loneliness. Steve then decides to reintroduce him to the neighborhood, with the horse in Stan's body pulling him as Stan in the horse's body is in Hollywood by the end of the episode.
Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B, saying "You often hear in articles about TV writers rooms about a big white board where possible plotlines are written down, just in case the writers run out of ideas for new episodes. I kind of wonder just how long "Stan becomes a horse" was written on the American Dad board, but there was something goofily charming about the way this all played out - much less the way that everything tied together in the end - that made the episode end on a high enough note for me to give it a Grade: B." The episode was watched by a total of 5.91 million people, this made it the fourth most watched show on Animation Domination that night, losing to The Cleveland Show, Family Guy and The Simpsons with 8.65 million.
The Parents Television Council, a pro-censorship group and a frequent critic of Seth MacFarlane-produced programs (Family Guy being the most frequent target) urged viewers to file indecency complaints with the Federal Communications Commission regarding the scene where Stan masturbated a horse, and Stan getting sprayed in his mouth with a garden hose. The implication, the PTC said, was that "the horse has ejaculated in Stan's mouth." On June 3, 2010, in a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, the FCC sought to fine Fox $25,000. The fine was for failing to respond to a Letter of Inquiry arising from the 100,000 complaints filed regarding this episode.
- Todd VanDerWerff (2010-01-04). ""Thursdays with Abie"/"Field of Streams"/"Big Man on Hippocampus"/"Don't Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth"". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2014-07-17.
- Gorman, Bill (January 4, 2010). "TV Ratings: Sunday Night Football Finishes On Top; Simpsons, Housewives Return Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
- "Fox’s 'American Dad' Features Man Masturbating a Horse," Parents Television Council, January 6, 2010. Accessed 01-07-2010. 
- Johnson, Ted (June 4, 2010). "FCC fines Fox over 'American Dad' episode". Variety. Retrieved June 4, 2010.