|Family Guy episode|
|Directed by||Bert Ring|
Dave Collard and|
Mike Barker and|
|Original air date||July 25, 2000|
"Wasted Talent" is the 20th episode of the second season of the American animated television series Family Guy. This episode marks the first time that Chris Griffin has had no speaking lines in an episode. This episode is rated TV-PG-D (TV-14 on Adult Swim reruns) in the United States and 15 in the United Kingdom.
Lois desperately searches for one piano student who can beat her rival Alexis Radcliffe's student at the piano competition. Meanwhile, Peter drinks even more Pawtucket Patriot beers than usual in an attempt to find a hidden silver scroll and win a tour of the brewery. The next day, Joe finds the first silver scroll. Some time later, the last scroll is found, causing Peter to give up. Tom Tucker later admits he made up the story about the last scroll being found, and then puts a carnivorous earwig in his ear to make up for it. Peter decides to drink one more beer, which turns out to have the last silver scroll. But as Peter runs all the way homeward, he falls, clutches his kneecap and moans over and over again. (This scene would eventually become a popular internet meme in recent years.)
The next day, Peter and Brian go to the brewery tour (based on Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory). Pawtucket Pat (Michael McKean) is seemingly killed on his front walkway, but the killer turns out to be Cheech Marin, hired to pull off a gag. Since the brewery is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and does not have wheelchair ramps, Joe is forced to leave the tour. After experiencing the "beer room", Peter and Brian split off from the group to try beer that never goes flat, in spite of Pat's warning that they have not worked out all the kinks. When Peter and Brian drink the beer, they begin floating upward towards a ceiling-mounted exhaust fan. To save themselves, they fart repeatedly until they reach the ground. When Pat finds Peter and Brian in the forbidden room, he curtly ejects them from the brewery.
Angry at Pawtucket Pat, Peter tries to get Lois's attention by playing the piano, showing that he can play piano perfectly when drunk. Lois decides to enter Peter as her student in the piano competition, and keeps him in a state of constant inebriation. Peter's piano repertoire is TV show theme songs. Stewie then asked Peter to play Lonely Man from The Incredible Hulk as he's mimicking Bruce Manner asking for hitchhiking (slowly walk to the doorstep while doing so). At the competition, Peter is so drunk that he cannot even find the piano. Lois has to turn him around to face the piano, then move him over a couple of inches to play in the correct key. Peter and Lois win first place, but Lois frets that she may have harmed his health for her own selfish need to win. Peter defensively tells her all of his brain cells are intact. There is one left, and it realizes that it is the only cell in the brain. He can finally read all of his books; he then bends down and breaks his glasses, exclaiming "That's not fair! It's not fair! There was time now!". This is a reference to The Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last".
During credits, Stewie (in live-action scene) is at the roadside, asking for hitchhiking but passing-by drivers ignored him (while Lonely Man is still playing).
The episode's storyline was written by Dave Collard and Ken Goin, and the episode's teleplay was written by series regulars Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman, and directed by series regular Bert Ring before the conclusion of the second production season.
- This episode borrows heavily from the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory:
- Pawtucket Pat's contest involves finding silver scrolls hidden in 4 beers, similar to the 5 Golden Tickets from the movie.
- Tom Tucker's lie about the last silver scroll is a parody of the Paraguayan who falsely claimed to have found the last Golden Ticket.
- Peter says "I bet the scroll makes the beer taste terrible" similar to how Charlie Bucket says "I bet the Golden Tickets make the chocolate taste terrible" in the film.
- When Peter finds the scroll near the end of the episode's first act, everything up until Peter's fall on the sidewalk by his house is directly lifted from the film sequence where Charlie finds the last Golden Ticket and triumphantly runs home with it.
- While making his entrance at the gates of his factory, Pawtucket Pat pretends to be gunned down in a drive-by shooting, similar to how Willy Wonka emerged very slowly while walking with a cane, then surprised the crowd by doing a somersault and standing up again.
- Pawtucket Pat is assisted by a group of little people known as Chumbawambas, similar to the Oompa-Loompas from the film.
- The Chumbawambas are named after the British pop band of the same name.
- The Chumbawambas' song ("Chumba-Wamba-Gobbledy-Goo") is a parody of the Oompa-Loompa song, complete with similar visual effects.
- The song that Pawtucket Pat sings while in the "beer room" ("Pure Inebriation") is a parody of the song "Pure Imagination", sung by Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder), as is the sequence surrounding it.
- Peter and Brian's secretly taste the factory's Perma-Suds and wind up floating in the air, much like Charlie and Grandpa Joe did when they sampled Fizzy Lifting Drinks; while Charlie and Grandpa Joe are able to get back down by burping, Peter and Brian do so by farting.
- Peter and Brian are kicked out of the tour for their disobedience, much like how Charlie nearly lost the promised lifetime supply of chocolate for his.
- Two of the guests at the brewery, an old man and a young boy, appear to be Charlie Bucket and Grandpa Joe.
- At the piano competition, after Peter plays the theme song to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary Tyler Moore, who is in the audience, throws her hat in the air, in an homage to the opening credits of that show.
- The end credits are run while Joe Harnell's "The Lonely Man" plays in homage to The Incredible Hulk. The sequence also shows Stewie hitchhiking along the side of the freeway á la David Banner.
- The final scene, showing Peter's solitary brain cell in despair after breaking his glasses, is an homage to the Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last".
- The carnivorous earwig is a parody of the urban legend that earwigs like to crawl into people's ears and eat their eyes and brains.
In his 2009 review, Ahsan Haque of IGN, rating the episode a 7.8/10, said that "Wasted Talent" has "decent quantity of hilarious moments" but it is not as memorable as other episodes in season 2. He stated that the storyline is not cohesive enough, and the scenes about the Pawtucket Patriot Brewery "take up a little too much screen time".
- Haque, Ahsan (18 August 2009). "Family Guy: "Wasted Talent" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
- Callaghan, S. (2005) "Wasted Talent" in Family Guy: The Official Episode Guide Seasons 1–3. New York: HarperCollins. pp.120–22.
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