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Whistle While Your Wife Works

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"Whistle While Your Wife Works"
Family Guy episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 5
Directed by Greg Colton
Written by Steve Callaghan
Production code 4ACX35
Original air date November 12, 2006
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Saving Private Brian"
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"Prick Up Your Ears"
Family Guy (season 5)
List of Family Guy episodes

"Whistle While Your Wife Works" is the fifth episode of season five of Family Guy, the last episode produced for Season 4. The show originally aired on November 12, 2006. The plot follows Peter losing his fingers after an accident while holding fireworks. Behind on his work and threatened with the possibility of dismissal, he asks Lois to catch up on his work for him, to which she agrees. However, he repeatedly attempts to seduce her, eventually succeeding, distracting her from the work. Meanwhile, Brian begins dating a woman named Jillian who, much to Stewie's delight, lacks general knowledge and intelligence.[1]

The episode was written by Steve Callaghan and directed by Greg Colton. It received mostly mixed reviews from critics for its storyline and many cultural references. According to Nielsen ratings, the episode was viewed in 9.04 million homes in its original airing. The episode featured guest performances by Drew Barrymore, Bobby Costanzo, Barclay DeVeau, Carrie Fisher, Anne-Michelle Seiler and Audrey Wasilewski, along with several recurring guest voice actors for the series.


The opening title sequence is different from many other episodes in that Peter trips during the theme song and injures a stage dancer (consequently puncturing her lung). Also, Stewie comes towards the camera screen and suggests they cut from the opening sequence.

Quagmire returns home from a holiday in Florida and comes to the Griffins' house to tell Peter that he has smuggled some fireworks into Quahog by hiding them in his anus. Peter tells him that fireworks aren't illegal in Quahog, so he didn't need to hide them and could have just brought them in normally, but Quagmire doesn't see any fun in doing that. Later on, the Griffins and Quagmire start to play with the fireworks. Peter attaches ten M-80s together and shows Quagmire. However, the M-80s detonate, detaching all the fingers from his right hand. With Joe's help, Peter is able to find his fingers and later gets them reattached to his hand. The next day, Peter celebrates getting his fingers reattached by going to The Drunken Clam with Cleveland, Joe and Quagmire, and they decide to continue their celebrations at Pawtucket Brewery after the bar closes. Peter is behind on his work at the brewery, as he is unable to type due to his hand injury, and Angela threatens him with the prospect of being fired if he fails to catch up, so he asks Lois to help him. When Lois agrees to help Peter catch up with his work, Peter attempts to seduce her numerous times. Later at the brewery, after a final attempt to seduce Lois in his office, she gives in and they have sex in front of their co-worker Opie, who runs away screaming. In the end, Peter is caught up with his work and enjoys having Lois help out and have sex with him.

Meanwhile, Stewie finds out that Brian has a new girlfriend. Brian later (reluctantly) allows Stewie to meet his new girlfriend, Jillian. Stewie discovers she is a dumb blonde, and mocks Brian. Jillian visits the house, where Peter and Chris take an instant liking to her while Lois and Stewie find her stupidity amusing. The next day, Brian goes out with Jillian, where he meets her equally unintelligent friends. Stewie tells Brian that the relationship will not succeed. Brian visits Jillian's apartment to end the relationship (with Stewie waiting in his car), but he is distracted by her naked body when she answers the door and he has sex with her instead. Stewie apparently anticipated this when he returns three hours later, turns on the stereo, plays his mix tape, and starts singing to the tune of Gary Numan's "Cars": "Brian had sex/With a really dumb girl/Now he's taking his friend Stewie/To get some ice cream/In his car." After Brian turns off the stereo, Stewie responds "Oh, you're a poor sport.".[2]


A man with brown hair who is slightly crouched forward and speaking into a microphone.
Episode Writer Steve Callaghan created the character of Jillian.

The character of Jillian was altered several times by the show producers before its original airing; however, the final character personality was designed to be that of "a bulimic cheerleader."[3] The character of Jillian was also designed to be "not the brightest bauble on the tree," but this too was repeatedly changed.[3] The description of Jillian's voice being that of a bulimic cheerleader somewhat relates to a future episode plot, where Stewie calls Jillian fat, to which she responds by leaving the room and throwing up.[4] When Stewie exclaims "it's like she's fucking five," this was not set to broadcast at its original air date, but rather added in at a later date for unknown reasons.[5] When Stewie is entertaining the elderly citizens by singing a song entitled "there's a hole in the bottom of the sea," this is actually Seth MacFarlane's father playing the guitar, as he used to sing it to Seth when he was a child.[6] During the making of this episode, not much thought was put into the character of Jillian, despite the fact she was always meant to be recurring character;[3] although her regular appearances throughout season 5 were described as "a big thing for Family Guy."[6]

In addition to the regular cast, actress Drew Barrymore, voice actor Bobby Costanzo, voice actor Barclay DeVeau, actress Carrie Fisher, voice actress Anne-Michelle Seiler and actress Audrey Wasilewski guest starred in the episode. Recurring guest voice actor John G. Brennan, and writers Mike Henry, Mark Hentemann, Danny Smith, Alec Sulkin, and John Viener made minor appearances. Actor Patrick Warburton also appeared in the episode as well.

Cultural references[edit]

Show creator Seth MacFarlane claims on the DVD commentary track that, unlike most Family Guy episodes, this episode has no cultural references or references to real-world events except for Chris calling Meg "David Koresh" when they play with fireworks and the cutaway of Peter, Joe, Quagmire, and Cleveland spending last Saturday with the Lord of Darkness from Legend.[6] There was also a discussion that the gang had about the show Wings while swimming in the beer tank. Quagmire admits that he is the most knowledgeable about the show because he is a pilot and the show focuses on two pilots. When Peter goes to look at his secret stash of pornography, the intro from Get Smart is referenced. Stewie asks Brian if Jillian has an alibi, and Brian says no. Stewie starts singing the song "U.G.L.Y.", understanding that Jillian does not have an alibi. Brian sets up a cutaway when he says that breaking up with Jillian will be tougher than the reviews for Our American Cousin. The ensuing gag shows the actors looking for mention of their play following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.


In a slight improvement over the previous week, the episode was viewed in 9.04 million homes in its original airing, according to Nielsen ratings. The episode also acquired a 3.2 rating in the 18–49 demographic, slightly being beat by The Simpsons, while still winning over American Dad!.[7]

IGN's Dan Iverson gave a mixed review, commenting that "it is only passable" and that "it did not have that laugh out loud funny" concept.[8] However, Iverson positively comments that the voice of Jillian by Drew Barrymore was perfect. Iverson added that it's "pretty humorous in this episode was how they made fun of mediocre films."[8] In conclusion, Iverson gave the episode a final rating of 6.9/10.[8] The press release for this episode commented that Jillian is a "very attractive but intellectually challenged,"[9] giving no negative comments. The entire scene of Buzz Killington discussing bridges to Peter and his friends in a flashback is Barrymore's favorite scene.[3]


  1. ^ "Whistle While Your Wife Works". 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  2. ^ Plot synopsis information for the episode "Whistle While Your Wife Works" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2006. 
  3. ^ a b c d Barrymore, Drew (2006). Family Guy season 5 DVD commentary for the episode "Whistle While Your Wife Works" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  4. ^ Callaghan, Steve (2006). Family Guy season 5 DVD commentary for the episode "Whistle While Your Wife Works" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  5. ^ Goodman, David (2006). Family Guy season 5 DVD commentary for the episode "Whistle While Your Wife Works" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  6. ^ a b c MacFarlane, Seth (2006). Family Guy season 5 DVD commentary for the episode "Whistle While Your Wife Works" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  7. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. 2006-11-14. Archived from the original on 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  8. ^ a b c "Family Guy: "Whistle While Your Wife Works" Review". 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  9. ^ "Satirical cartoon uptalk is not HRT either". Language Log. 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 

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