No Chris Left Behind


No Chris Left Behind
"No Chris Left Behind"
Family Guy episode
No Chris Left Behind - Family Guy promo.png
Mr. Pewterschmidt teasing an orphan and making Chris uncomfortable.
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 16
Directed by Pete Michels
Written by Patrick Meighan
Production code 5ACX11
Original air date May 6, 2007
Guest stars
Episode chronology
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"Boys Do Cry"
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"It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One"
Family Guy (season 5)
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"No Chris Left Behind" is the sixteenth episode of the fifth season of the animated comedy series Family Guy. It originally aired on Fox in the United States on May 6, 2007. The episode features Chris after he is kicked out of James Woods High School, and is forced to attend an upper-class academy who do not take kindly to Chris's lower-class upbringing. In an effort to fit in, he decides to join the academy's Skull and Bones society, but quickly finds it to be too demanding. It is also the first appearance of the recurring character "Bruce".

The episode was written by Patrick Meighan and directed by Pete Michels. It received praise from critics for its storyline and many cultural references, in addition to receiving an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation. According to Nielsen ratings, it was viewed in 7.95 million homes in its original airing. The episode featured guest performances by Gary Cole, Neil Patrick Harris, Phil LaMarr, Josh Radnor and Tara Strong, along with several recurring guest voice actors for the series.

Contents

Plot

Seeking to spend time with her family, Lois decides to take them out to the ballet Swan Lake, on a late school night. The next morning, Chris is seen studying at the breakfast table for an upcoming exam at school. After first being told not to study at the table by Lois, Brian notices that Chris's history textbook is hopelessly out of date. Upset by this, Lois goes to a PTA meeting to complain about the textbook. Responding to her grievances, Principal Shepherd explains that the school cannot afford new textbooks, due to the school's loss of federal funding, after reporting low test scores, as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act. Forced to make a decision on how to improve the scores and the school's overall performance, Principal Shepherd decides to expel the school's "dumbest" student, who is revealed to be Chris Griffin. After several failed attempts to find another school for Chris, Lois asks her father, Carter Pewterschmidt, to utilize his superior influence to get Chris admitted to the upper-class Morningwood Academy, which he agrees to, and eventually succeeds in doing so. At his new school, Chris is shunned by the wealthy students at the academy, being both verbally and physically assaulted. An example is being whacked with sock full of paper money. After hearing this, Lois again turns to her father to help Chris, by inviting him to become a member of the Skull and Bones society with the other students, who eventually come to accept him.

Meanwhile, the family have all begun to take extra jobs, in order to pay for Chris's tuition; Peter decides selling butt scratchers at the ballpark, Lois and Meg begin working as prostitutes, and Stewie decides to follow overweight park-goers, while playing the sousaphone (although it's referred to as a tuba), making them fall. As this is happening, Chris starts to feel uncomfortable with his membership at the Skull and Bones, especially after one of their activities involves teasing an orphan they had pretended to adopt. Feeling his family should not go through so much trouble to keep him satisfied, Chris asks Carter to help him get back into his old school. Carter complies with his request, and Chris moves back home, and returns to James Woods High School. At the end of the episode, Stewie plays the sousaphone for Chris, making him fall.

Production

The episode was written by series regular Patrick Meighan, in his second episode for the season, the first being "Road to Rupert", and directed by former Rugrats and Rocko's Modern Life director Pete Michels, also in his second episode for the season, the first being "Chick Cancer", before the conclusion of the fifth production season.[1]

In addition to the regular cast, actor Gary Cole, actor Neil Patrick Harris, voice actor Phil LaMarr, actor Josh Radnor and voice actress Tara Strong guest starred in the episode. Recurring guest voice actors Ralph Garman, writer Mark Hentemann, writer Chris Sheridan, writer Danny Smith, writer Alec Sulkin and writer John Viener also made minor appearances.[1]

Cultural references

Neil Patrick Harris guest starred in the episode as Barney Stinson of How I Met Your Mother.

In the opening scene of the episode, the Griffin family is seen watching a television show entitled How I Met Your Father, a spoof of the CBS comedy-sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Actors Josh Radnor and Neil Patrick Harris make cameo appearances, voicing their characters, Ted Mosby and Barney Stinson, who end up kissing passionately by the end of the scene.[2]

During Peter's prolonged fight with the Giant Chicken, a scene involving an electric carving knife is taken from the James Bond film The Living Daylights. A Wilhelm scream is during the chicken fight.

Stating his desire to become more powerful, Stewie references the Neighborhood of Make-Believe from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and is then shown portraying King Friday XIII.[3] The cutaway features a live action hand puppet segment, in which Stewie is making a proclamation to his subjects, before the Trolley comes along. This is the second reference to the show since the second season episode "Brian in Love".[3]

In an attempt to get Chris into Morningwood Academy, Peter is forced by Carter Pewterschmidt to appear in a remake of the 1997 comedy film Liar Liar.[3] After Chris is accepted to Morningwood Academy, he falls asleep in his bed for the night, and is suddenly attacked by a group of fellow classmates, who stuff dollar bills into their socks, and quickly begin hitting him with the weapons. A similar scene is shown in director Stanley Kubrick's 1987 war film Full Metal Jacket.[2]

Reception

In a slight decrease from the previous week's show, the episode was viewed in 7.95 million homes in its original airing, according to Nielsen ratings, in the United States. The episode also acquired a 2.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic, slightly edging out The Simpsons, in addition to significantly winning over series creator Seth MacFarlane's second show on Fox, American Dad!, in both rating and total viewership.[4]

Reviews of the episode by television critics were mostly positive, calling it "refreshing."[5] Ahsan Haque of IGN praised the episode's extended chicken fight scene, going on to note, "Like every other encounter with the Giant Chicken, this was highly entertaining, incredibly creative and just the type of sequence the Family Guy needs more of."[5] In contrast, Brett Love of TV Squad found the chicken scene to be too long, stating, "there are only 22 minutes per episode [...] Taking a quarter of that for the chicken fight is just ridiculous."[2] Love did enjoy the scenes involving Chris's time at Morningwood Academy, however, going on to mention that he "would have liked to see a little more of Chris and Carter bonding over Skull and Bones adventures."[2]

"No Chris Left Behind" was nominated for, and won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation. The recipient of the award was episode storyboard artist Steven Fonti, who was awarded the distinction due to his work in storyboarding the episode's chicken fight scene. In addition, Steven Fonti's chicken fight sequence was also nominated for, and won, the Annie Award hosted by ASIFA-Hollywood at the 35th annual award ceremony for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production.[6]

References

External links

Preceded by
Boys Do Cry
Family Guy (season 5) Succeeded by
It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One

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