Wasted Talent
Season 1, Episode 12
Welcome to Willy Wonka's Beer Factory.jpg
Air date April 18, 1999
Episode guide
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Death is a Bitch
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Holy Crap

Wasted Talent is the twelfth episode of season one of Family Guy. It is the twelfth episode, overall.

Synopsis

Lois' rival piano teacher, Alexis, brags about her star student going into a piano playing competition. To show Alexis who's boss, Lois desperately searches for a student of hers, that will qualify for said competition. Meanwhile, in a parody of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, a contest for a tour of the Pawtucket Beer Factory is held and Peter goes through more beers than ever to find the golden ticket.

Plot

Lois desperately searches for one piano student who can beat her rival Alexis' student at the piano competition.

Meanwhile, Peter drinks even more Pawtucket Patriot Ale than usual in an attempt to win a tour of the brewery. Almost ready to give up, he drinks one more beer, which turns out to have the silver scroll. Peter and Brian go on the brewery tour, but split off from the group to try beer that never goes flat despite Pawtucket Pat’s warning that they haven’t worked out the kinks. When Pat finds Peter and Brian in the forbidden room, he ejects them from the brewery.

Angry at Pawtucket Pat, Peter tries to get Lois’ 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. At the competition, Peter can’t even find the piano, Lois has to turn him around and move him a couple of inches. Peter and Lois win first place but Lois frets that she may have harmed his health for her own selfish need to win.

Characters

Major Roles

Minor Roles

Quotes

Cop: Aren't you a little old to be drinking illegally?

Trivia

  • The title is a pun on the term "wasted" bring slang for "drunk", and also the concept of wasted talent, referring to unused potential.
  • This episode debuts the running gag of Peter hurting his knee.
  • It's revealed what Death's face looks like. It's a talking skull. Fitting, as most portrayals of The Grim Reaper depict him as quite bluntly, an animated skeleton or skinless corpse, wearing a black cloak.

Cultural References

  • At the beginning of the episode, Meg is reading Popularity for Dummies, referencing the "(blank) for Dummies" set of help books.
  • Alexis Radcliffe's name is a reference to Radcliffe College, a separate all-women's college to complement Harvard's once all-male institution. The two were completely joined in 1999.
  • Most of the episode parodies the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
    • The characters of Charleston Bigot and his grandpa are parodies on Charlie Bucket and his grandpa.
  • During the Pawtucket Pat song, the lyrics "You'll drive drunker than Oksana Baiul" refers to 1994 Winter Olympics champion Oksana Baiul's 1997 drunk driving accident because of which she entered an alcohol rehab program in 1998.
  • The Chumbawumba characters are a reference to the band Chumbawamba who are best known in the US for their 1997 hit “Tubthumping,” the lyrics of which reference the pleasure of drinking.
  • Peter’s piano repertoire is movie and TV show theme songs, including Dallas, Nine to Five, The Incredible Hulk, The X-Files and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
  • At the end of The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme that Peter plays, Mary Richards is seen in the audience, whereupon she throws her hat in the air as she did in the opening credits of that show. She and the hat freeze as they do in the credits of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
  • In a scene, Cap’n Crunch is speaking to the don from “There's Something About Paulie” who himself resembles Vito Corleone, requesting a hit on Count Chocula in retaliation for claims made that Cap’n Crunch cuts the roof of peoples’ mouths. This relates to the claim that the cereal actually did cut your mouth, although this notion was dismissed in the early 1990s.
  • The last scene, with the last brain cell in Peter’s brain, parodies The Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last”.
  • In the first scene in the concert hall, a conversation takes place between a father, a mother and a son, where the father makes a reference to buying bad crack from a friend of the son, the father bears a striking resemblance to and it may be a reference of the “I learned it by watching you” commercial which was part of the US anti-narcotics campaign by Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA). The commercial referenced first aired in the 1980s.
  • The end credits of this episode parodies the "sad walking-away song from The Incredible Hulk, "The Lonely Man's Theme".

Errors

  • During the scene in which Peter and Brian drink the PermaSuds beer that always stays carbonated, they start rising through the air; but CO2 is actually heavier than air.
  • In the scene where Lois sees both Peter and Brian drunk, every time the camera turns to her, either the door behind her disappears or appears.
  • After Peter sees that Tom Tucker lied about the scroll, Peter then has a random beer, which he never had before, and never acknowledged until after seeing that on the TV.
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