Lois is sick of Peter wearing the same thing every day, even though everyone in Quahog also wears the same thing every day, including herself. She drags him to the mall to look for some new threads, and lo! an enormous lump is discovered on Peter’s shoulder. A trip to Dr Hartman’s later, and it turns out that it’s not a tumor, but rather a vestigial twin. Hartman cuts the lump open, and out pops a fully developed mini-Peter head with an aggravating, high-pitched voice. Peter names him Chip. The other Griffins come to enjoy Chip’s zest for even the smallest things in life and his appetite for trying new things. Peter gets jealous of the attention Chip’s getting, and so undergoes an operation to have him removed. Chip has his very own teeny body and continues to ingratiate himself with the family. Peter tries to find some way to make him leave.
What we have here, if you couldn’t tell just by that plot summary, is an utter fucking mess, throwing together the worst aspects of Family Guy. We waste well over five minutes doing nothing but dicking around at the mall. There’s at least three unfunny shopping-at-the-mall gags in a row with no plot movement whatsoever. Let’s go to this store for a single joke. Now let’s go to that one. And in between each, let’s have the same establishing shot of the mall accompanied by the same musical sting because we’re too lazy to animated people walking from one place to another and we’re worried you’re too stupid to remember where we are.
With very few exceptions (I left….my poem…at home), that’s about all “Vestigial Peter” has to offer. Remember how in my “Treehouse of Horror XXIV” review, I said that the “Dead and Shoulders” segment was several minutes of blah jokes all based on the same dubious premise? Yeah, well “Vestigial Peter” is the exact same thing, but worse and about three times as long. There is so much time wasted on irrelevant, unfunny jokes. There’s something of a plot, yes, but it’s mostly vignettes of Chip and/or other Griffins doing various activities.
Let me give you a very real example of a “joke” that actually made it into this episode:
PETER: …like that time I invented “Choose Your Own Adventure or Pie.”
CUT TO: Peter in bed, eating a pie.
PETER: I chose pie again.
HAHAHAHA OH WAIT HOW THE FUCK IS THAT EVEN A JOKE? This fucking show is making me see red.
Hell, some of these humor-deprived gags go on for such a painfully long time, I welcomed the inevitable interruption of the cutaways to get us out of there. There was some very slightly amusing material with Peter being hurt when Chip and the rest of the family sing the theme song without him, as well as during the surgery scene. My goodwill was quickly squandered when Dr Hartman used the exact same “We lost your father” joke as seen on Arrested Development. If you’re going to steal jokes, Family Guy, at least doll it up a little, because otherwise I’ll just be lamenting the fact that I’m not watching whatever you stole from instead.
Chip himself, by the by, might be the most annoying thing I have ever had the displeasure of listening to. It’s Seth MacFarlane’s Peter voice jacked up about seventy octaves. It is ear-splitting to listen to every time the stupid little bastard opens his godsdamn mouth. And he has so much dialogue. If the episode weren’t already a pain to sit through, this alone would have torpedoed it. Peter acknowledging how annoying he is doesn’t help, either. I breathed a heavy sigh of relief when the litter fucker took off in a balloon for a career in show biz, because it means that the episode is over.
“Vestigial Peter” is a truly atrocious episode, infuriating to watch, and difficult to withstand. The end couldn’t come soon enough.