We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Quahog. Mmm, I’m not sure that’s how the song goes, let’s try that again. We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz, because, because, because, because….. well because TinyCo deemed it so with their latest event, There’s No Place Like Quahog.
Now you probably all know The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written by L. Frank Baum, but the world of Oz didn’t truly capture the imagination of the world until MGM put their glorious Technicolor to good use in the fantastic film adaptation, The Wizard of Oz, way back in 1939. But hey, on its release it didn’t set the world alight, unfortunately it found itself pushed aside by Gone With The Wind. But gradually over the years its popularity grew into the phenomena we now all recognise. I for one adore the movie, although admittedly the books will always be my first love.
But just where have we seen the Oz characters in Family Guy before? Well they’ve made quite a few appearances in the TV show and I’m going to highlight them here. It’s worth pointing out though that MGM fiercely guard their copyright on the content of The Wizard of Oz, therefore the Family Guy TV show pulls most of its imagery from the books. Guess there’s only one thing worse than having a Flying Monkey on your back, and that’s having an MGM lawyer on your tail, so for once Seth McFarlane is playing it safe.
So join me on a journey along the yellow brick road as we stroll through Oz’s many appearances and mentions in Family Guy.
I Never Met The Dead Man – Season 1, Episode 2
Yes we’re almost right back to the start for the first sightings of something Oz inspired in Quahog, and this is a fantastic episode for me. Biased, Biased, Biased, I know.
Poor Peter is going through a torrid withdrawal, he’s lost the single most important thing in his life, TV. Yes, I’m being serious, I guess he’s feeling how I’d feel if I lost my home wi-fi, lol. But before you feel too sorry for Peter, hear this, it’s his fault, he only went and crashed into the town’s only satellite dish, so not only has he no TV, neither has any other resident of Quahog.
With no TV to keep his mind occupied, Peter starts to dream up his own entertainment. Don’t worry Bunny it’s all PG. And so Peter’s imagination sees him re-enacting the tornado scene from Oz.
As Peter watches from the window we see some well-known faces fly by, ALF, Gilligan & the robot from Lost in Space, and Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie who transforms into Samantha from Bewitched, in front of his eyes, an obvious nod to Mrs Gulch’s transformation into the Wicked Witch of the West.
Holy Crap, Season 2, Episode 2
A fun episode that sees a rather old and grumpy Francis Griffin come to live with the Griffins, but things didn’t go the way Peter had hoped for as Francis constantly criticises Lois and the kids. One of the crazy things this leads Peter to do is having a conversation with the Tinman and Scarecrow, telling them how he knows he has raised a good family. Looking at Chris, Meg and Stewie I’m not sure I’d agree, lol.
The Story On Page One – Season 2, Episode 19
There are two quick nods to Oz here. Firstly when a security guard on duty at the Dean’s office takes his job too seriously, shouting about how, “Nobody sees the Dean, not nobody, not no how”. And later when Peter shares his beliefs with Luke Perry about how the Dark Side of the Moon syncs up with The Wizard of Oz movie.
Fast Times At Buddy Cianci Jr. high – Season 4, Episode 2
In a funny scene Lois confuses the Australian prison series Oz with The Wizard of Oz. This confusion mostly comes about not from Lois’ scattiness but the fact the inmates sing their own version of The Merry Old Land Of Oz.
Don’t Make Me Over – Season 4, Episode 4
In this episode the Tinman is outed as gay. Enough said, lol.
PTV – Season 4, Episode 14
One of my favourite Oz parodies is seen in this episode of Family Guy. Although it’s short and sweet, it’s really quite neat. In the past I’ve seen myself rewinding this scene and sitting chuckling away. What scene am I talking about, well it’s the one where Stewie is seen cycling along the yellow brick road on his Big Wheel and happily running over Dorothy and all her Oz friends as he goes.
Deep Throats – Season 4, Episode 23
Brian is chilling out in front of the TV, watching an old episode of Scarecrow and Mrs King, well how is else is a dog to spend his day? However things take a silly turn in this parody as Mrs Kings finds herself partnered with the scarecrow from Oz. It’s not long before the scarecrow comes a cropper though as he finds himself being torn apart, limb by limb. However it’s not the flying monkeys to blame this time, instead it’s a gang of drug dealers. Poor Scarecrow.
Hell Comes To Quahog- Season 5, Episode 3
A simple reference to Oz when a poster for the musical Wicked is shown.
Saving Private Brian – Season 5, Episode 4
Another shocking secret from Oz is revealed in this episode, when we are told Dorothy has herpes. Funny how MGM never thought to tell us that in he movie.
The Former Life of Brian – Season 6, Episode 11
Here we see Dorothy saying heartfelt goodbyes to the Tinman, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion. But things get very awkward between the best friends when Dorothy says she will miss Scarecrow most of all and the Tinman and the Cowardly Lion get a little jealous and tetchy.
Peter’s Progress – Season 7, Episode 16
Another quick reference to Oz when Peter moans “there’s nothing in that black bag for me”. An obvious nod to the scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy thinks the Wizard can’t help her get back home
Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comecy Show – Season 8 Special
In this special Seth McFarlane appeared as the Cowardly Lion.
Quagmire’s Baby – Season 8, Episode 6
Peter mimics the famous “Surrender Dorothy” scene when he writes “Retire Cher”, as the music from the movie plays in the background.
Road To The North Pole – Season 9, Episode 7
The motley crew of characters sing a new version of All I Really Want For Christmas which features the following lyrics by Carl, “I want a Blu-ray of The Wiz”.
Thanksgiving – Season 10, Episode 6
An absolutely bonkers cutaway shows the Cowardly Lion as Lyndsay Lohen’s gynaecologist. I’m not sure who I feel more sorry for, lol.
Big Fat – Season 11, Episode 7
A parody of The Merry Old Land Of Oz is underway as Quagmire tells of his love of Canadian Strip Clubs.
Herpe, The Love Sore – Season 12, Episode 16
Peter bravely attends a cowards anonymous meeting alongside our old Oz friend the Cowardly Lion. After hearing tales of Flying Monkeys and such Peter tells the Cowardly Lion his fear is perfectly natural.
The Cowardly Lion, feeling completely vindicated returns to Oz and flips off Dorothy and the rest of the gang.
A surprising thing in this parody is Dorothy is shown wearing the ruby slippers made famous in the MGM movie, whereas in every other appearance she is wearing the silver slippers of the book.
This Little Piggy – Season 13, Episode 9
A quirky little cutaway shows the Tinman regretting his desire to have a heart when the Wizard gives him an actual beating heart.
And as a little aside if you think the Banana Munchkins look a little familiar then look no further than PB & J Brian, who first appeared in the Family Guy episode, The Courtship of Stewie’s Father in Season 4, Episode 16. PB & J Brian is also a character costume for Brian in our games.