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It is time for another installment in the money lessons from animated sitcoms! It has been too long since I did one of these!
So today, we are going to find out about five more money lessons from Family Guy. Out of the three posts I did so far in the series, the one about Family Guy was the best received. So I figured I better start with this one for a second part!
If you do not know this show, it is an American animated sitcom from Seth Mac Farlane. The series follows the adventures of the Griffin Family. Contrary to some other series, it does not have a focus on one character or even one story. There are generally several stories in each episode. And often, the main one is not the funniest.
In the Griffin family, there is Peter and Lois Griffin, the parents. They have three children, Meg, Chris and Stewie, the baby. And they have a dog, Brian.
For more context, nobody likes Meg, the baby is a Genius, and the dog can talk! And both Peter and Chris are pretty dumb! Oh, and the baby wants to kill his mom. It is a hilarious show!
In this post, we are going to talk about five episodes from the show with some focus on money. The idea of the series is to see if we can learn some things about money from animated TV sitcoms.
The pictures in this post are the property of Fox.
Follow the Money
Our first pick today is a very recent episode. Follow the Money is the fourth episode of the 16th season of Family Guy.
The episode starts with the grandfather, Carter Pewterschmidt, giving Chris, his grandson, a one-dollar note for his birthday. But Chris is not happy, thinking it is too little and throws away the note. It is important to note that the grandfather is very wealthy. And Chris thinks he is too cheap giving one dollar. The main story in this episode is to follow this one-dollar note.
Stewie, the baby, picks up the note. But the father steals the note from the baby in exchange for a spoon. Peter then goes on to exchange it against 100 pennies from the Red Cross. The bill is then used to tip a waitress at a local coffee shop.
The bill then goes on to an injured guy who loses it to a couple of motorcycle riders. It is then picked up by a pidgeon who delivers it to his master. He then writes his number on the note to give to a girl, Meg!
The grandfather then comes home to tell Chris that the dollar note was a rare misprint one. It is worth a lot of money! So they have to find it again!
I will not go into all the following details of the travel of the note because it is very long! But it goes through a drug bust, into a bar (where Peter destroys the bar with a laser saber) and ends up in a strip club, where Carter and Chris find it!
In the end, the note lost all its value because of the phone number written on it!
We can learn a few things from this episode. First of all, never write your number on a very rare dollar note! You will lose a lot of money! But you probably already knew that.
But another good lesson is never to assume people know the value of things. For instance, there are tons of coins that have a lot of value. But many people cannot recognize them. Make sure you do not give one away without explaining its value.
But I think that it is also fascinating to follow the money. When you part with some of your money, you never know where it will end up. It is an interesting thought experiment to try to imagine the path of your money after you give it away. It is much more interesting with cash than digital money of course.
Brian Writes a Bestseller
Our second episode for this post is Brian Writes a Bestseller. It is the fifth episode of the ninth season of Family Guy. For a little context, you should know that Brian is a failed writer, and many jokes of the show are about that fact.
At the beginning of the episode, Brian receives all the unsold copies of the book that he has written. They returned more than 300 boxes of unsold copies. And they even used shredded pieces of his books to pack the books. So, Brian decides to quit being a writer.
After reading the newspaper for book reviews, Brian discovers that a lot of books are crap. He says that he could write such a book in a night. And the baby encourages him to do it. So Brian writes “Wish it, Want it, Do it” in about three hours. It is a book supposed to help people. But it is just a book made to be sold, not to help anyone.
The book is published very quickly by Penguin Publishing, and Brian is becoming very popular. Stewie is becoming his assistant. Brian is also very quickly becoming a huge jerk to everybody and especially to Stewie.
Finally, Brian is going live on Real Time with Bill Maher. After a few minutes on the show, Brian is getting destroyed because of his crap book. And he tells everybody he did it in three hours and even ends up peeing himself live! In the end, he apologizes to Stewie.
There are many things we can learn from this episode. I think it is essential not to make crap just to make money! It is especially true in the world of personal finance blogging. Helping the user should be the goal, not make the most money! You should write what people need to read not what they want to read! And the same stands for books. People should write books that help people.
Also, if you get successful, you should not forget the friends that were there when you were starting! You should not forget your friends that helped you! Making more money than other people does not make you any better!
Business Guy is the ninth episode of the eighth season of Family Guy.
After Peter finds out that his father in law, Carter, never had a Bachelor’s Party, he decides to throw him a great party. So he brings Carter to a strip club. But after a lap dance, Carter has a heart attack and ends up in a coma. Even Doctor House cannot bring him back.
In his estate planning, Carter decided to leave the control of his company, Pewterschmidt Industry, to his daughter Lois. Lois wants to let the board of directors control the company. But Peter insists on running the company. Lois lets him after some convincing.
Peter goes to the board of directors and says things that do not make any sense. He wants to turn the company around even though it is doing better than ever. Finally, he fires the entire board of directors.
Peter decides to start several new products: The African American Heart Monitor, Scream in a Box and Jeremy Irons Cereal. Needless to say, all the ideas are pretty bad!
When Carter wakes up from the Coma, he wants to get rid of Peter. But Peter does not want to let it go. He wastes a lot of the company money. Peter even employs Carter as a cleaning employee.
To get rid of Peter, Lois and her father tell him that there is a swamp monster in the office. They trick him into signing out the company back to Carter.
The first thing we should learn from this episode is that you should prepare for your passing. It will be so much easier for your relatives if everything is already handled when you pass. One way to do that would be with a Disaster File. And, if necessary, you can also write a will.
Another thing is that you should not suppose you can run a company. Running a large company is a difficult task that requires capacities and experience that not everybody has!
Our fourth episode is Family Gay. It is the eighth episode of the seventh season of Family Guy.
Instead of buying beans at the grocery store like his wife asked, Peter buys a horse. And not only that, he buys a retarded horse! Of course, the horse breaks havoc in the house. Then Peter decides to become a horse breeder and store horse semen in the fridge. Finally, Peter enlists the horse in a derby, and the horse destroys many things. So he throws it into the local pharmacy.
The family has to pay about a hundred thousand dollars worth of damage. So Peter decides to be a subject for medical experiments to get some side money. One of the experiments turns him into a squirrel while another turns him into Seth Rogen. Finally, for 125$, he gets injected with the gay gene. As its name indicates, this gene turns Peter gay.
At first, Lois likes the new Peter. He does a lot of things at home, and he is much nicer to people. But then, there is the slight problem of him being gay and not wanting to have sex with her. She wants the doctor to reverse it. But it does not seem to be possible. He then goes on to live with his new boyfriend. Finally, in the middle of an orgy, Peter turns back straight!
There are two things we can learn from this episode.
First of all, if you look for it, there are many opportunities for side hustles. Some of them can bring you a nice supplemental income. It could help you go through rough patches.
On the other hand, you should not do anything for money! Do not put your life in danger to get some extra income. There are a lot of safe side hustles, so you probably should not accept medical experiments or selling your kidneys!
Our last episode today is Baking Bad! It is the third episode of the 13th season of Family Guy.
In this episode, Lois is helping organize a blood drive in Quahog. Shes bakes cookie for people that donate blood. Peter finds the cookie amazing. It turns out Lois found her grandmother recipe and made a special batch for the blood drive.
Peter likes the cookies so much that he suggests opening their own cookie store. They decide to do it together. They go to the bank to get a loan for the shop. After the bank clerk tries one cookie, he decides to help them. So they open Peter’s Wife Cookies.
Unfortunately, the store does not work very well. To bring people in, Peter hires bikini waitresses to sell cookies. Very quickly, a lot of people are coming into the shop. They are quickly making a lot of money. Lois decides to continue even though she does not like it a lot.
However, Peter takes it to the next level when he turns their store into an actual strip club. Nobody wants cookies anymore. People are only coming in the store to see the girls. Lois gets mad at Peter for messing it up.
In the end, they sell the store to Elmo!
This episode should be a reminder not to take it too far to make the most money! Transforming a bakery into a strip club may bring much more money in. But it is not a bakery anymore!
Also, you should probably discuss with your partner before doing significant changes to a joint project. I think this is very important! Not every people have the same vision and ethics when it comes to business. It is essential to discuss these kinds of things.
The same can be applied to your couple’s finances. You are in it together. For instance, you should not buy a car without telling your partner!
As you can see, we can learn a lot from a show such as Family Guy. Of course, most of the episodes are simply too dumb to learn anything from them. But this is what makes them funny!
Of course, learning is not the biggest reason to watch this show. Learning a bit from these episodes is just a bonus! For instance, even if there are many ways to earn from side hustles, you should not sacrifice your health for money. Also, you should not try to sell crap to people. It is much better to focus on actually helping people instead of faking it for money!
It was really funny to write this new post on the series. I think I am going to cover South Park again in the next installment. What do you think? Which animated TV sitcom would you like me to cover next? I am still wondering whether I should also cover American Dad.
What is your favorite episode from the Family Guy TV show? Do you know more money lessons from this show?