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 Post subject: Family Guy Bulimia References
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:53 pm 
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I just responded to the Pee-Wee Herman thread, and I wanted to elaborate on some of the references made to eating disorders on Family Guy. Here are a few that I can think of off the top of my head:

-You're not bulimic, you're just fat

-Peter is a counselor at a bulimia clinic and opens with "Geez, did anyone else throw up after that fish last night?" (just a sound clip)

-"Ugh, look at how fat you are. You disgust me. Oink-oink, fatty! Oh, yes, yes, you'll take butter on that English muffin, won't you, because you're the cheerleading squad's token blimp! You don't deserve to eat!"

-When the family is at the ballet, Stewie comments, "You know Meg, female ballet dancers are famous for anorexia and bulimia, and uh... seems to work out for them. So, ahhh, hintidy hint hint."

-Jillian loses a tooth because of her bulimia, and Stewie needs a tooth to capture the tooth fairy so he triggers her to purge. (the video quality on this link sucks)

-Brian: "She's, uh... she has this eating disorder. She's bulimic."
Stewie: "My God, that's horrible!"
Brian: "I know, it really is. I mean, her hair is falling out, last week she lost a tooth..."
Stewie "Really?"
Brian: "But man, I'll tell you, all that purging just makes her body look fantastic. I mean, that's what the supermodels do, and so many of them just look so great. Karen Carpenter overdid it, but I think Jillian's found a good balance. "

-Chris wants to lose weight:
Meg: "Why don't you do what the super models do, stick your fingers down your throat and throw up until you're skinny!"
Peter: " Chris, don't listen to your sister, sticking your finger down your throat doesn't make you throw up!" *then he sticks his finger down his throat and vomits in his mouth*

-Peter is going to buy a car for Meg:
Salesman "Hi there, can I help you folks?"
Peter: "Yeah, uh, my daughter is looking for a car that goes with her personality."
Stewie: "Yes, are the new bulimic cutting mobiles in yet?"

-Jillian mentions "I threw up a lot in high school, so I don't get my period anymore."

-Meg's introduction to Mr. Pukey


Last edited by delenda on Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:00 pm 
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Kinda normalizes the whole thing in a disturbing way, eh?

Why the hell do people still watch TV?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:09 pm 
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Actually, as you commented in my post about the Pee-Wee Herman bulimia reference, sometimes I find them funny. Many times Family Guy crosses the line, but it doesn't only do so with mental disorders, it does it with a vast array of topics and in truth, family guy doesn't bother me. Neither does the Cyanide and Happiness comic for that matter.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:17 pm 
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Yeah, I do wish the eating disorder jokes would cease on family guy, but then again so do the mentally handicap and gay/lesbian jokes as well. Sadly I don't think there's any way to stop them except just smile and nod.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:18 pm 
I've still not decided which is more damaging- never mentioning eating disorders in a lighter context than a serious documentary or news article so making them a not easy topic to broach at all or making light of them and making out like they're an every day thing.

In one way eating disorders and very serious so should never be trivilised in satire... but in another way they are an every day thing. They're all around people but they just don't see it and getting it out there and talking about it in an approchiable manner is a positive thing.
The thing with family guy is it is usually done in a way that actually, although making fun of it, it doesn't tend to make you think that having an eating disorder is a good idea... or that it's a good route to go down. Even the quotes up there that suggest that ballet dancers do it so it's a good idea, are usually said in such a way or in such a context that it's obvious that that's a twisted and very wrong suggestion. It still points out it's a serious issue. But yes it's very distasteful and generally involves alot of cartoon vomit too.
But having said that it doesn't "trigger" me and it does raise awareness.
However when one of my favourite soaps, Hollyoaks, has been tackling eating disorders in a very realistic and very serious manner, it's been increadily triggering and increadibly difficult to watch... and I doubt it's made the issue any easier to talk about for anyone, although it has really shone a light on the serious nature of the issue.


I think there's just more than one side to it... and perhaps we need both the serious and the comic in order to help people look at an issue.


Last edited by Recoveredandproud on Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:20 pm 
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Honestly, none of them offend me. The "bulimic cutting mobile" comment cracked me up, so does the first video clip about "not being bulimic, just fat".

Family Guy is meant to be a little off-color and offensive... I just noticed that bulimia seems to be one of their running jokes.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:25 pm 
delenda wrote:
Honestly, none of them offend me. The "bulimic cutting mobile" comment cracked me up, so does the first video clip about "not being bulimic, just fat".


Tbh they all offend me... but I always figured that was because I had an eating disorder and I guess I'm a bit sensitive about it but that that doesn't mean that it should be an "out of bounds" topic for comedians just that I don't want to hear it. But then, like yourself, I know quite a few people with EDs like jokes about EDs as it makes it easier to deal with... so I guess it's just different jokes for different people.
I don't really like family guy. I think it generally, and delibrately goes beyond the point of funny. It's my family that watches it the majority of the time although bits of it I do find funny but they're usually bits that aren't actually picking on some minority group.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:35 pm 
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Butterfly wrote:
delenda wrote:
Honestly, none of them offend me. The "bulimic cutting mobile" comment cracked me up, so does the first video clip about "not being bulimic, just fat".


Tbh they all offend me... but I always figured that was because I had an eating disorder and I guess I'm a bit sensitive about it but that that doesn't mean that it should be an "out of bounds" topic for comedians just that I don't want to hear it. But then, like yourself, I know quite a few people with EDs like jokes about EDs as it makes it easier to deal with... so I guess it's just different jokes for different people.


I've always felt that way too. I wasn't thrilled when someone in my psychology class made a joke about anorexia being like golf (the lowest number always wins, that sort of deal). But you're right, some people might not mind ED jokes because laughter makes things easier to do and they say having a sense of humor about your illness makes life so much easier.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:04 am 
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I dont have a problem with this.
I love Family Guy, I think its hillarious and I think what makes it so funny is that it is so wrong. If someone were to come up to me on the street and say those sorts of comments it would be a different matter but the way in which it is portrayed in Family Guy fits with the rest of the show intirely - making light of serious situations in a comedic way. I think every person in the world could feel 'offended' by Family Guy in some way or another because of the broad variety of things it covers but personally, I think some of the ED comments are quite funny in the same way that i think the whole show is funny.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:37 am 
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Couldn't have said that better, Ashleigh.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:56 am 
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Family Guy is one of my personal favorite shows of the...ever, and I have no issue with those jokes. They make fun of everything, and anybody could find something personal to be offended by, but that's just the nature of the show. There's no harm done, imo, and with the heavy amount of offensive (and funny) material in each episode, there's plenty that one could both get upset about and laugh at.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:12 pm 
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If something would offend me or my principles in person, it is likely to offend me on television. And while I hold dear my principles and ideology, I am very flexible in accommodating a world of people with different ideas and approaches. Having said that, I have never completed an episode of Family Guy and I suspect that most of those "jokes" would offend me.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:48 am 
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Personally, Family Guy doesn't offend me, even when they parody issues that are important to me. Their style of humour is not for everyone - it's the sort of Sarah Silverman approach: mock the ignorant and the prejudiced by imitating them. (I'm not really much of a fan of Sarah Silverman, but I do love Family Guy.) The problem with shows like Family Guy, South Park and The Simpsons is that people mistake them for kids' shows because they're cartoons, when in reality they are far from it...


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:20 am 
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i always feel uncomfortable when i watch family guy with my mother and its one of the many episodes in which they mention bulimia. for example the one i watched the other night with an archie parody when someone was puking in the shower. and then i think well who am i to feel uncomfortable, when they often poke at people who have to deal with other problems such as drug addiction.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:41 am 
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hi, suitcasegirl! :wbb: i hope we can read an into thread from you soon :) have a look around, this site is one of a kind.

as to this issue i'm with Butterfly, it's tough. I think that occasionally as a device it's interesting - ok, so Brian has a girlfriend who's bulimic, ok, so Meg's peers are encouraging her to lose weight at all costs. We mock it - it's twisted and nothing else to hear Brian say it's worth it. But in practice I think the jokes run away and you get something like the Stewie triggering scene and I can't find the funny.

I agree that a big beef to be had with Family Guy is the issue of its appeal to children. I wouldn't fancy the mocking of bulimia on Looney Tunes, (which is also funny to adults and has jokes that no child would get) and I guess I think if the Family Guy creators going to have a show that appeals to kids, even if it's not their responsibility to make it their focus since they are not pretending it's a children's show, some thought should be given to sensitive things.

On the whole, it does offend me.

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