American Dad!, S13E11: – “The Unincludeds”

Episode grade: A-

Ah, yes. Steve and Snot: best friends, partners in geekery, (occasional recipients of each other’s sexual confusion), and two social outcasts who are destined to grow up single, with no distractions from girls or the burdens of popularity to derail their future success. “Family comes and goes, but the people you’re in school with are forever,” as Snot once said. Their friendship has withstood many challenges over the years — even Stan attempting to derail it and then wanting to replace Steve as Snot’s BFF — but it’s unbreakable. That is, as long as they both remain losers.

While shows like The Simpsons have delved into this kind of view into characters’ futures on numerous occasions, American Dad! has finally given us our first idea of what Steve and Snot will become (other than an elderly married couple as portrayed in Season 10’s “The Longest Distance Relationship”). Steve, Snot, Barry, and Toshi are inspired by a creepy janitor to throw a party at Steve’s house for all the other outcasts: “the dorks, the nerds, and the kids who are both stupid and unattractive!” … the Unincludeds!

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It’s at this party where Steve and Snot meet their future selves. It turns out — unsurprisingly — their perpetual unpopularity has kept the two together over the years, and with their intellects combined, they managed to build the world’s first time machine. However, as an act of revenge for being humiliated at Steve’s party, future Mertz pulls a Biff Tannen and steals one of Steve and Snot’s time machines to go back to the present to screw up their long-term friendship — by inspiring them to throw that party, making them cool in high school!

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When Steve goes back downstairs to his own party, his future self warns him to make his usual “zero impact”; however, he winds up making out with Lolo Fuentes, the gorgeous sexually curious home-schooled girl, and their future selves change immediately: Steve becomes a musclehead assistant manager at a gym, and Snot becomes a dirty homeless guy. Their friendship is gone.

Trying to repair the damage by returning to the party again and again only serves to bolster their popularity among the guests. Ironically, the more admired Steve becomes, the more tan and buff his future self gets, and the more horrendously screwed up Snot’s future self gets. The only way to solve it and restore their social-outcast status is to derail their own party with an underwear dance in front of everyone to WHAM!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”; when even that fails, the undies come off and, in what is probably the best pushing-the-envelope scene since Klaus raising Steve up from the bottom of the swimming pool in “The Life Aquatic with Steve Smith”, their naked booty-shaking dance-off finally has the desired popularity-destroying effect. Buff Steve and Turtle Snot are restored to their original debonair future selves, and their lives are back on their successful albeit pathetic track.

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In our B-plot, Roger and Hayley go out to dinner (“Nouveau Fretalian” at Incanto), and in true Roger fashion, he takes serious personal offense that the waitress compliments Hayley’s order but not his own. This doesn’t really go anywhere all that interesting, though as with all otherwise-disposable Roger B-plots, we wind up with someone horribly mutilated to satisfy Roger’s neurosis-du-jour. It works only because Roger is just that great of a character. And I guess you could call Stan and Francine’s trip to Sarajevo to visit the old abandoned Olympics stadium a “C-plot”? Kind of pointless, although it did give us a couple of good Francine lines, and got the parents out of the house so Steve could hold his party. It’s also nice to see once again that Stan and Francine are actually a really good couple who share the same weird little interests.

Overall, I found this story not to be terribly novel. Time travel is a popular trope in comedy, especially animated sitcoms, and they’ve done the “Steve going to a party and being humiliated” thing at least three times in the past. As usual, however, what makes American Dad! pull ahead of the pack is the execution. Implausibly absurd twists, snappy dialog peppered with ribald jokes, hilarious visuals, and top-notch voice acting combine once again to make the show’s magic sparkle. Another season 13 episode delivers in a way that hearkens back to AD’s golden days, and continues what has so far been a remarkably amazing season.

Random observations:

The fat jock’s (last?) name is Mertz. I think that’s the first time he’s been named.

[Chick hatches from egg; flies up and drops its own egg on Toshi’s head] “Ha haa!”

The blond guy from the My Morning Jacket concert makes another cameo at Mertz’ party.

“When a weird man approaches you, a young boy in public, you do what he tells you!”

“Please rebel” on Steve’s cash box (assuming his parents were the ones that put it there) was a nice reminder of what they think of him.

“When I got a memory of getting a blowjob in high school, we knew something was very wrong!” “Oh, no, that’s so bad.”

“I can assure you that what I did in the bathroom was NOT cool.”

Future buff Steve even has a buffed up chin.

“We may be unincluded, but I’m including YOU in my masturbation fantasies later! … SODA??”

Future Steve keeps getting more ripped and tan the more Snot screws up. Lol.

Steve’s got his mother’s ass. Lucky son of a bitch.

** Special note ** According to Wikipedia, this is episode 11. The previous episode, “The 200”, was episode 10. Mea culpa.

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