American Dad! Season 20 Episode 18 “Footprints”

In which Stan and Roger try to leave a legacy.

What is your legacy? I have no idea. But for American Dad! in a meta sense its legacy is that of one of the best long running animated adult sitcoms of its era, certainly the best (in my opinion) during its time running on Fox. Well in a less meta sense, today Roger and Stan have to grapple with that question.

Roger finds his old year book and its discovered that he has not lived fast or left a dope ass footprint. So he and Stan resolve to find a legacy worthy of them. Over drinks and a Morning Mimosa visit (Trish and the Sizzle!) they decide the best way for Roger to leave a legacy is to reveal himself as an alien and then have Stan help fake his death. They decide the best way to get on TV is to create a hit tv show. With the help of an eavesdropping tv exec, they decide to create Audit Dogs, a Law and Order-esque show about tax return cops.

The show is a hit, they win an Emmy and its revealed that they will get to do a live episode after the Super Bowl. Roger decides that is when he’ll do his reveal. However, Stan is now reluctant because of the notoriety the show is receiving. He tries to persuade Roger but Roger says the show isn’t giving Roger notoriety, just his worst persona. He intends to reveal himself on Morning Mimosa but Stan manages to preempt that by having another alien encounter first.

Thwarted Roger decides to leave for home and his uncle’s space gas station (what else would they sell?). There he lives a contented life for a while until its revealed that he’s a huge star because of Audit Dogs and they want to make a movie of his life. Stan, who has trouble recasting, decides to make a live finale apologizing to Roger. Roger doesn’t get it but returns anyway because it’s not about the footprint you leave for others but that you leave for your family.

Over in the B-Plot a semi-long running thread is resolved when Jeff decides to shop for a new hat. He takes months to decide but ultimately knows he has to go on a quest to find his hat even if the journey will be perilous. It’s revealed Parker stole the hat in order to drive Jeff crazy and eventually win over Hayley. But Jeff walks in on him talking to his cat and gets his hat back. Thus ends the saga of Jeff’s missing hat.

Stray Observations

  • Although it was very unlikely to happen, no mention or appearance of the Emperor when Roger goes to sell Space Gas
  • Getting meta with the Ricky Spanish whisper. The voice was off ripping a clove
  • The live episode of Audit Dogs contains callbacks to “Merlot Down Dirty Shame”, “Hamerican Dad!”, and “Criss-Cross Applesauce: The Ballad Of Billy Jesusworth” with Roger’s stand-in.

Final Thoughts solid episode if a little unremarkable.