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Brian: Portrait of a Dog/References

< Brian: Portrait of a Dog

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  • "If you scratch him, does his leg not shake?" Brian's court speech recalls Shylock's "if you prick us, do we not bleed?" speech in The Merchant of Venice.
  • The scene in which Lois knocks on the bathroom door and Brian says "Come." is a reference to Star Trek: The Next Generation. Captain Jean-Luc Picard does the same when someone comes to the door of his ready room.
  • Liza Minnelli is seen saying "Come on baby, Momma's gotta sparkle..." to an M&M. This is a reference to her drug and alcohol addiction that she went into rehab for in 1984.
  • Before the dog show, Brian acts like the director, Joe Gideon, in All That Jazz, using eye drops, taking a deep breath, and then saying "Showtime!"
  • After Peter tells Brian to "stop being a bad dog", Brian storms out of the house. Peter says, "Don't worry, he won't go far without this," holding an engine part, in a parody of the scene in The Sound of Music when the nuns reveal they have sabotaged the Nazi soldier's cars.
  • When Brian is kicked out of the Sicilian restaurant, he comes across the dogs from the Lady and the Tramp, in a parody of the spaghetti scene.
Joyce Dewitt
  • When Brian is hiding from the police, a scene which parodies Raiders of the Lost Ark, he finds Joyce DeWitt, who played Janet Wood on Three's Company.
  • The family references The Match Game when they ask "How hot is it?" in response to Meg's comment about the heat.
  • Peter writes MacGyver asking him to save his dog; he sends him a drinking straw, a rubber band and a paper clip, referencing the character's ability to concoct ingenious uses for mundane household items.
  • During Brian's parole hearing, he references the court case Plessy v. Ferguson, an notable U.S. Supreme Court case that approved segregation in 1896.
  • The final scene, in which Brian drinks from the "people" water fountain, is a reference to the ending of the novel and TV movie, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, in which the title character, a black woman in the segregated South, does the same at a "white" water fountain.
  • The female dog showing her breasts in jail is a reference to the film Midnight Express.

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