“North by North Quahog” is the first episode of the fourth season of Family Guy and is the first new episode of Family Guy after the series revival.
At the beginning, the shows Peter mentions are all shows that were canceled by FOX during the time that Family Guy itself was off the air, having been canceled. When he says "Greg the Bunny," he glances toward Chris. Seth Green, who voices Chris, also played Greg's human assistant on that show.
The Honeymooners is parodied by a supposed 'clip' from it that ends with Ralph Kramden punching Alice into a table.
The Passion of the Christ is watched by Peter at the beginning of the show. Later on, Peter and Lois discover a trailer for a supposed sequel The Passion of the Christ 2: Crucify This. Determined to "save the world from another two hours of torture" Peter steals the actual film canister intending to destroy it.
About two months prior to the episode's airing, The Passion Recut, an unrated version of The Passion of the Christ with several minutes of the more graphic footage removed was released.
During the car chase, Peter avoids a piano in the center of the mall. Just before the priests working with Mel Gibson crash into it, the pianist jumps out of the way with the Wilhelm Scream.
Having abducted Lois in the crop dusting plane, Mel Gibson mentions in his kidnap ransom note that his movie Bird on a Wire can be seen on TBS Superstation.
After Chris is caught drinking, Flint from the cartoon G.I. Joe gives an educational message, like he and others did on the real show. He is even voiced by his original actor, Bill Ratner.
In the Passion of the Christ 2 preview, Jesus’s car’s license plate is “WWID” (“What Would I Do?”), a play on “WWJD” (“What Would Jesus Do?”)
At the end of the episode, the Greased-up Deaf Guy says “It’s good to be back, America,” acknowledging the resurrection of the show.
Like the very first episode of the series, “Death Has a Shadow,” “North by North Quahog” was written by Seth MacFarlane and directed by Peter Shin, who won an Annie Award for Directing in an Animated Television Production for this episode.
In "Inside Family Guy", the hallways of the production offices feature props from past episodes including Stewie's "Die Lois" needlework.