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Source: American Dad!
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Story arc use
Another plot technique used by American Dad! is the story arc. On several occasions, a circumstance expands and progresses across a collection of episodes. As an example, one of Hayley's temporary breakups with Jeff expanded across a string of episodes, in which she instead temporarily dated a black man in a koala bear body, Reginald Koala—known for his very urban mannerisms and behaviors. As another example, since the 9th season episode "Naked to the Limit, One More Time", Jeff Fischer has been absent from the Smith house and planet Earth altogether. In that episode, Jeff is blindsided when Roger hurls him into a spaceship. This spacecraft belongs to Roger's race of aliens and was intended to return him back to his birth planet; however, Roger remains behind after casting Jeff into the spaceship. The spaceship immediately takes off and Jeff is not seen until several episodes later, the episode "Lost in Space". During episodes that aired between the two aforementioned episodes, allusions to the ongoing plot line are made. For example, in the episode "Spelling Bee My Baby", Hayley is shown holding out hope for Jeff's return. In the episode, Roger and Stan attempt to rush Hayley through her grieving process so she will be willing to be their tennis official. As of the completion of the show's 9th season (2012–13), Jeff has yet to return to Earth.
In discussing the cartoon's distinguishing story arc element, co-creator Mike Barker explained:
We just try to obey basic rules of continuity. We try to avoid stories where a character is taking a big step like marriage and then not going back to it. I think by doing that, then in the future when we have big changes, the audience knows that they're going to be living with those changes for a while. So it's not just a thrown-away bit. It kind of endows that story beat with more power because it's going to last. It's not just going to be a reset button.
See the problem is that in the real world
things often suck.
things often suck.
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