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I was watching an episode of Family Guy and came across this expression:

Peter Griffin: Now stay tuned for whatever FOX is limpin' to the barn with.

(Emphasis added)

It was said at the end of the episode, when the next show to be aired was also a Seth MacFarlane creation.

Is it a common idiom in English?

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We need more context than that. Please explain the context in which the phrase was used. –  Matt Эллен Aug 31 '11 at 11:13
    
At the end of the episode, The main character (peter) wraps up the story and says this to the viewers directly. By the FOX he means the FOX Channel. I suppose he means our show was so awesome but now that it finishes you have to watch whatever crap FOX gonna show. –  SJ.Jafari Aug 31 '11 at 11:38
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It's apparently somewhat of a private joke, due to the fact that the next show on the air was by the same creator:

In the closing moments of last night's Family Guy Peter Griffin introduced American Dad as "whatever Fox is limping to the barn with."

So, he means “whatever crap will air after this”, but is just humorous self-deprecation.

“Limping to the barn” is then understood as meaning “being of inferior quality”, or “performing badly”, or “tired”… A horse that limps back to the barn has been beaten, or is simply not in good shape altogether. I haven't heard this expression before, though… Other uses found by a web search include:

  • Don't lie, by this time on this Thursday you're just limping to the barn at work.
  • The running game will be "limping to the barn" at best this week.
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hmm, now i get it. I didn't know American Dad aired right after Family Guy. –  SJ.Jafari Aug 31 '11 at 12:12
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