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Archer Wiki

"Drift Problem" is the seventh episode of the third season of Archer.



Archer's surprise birthday present, a high-tech spy car, is stolen. Archer enlists his fellow agents help to get it back knowing that his Mother's punishment awaits any failure.


S03E07-Archer-Woodhouse breakfast

Scraps of paper are garbage.

Archer is woken by his alarm clock. His valet Woodhouse has arranged a birthday breakfast for Archer but ruins it by allowing confetti to rain down on it. Archer requests him to remake it without "garbage on it". Woodhouse concedes he does not have the ingredients to remake the breakfast, or Archer's other suggestions such as Nutella waffles and Nutella steak and eggs, noting that today is his shopping day.

S03E07-Archer carries Ray

Ferris Bueller, you're my hero.

Archer arrives at ISIS Headquarters and proceeds to play down his birthday, only to be met with his colleagues' indifference or unawareness that it's his birthday. Archer in frustration to this remarks that “there is nothing special about today at all!” to which his Mother disagrees saying today is the day of the quarterly fire drill.

S03E07-Gang w car

It's a spy car?!

The ensemble of ISIS is led out of the building to street level where Archer is surprised by his actual birthday gift, a Dodge Challenger spy car, outfitted with direction by Dr. Krieger. The highlights of the car are listed through a promo video by Dodge played through the cars navigation system, with such gadgets as anti pursuit countermeasures, twin.30 caliber machine guns and a functioning wet bar in the glove box – to be stocked with apple juice only.

S03E07-Car pulled

Hi ya neighbour!

After Archer thanks his mother she gives him one condition to his gift, that he never lose it or get it stolen. Archer drives off in his new Dodge only to get into a brief chase with police, losing them easily using the anti pursuit gadgets on his car. Archer goes to park his new Dodge on the street but remembering his mother's words uses the grappling hook attachment to pull another car out of its spot and park his Dodge in its place.

S03E07-Ping pong paddle

Where is your new bicycle?

Returning to his apartment he asks Woodhouse to detail the car and restock the bar with some liquor. Woodhouse calls moments later to tell Archer that the car is missing. Remembering his mother's threat should he lose the car (and the consequences of past misdeeds), this leads to Archer going a quest to retrieve his Dodge. Archer enlists the help of his ISIS colleagues to get his car back. Pam suggests that the Yakuza that she races drifts cars against may be the culprits. Archer, Lana, and Cyril pose as Pam's pit crew to infiltrate the drift meeting.

S03E07-Archer beaten

Right in the head and ass.

After Archer disrespects their leader Mr. Moto, the crew have to flee the event whilst being chased by the Yakuza. The chase ends with most of the Yakuza pursuers crashing during the demanding drifting and their boss being knocked into the sea by Pam. Archer is saved by his mother who shoots Moto as he climbs from the sea, having being tipped off by Cheryl about Archer's whereabouts. It is then revealed that it is, in fact, Archer's mother who had stolen his car, in a misguided attempted to parent him about responsibility.

S03E07-Mr Ford

What are you looking at, sucker?

The twist is similar to what happened to one of Archer's earlier birthday presents, a Schwinn Stingray bicycle which she took and never returned. Learning this, a speechless and traumatized Archer walks off as the others admonish Malory for her cruel actions which she tries to justify. Lana then asks about Archer's car as Malory reveals that, much like the bicycle, she never intended to return the car, but instead gives it to a new owner: Mr. Ford.


Cultural References[]

  • Carvel: An ice cream confectionery company that reached its peak in the 1980s. 'Fudgie the Whale' and 'Cookie Puss' were two of the more popular and advertized cakes they produced.
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1988): Ray Gillette's line to Archer "Ferris Bueller, you're my hero!" is a quote from this film, uttered by Ferris' best friend Cameron near the end of the movie after Ferris rescues him from "drowning" in a swimming pool. Cameron was faking that he was drowning just as Ray was faking that he was paralyzed.
  • Chrysler: The car has rich Corinthian leather, which is a reference to a Chrysler marketing ploy from the 1970s. Corinth, despite Archer's insistence, is not famous for its leather and the "rich Corinthian leather" was actually made in America.
  • Knight Rider: Archer attempting to communicate with his new car, specifically by talking at the conspicuously placed hi-tech computer terminal located directly in front of the gear shift, is an obvious reference to K.I.T.T. from the 1980's TV show.
  • I Dream of Jeannie: Archie refers to himself as "Master" and the woman in his car's video as "Jeannie" as in this TV show.
  • Ron O'Neal: Archer describes his car to Woodhouse as "black, powerful, sexy, like if Ron O'Neal was a car". O'Neal was an actor, director, and screenwriter, who played the main character Youngblood Priest in the blaxploitation films Super Fly and its sequel Super Fly T.N.T.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring (2001): Upset over his car being gone, Archer picks up Woodhouse, who sprays him with tire cleaner because he was "going all Bilbo-ey". This is a reference to a scene in this film (slightly different from the book) in which Bilbo Baggins momentarily becomes enraged and violent and tries to scare his nephew Frodo Baggins into giving him back the One Ring. 
  • Mr. Moto: (the name used for the Yakuza boss voiced by George Takei), was a Japanese secret agent character, subject of many movies, novels, and winking references in cartoons and other shows.
  • Datsun 240Z: Mr. Moto drives one of these in the car chase scene.
  • Yakuza: When Pam says, "That would be the Yakuza. And man, against those pinkyless bastards, you had better come correct," she is referring to Yubitsume, or finger-shortening. A ritual often conducted by the Yakuza to show atonement or to punish.
  • AE86: the car that crashes racing again Pam is the Toyota Corolla Trueno, a reference to the main car from Initial D, a popular anime from the late 90’s and early 00’s

Frisky Dingo[]

Running Gags / Callbacks[]

  • Carol/Cheryl: Ya got another one in ya? (after getting slapped)
  • Ping Pong Paddle: Malory appears in a flashback holding a ping pong paddle.
  • Voicemail Pranks: On Malory.
  • Brett gets shot.
  • Dropped cocktail glasses (Archer's scotch tumbler, multiple times, with a bonus of Gillette).
  • AmPetCo - Pam smashes another car into a tanker from this energy company first shown in "Pipeline Fever".


  • The ISIS agents' pit crew uniforms and hats have an emblem of "Poovey Farms Racing," referencing Pam's childhood dairy farm. The emblem has a picture of a cow (also presumably a Holstein, see: Swiss Miss) wearing racing goggles. 


  • Archer's snicker about "Cookie puss. Those guys at Carvel know what they're doing." could be a reference to the fact that "cookie" and "puss" are both older colloquialisms for a woman's vagina.
    • "Cookie puss" is also a callback phrase of Ray Gillette, as an older slang term for anal sex in urban cultures is "cookie".
  • Ray expressing pain when Archer dropped him is a possible foreshadowing of his faking his paralysis as he likely wouldn't feel any pain if he really was paralyzed, which is why he probably added, "I think", afterwards.
  • The cars chasing the Dodge spy car in the in-car promotional video are Aston Martin DB5s. This is a homage to the famous James Bond Aston Martin and its gadgets, many of which the Challenger has.
  • Archer states that his Dodge Challenger "makes the Mach V look like a vagina". The Mach V is a specially designed, highly customized race car featured in the Japanese anime show Speed Racer driven by the show's titular character which featured several special gadgets.
  • When Lana asks "Wow, so, how much did Dodge kick in?" and Malory replies "Not as much as you'd think," it's probably a reference to Dodge not paying much, if anything, for the prominent product placement the Challenger receives in this episode.
  • K.I.T.T. was also a spy car built into a classic American muscle car, the 1982 Pontiac Trans Am. Neither K.I.T.T., nor the TV show Knight Rider, are directly referenced by name in this episode, possibly due to the fact that Pontiac is a competitor of Dodge (although Pontiac had been defunct for approximately 2 years when this episode was produced).
  • Archer tells Woodhouse to find out where to buy caltrops, the name for the spikes that are released from the rear of the Challenger. Caltrops are classified as area denial weapons which is why Archer suggests trying (which appears to be a phishing website).
  • Pam calls the Yakuza "used panty vending machine sons-of-bitches!", in reference to vending machines in Japan which sell panties purportedly worn by Japanese schoolgirls.  (According to Snopes , it's true that these vending machines did exist, but it's not clear if they still do.)
  • The "new owner" of Archer's spy car at the end of the episode is Mr. Ford, a recurring character from Frisky Dingo, made apparent by stating his catch-phrase "My ass is everywhere!"
  • When Pam flashes to her previous races with Yakuza she says "moushi wake arimasen" (申し訳ありません) which means "you have my apologies." (homies)
  • When Archer first gets his car it says 440+6 on the hood, harking back to the 440 Six Pack Wedge Motor from the muscle car era. When he opens the hood it says Hemi on the air cleaner. The Hemi was never available as a 440 from Dodge.[1][2]



Archer: "So now I have to go undercover in the high-end car-thief... whatever, underworld, and steal Jeannie back!"
Woodhouse: "Sounds dangerous, sir."
Archer: "Not nearly as dangerous as Mother finding out I lost my birthday present."



  • No money was exchanged between the production behind Archer and Dodge. A simple phone call to Dodge was made to ask for permission to use the Challenger likeness. [3]
  • The apple juice instead of liquor was at the request of FX studios who have a strict no drinking and driving policy, not by Dodge as many had speculated. [3]
  • According to Chad Koerner, who works for Trinity Digitals, a Dodge Challenger was bought by the production and a 3D model of it taken to create the Challenger used in the show. Changes were made to geometry and the custom interior complete with glove box bar created. [3]

Gallery of Images[]

There are 9 screenshots and images from "Drift Problem" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.


  1. "Drift Problem". Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  2. [1]. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 [2]