Family Guy is one of the best animation TV series ever, and definitely one of the best out there at present. Here is a list of the best Family Guy episodes that any fan of the show must watch.
Family Guy originated as The Life of Larry and its sequel Larry and Steve, two short films that Seth MacFarlane created in the Rhode Island School of Design. Larry―the main character of the film―and his dog Steve developed into Peter and Brian Griffin, respectively.
Family Guy has been a glorious successor and competitor to the monopoly held by The Simpsons in the animated comedy genre. Starting in 1998, the Seth MacFarlane-brainchild has run for 12 seasons at the time of writing, with a thirteenth in the pipeline.
Its characteristically unabashed and satirical humor has made it a divisive topic; some love it for the utterly inimitable combination of cringe-worthiness and rib-cracking humor, though some have criticized it for being insensitive and too crass to be properly funny. It has also drawn inevitable comparisons with Matt Groening’s legendary The Simpsons, given the superficial similarity between the Simpson and Griffin families.
It has regaled its fans through countless timeless episodes, both hilarious as well as touching. This list deals with the former category. Here is a list of the top ten funniest episodes Family Guy has ever come up with.
NOTE: The episodes listed in this Entertainism write-up are the author’s choice; opinions may differ. The episodes haven’t been ‘ranked’ in any way.
His chin looks like balls, you want me to cover that, too?
They’re as stuffy as the stuffiest of special interest groups.
When the FCC goes ballistic over censoring television following David Hyde Pierce’s wardrobe malfunction at the Emmy Awards (a reference to Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show wardrobe malfunction), Peter Griffin starts his own TV channel. Called PTV, the channel is dedicated to uncut versions of Peter’s favorite shows as well as other, usually censor-worthy ‘original programming’ such as ‘The Peter Griffin Sideboob Hour’ and ‘Dogs Humping’.
The FCC, alerted to the channel by Peter’s wife Lois, who grows irritated and worried about the show’s influence on her children, decide to shut down the channel. When Peter challenges their authority over censoring real life, they take up the challenge by deciding to edit and censor the Griffins’ daily lives. Peter’s genitals are covered by a black censor bar by an FCC official as he comes out of the shower, foul language is covered by an air horn, everyone is forced to wear a belt that converts their farts into unoffensive jokes, and Peter and Lois are banned from sexual intercourse even if they are alone in their bedroom.
Eventually, Peter convinces the Congress to lessen the censoring done by the FCC by showing them the similarities between various monuments in Washington and private parts.
So listen, um, I just found out that I’m retarded and, um, I’m just calling to let you know that, uh, you might want to get yourself tested…
Attention all restaurant customers. Testicles. That is all.
When Peter applies for the McArthur Genius Grant to prove to Brian that he is a genius, the results show that he is, in fact, mentally retarded. After taking advantage of the sympathy afforded to his condition by strangers through various pranks and antics, he accidentally lands Lois in hospital after dousing her in hot grease from a deep-fryer.
Child Protective Services takes his children away, and gives their custody to Cleveland Brown, one of Peter’s friends. After unsuccessfully trying to make Cleveland look like a bad guardian (which Peter thinks is the best way of making himself look like a good parent), he is forced to give a trial to prove that he is a suitable father. His appeal fails, but Lois recovers just in time, which allows the children to move back in. To Peter’s delight, Lois’ accident leaves her smelling like French fries for the next 6 months.
When Stewie discovers that he can use his time machine to screw up Brian’s best experiences, he goes on a rampage, altering numerous events in Brian’s life. Brian eventually gets to know about this, and confronts Stewie as the latter is about to travel into the past for another mischief. They struggle over the time machine’s controls and levers, and the chaos causes the time machine to transport them into ‘nothingness’, a state of existence before the Big Bang and consequently out of the spacetime continuum. Stewie reasons that he created the universe so that the universe could create him so that he could create the universe, in an infinite loop.
When Stewie’s equally competent and competitive half-brother Bertram comes to know about the time machine, he decides to use it to prevent Stewie from being born. Since Bertram and Stewie were both fathered by Peter, Stewie reasons that Bertram must have gone after Stewie’s maternal ancestor, so as to keep Bertram alive while preventing Stewie’s existence. Traveling to Bertram’s destination in the past (but some time before Bertram’s arrival) with Brian, Stewie discovers that the ancestor Bertram is planning to kill is Leonardo da Vinci.
Undeterred by Stewie’s explanation about the universe ceasing to exist if Bertram cut off Stewie’s ancestry, Bertram kills da Vinci and Stewie kills Bertram in revenge. Sent back into an unaltered present, Brian gets a note telling him that Stewie has been buried under their house for 400 years, and finds his cryogenic capsule upon digging in the indicated location. Stewie tells Brian that he took the place of the historic da Vinci, thus becoming his own ancestor and keeping the universe intact. He implies that he impregnated da Vinci’s girlfriend, disgusting Brian. The episode ends with Brian being annoyed at Stewie for only bringing back a candle from da Vinci’s workshop, when he could have brought back something much more valuable.
This episode deserves a mention just because of its epic opening sequence, even discounting the main content. The episode opens in the Griffin home, with Peter giving his family the bad news that Family Guy has been canceled (“We have been canceled”). When Lois asks if there is any way of getting back on TV, Peter lists 29 shows that would have to be canceled for Family Guy to get a shout; the joke was that all the shows had already been canceled by the time the episode was broadcast.
On Peter and Lois’ second honeymoon, they get embroiled in Mel Gibson’s proposed film ‘The Passion of the Christ 2: Crucify This’, when Peter decides to steal the only print to save the world from “another two hours of Mel Gibson Jesus mumbo-jumbo”. Gibson’s henchmen pursue the Griffins and kidnap Lois in a scene based on Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. Peter and Gibson face off on top of Mount Rushmore, another nod to the Hitchcock thriller, and Peter manipulates Gibson into walking off the monument, because “Christians don’t believe in gravity”. This adventure brings back the spark in their marriage, thus fulfilling the original intention behind the journey.
After rediscovering his favorite song, “Surfin’ Bird”, in a Fifties-themed diner, Peter plays it endlessly, annoying his family. Stewie and Brian steal and break the song’s record, and buy every existing record of the song in Quahog. Peter, desperate to find the song, runs into Jesus, who is masquerading as a record store clerk. Peter invites him to join the Griffins for dinner, where he performs various miracles to entertain the Griffins, such as turning their vegetables into sundaes.
Peter convinces Jesus to reveal his true nature, but the resultant fame goes to his head, and he starts acting like a typical celebrity and ignores Peter. After landing in jail, Jesus asks Peter to bail him out and confesses that he may not have been mature enough to come back to this world just yet. He leaves this world, but gives Peter a present for his hospitality and kindness: a “Surfin’ Bird” record.
When Stewie wins the prize for the best pig at the Quahog Clam Day Fair with a ridiculously muscular pig with fists, Brian coaxes him into revealing the farm where he got the pig. Stewie then tells Brian that he has perfected travel between different universes, and he got the pig from a universe where the absence of Christianity has let scientific development flourish unabated for hundreds of years. After visiting several other universes, Brian breaks the remote control for the inter-universal travel in a universe where the roles of humans and dogs are reversed, forcing him and Stewie to stay in the universe seemingly permanently.
They find their way to the home of the canine version of the Griffins, where the dog Stewie tells the human Stewie that he knows his secret, having perfected inter-universal travel himself. He tells the human Stewie and canine Brian to escape back to their universe with his remote control. The human Brian asks to come along with them, enticed by the prospect of a universe where he is the master of his own destiny. When they return to their original universe, Stewie and Brian say an encouraging farewell to the human Brian, only for him to get hit by a car.
Mistaking Stewie’s time machine for a lavatory, Mort Goldman, Peter’s Jewish neighbor, is transported into Warsaw on September 1, 1939. Realizing that he doesn’t have the return pad, Stewie and Brian follow him into the past and find him in a synagogue, which he thinks is heaven due to the presence of his dead relatives. The significance of the date soon becomes clear, as the Nazi army rolls into Warsaw, and Mort is stuck in wartime Europe.
Stewie, Brian, and Mort escape to Britain on a stolen Nazi U-Boat, but Stewie realizes that his return pad is out of power and he needs weapons-grade uranium to power it back up. Brian remembers that the only place to find uranium in wartime Europe is secret Nazi nuclear research facilities. The three join the Royal Air Force and crash-land in Germany after a dogfight with the Luftwaffe. They find their way into Berlin and, procuring Nazi uniforms from three abducted officers, find and enter the facility with Stewie disguised as Hitler. They get the uranium they need, but run into the real Hitler on their way out. After a reenactment of the ‘mirror’ scene from Duck Soup, which Stewie ends by spitting in Hitler’s face, Hitler realizes that Stewie is not actually his mirror image. He orders their execution, but the three manage to escape on the now-fueled return pad.
They return 30 seconds before Mort first entered the time machine, and Stewie kills Mort and destroys his time machine before the Mort from the present can come up to his room. With the time machine now gone, the Mort from the present soils himself.
Goaded by Brian on his constant inability to carry out his plans of matricide, Stewie decides to get over with the matter once and for all. He gets onto the cruise that Peter and Lois are on, and kills Lois. Back home, when Peter receives the insurance money over Lois’ death, his friends become suspicious. They find incriminating evidence in the Griffins’ trash, actually dumped by Stewie in order to exonerate himself. Peter is found guilty of murder in the first degree, but is saved by the sudden reappearance of a healthy Lois, who tells everyone how she survived, before revealing that it was Stewie who killed her.
Stewie ties up the Griffins and takes Brian hostage to the CIA headquarters, where he blackmails agents into making him the ‘President of the World’. Lois decides to rectify the situation by killing her evil son, but, having cornered and defeated Stewie, realizes that she can’t bring herself to do it. As Stewie is about to take advantage of the situation and kill her, Peter kills him.
In the end, it is revealed that the whole sequence of Stewie killing Lois and its repercussions was actually a simulation played by Stewie to determine whether he could actually carry out his plans of matricide and world domination. He admits to Brian that he was right all along, upon which Brian berates the simulation as a “big middle finger to the fans”.
When Peter visits City Hall to obtain zoning rights in order to build a pool in his yard, he finds out that his house is technically not part of the United States. Capitalizing on the glaring error, he declares his house and yard as the microstate of Petoria, and violates several laws on the grounds of “diplomatic immunity”.
After being ridiculed by other UN members, he annexes Joe’s pool in order to be taken seriously and, names it ‘Joe-hio’. This leads President Clinton to initiate military action against Petoria, and cut off power and other supplies to the microstate. Peter responds by insolently hosting a party for leaders hostile towards the U.S., such as Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and Muammar Gaddafi. Eventually, Lois becomes frustrated at the conditions in Petoria as well as Peter’s behavior, and ‘relocates’ with the children to the U.S. Peter and Brian stay behind, but faced with the U.S. Army, Peter finally relinquishes his claim over Joe’s pool as well as the identity of Petoria as an independent microstate.
In the end, it turns out that this episode is shown in social science classes 200 years in the future.
After getting impressed by redneck culture in a redneck comedy show, Peter starts to engage in stereotypical redneck behavior, such as putting his sofa in his front yard and coming on to his daughter Meg. After his pickup truck crashes into Quagmire’s car, he has to drive him to work. Peter then siphons some airplane fuel from the flight of which Quagmire is the captain, and causes the flight to crash. Quagmire loses his job and is forced to live with the Griffins.
Peter, Joe, and Cleveland hatch a plan mirroring the plot of the movie Airplane! to get Quagmire his job back. It almost goes horribly wrong when Quagmire doesn’t get on the flight, and instead seduces an air hostess at the airport, but he eventually manages to guide the others into landing the plane safely. This gets him his job back, upon which Peter claims he is so happy for Quagmire that he doesn’t even mind having been raped in federal prison after being arrested for hijacking.
- Star Wars Prequels Trilogy: Though not technically ‘episodes’, some of the funniest stuff Family Guy has come up with is on this trilogy of parodies of the original three Star Wars movies.
- Family Guy Viewer Mail #1
- Da Boom
- Saving Private Brian
- No Meals on Wheels
- Brian Goes Back to College
- Patriot Games
- Family Gay
- Family Goy
- Big Man on Hippocampus
- Trading Places
- Friends of Peter G.
- Lottery Fever
- Back to the Pilot
- The Tan Aquatic With Steve Zissou
- Mr. and Mrs. Stewie
- Roads to Vegas
These were the funniest episodes Family Guy has served up yet. As said before, this list is my personal choice, but we would like to know if your choice differs. Definitely let us know about your favorite Griffin moments in the comments section below.