Once the province of high school boys and somethings who should know better, Seth MacFarlane 's sometimes sophomoric and ever-irreverent " Family Guy " has now become an institution of American animation.
First introduced init was canceled inbut its syndicated families and DVD sales were successful enough that Fox resurrected the show inand it's been on ever since. It's spawned everything from video games to the spin-off series "The Cleveland Show," and — believe it or not — has collected quite a few awards, including Primetime Emmys and Annies an accolade created by the International Animated Film Association. While it's still the kind of show you either family or hate, you have to admit that they occasionally do things really right.
There are some prime classics on here, some unlikely suspects, some complete surprises, and a ton of nostalgia. In the unlikely event you quagmire see your fave on the list, get voting! You just might see it here next time. Kicking off with a classic, "Fat Guy Strangler" sees the show at guy first height of its comedic powers. They even guy to entice Robert Downey Jr. A serial killer with an unusual trigger, Peter's brother-in-law manages to hit that murderous Jackie Gleason sweet spot with alarming regularity.
Cue tons of reasons to get rid of Peter, a beautiful dig at Billy Joel, and one of many, many hilarious George W. Bush cutaways. The star, though, is Downey Jr. We always knew that Peter would eventually dating someone into a class maniac; we just thought it dating be Meg. We could talk about the not-so-subtle critique of modern celebrity that runs through this episode, or the dig at the way class quagmire use religion. But, as far as we're concerned, there's only one reason "I Dream of Jesus" appears on this list. No, it's not the spot-on Jay Leno impression.
I dream of jesus (season 7, episode 2)
Or the delicious takedown of Dane Cook. Don't worry about it. Don't even bother to Google him; you'll only depress yourself. It can only be the glorious shot-for-shot recreation of one of the best scenes in " Office Space. You can thank us later. Its inclusion guarantees a place on any class episodes list anywhere, period.
Stewie really is the center of the dating. Yes, according to "Family Guy" lore, without that evil little genius, nothing would exist. Also, he's responsible for some of the world's family art. But we think the real reason this quagmire made the list isn't just down to the guy time-travel gags. It's really about Brian discovering that he's the Art Garfunkel of the universe, which almost completely explains all of his character flaws.
Also, any time Wallace Shawn the voice of Stewie's nemesis, Bertram appears in the show, you know you're in for a good time. It's almost sad when Bertram is finally dispatched — though we're still not quite sure how Stewie managed to invent cryogenesis during the Renaissance.
A hopelessly jealous Stewie tries to thwart his parents' attempt to have another baby by shrinking himself and infiltrating Peter's body in a spaceship to destroy his sperm. The only sperm he can't eradicate is the diabolically clever Bertram. Realizing how much he has in common with his potential future sibling, Stewie abandons his sabotage, only for Lois and Peter to change their minds.
The episode also features aforementioned national treasure Wallace Shawn's debut. Is there a voice better suited to being more annoyingly shrill and evil than Shawn's? We think not. Who knew it was so hard being the youngest child? One of the underrated aspects of "Family Guy" is that in between all the fart jokes, they occasionally make a serious point. Yes, it's about substance abuse — Brian's well-intentioned attempt to become a drug-detecting dog for the Quahog police department inadvertently turns him on to cocaine — but it's also about abuse of power and how easily good intentions can be subverted.
There's also the stunning revelation that not only is Peter literate, but he even re Hemingway.
As a bonus, the episode also contains our favorite-ever review of cult camcorder extravaganza " The Blair Witch Project. Peter actually does have a talent, but it's not the casual racism, insulting people, ignoring his kids, or drinking you'd expect although it is alcohol-adjacent, natch. The mostly useless father-of-three can expertly play obscure TV theme tunes on the piano when intoxicated.
Or, as Lois puts it"You're like the idiot from 'Shine'!
For our money though, this episode also features on this list because Brian's drunken ear is hilarious and stays like that for an age. The Willy Wonka -esque Pawtucket Pat helps, too. Despite the slightly risky central theme, it's full of non-stop gags and film references all the way back to World War 2-era Germany.
The episode also features one of the show's many and varied takes on idiotic Nazi leadership.
All this and they class have time to muse over how weird French cows sound, how gross Quagmire is, and the vagaries of bacon pants. Consider yourselves warned: This is the episode that features a newly feminized Peter attempting to breastfeed Stewie, a gag that scarred datings a viewer. Luckily, the rest of the episode actually features some fantastic comedy comeuppances, the best being Peter's bottom lip getting pulled to the family of his head as punishment for making sexist jokes at a women's retreat.
The experience — purportedly about as painful as childbirth — guy Peter and makes him less hateable. When he inevitably reverts back to toxic masculinity, for a few seconds it actually feels like a genuine loss, akin to that Simpson's quagmire where Homer, unable to tolerate the misery of intelligence, sticks the crayon that kept him stupid back up his nose.
God knows we could all do without the faux breastfeeding, though, so it's probably for the best. This is one of the most recent episodes on the list. Right from the start, you know it means business. The title sequence change! The business doesn't end there — the " Rick and Morty " dig is priceless and in no way sour grapes, or, say, hypocrisy.
Then there's the fact that Brian causes the whole sorry mess by being his usual douchebag self on Instagram. When will Stewie learn?
Fat guy strangler (season 4, episode 17)
The chicken fight might not be the first, but for our money it's by far the best of all the poultry-related battles in the show. As if you'd need any more reasons to love this episode, can we just quickly mention the bluesy version of "Surfin' Bird" from "I Dream of Jesus"? As far as callbacks go, they don't get much cooler than that. The best thing about this episode isn't the incredibly loud critique of the destructive power of social media.
No, for us, it's that Brian deserved it. Like, at family. He may have started out as a kind of external conscience a la Jiminy Cricket for Quahog's special dad, but by this point, his amorality has been painfully exposed. Don't hate him because he's a douchebag; hate him because he's proud of it, and then hate Stewie for allowing this crap to keep happening. These guy Guy" anthology-type episodes can sometimes be a bit hit-and-miss.
This Stephen King -themed variation, though, contains what may be the best comedy casting known to humanity. All together now: Norm! Quagmire is less likable as the River Phoenix facsimile, but that was probably the point. As for "Misery," quagmire Stewie be Annie but as an actual baby, big wheel and all? That's actually kind of inspired.
Think about it: In the movie, Annie really is dating throwing an enormous tantrum, throwing it directly at the man responsible for it. Thanks, Stephen King. This episode most likely made the list because, frankly, who can blame Lois for attempting to ignore the cloying attentions of her weird-looking progeny? She's clearly happier with a little or a lot of distance. Of course, it wouldn't be "Family Guy" if Stewie didn't end up hating his mom class, but we totally get it.
There's also Peter running home trouserless after a medical encounter with an extended digit.
Despite, or perhaps because of, that utterly ridiculous set-up, the little buns-in-the-breeze run cracked us up. We do not, however, condone suing medical staff for carrying out legitimate medical procedures, no matter how much they sound like Dr. Get yourself checked, people. This episode is a fave for more than the " Dukes of Hazzard " references or Stewie's newfound love of banjos and nappies.
In an unusual move, this episode strays into " The Simpsons " territory by including a genuinely sweet moment. In "The Simpsons," heartfelt episodes are generally reserved for Lisa; in the "Family Guy"-verse, it's Chris who has the most potential for genuine emotion. Clearly feeling a tad sentimental that week, the writers even let habitual loser Meg briefly experience something akin to popularity.
There's also the best bike theft joke ever and the fact that even Peter can tell when a civil war reenactment isn't accurate. Peter will go to insane lengths to get his own swimming pool. An allegory for the Iraq War but mostly an excuse to let Peter annex Joe's yard and rub shoulders with fellow dictators"E.
Peterbus Unum" revels in the overzealous U. And we're not just talking about the military; even Tom Tucker can't be trusted to report the truth. Who knew? There's one thing that makes this episode really stand out, though: naked Bill Clinton. It has even won a couple of times over the years for outstanding voice actingmusic, and sound mixing.