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- Jaw Drop:
- Shown with Meg, Lois and Chris after Peter got raped by a "breedin' bull" at a rodeo.
- Brian in "I Dream Of Jesus" gets a pretty exaggerated one.
- Quagmire in "And I'm Joyce Kinney" when he sees Lois' porn video.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
Peter: Hi, Kenneth. Hey, did I get any mail?Kenneth: No! And if you come any closer, I'll slice ya!Peter: (to a co-worker) Jeez, what a badass.Guy: Yeah? Well that badass just gave half his paycheck to orphans, orphans with diseases. (Peter nods appreciatively)
- Peter actually started out in this territory. Despite always being selfish to a certain extent, he would often learn from his mistakes at the end of each episode. After the show was brought back, though, he was turned into more of an outright sociopath.
- Stewie, though still not without his evil tendencies, has leaned into this in recent seasons, especially in his treatment of Brian.
- A cutaway concerned a "badass mail clerk with a heart of gold."
- Jerkass: Everyone, although some characters shift into Jerkass territory more than others.
- Jesus: The Early Years: An episode shows him as a teenager, trying to deal with God being an absentee father who's shacked up with a bimbo.Jesus: Uhh, Hey dad, so um.. Things aren't working out too well here. Can I come stay with you for a while?God: Gosh, you know, I'd love to, son, but this isn't a very good time right now. *Hangs up, and returns to the whore in his bed*
God: Alright then, now where were we?Girl: Right about here. (holds up a condom)
God: Aww come on baby, it's my birthday!
- Jitter Cam: Used very noticeably each time an airplane was on a collision course in "Airport '07".
- "Join the Army," They Said: Parodied in "Saving Private Brian".
- Joins to Fit In: Peter's reason for founding the NAAFP.
- Jumping Out of a Cake: Peter accidentally kills a stripper while cutting the cake, but is concerned only that the cake has coconut frosting.
- Just Plane Wrong: Japanese Zero's are not three-seaters, nor is it likely for a fully-functional one to be in an airplane graveyard in northeastern America, but Rule of Cool probably applies. There's also the fact that it's involved in a deliberate set-up by Quagmire to pay back Peter and Joe for pranks they've pulled on him earlier in the episode.
- Kafka Komedy: Happens frequently, especially with Brian who frequently finds himself on the receiving end of endless Comedic Sociopathy due to some minor or inadvertent offense, especially if it involves Quagmire.
- Kangaroo Pouch Ride: Peter climbs into the pouch of a kangaroo, but the poor kangaroo can barely move.
- Karma Houdini:
- Ironically, in "Barely Legal," the one time Meg actually deserved punishment, she didn't get it.
- Peter and Stewie get away with rather callous and sometimes outright murderous acts at times.
- Lois seems to be shifting towards this region too.
- Quagmire raped an underaged girl and eventually got off "scott free"
- Got off, Giggiddy.
- Joe has murdered three men that he has erroneously believed committed crimes.
- Connie, who has tormented Meg for many years, was last seen pelting her with dodgeballs with the rest of her gym class. Despite her earlier punishments, especially from Brian (in "Barely Legal") and Stewie (in "McStroke"), she hasn't learned from her mistakes.
- The girl who Quagmire is charged with statutory rape for sleeping with lies about her age; nobody ever brings this up and she's never punished.
- Kavorka Man: Quagmire, and sometimes Peter.
- Brian gains a fair share amount of women despite being a dog.
- Chris too, despite being a younger version of his father.
- Kent Brockman News: Diane Simmons, Joyce Kinney, and especially Tom Tucker openly talk about personal issues on the air.
- Kick the Dog: Pretty much everyone does this to Meg.
- Kids Are Cruel: Poor, poor Meg....
- Kill the Poor: In "A Picture is Worth 1,000 Bucks", Peter remarks that New York City is a lot nicer ever since Rudy Giuliani secretly had the homeless killed.
- Killed Off for Real:
- Francis Griffin, Mr. Weed. Murial Goldman, Derek (Jillian's husband), James Woods, Bertram, and Diane Simmons as of Season 9. Subverted in that James Woods later came back.
- Lois was seemingly this in "Stewie Kills Lois", but turned out to have survived. More recently, Brian actually was for three episodes, but was rescued by Stewie from getting killed in "Christmas Guy" a couple episodes later, stopping his death from ever actually happening.
- Chris will apparently die in season 13.
- Kitschy Local Commercial:
- Al Harrington of Wacky Waving Inflatable Flailing Arm Tube Men Emporium.
- When Peter becomes one of the New England Patriots, he does a local spot for a car dealership complete with monotone reading, eyes following cue-cards, forced football references, and crappy redundant jingle.
- The Klan: The KKK is often mocked.
- Kneel, Push, Trip: In "Stewie B. Goode", Peter gets Meg to crouch behind Brian so he can push him into the pool. However, Brian walks out of the way before Peter runs over to him, and Peter ends up hurting himself and Meg.
- Knight of Cerebus:
- Jeff is an unpleasant individual.
- Sonja, Quagmire's ex-girlfriend from the season 12 episode "Quagmire's Quagmire" was also one of these. She humiliates Quagmire in public, beats him over the head and puts him in the trunk of his car, fully intending on making him into her sex slave.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Quagmire, due to the treatment his sister suffers from the aforementioned Jeff.
- Lampshade Hanging: Lots of it:
Stewie: How can you have a 13-year-old son when you're only 7?
- In "Dog Gone," Peter and Lois get into a pronunciation argument, just like Brian and Stewie often do. Stewie asks "Are we really doing this?"
- When Brian found his long lost son, Stewie asked what we were all thinking:
Brian: Well, those are dog years.
Stewie: That doesn't make any sense.
Brian: You know what, Stewie? If you don't like it, go on the Internet and complain.
Stewie: Non-existence. No past, no present, no future. No universe. (a promo logo for The Cleveland Show appears) But still, somehow, a large, brightly-colored promo for The Cleveland Show.
- From "The Big Bang Theory", when Stewie is explaining how he and Brian have traveled outside of the space-time continuum. Doubles as Medium Awareness:
Stewie: (flies in with a jetpack) Brian, are you alright?
- In "Back to the Pilot" we get this bit:
Brian: Yeah, I'm fine. Where'd you get that?
Stewie: Well, the Stewie from the past has a lot more gadgets and things than I do, I've kinda slacked off a little bit.
- Large Ham: Nearly everyone on the show. Joe and Quagmire for starters.
- Laser-Guided Karma:
- A good one happened to Connie D'Amico in the episode "Stew-Roids". Connie rebuffs Meg when she tries to give her a High School Musical soundtrack and insults her. One Jerk Jock farted in her face and had Meg running off crying. As soon as Connie started dating Chris and then Chris has a party at his house, he is caught making out with other girls and then dumps Connie. Connie then becomes unpopular and when Connie tries to get help from Meg, Meg coldly tells her off. Subverted in that Meg decides to help Connie make Chris become unpopular again, and then Connie goes back to being popular and disliking Meg.
- In one episode Stewie abducts the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation after he's unable to get his questions about the show answered at a convention. After he kills Denise Crosby to make sure they don't try anything funny, he spends the day with them, only they turn out to be totally annoying and demanding. By the end of his time with them, he's announced that they've ruined Next Generation for him and he hopes they all die. Alternative Character Interpretation: One could argue that the cast were acting this way on purpose, seeing as how he killed Denise, they probably figured that by acting utterly annoying he'd grow sick of them and send them home. Counts as either a Batman Gambit or Thanatos Gambit, because if such was the case, there was just as much chance he'd kill them if they annoyed him too much.
- Late to the Punchline: In "The King is Dead":Peter: Hey, hey. I have more creativity in my whole body than most people do before 9 AM!
Lois: The only thing you create before 9 AM is exactly what you've turned my show into.
Peter: I think my show will speak for itself. (leaves, but comes back) I just got it. A poop joke? That's real creative, Lois. (leaves again)
- Laugh Track: Parodied in a few episodes:
- "A Hero Sits Next Door": Brian delivers a one-liner and Peter begins to respond, but waits until the laugh track finishes.
- "Running Mates": A studio audience has moved in next door, and Peter gets irritated that they laugh at everything he does.
- "Viewer Mail No. 1": Stewie swiped a laugh box from the set of Dharma and Greg. Brian is surprised there's anything left in it.
- "PTV": Stewie supplies his own exaggerated laughter (and applause) for the low budget sitcom "Cheeky Bastards".
- "Airport '07": Peter doesn't want to kick Quagmire out of their house, until Quagmire mentions that Stewie should never use a pacifier that he's holding again. Peter says to Lois, the "OK, so I'll talk to him tomorrow?", followed by a laugh track and a parody of the Will & Grace eyecatch.
- "Chick Cancer": A cutaway gag features "The Mayor of Comedy" pitching a Time-Life Music-type compilation called "Sitcom Punchlines of the '80s," with one of the volumes titled "Sounds of the '80s: Studio Audience," that volume being various canned studio and "laugh track" responses to stock jokes and cliches. (The albums were also a parody of various Time-Life Music series, one of which was "Sounds of the Eighties.")
- Lead In: Almost every episode.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: While giving Chris, Lois, and Peter all Reason You Suck Speeches during "Seahorse Seashell Party", Meg explains that if anybody in the outside world saw how Peter treats Meg, he would be in jail.
- Left It In: When Brian joins The Bachelorette, he makes some comments about Chevy Chase to the Confession Cam and then asks if they can cut that part out... and then goes on to say even more things about Chevy. None of which is cut out.
- Left the Background Music On: "That's classic travelin' music."
- Lethally Stupid: Peter Griffin. Just try to make a kill count. Many characters in the cutaway gags are this.
- Let's Have Another Baby: After assisting his sister-in-law in giving birth, Peter first suggests stealing her baby, but then says this to Lois who agrees. That is, until they realize that they're too busy with Stewie to take care of another baby.
- Lets See You Do Better: In "Brian Griffin's House of Payne," at the premiere party of Brian's new sitcom, the cast of Two and a Half Men are also at the party, much to Brian's surprise. When asked why they're here, Charlie Sheen responds, "Well you're always ripping on our show, let's see yours."
- Light Bulb Joke: Peter tells one in a Planet of the Apes parody:Peter: How many dirty, stinking apes does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three; one dirty, stinking ape to put in the lightbulb, and two dirty, stinking apes to throw feces at you.
- Limb-Sensation Fascination: One episode has Joe Swanson gets new functional legs transplanted, and he proceeds to show off his old athletic and martial arts abilities to the point of becoming arrogant and rejecting his old friends for new ones who can keep up with him. In the end he becomes paralyzed again in An Aesop about pride.
- Limited Animation: Taken to extremes post-cancelation. Lampshaded like almost everything else at one point.
- Lint Value: When Peter and Lois are buying fake documents on the Black Market in Cuba, Peter realizes he has no money and asks the cashier if he will accept bits of string instead. The cashier replies, "Sorry, store policy" and points to a sign noting... that they don't accept bits of string.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Poor, poor Abbie, Quagmire's five-year-old niece. She makes an appearance in "Road to the North Pole", and Brian mistakes her for a boy because she lost her hair from chemo.
- Living Motion Detector: Parodied in an episode where Peter and Lois encounter a prostitute like this.
- Locked in a Room: "Brian & Stewie", where the duo is stuck in a bank vault all night.
- Logic Bomb: Peter does this to a robotic office suck-up that agrees with everything he says to try to make him stop:Peter: ...I hate myself.
Suck-up: I hate you, too. You make me sick, you fat sack of crap!
Peter: But I'm the president.
Suck-up: The best there is!
Peter: But you just said you hated me...
Suck-up: (malfunctioning) But—not you the president—that you who said you hated—you, you who love—hate... Yankees... Clouds... (head explodes)
- Logo Joke: "The Simpsons Guy" ends with the Gracie Films Vanity Plate appearing and Peter (in voiceover) singing along to its famous nine-note electric piano theme. ("And now the show is over now.")
- Lolicon: Peter in "Extra Large Medium" says he needs to touch something that belongs to the buried guy with a bomb strapped to his chest so he can find him (he thinks he's psychic), and asks if the guy's 12-year-old daughter is just a kid, or the type of 12-year-old who drinks a lot of milk and had her breasts come in early.
- Long List:
- Most famously, after the series is brought back, Peter recites a long list of Fox programs that bombed while Family Guy was off the air, sarcastically calling them great shows. He then goes on to say that maybe Family Guy can come back on the air if every single one of them fails. A similar gag was used in "Family Gay" with race horses named after cancelled Fox shows with the announcer telling their positions.
- Also on "Episode 420," Peter gets so high that, instead of setting up one of his flashback moments, he shows the viewers a list of celebrities he hates, including Stephen Dorff, Justin Timberlake, Dane Cook, Chris O'Donnell, Geoffrey Chaucer, Kathy Griffin, Andy Samberg, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Andrew McCarthy, Rita Coolidge, David Arquette, Carlos Mencia, Amy Winehouse, every rapper, Ethan Hawke, Dax Sheppard, Toby Keith, Joe Francis, Princess Diana, Chris Martin, Chris Martin again, Chris Martin's parents, Eve Plumb, Bonnie Franklin, Kate Bekinsale, Freddie Prinze Jr., Suri Cruise, The forehead guy from The Office, Garry Marshal, Paul Tsongas, and Chris Martin's ancestors.
- In "Ocean's Three and a Half" Stewie writes a song for Susie named after her. Brian sarcastically comments that's the first time a song has been named after a girl. Stewie asks him to mention 20. Then 6 more. Then 5 more. Brian is able to do so every time, to which Stewie storms off while telling him to go fuck himself.
- Quagmire's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Brian. Supporters call it a long overdue callout to Brian that outlines exactly why he's considered a Creator's Pet, while the detractors claim it's pure hypocrisy given that Quagmire...isn't exactly a pillar of morality himself (which he does slightly acknowledge in it).
- Longest Pregnancy Ever: Bonnie was pregnant in her third trimester for a full ten years and six seasons after her introduction. Lampshaded multiple times:Peter: Okay, first of all, Bonnie, you've been pregnant for like six years, alright, either have the baby or don't.
Quagmire: (after Susie was finally born) ... Hard to believe she's already 18.
- Look Ma, I Am on TV!: Parodied where Chris is interviewed by the local news. He asks to say hello to his mother, Lois. He does so while turning away from the camera and saying hello to his mother who is only a few feet away from him.
- Loony Laws: The post-apocalyptic New Quahog was briefly ruled by Peter, who, among other things, randomly assigned duties from a "job hat" and not based on expertise..."Oooh, village idiot! That's a good one! On Tuesdays you get to wave your penis at traffic!"
- Loud of War: In the Star Wars spoof "Laugh It Up, Fuzzball"', the torture scene from Empire is recreated with Han (Peter) being tormented by "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?"
- Lovable Jock: In "Gronkowsbees," Rob Gronkowski starts as this, before turning into a real jerk.
- Lucky Charms Title: The "i" in Family Guy is dotted with a TV set.
- Lustful Melt: In "Twelve and a Half Angry Men," Quagmire has his fellow jurors simulate the positions of an orgy in order to corroborate a witness's testimony. Once he's satisfied with everyone's positions, Quagmire takes his own, "the butterpat"; He climbs on top of the pile and literally melts all over the others.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "The life of the wife is ended by the knife!"
- Made of Explodium: The Amish buggy... and the Amish horse, from "I Never Met the Dead Man".
- Made of Iron: During their fights, Peter and Ernie the Giant Chicken suffer horrific injuries that should by all rights kill them, but Peter is never more than just breathless after the battle ends.
- The Makeover: Meg in "Don't Make Me Over".
- Malignant Plot Tumor: Stewie, in that episode where he was an octopus.
- Mama Bear: Lois, despite the nastiness she's increasingly showed, is seriously this when it comes to Stewie. Willing to fight a vicious dog to get his teddy bear back. Making the mother of the older bully kid who stole Stewie's Halloween candy give it back plus the bully's candy plus forty dollars! (At 100% interest, compounded daily; when the woman nervously tells Lois she doesn't have forty dollars, Lois tells her that she'll be back the next day for eighty dollars. God only knows what Lois will do to her if she doesn't eventually cough it up. She even scares Stewie with that.)
Lois: I can't hold on, Joe!Joe: Pretend I'm your child, Lois! (Lois starts to let go) Not Meg, not Meg! (Lois finds the strength to pull him to safety).
- Subverted at first and then ultimately fulfilled when she tries to save Joe from falling down a sewer waterfall.
- At the end of "Meg and Quagmire" after she and Peter stop Meg from having sex with Quagmire, she threatens to cut his "thing" off and feed it to Brian if he ever touches Meg again. *Shudder*
- Man Child: Peter. Where to begin?
- Man of a Thousand Voices: Seth MacFarlane, and to a lesser extent Mike Henry.
- Marshmallow Dream: Played with. Peter wakes up to find a half-eaten sheep in his room trying to crawl to safety.
- Marshmallow Hell: Quagmire suffered this during School during the "Cola Wars" for drinking RC Cola instead of Coka Cola.
- Mass Hypnosis: Stewie tries to do this on Kids Say the Darndest Things, but gets hypnotized himself.
- Meaningful Name: Peter the Apostle of The Bible is an Idiot Hero, though nowhere near as bad.
- Mediation Backfire: Peter is upset that he can't find way to bond with Stewie, until he discovers that beating up Lois is the perfect way to do it. Crosses the Line Twice when they lock her in the trunk of a car and sink it in a lake.
- Medium Blending:
- Seen in "Road to Rupert" during the Stewie/Gene Kelly dancing sequence, which combines live action and animation.
- Also seen in "Let's Go to the Hop" when Peter said that doing drugs caused things to get too real for him, and the show cutaways to a live action Peter on a park bench saying: "Holy crap, I am freaking out!"
- They use puppetry in "Foreign Affairs".
- Men Can't Keep House: Appears in an episode where Lois went to jail. After being arrested the house goes to hell, with garbage all over the place, Stewie not getting a diaper change in god-knows-how long, and wild animals coming into the house.
- Mid-Battle Tea Break: When Brian and Peter rescue a talking cow, they're chased by 2 guards. The Montage show them all in a band, playing music together.
- Midlife Crisis Car: Peter gets one in "And the Wiener Is..."
- Misleading Package Size: Brian once received a Christmas present shaped like a wine bottle. He removed the wrapping paper to discover a book.
- Misplaced Accent: Santos and Pasqual are supposedly Portuguese fishermen yet speak in heavily accented Brazilian Portuguese.
- Mistaken for Masturbating:
- Chris was once really just using the bathroom, but his Holier Than Thou grandfather assumed he was masturbating and railed against its sinfulness, scaring poor Chris away from what he was really doing for the rest of the episode. "God's watching me do Number Two? Aw man, I'm a sinner and God's a pervert!"
- In a pre-cancellation episode, after Chris is caught peeping in the girls' locker room, Peter approaches Chris' room, and there's a rapid knocking sound, which turns out to be Chris, playing with a ball-and-paddle. Peter gives Chris his porn collection, then leaves, and the sound continues, then Peter realizes he's holding the paddle.
- Modesty Towel: In the episode "Viewer Mail no 1", Peter wishes he had no bones and is turned to a shapeless blob. At one point he gets thrown out of the Teacups ride at Disneyland and through a window into a locker room, where Michael Eisner comes out and uses him as one of these, tucking his face into the inside as he walks out of the room.
- Subverted with Jillian. When Brian go to break up with her, he find her with only a towel that she use for the hair exposing her entire body naked.
- Monkeys on a Typewriter: Peter references them in "The King Is Dead". In a twist, the monkeys are fully intelligent and speak exactly like regular humans.
- Mood Whiplash:
- Dr. Hartman's conversation with Peter and Brian over a much needed kidney transplant. He tells Brian that because his kidneys are smaller, Peter would need both of his in order to keep living. He tells Brian that the procedure would kill him... Then he laughs as he notices a car being towed outside.
- In "Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows", there's a big mood whiplash after Brian tearfully says goodbye to a dying Pearl. Immediately after, Dr. Hartman comes in and says, "Hey, anybody wanna see a dead body?"
- Moon-Landing Hoax: "Don't Make Me Over" has a Cut Away Gag that shows Neil Armstrong finishing up the filming of the moon landing, then walking out back of the studio to head home. A fan recognizes him and questions why he isn't up in space. Neil nervously tries to make up an excuse before panicking.Neil Armstrong:Oh, uhh, there was a tape delay, and uh solar winds and... (Bashes the guy with his space helmet.)
- Mortality Phobia:
- After getting hit by Peter's car as he's backing out of the driveway, and Lois inconsiderately reminds the family just how old he is, Brian takes to drinking his worries away because he knows that everyone can just randomly die at any moment. The combined efforts of Stewie and Frank Sinatra Jr. help him overcome his worries once and for all.
- "Mom's the Word" has Stewie frightened by the prospect of him dying someday, and when Brian tells him he believes that there's nothing in the afterlife (being an atheist and all), he tries to kill himself. After several failed attempts at suicide, Brian convinces him to make his life worthwhile and fulfill his dreams, and Stewie decides to try stand-up comedy, but his act bombs and Brian tells him to kill himself.
- Motivation on a Stick: In "He's Too Sexy for His Fat", Peter gets Chris to run on a treadmill by sticking a plumber's helper to his forehead with a twinkie hanging from it.
- Mouthing the Profanity:
- In one episode, Stewie mouths "fuck you" to Brian. Brian was able to read his lips and threatens to tell Lois on him. Stewie then tries to tell Brian he was really saying "vacuum".
- In a crossover episode of Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, Peter tries to avoid Cleveland, and is eventually caught in his car. The car is closed, with the windows up, so whether Peter says or mouths the word 'fuck', it's not audible.
- Mrs. Claus: Appears in a Show Within a Show helping KISS in Saving Christmas.
- Ms. Fanservice: Some episodes will have Lois dress proactively.
- Mugging the Monster: Stewie has been victimized a few odd times by Jerk Ass characters, thinking he's little more than a baby. Needless to say, they almost all end up completely out of their league. Except for Susie Swanson, who managed to kick his butt despite being younger than him.
- Multiboobage: Meg has 3...well, she has 3 nipples, according to the Count. Yes, that Count. They dated briefly.
- The Multiverse: The season 8 premiere, aptly titled "Road to the Multiverse". Also, the video game Family Guy Back To The Multiverse.
- Mundane Afterlife: In Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, Stewie briefly dies and goes to Hell, which is nothing more than an ordinary hotel room. At first, Stewie doesn't think it's so bad, but then Steve Allen comes in, unbuttons his shirt, and tells Stewie, "All right, let's do this." It turns out Steve wasn't actually going to have sex with Stewie, but then Steve turns on the TV in the hotel room and the programming is nothing but Who's the Boss? reruns.
- Mundane Made Awesome:
- Herbert's fight with Mr. Gutentag in order to save Chris and Peter. The fight itself is extremely awkward, but the music was epic and Gutentag's death was just a fall from a porch, but the camera angle and slo-mo really invoked this trope.
- Pest extermination got this treatment in season 3's "He's Too Sexy For His Fat", making a standard extermination job look like a scene from The Expendables- nearly ten years before said film was released.
- Murder by Mistake: In the 9th season premiere, Diane's mechanism to murder James Woods accidentally kills Stephanie.
- Muse Abuse: In "You Can't Do That on Television Peter," Peter creates a puppet called "Saggy Naggy," which resembles Lois, using it as an exaggeration of her recent nagging attitude. Some time later, while Lois is at the supermarket, she is attacked by a crowd of kids who think she is the actual Saggy Naggy.
- Mushroom Samba: Brian consumes psychedelic mushrooms in "Seahorse Seashell Party", and ends up having a series of horrifying visions.
- The Musical: The whole show. Random and lavish show tunes are a regular occurrence.
- Mustache Vandalism: Parodied in "Love Thy Trophy". As Peter ransacks his neighbors' houses to find their supposedly stolen Trophy, he paints mustaches on each of their family portraits, and rubs out Cleveland's already existing mustache on his.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: One episode's opening depicts the Griffin Family as members of the Super Friends... and Meg.
- My Girl Is a Slut:Peter: [triumphantly] My wife did KISS!Lois: And J. Geils.Peter: What?Lois: Nothing.
- My Instincts Are Showing:
- Brian is an Intellectual Animal, but his canine behavior still shows up.
- Stewie isn't an animal, but despite being more intelligent than anybody else on the cast, he still has many natural baby instincts, such as loving Teletubbies and going ballistic when he finds out they're going to Disney World.
- My Sibling Will Live Through Me: In "Go Stewie Go", Stewie pretends to be a girl named Karina Smirnoff in order to land a part on the American Adaptation of his favorite television show - the only part available was playing a little girl named Mary. He then falls in love with one of his (female) costars, but the costar explains to her/him that she's not a lesbian ... so Stewie marches into the (conveniently live) taping of the episode, and in character (as Mary, not Karina/Stewie) explains that Karina was actually his sister who died, and he was Desmond - a perfectly normal little boy transvestite - who was trying to carry on her memory.
- The Napoleon: Stewie.
- Native American Casino: The Griffins visit one in "The Son Also Draws".
- Negative Continuity:
- In "Baby, You Knock Me Out". Throughout the episode, people are surprised that Lois can fight so well and that she can be so aggressive, including Lois herself. Lois even says something to the effect of how she's never felt so powerful. She has, however, in episodes like "Lethal Weapons" and "Breaking Out Is Hard To Do".
- In "The Fat Guy Stranger" (airdate- 2005) Lois revealed she was in her forties. "Meet The Quagmires" (2007) revealed Lois was 18 in 1984. "And I'm Joyce Kinney" (2011) revealed she legally starred in a porno film in 1981.
- Nested Story Reveal: As it turns out, all the events of "Stewie Kills Lois"/"Lois Kills Stewie" was just a simulation that Stewie was running to see what would happen if he succeeded in his plan to Take Over the World.
- Never Bareheaded: Meg and Chris usually wear their hats. Meg is especially notable: going hatless appears to be akin to nudity for her (she quickly covers up when discovered brushing her hair, and a makeout fantasy has her inexplicably hatless).
- Never Live It Down:
Priest: "I may be a man of God, but THAT SHIT IS HOT!!!"
- Brian once dated a Brainless Beauty and was conflicted about it, however everyone (including Quagmire, who also dates brainless beauties) accuses Brian of only dating women for their looks (even though Brian once dated Rita, an elderly woman).
- Lois was in a porno but she learned to live with that and showed the video IN CHURCH.
- Never Trust a Trailer: Done a lot in later seasons, especially with episodes featuring an A-Plot with Meg or Chris and a B-Plot with Brian and Stewie. The promotional image for "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven" was Stewie with the ST:TNG cast, as well as the summary. Six minutes into the episode, Peter announces that it's going to be a Meg Episode (although in the end it was more about Brian). The Star Trek cast got like one or two lines each. Another similar example is "Stew-Roids". All the promotional images and summary were about Stewie muscling up, and implied that the story involving Chris, Meg, and Connie was a minor subplot.
- New Job as the Plot Demands: Peter after his boss at Happy-Go-Lucky Toys died, though as of "Jungle Love", Peter is now employed at the Pawtucket Brewery.
- Newspaper Backstory: The episode "Three Kings" parodied the Misery example by having Brian look through a series of clippings indicating Stewie being a serial killer, followed by a Comic Strip/Marmaduke comic.
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: Mother Maggie.
- Nightmarish Factory: "The Road to the North Pole" has Santa's workshop like this.
- Nixon Mask: Masks of Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter specifically, at two different points in the series. Also a literal Nixon mask to get Cleveland onto a golf course.
- No Accounting for Taste: Peter and Lois, which is quite frequently lampshaded in the show.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Several of them.
- "Patriot Games" has Stewie smashing a glass on a Brian's face, smacking Brian around, repeatedly punches Brian in the face, picking up a towel rack and repeatedly hitting Brian in the head with it, holding Brian's head into the toilet, then throwing Brian onto the floor saying the dog has until 5:00 to pay up. (Brian owed Stewie money because of a bet.) He then shot him in both of his knees and lit him on fire.
- In "Road to Rupert" after Meg had enough of being humiliated by Peter and his friends, she stops the car she's driving them in and immediately gets rear-ended. When confronted by the hostile driver of the vehicle behind her, she proceeds to beat the guy.
- In "Dial Meg for Murder" Meg comes out of jail as a hardened psychopath and gets revenge on her abusive family and classmates. In it she beats the crap out of Peter twice and beats up the popular kids with a pillowcase full of unopened sodas.
- In "Quagmire's Dad", Quagmire administers a brutal beat-down to Brian after he finds out that Brian had sex with his father, even though Brian had no idea.
- "Peter's Daughter"; "Hey Connie. Hi. I'm Peter Griffin, Meg's father. Say could you do me a favor? Ya see that fire extinguisher over there?..."
- "The Hand that Rocks the Wheelchair": every murder committed by Evil Stewie.
- No Indoor Voice:
- No Product Safety Standards: Peter falling asleep on the job at the toy factory allowed dangerous products to ship; such as a bottle of pills inside a "Pound Poochie" box, a "silly ball" being a throwing hatchet, and a girl's doll being built in with a flamethrower.
- No Such Thing as H.R.: The Pawtucket Brewery. The plot of one episode has Peter's boss Angela sexually harassing him; never once does Peter even consider taking it up with HR. (or even if the company has HR).
- Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: Subverted with Herbert.
- Non-Specifically Foreign: The two long-haired blond guys first introduced in a cutaway about people whose English is just off enough that you can tell they aren't native speakers, but not bad enough to reveal where they're from.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Most of Brian's girlfriends have far more realistic designs and proportions than the rest of the cast.
- Noodle Incident: An event Peter refers to in "Don't Make Me Over".Peter: (after seeing Meg made over, but not knowing it was her) Oh, my god, Lois, it was twenty years ago, I'd never even heard the word "rubber"...!Lois: Peter, this is Meg.Peter: ...Oh.
- Not Disabled In VR: In the episode "Brian in Love" Brian falls in love with an old woman who was a movie star in the 1930s. He convinces her to step outside of her house for the first time in years, and she gets hit by a car. As she is dying in the hospital Brian uses a pair of VR goggles (which had been set up earlier in the episode) to show her a virtual version of them getting married, having kids, etc. so her last moments would be happy.
- Not Helping Your Case: In "Boys Do Cry", when Peter and his horse sit on the bed:Lois: Peter, what the hell?! You can't bring that horse into our bed!
Peter: Lois, I can not believe you would ban the horse from our bed. He's a graceful, majestic creature, who is a part of this family and only wants you to love and respect— the horse may have pooped in the bed.
- Not Quite Dead: Meg, Ernie the Giant Chicken, Connie D'Amico, and the Evil Monkey have all been left for certain death and somehow survived it.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: The Monkey in Chris' bedroom closet. Except now he lives in Jake Tucker's bedroom.
- "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Stewie, in "He's Too Sexy For His Fat":
- Not What It Looks Like:
Peter: Errr, (defeated) this is exactly what it looks like.
- Brian squirting lotion on Stewie's sunburned body, from a certain angle, looks like he's ejaculating on Stewie, to which a passing-by Mr. Furley says, "Nevermind, I'll come back later!"
- Played with when Peter gains an attraction to Lois' gained weight and is later found making love to the removed pile of fat from her liposuction.
- Nuns Are Funny: "When You Wish Upon A Weinstien".
- N-Word Privileges:
- Referenced in a cutaway in an early episode involving Peter's ancestor Huck Griffin who now referred to his raft partner as "N-word Jim".
- When Peter thinks the world was going to end, he mentions that he is going to go to the black section of town and say the N-word. He returns a short time later wearing a sash that says "King of the Black People," and says "They respected me for saying it."
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Played with in "Gronkowsbees." After Peter and the boys confront Rob Gronkowski about his obnoxious partying and disregard for his neighbors, the lummox actually waxes a surprisingly insightful and pensive speculation that his boorish behavior is a product of a celebrity-fixated culture and these are expectations society has of him, and he's powerless to resist. But then *utterly* averted when he laughs at them and declares he's just doing it all just because he's an asshole and he feels like it.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Peter's stepdad, as well as Lois' father.
- Obvious Beta: Seth's earliest work, "Life With Larry", is quite clearly a very early version of Family Guy. Some of the jokes even carried over (see Recycled Script on the Trivia page).
- Obvious Object Could Be Anything: Used on multiple occasions. The exact execution depends on who's doing the guessing.
- Obvious Stunt Double: In-universe in an episode, Neil shows his class an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series and points out in a fight scene when it's William Shatner and when it's his stunt double.
- Odd Friendship: Stewie and Brian.
- Off Model: In "Let's Go to the Hop", during the musical number, Peter's head keeps shrinking for no reason. This was even addressed on the DVD audio commentary.
- Officer O'Hara: Subverted: the Irish cop on the police force is actually a guy who's good with impressions.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Lois has a terrifying one when she realizes that Diane Simmons is the killer at James Woods's mansion.
- Stewie and Brian say this when they realize their hands have been perma-glued together.
- Older Than They Look: One one-off joke shows Quagmire is actually in his 60's, despite looking younger than that. What really makes this odd is when Quagmire's dad shows up, and he's the one who looks to be in his 60's, especially since he served in Vietnam.
- Once per Episode:
- A character brutally beats someone up.
- There is some kind of depiction of blood.
- A character says a bleeped-out swear word.
- One character says "What the Hell?" to another.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Stewie rescues Lois from being shot to death by Diane Simmons...because no one but him is allowed to kill Lois!
- Only Sane Man: Lois and Brian exchanging the role, albeit more and more in a comparison only state as their characters evolve.
- Opening Narration: "Fast Times at Buddy Cianci High" features a Law & Order parody that opens the episode.Narrator: In the television comedy world, the people are entertained by two separate yet equally important types of shows: Traditional sitcoms that get laughs out of everyday situations, like trying to fix your own plumbing or inviting two dates the same dance, and animated shows that make jokes about farting. This is the latter.Peter: Oh, sorry. I just farted.
- Opening Shout-Out: One episode has an opening that perfectly mirrors the 1977 Incredible Hulk series's opening.
- Out-of-Character Alert: Lois tries one with Peter when Diane points a gun to her back, without success. It's even lampshaded: Peter, we are married for 24 years, notice that something is wrong!; Strange, she has never called me Pete. Nevermind..
- Out of Focus: Since the show returned, Lois, Meg, and Chris only get one (sometimes two) episodes per season focused on them, while the rest of the season being focused on Brian and Stewie, and to a lesser extent Peter.Peter: That's right, it's going to be a Meg episode. (places remote on the table) Here's the clicker. No one'd blame ya.
- Meg has been hit with this the most. It's to the point that, even in an episode where Meg is the driving force of the plot, she disappears entirely after the first five minutes, does not reappear until five minutes before the end and spends three of those being entirely silent.
- Overcrank: Parodied, with most anything else, in "The Kiss Seen 'Round the World": Meg swoons over Tom Tucker, who is walking in slow motion. It's assumed that he's only walking in slow motion in her fantasies, but no, that's how slow he actually walks, and people around him walk normal speed.
- Overly Long Airplane Banner Gag: Neil sends a message to Meg, declaring his love and asking if she'd seen his good pen.
- Overly Long Gag: A self-admitted favourite of series creator Seth MacFarlane. Opinion is constantly divided over whether such gags make the show better or worse.
- Overly Long Scream: Peter does it when the experimental drug that temporarily turned him gay wears off in the middle of a group sex session. Also his shriek of acclamation when the drug first kicks in and Lois asks if he has turned gay. Also when his doctor performs an intimate anal examination.
- Overly Polite Pals: "The Even Couple".
- Overused Running Gag:
- In "Forget-Me-Not" Peter finds a jukebox playing "Surfin' Bird," and turns it off because he finds it annoying.
- In "Family Goy", when Quagmire believed he was getting the spinoff instead of Cleveland, one of the things he admits he's not going to miss are all of the stupid Conway Twitty jokes.
- Pædo Hunt:
- Several episodes feature Peter showing a strong, unnatural preference for little girls.
- One example is "You Can't Do That on Television Peter" where, after getting into an argument with Lois over his spending too much time working on a children's television show, he whines about how the show gives him "all the 3-year-old girls I want."
- In another episode, he is depicted (off-camera) blowing a raspberry to Joe's infant daughter ... implied to be in her private area.
- In "The 2,000-Year-Old Virgin," it is implied Peter is a viewer of child pornography when — in the presence of Joe and Quagmire, two of his closest friends — he accidentally opens an internet browser window that showed (implied, as the computer screen is not shown to the audience) a picture of a nude pre-pubescent girl. (Peter quickly gets rid of the computer before Joe, a police officer, can do anything.)
- Other episodes feature Quagmire as the child molester, although his preference is for teenaged girls. When it comes to having sexual relations with girls younger than about 14 years old, he will be quick to express his strong disapproval.
- In "Quagmire's Mom" Quagmire is arrested for statutory rape after having sex with an underage girl who told him she was 23.
- Several episodes feature Peter showing a strong, unnatural preference for little girls.
- Palette Swap: Lois' sister, Carol, is practically a copy of Lois, the only difference being the clothing and the hair.
- Paranoia Gambit: Done by Brian in "Patriot Games" when Stewie, as payback for the deserved beating he gave Brian over the money that Brian owed him, shows he really does have a heart by offering Brian a free revenge shot. Brian agrees on the terms that he can use it at any time and that Stewie won't know when he will be hit. Brian does not use it, and Stewie, instead of taking back his offer, goes crazy to the point of harming himself to even the deal. Then, at the end of the episode, Brian evens it out by pushing Stewie in front of a moving bus.
- Parking Payback: In the first Christmas episode, Peter gets fed up with searching for a parking space at the mall and just drives onto another car, crushing it like a monster truck.
- Parental Incest: Oddly enough, One of the few things NOT poked fun of. Couple of examples would be the "incest episode" Peter mentioned after the Untold Story movie, and Meg getting yelled at by the family for making an incest joke.
Peter: Meg, I'm a redneck, which means I am about to do something to you that you will not remember until you're forty! (Meg screams and runs off) Meg, come back here! I meant sex!
- Except for Peter who giggles afterwards.
- There's also this from Peter's redneck phase in "Airport '07".
- Meg's bachelorette party, where Peter was the stripper.
- When Chris proposes her to Peter to date in the same episode.
- Paying in Coins: Done in an episode where Stewie is held up in line in a supermarket due to Bruce, after done quibbling over having one item over the 10 Items Or Less limit, asks to pay for it all in pennies.
- Personal Arcade: In "Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story", Peter gets Lois a Galaga arcade machine for Christmas.
- Pet the Dog: Both Stewie and Quagmire have certainly had moments where they have done this.
- Phone Word: In a cutaway depicting Hitler having his own talk show, the announcer tells the viewer that they can get tickets to the show by calling 213-DU-WERDEST-EIN-KRANKENSCHWESTER-BRAUCHEN!
- Phony Degree: "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" involves Peter taking Chris to Las Vegas for a quickie Bar Mitzvah, in the expectation that converting to Judaism will make Chris smarter. (Not a degree per se, but a genuine Bar Mitzvah involves scriptural studies.)
- Pictorial Speech Bubble: In an episode, when Lois revealed that her wealthy father offered them a million dollars after she and Peter were newly married, but she turned it down because "they could make their own way", Peter has a thought bubble containing an animation that showed him killing Lois rather violently.
- Pie in the Face: Lois (twice if you count "Saggy Naggy") in "You Can't Do That On Television, Peter," and Herbert in the "It's a Wonderful Day for Pie" sequence in "Road to the Multiverse."
- Pineapple Surprise: Used in the climactic battle in "Lois Kills Stewie", though she is able to remove the belt before the explosion.
- A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: Peter goes from stealing a parrot as a pet from a veterinarian's office, to dressing as a stereotypical pirate, then hiring a pirate crew and finally going on the road and engaging a motorist in an epic swashbuckling fight, in the course of which Peter's car acquires a mast and sails.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything / One-Hour Work Week: In the earlier episodes, Lois had a job as an at-home piano teacher. References to this job gradually dropped over time, and she has since been portrayed as a housewife.
- Planet of Hats: Played straight in "Road to the Multiverse". Each universe that Stewie and Brian travel to has it's own special attribute; there's the universe where humans and dogs switch places, and then there's the universe where there's just one guy who gives compliments from far away.
- Playing Pictionary: In "Lois Kills Stewie":Peter: Stewie, uh, how long you been all messed up and evil like this?
Stewie: Oh, so now you're interested in Stewie. Last week when I made that macaroni picture of an owl, you didn't give a damn!
Peter: That was an owl?
- Plot Hole: A big one that is attributed to Brian being the Author Avatar. Brian is an Atheist despite meeting God AND Jesus on several occasions.
- Police Lineup:
- Chris identifies a store robber after being assured that he is perfectly safe. Then Peter walks in.Peter: Hi. Excuse me, you guys. I'm here to pick up my son, Chris Griffin. He's here to finger the guy who held up that convenience store. Maybe you've seen him. His name is Chris Griffin. I think I got a picture of him, somewhere. Here you go. Yeah, you can go ahead and hang on to that. I got a ton of them at home. In fact, I was gonna throw that one out anyway, 'cause Chris messed it up by writing his school schedule and a list of his fears all over the back of it.
- A Cutaway Gag had Peter ask certain people in the line-up to step forward, then act out various improv acting scenarios "Ok, pretend like you haven't seen Number 3 in a while and are really glad to see him!"
- Chris identifies a store robber after being assured that he is perfectly safe. Then Peter walks in.
- Politicians Kiss Babies: There was a nasty gag based on this, involving Peter kissing two babies but refusing to kiss a particulary ugly/deformed child. Also, earlier in the episode, after learning that Lois is running for mayor, Stewie mentions she should be giving speeches, shaking hands, and kissing babies. When Lois does the latter:Stewie: Not this baby!
- Poor Man's Porn: When Stewie finally succeeds in derailing Peter and Lois' plans to conceive a fourth child (about twenty seconds after he stops trying), Peter takes a lingerie catalogue into the bathroom.
- Positive Discrimination: Subverted in "Extra-Large Medium" where a girl with Down's Syndrome is portrayed as a bitch.
- Possession Implies Mastery: "Peter, you can't speak Italian just because you have a mustache."
- Post Modernism: By the truckload. The best example: During the FOX airing of "Big Man On Hippocampus", an [adult swim] Ad Bumper pops up before the commercial break to lampshade the Easy Amnesia plot and ask why you're watching the show on FOX since Adult Swim doesn't "cut out the funniest jokes". On the actual Adult Swim airing, the exact same ad bumper shows up... segueing into a FOX-style ad bumper reminding you that you're watching the show on "FOX For People Who Watch FOX On Adult Swim".
- Power Is Sexy: This is why Cleveland would have sex with Margaret Thatcher, despite the incredulity of the other guys. "Oh, so no-one else here thinks power is sexy?"
- Precision Crash: In a Cutaway Gag featuring Peter's grandfather Willie "Black-Eye" Griffin, a silent film star, in the short "Piano Problem" Willie gets hit directly in the eye by a falling piano.
- Precision F-Strike:
- Peter tells America to go fuck itself in Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story.
- In "Peter's Two Dads", Brian says, "What the fuck?!" when he sees Peter on the couch, who just got done taking crack.
- In the DVD version of "Friends of Peter G", there's this upon Peter's discovery of himself without alcohol:Peter: Who the fuck is this queer?
- Previously On: Parodied and subverted at the start of "Brian Does Hollywood". All of the clips shown never actually occurred in part one, "The Thin White Line", and instead are send-ups of typical crime and court drama tropes.Stewie: You want my badge number? Here! Here's my freakin' badge number!
- Primal Scene: Causing Stewie to go Screaming at Squick.
- Prom Baby: "Prom Night Dumpster Baby."
- Product Placement: Done by Stewie for an in-universe joke shop in season Three's "Lethal Weapons". "That's Jack's Joke Shop. Remember, if it ain't funny, it ain't worth Jack. He plugs the same joke shop in season Five's "Road to Rupert", to Brian's unamusement.
- Lois mentions Stop & Shop (an actual Northeastern based supermarket chain) in the pilot.
Peter: I found the saw with glasses on it.
- Peter's "Handicap" remark to Joe.
- In "Petergeist", the family visits Carrot Top's house.
Carrot Top: Oh, that's my see saw!
- Put on a Bus: Cleveland, for his own series.