Trivia / Family Guy

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Robot Chicken features in the episode "Road to the Multiverse", again with Chris championing it.
    Chris: Look! G.I. Joe, Transformers, Thunder Cats, He-Man! Yay! Those shows existed!
    Stewie: How's it feel to be on a major network for 30 seconds?
    Chris: Fuck you!
    • In the "Super-Griffins" segment of "Family Guy Viewer Mail #1", during a town hall meeting to discuss how to handle the newly-enhanced Griffin family, Mayor Adam West mentions that he has tangled with super-beings before, a nod to his role in the 1960s TV series Batman.
    • During the Long List of cancelled Fox shows at the beginning of the current run, Peter ends on Greg the Bunny and gives Chris a sidelong glance. Seth Green starred on that show.
    • Chris is opening sewer grates so he can see the Ninja Turtles. Seth Green voices Leonardo in the new Ninja Turtles series.
    • Kevin Swanson isn't the first time Scott Grimes has portrayed a character who was in the military.
    • Character actor Bob Gunton shows up in "Cool Hand Peter" as a corrupt warden. It isn't the first time he's done that.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Seth Green was the only one of the auditionees for Chris who didn't use a "Surfer Dude voice", and Seth MacFarlane thought it was perfect. Seth Green modeled the voice after Buffalo Bill, the serial killer Ted Levine plays in The Silence of the Lambs.
  • Adored by the Network: After being screwed over and canceled twice before, it's more like "Apologized By The Network That Screwed The Show Twice".
  • Author Existence Failure:
    • Famously averted with Seth MacFarlane missing the flight that crashed into the north World Trade Center tower on September 11th, 2001 (thanks to a hangover and a very lucky mistake on part of his travel agent).
    • The trope was temporarily played straight when MacFarlane decided to join the WGA in the Writers' Guild of America strike from 2007 to early 2008 and not finish any episodes (though he did record voicework for his characters). In what MacFarlane now refers to as a "colossal dick move," FOX aired three episodes that were only 90% done ("Padre de Familla"note , "Peter's Daughter"note , and "McStroke"note ) without MacFarlane's expressed permission.
    • Carrie Fisher, who has played the recurring role of Angela (Peter's boss), died in December 2016. However, it is said that following her death there are still two more episode to air that have her voice work.
  • Banned Episode:
    • "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" was originally a DVD-only release, and was shown on TV for the first time (three years after it was produced) on Cartoon Network's [adult swim]. The episode was pulled by FOX due to fears that the episode would be offensive to Jews (despite that MacFarlane brought in an actual rabbi to make sure the episode was kosher. It was, despite what the FOX Broadcast Standards and Practices people say) and Catholics for the scene with nuns going after Peter for going to a synagogue. In the end, only a single line had to be altered for the episode to air on Adult Swim (Peter's line near the end of "I Need A Jew" was changed from "Even though they [the Jews] killed my Lord," to "I don't think they killed my Lord"). After it was announced that Family Guy was going to be brought back with new episodes, FOX themselves showed the once-banned episode (with the same line edited as in the Cartoon Network version; the original line can be found on the season three DVD set). There was also another cut: Quagmire "looking for his keys" in front of Lois was drastically shortened so it wouldn't look like he was masturbating.
    • FOX banned the eighth season episode "Partial Terms of Endearment" because it dealt with Lois becoming a surrogate mother to her best friend and her husband who can't have children and choosing whether to abort her best friend's baby following her best friend's death. The episode was later released as a DVD-exclusive episode and has aired on most international channels like the UK's BBC3 (though the international versions are the edited versions that have scenes cut for content and/or time reasons, even though most international channels aren't commercial-happy like America is when it comes to television). Unlike "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein," this episode has not aired on FOX and/or Cartoon Network (and, due to the subject matter, which is actually shown in a rather serious light amid all the — pardon the pun — Dead Baby Comedy, will never see the light of day on American TV). On Family Guy's 200th episode special, the episode was a discussion point and some clips were aired.
    • "Turban Cowboy": While it wasn't well-liked due to the Muslim stereotypes (though it did make a good point about not all Muslims being terrorists), that's not why it was banned after it first aired. Less than three weeks after its premiere, the Boston Marathon was hit by a terrorist attack. Not making things any better is the fact that the episode had a scene that predicted that a lot of people would die or be severely injured during the Boston Marathon (only it was because of Peter driving his car through the marathon path), and that a video showed up on the Internet that edited the scenes to make it look like Peter bombed the marathon. While FOX and Hulu stopped airing it in light of the attack, the episode did appear a few months later on Adult Swim, TBS, and Netflix streaming (U.S. feed).
    • Because of Robin Williams' suicide, the episode "Family Guy Viewer Mail #2" has been banned from airing on Adult Swim because of the "Fatman and Robin" story, in which Peter is cursed with the power to turn anything he touches into Robin Williams, which leads Peter to cut off his hands to break the spell.
  • Breakthrough Hit: For FOX, after Adult Swim reruns and DVD sales proved that the show had the potential to be a cash cow.
    • BBC3 in the UK initially undermined the show to the point where new seasons could be first shown/seen in the UK on DVD. Then they showed Season 5 in 2007 and the show gradually gained a cult following/status to the point of where since 2008, Family Guy is BBC THREE's biggest breakthrough hit even though it's not an original.
  • The Cast Showoff: Happens often. Mostly when a character voiced by MacFarlane sings — he has extensive vocal training and ability.
  • The Character Died with Him: Over a year after the death of her voice actress Phyllis Diller, Peter's mother Thelma died of a stroke offscreen during the season 12 episode "Mom's the Word".
  • Colbert Bump: "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen has had an enormous surge in popularity after the song was featured in Season 7's "I Dream of Jesus".
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer:
    • In "Baby Not on Board," a radio station identifies Roxette's "The Look" as "You've Got the Look."note 
    • The Dish Network summary for the episode "Lois Kills Stewie" assumes that a Cutaway Gag about Stewie auditioning for American Idol is the focus of the episode.
      • Their summary for "Road to Rhode Island" seems to think that Brian is picking Stewie up from Carter and Babs' house because they kicked him out (not because it was time for him to go. In fact, the worst thing Stewie did while at Babs and Carter's house was plant a necklace on the maid and get her arrested for stealing, but that wasn't relevant to the plot).
      • The summary for "Stu and Stewie's Excellent Adventure" refers to the events of "Stewie B. Goode" instead.
    • The Comcast summary for the episode "Jerome is the New Black" claims that Quagmire hates Jerome, when really it's Peter who hates Jerome because he was one of the many men Lois slept with back when she was a rich party girl and Quagmire hates Brian, not just for his clumsy attempts at trying to be his friend (which reveal that Quagmire has a sister who's being abused and that his break-up with Cheryl Tiegs is the reason why Quagmire is a sex addict), but because of his personality, which has gotten on the nerves of several fans.
    • The Verizon Fios summary of "New Kidney In Town" indicates that Peter's years of alcoholism would be the cause of his kidney failure and subsequent need for a new kidney, when in fact it was Peter recently becoming addicted to Red Bull, binge drinking it to no end, and then trying to come up with a replacement mix with assorted items and kerosene, not his years of alcoholism.
      • Verizon also incorrectly state in the summary of "Road to Europe" that Brian and Stewie journey across Europe to return home in Connecticut. The duo live in Rhode Island.
  • The Danza: Mayor Adam West is voiced by... surprise, surprise, Adam West himself.
  • Doing It for the Art: The Disney segment of "Road to the Multiverse," which was animated in-house as opposed to outsourced, and completely redesigned the characters to match Disney's Signature Style.
  • Edited for Syndication: In "I Never Met the Dead Man", the scene of Tom and Diane reveling in saying politically incorrect things (until the cameraman tells them they're still on the air in Boston), Tom's line, "I'm the Lord Jesus Christ. Think I'll get drunk and beat up some midgets" was cut down to "Think I'll get drunk and beat up some midgets" when the show airs in free TV syndication (not Adult Swim syndication). Diane's confession that she doesn't like black people was also cut in free TV syndication.
    • At least on the version of "April In Quahog" on Netflix, the ending of the episode with Peter playing Call of Duty is cut for some reason. This can make the 'With thanks to Infinity Ward' in the end credits baffling for people if this is their first time watching the episode.
    • The Netflix release also erases the infamous gag in "Movin' Out (Brian's Song)" where Quagmire rapes Marge Simpson and kills her family. That scene was also cut when FOX aired it and when it airs on free-TV syndication. Cartoon Network and the DVD set featuring season six episodes have this uncut.
  • Executive Meddling: Literally in "PTV", what the FCC representatives do to disrupt the personal day-to-day lives of the Griffins.
    • For "The Courtship of Stewie's Father", the subplot of Chris doing chores for Herbert had to be completely watered down as FOX was scared of the pedophile jokes that would spring from the storyline. The DVD commentary goes into detail about what would have been in the subplot had FOX not interfered. On the plus side, it did show that Herbert actually cared about Chris enough not to take advantage of him, but the "Chris lives with Herbert the Pedophile" subplot on the season eleven episode "Chris Cross" got away with more than what this episode did.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Season 13 is The Peter Griffin Show due to the increased number of episodes focused on him as well as some of the other Griffins (notable Meg & Brian) often going several episodes without speaking or even appearing.
    • Season 12's infamous "Fresh Heir" is accurately known as "Incest: The Episode" in many corners of the fandom.
    • On a similar note, Season 13's "Roasted Guy" is known as "Misogyny: The Episode" or "The Great Space Rip-Off"
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • The uncut version of "Chitty Chitty Death Bang" where Stewie hears Hitler's voice in his head amid sounds of war and destruction when he imagines what he wants for his birthday (before deciding on a roller disco party) hasn't been seen since the first time it aired. Even the DVD version has it edited. Ironically, the German dub doesn't edit this.
    • Also the uncut version of "A Hero Sits Next Door", which had a scene where a kid's JFK Pez dispenser gets shot by a stray police sniper bullet hasn't been seen since FOX first aired the episode, not even on DVD. Adult Swim has aired the uncut version, the scene is available on a DVD version in Germany, and Netflix streaming has it uncut.
    • The original cut of the episode "Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater" had a DeBeers diamond ring commercial parody that showed the woman sliding down her man to give him a blowjob. The edited cut shows her sliding down for about a second or two before it cuts to a card that reads, "Diamonds: She'll Pretty Much Have To."
    • When the season two episode, "Brian in Love" originally aired, Peter's line to Brian after he urinates in the supermarket was "Jeez, Brian, where do you think you are, K-Mart?" In all versions, "K-Mart" is changed to "Payless".
  • I Knew It: People figured out that Brian wouldn't stay dead minutes after the event in question happened. A number of fans were savvy enough to figure out that Brian would be saved through the summary of the Christmas episode for that year. Some particularly clever fans figured out exactly how it would happen - it was theorized that Stewie would encounter his past self (seen in a cutaway gag) and use time travel to save Brian's life, since he couldn't build another time machine.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Meg's perceived ugliness is one of her defining attributes; her voice actress Mila Kunis is considered one of the sexiest women alive.
  • Marathon Running: On 2/6/12 TBS ran all three Star Wars parodies back-to-back to help promote the theatrical release of the 3D version of The Phantom Menace.
  • Mid-Development Genre Shift: It flip-flopped with this throughout its development. Its prototype short Life With Larry was something of a faux-sitcom and had already invented the cutaway setup and heavy pop culture humor (which is pretty much what Family Guy is now). The second prototype, a What-A-Cartoon short Larry And Steve played out more like a wacky, Saturday morning cartoon with the satirical humor being more subtle. In its initial run, Family Guy played something of a mix of both, utilizing the original cutaway and pop culture humor, but maintaining heavy use of light-hearted slapstick and keeping most of the Black Comedy to a minimum. During its third season and definitely following its revival after three years of being canceled, the show slowly evolved into a shock value Sadist Show.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Meg was originally voiced by an uncredited Lacey Chabert until sometime in season two, when Mila Kunis replaced her. Since then three jokes were made about this: in "Business Guy," Peter threatens to replace Lois, simply bringing up the name "Lacey Chabert" as a threat which immediately causes Lois to back off; "Back to the Pilot" had Stewie state that Meg [as voiced by Chabert on the pilot episode "Death Has a Shadow"] sounds like "...someone who missed out on an opportunity.", and the 200th episode "Yug Ylimaf" had Stewie screaming "You're Lacey Chabert!" after Meg spoke, as the reverse flow of time landed him on the day he was born.
    • Kevin was originally voiced by Jon Cryer in his debut episode. Afterwards he was voiced by Seth MacFarlane before being voiced by Scott Grimes starting with "Thanksgiving".
    • Mr. Weed was first voiced by Butch Hartman (yes, the same one who created The Fairly OddParents, Tuff Puppy, and Danny Phantom and was a writer and executive producer for Johnny Bravo's early episodesnote ), only to be replaced by Carlos Alazraqui.
  • The Other Marty: The "Time for Timer" cutaway gag in the episode "Petarded" was originally supposed to have Timer's original voice actor Lennie Weinrib reprise his role. However, Weinrib was very ill at the time and didn't remember doing the recording when the dialogue was played back to him, so Seth McFarlane did Timer's dialogue in the end.
  • The Pete Best: Not too many fans are familiar with Lacey Chabert, who was the original voice of Meg until replaced by Mila Kunis stating with the second production cycle. Doesn't help that Chabert was uncredited.
  • Recycled Script: The Life of Larry pilot (first one) had many gags that would later be used in Family Guy - some of which appeared on the first episode (the one where Peter gets fired from his job at the toy factory, puts the family on welfare, and ends up rich because his first welfare check is for $150,000 instead of $150 due to a clerical error).
  • Schedule Slip: "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" was originally supposed to air on December 16th, 2012, but was held off until a week later due to news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and a live memorial that broadcast from 7:00pm to 8:30pm eastern time. While there wasn't anything that would make people shout, "Too Soon!", a lot of people still would have complained about the warped take on the Nativity story (besides, having it air on December 23rd would put it at the right time before Christmas).
    • The Family guy/American Dad/Cleveland show episodes, all run under "Night of the Hurricane", were delayed from their original broadcast slots on FOX due to a severe weather outbreak that was going on at the time.
  • Talking to Himself: Played straight to the point of mild exaggeration: Seth MacFarlane voices Peter, Brian, Stewie, Quagmire, Carter, Tom Tucker, Jake Tucker, Seamus, and Dr Hartman in every episode.
    • Lampshaded in one episode where Dr. Hartman and Carter are put in a conversation together, and notice that they have the same voice.
    Dr. Hartman: Seems lazy, doesn't it?
    Carter: Well, there's only so many voices in the world. Some of them are bound to be similar.
  • Tom Hanks Syndrome: Parodied in "Death Has a Shadow". In a Cutaway Gag flashback, Peter watches the movie Philadelphia. Once he realizes that Tom Hanks is in the film, he immediately thinks Philadelphia is a comedy.
    Peter: I got it, that's the guy from Big. Tom Hanks, that's it! Ah, funny guy, Tom Hanks. Everything he says is a stitch!
    Tom Hanks: I have AIDS.
    Peter: (busts out laughing)
  • Trope Namer:
  • Un-Canceled: Twice; first from its brief cancellation in 2000, and then again from its more noticeable cancellation from 2002 to 2005, when news hit that the money made from DVD sales and the big ratings from Adult Swim reruns were enough to bring the show back.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Family Guy was going to be a recurring animated sketch for MA Dtv (as a competitor to Saturday Night Lives TV Funhouse cartoons), then again on The Weird Al Show (as a Spiritual Successor to The Tracy Ulman Show's Simpsons cartoons) but Seth MacFarlane decided that the show would fare better as an animated sitcom.
    • Chris was supposed to be as fat as Peter, but the animators thought that would have been too depressing.
    • The pilot episode originally showed Lois as a blonde (which, if kept in, would have explained why Chris is a blond, instead of a redhead like Lois or a brunette like Peter and Meg).
    • For the Timer cutaway in "Petarded", the staff wanted Lennie Weinrib, the original voice of Timer to reprise his role. However, his agent said he was too old to do it and and Timer ended up being voiced by Seth MacFarlane (whose vocal impression is on-point, but still, how cool would have been to have Lennie Weinrib come back as Timer for Family Guy, a show that caters to breaking down nostalgic figures from the 1970s and 1980s for fun?).
    • Originally, one of the "Text Message" options for the end of "Prick Up Your Ears" was "If you want to see Peter and Lois throw Brian out the window," instead of giving Cleveland Brown his first (and only) line of the episode. The original scene can be found on the season five DVD extra section where it features full episode animatics.
    • Cree Summer was initially considered to voice Meg but was dropped because MacFarlane felt uncomfortable about an African-American woman playing a white character, despite Summer having done it many times in her career (Penny from Inspector Gadget and Elmyra Duff from Tiny Toon Adventures). Even more baffling, nearly all of the show's regular black characters were eventually played by caucasian actors.
    • Herbert, originally, was going to be the school bus driver.
  • Word of Gay: According to the DVD commentary track to Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, the movie was going to be called Queer as Stewie and was going to center on Stewie coming to terms with being homosexual. The writers decided against it, as they were getting more mileage out of Stewie being ambiguously bisexual in the regular episodes.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • Peter Griffen was based on a loud mouthed security guard Seth MacFarlane knew from Rhode Island School of Design. Said security guard later appeared in a live-action comedy skit he filmed while there.
    • Tom Tucker was partially modeled on real life anchorman John Beard of Fox Los Angeles O&O KTTV. Ironically, however, in real life, Beard is actually a very competent, very professional anchorman, and in fact, it was this professionalism which actually cost him his job there, when KTTV management fired him in 2007 over disputes on what he would report on during the station's main newscasts, with Beard wanting to do more hard news and the management wanting him to do more celebrity fluff. Beard ended up going to work at NBC affiliate WGRZ in Buffalo, NY, as their morning and midday anchor, in effect, working in a media market with a job that amounted to a career downgrade. Far from being egotistical, however, Beard was more than willing to accept the position if it meant not having to compromise his journalistic integrity. Tom Tucker is also the name of the anchor at CBS Local 2 in Palm Springs.
  • You Sound Familiar: Drew Barrymore, who plays Jillian, had previously voiced Mrs. Lockhart in "Fast Times at Buddy Cianci Jr. High".