YMMV / American Dad!

  • Acceptable Targets: Used with varying degrees of intensity: the more the writers hate it, the meaner they'll be. So far, everything has been ripe for parody.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation:
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Francine a sensible mom or is she an insane dumb blonde?
    • Does Stan only care for himself or is he a Well-Intentioned Extremist who tries to do what's best for his family?
    • Speaking of Stan, he can be seen as insane due to his irrational way of thinking which includes Aesop Amnesia, Insane Troll Logic, and Too Dumb to Live and even many characters plus Steve believe he is a lunatic. Even the Jury Duty Summons didn't want him invited and branded Stan as a lunatic. Stan's insanity might be exposed when he suffers delusions that make him believe he's fat and see an imaginary trainer named Zack in "The American Dad After School Special".
    • Is Roger a full-blown psychopath that does nasty and awful things because he enjoys it? Or simply, is about Blue and Orange Morality, as he says about his species? Or is it both?
    • Does Roger have a multiple personality disorder, or is he so committed to or obsessed with acting that he sometimes forgets who he really is?
    • Steve Smith might have multiple personalities since he has a different type of behavior from episode to episode; some episodes he really wants a girlfriend, some episodes he's a horndog, some episodes he's a teenager with many problems no therapist might help him with (as Roger puts it) and some episodes he acts like a immature spoiled brat.
  • Anvilicious: Parodied in an episode where, after Francine is worried that her and Stan's new friends might get an abortion, he says...
    Stan: They won't, (looks at camera and smiles) because they're awesome! (nods)
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • The Golden Turd plot has been revisited quite sporadically ever since it was introduced early into Season 1 often taking several years before another installment is featured in an episode. After the first installment in "Homeland Insecurity", the next time we'd get an installment of it would be in Season 2's "Failure is Not a Factory-Installed Option" a little more than a year later. And not counting its appearance in Season 5's "Rapture's Delight", the 3rd part wouldn't happen until Season 10's "Blagnarst: A Love Story" which first aired a little more than eight years after the 2nd installment! The latest installment in the Season 13 premiere "Father's Daze" is two years after the 3rd part and doesn't seem to show any signs of ending soon and it's pretty uncertain as to when we'll be seeing the 5th part.
    • Some view the Jeff's in space/is part alien arc that was dragged out over the course of about four seasons (which amounted to nearly four years in real life) as this. It didn't help that it was only focused on at least once per season (a total of three episodes overall) and that it initially resolved in Season 11's "Holy Shit, Jeff's Back!" via reset button where all the characters (barring Roger, who caused the whole thing to begin with yet suffered no punishment) would forget the events of the entire thing making it feel completely pointless. Out of nowhere, the fact that Jeff is now part alien abruptly comes back at the end of Season 13's "Bahama Mama" after being forgotten about for nearly a year and a half only for the next episode "Roger's Baby" to finally resolve the entire plot for good by having Jeff becoming fully human again once again reinforcing just how pointless the entire Jeff's in space/is part alien plot turned out to be.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Some fans consider Roger's Freudian Excuse of his species needing to let out their bitchiness in order to keep from dying as this in retrospect. Later seasons make it feel like the writers came up with this as a lazy way of justifying his actions that normally would classify him as a borderline Scrappy and lack of development.
    • The ending of "White Rice" can be seen as this, especially since what wraps it up is also what kickstarted it in the first place making the whole thing feel pointless.
    • Francine wanting Stan to lose his wrestling record in "The Wrestler" because she hated the museum he kept over it, for the handful of times she's shows up in the episode she never hints that the museum bothered her (this conflicts with her being in the museum and later saying she likes going there every few weeks before then).
    • The aforementioned resolutions to the multi-season Jeff's in space/is an alien arc.
    • The entire "Daesong Heavy Industries" two-parter could be considered this as both episodes end up having nothing to do with one another after forcing viewers to put up with the first part being the show's answer to the likes of "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" only to never follow-up or conclude any of the plot points of the aforementioned.
    • The resolution of the subplot in "Rogerís Baby". There has never been a clear divide between Steve and Snot about their financial situations in any other previous episode so Snot feeling happy that the two could finally be equals comes out of nowhere. That, and the episode forcibly portrays Snot as being more poverned than he is normally (such as sleeping on a "Pillow" that's nothing more than a trash bag full of old newspapers) in order for this plot to work (even though it doesn't).
  • Author's Saving Throw: Recent episodes instead of just making Stan the Designated Villain focus more on Stanís Ambiguous Disorder or a third party to show why his approach while maybe not wrong is flawed. For example in "Standard Deviation" Stan becomes angry when Hayley refuses to have a plan for her future life and the episode shows that he is in the right given that Hayley keeps dropping out and reinstating into college to the point where she doesnít care anymore. However Stan's adherence to My Master, Right or Wrong and inability to invoke Indy Ploy shows that he isnít exactly the right person to teach her how to do that.
  • Awesome Art:
    • The MMORPG scenes in "Dungeons and Wagons" look gorgeous.
    • The Schoolhouse Rock parody in the episode with Ollie North's gold.
  • Awesome Music:
    • All the songs in Hot Water. Helps that they got Cee Lo Green to play the hot tub.
    • The Summoner's song to bring out the Majestic in "Lost in Space".
    • The song by the boyband Boyz 12 in "Can I Be Frank (With You)"
  • Base-Breaking Character: Roger (and Klaus to a lesser extent) is either hilarious or annoying. Later seasons don't do him much favors.
  • Badass Decay: Season 1 Stan? Badass hyper-competent CIA Agent who can spy with the best of 'em and manages a daring parkour-esque escape from Steve in a shopping mall. Season 7 Stan? Attempts free-running, falls and breaks his leg open, gets beaten up on a regular basis and has proven completely incompetent at protecting his family.
  • Better on DVD / Bowdlerise: Much like Family Guy, this show has a lot of extended scenes, unbleeped-out language, and cruder lines of dialogue that only the DVD version can provide. Unlike Family Guy, they don't come by the boatload.
    • On TBS and the Cartoon Network reruns of the TBS episodes, the characters can say "shit" without it getting bleeped.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • A key factor in why many consider the show to be a complete Family Guy clone in the later seasons. The most obvious examples are "Naked to the Limit, One More Time" and "A Boy Named Michael" where they use cutaway gags.
    • The "All art is gay" sequence from "Portrait of Francine's Genitals".
    • Earlier seasons still had their own moments. The 1,000th Vagina Joke and Mind Quad stand out, as well as a gag that depicts the cast as Animated Actors where Stan walks off the set because he thinks the B-Plot he and Francine are in doesn't make any sense, storming off past a giant version of Klaus in front of a green screen. Granted, these moments were fewer and far in-between and nowhere near as out there and bizarre as some of the stuff in the later seasons (like the aforementioned "All art is gay" sequence).
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • Tear Jerker" and "For Black Eyes Only" (James Bond parodies)
    • "Hot Water" (a Musical Episode where a murderous hot tub kills off everyone in the cast. In that episode's defense, it was supposed to be the last episode of the entire series because the writers were afraid FOX was going to cancel the show. When they discovered that FOX wasn't going to cancel American Dad, the episode was put on as a season seven premiere and the deaths were written off as non-canon).
    • "Blood Crieth Unto Heaven" (an American Dad episode set up like a stage play).
    • "Lost in Space" is this crossed with A Day in the Limelight: Stan, Francine, and Steve don't appear at all, Hayley appears in a flashback and has no lines, and the only major character to appear is Roger (and even then, it's in another character's mind). The episode focuses mostly on Jeff (Hayley's stoner husband) and is more of a sci-fi adventure with some comedic overtones.
    • "Blagsnarst: A Love Story": The final episode on FOX, where the whole story (and possibly the series) turns out to be a story told by Stan about how Kim Kardashian was born (which, in the American Dad! world, depicts Kardashian as a furry, pink alien being whose hair burned off in a car accident after Roger tried to get rid of her).
    • "American Fung": The show begins with a live-action Cold Opening depicting Asian billionaire Fung Wah saying that Seth MacFarlane sold American Dad! to him, and the episode features several moments depicting him in animated form and shilling himself and his products, culminating in him taking over the B-plot, doing the voices of Steve, Hayley and Roger, and hastily making up an ending for the A-plot. The ending involves Fung selling the show to another Asian billionaire who transplants the show to China, and the new American Chinese Dad! show has the family meeting Mickey Mouse and dancing Snoopy-style. Yeah.
    • "The Two Hundred", which takes place After the End as a result of Roger entering a Large Hadron Collider. It culminates in most of Langley Falls (barring the Smith Family) turned cannibal going to war against every last persona Roger has ever made (given form from the aforementioned Collider incident) before their fight is interrupted by a mutant, monstrous Klaus.
    • Some low-key examples of this trope include "Stan's Best Friend", "The Boring Identity", "Da Flippity Flop", "Familyland", "CIAPOW", "The Life Aquatic of Steve Smith", "Anchorfran", "The Unincludeds" and "Fight and Flight" which some viewers have described as feeling like episodes rejected from Family Guy with the Smiths in place of the Griffins.
  • Broken Base:
    • The episodes before the "Stan of Arabia" two-parter. Some fans state that these episodes were awkwardly written and come off as Family Guy without the cutaway jokes (though the pilot did have some Family Guy-style cutaway jokes, like George W Bush's call to God and Roger finding the Jack-In-The-Box mascot in the basement) while some say that the pre-"Stan of Arabia" episodes do have their moments of being good, even if the episodes sucked overall.
      • Phasing out the show's political angle aside from a few occasions note . Was it a good decision to help further the series or did the show lose what made it special and turn it into a Family Guy clone?
    • Season 7. Was it the better than season six, worse than season six, or about the same?
    • Are seasons 8, 9, and/or 10note  worth watching or yet another example of the show's decline in quality?
    • Are the TBS episodes really so bad that it's considered Seasonal Rot or does it have some redeemable episodes?
    • When exactly did the show enter into Seasonal Rot (if it did)? Most will say it was when the show switched networks note , a smaller group will say it was around Season 8note , and an even smaller group will say that it was around Season 5note .
    • Did "The Two Hundred" live up to its hype of being the milestone 200th episode or was it a completely boring letdown that further shows that the series is running out of steam?
    • The on-going debate within recent years of whether or not Roger should be considered a Hate Sink or an outright Scrappy. Some fans point out that episodes like "Ricky Spanish" clearly puts him on the former where we're supposed to hate him. While others say that he should be classified as the latter due to his psychopathic behavior in latter seasons being Flanderized to the point where it can no longer be considered funny, his oversaturation over characters like Hayley & Klaus plus never receiving any kind of development thanks to Freudian Excuse of his species needing to let out their bitchiness or else they'll die.
  • Counterpart Comparison: A sociopathic, pansexual alien with fabulously flamboyant fashion sense. Are we talking about Roger or Dr Frank N. Furter?
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Principal Lewis. He gets into fistfights with dogs, his life was the basis for the sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," and he was a drug trafficker years before he became a high school principal.
    • A lot of episodes ("Iced, Iced Babies," "You Debt Your Life," and "Naked to the Limit, One More Time") infer that Principal Lewis is still a drug trafficker while serving as principal.
    • Roger can sometimes be this, like gunning down a gang like some kind of action hero after getting a facefull of cocaine.
    • Stan had moments of this originally, though his Badass Decay of later episodes diluted it, usually punctuated with others such as Roger and Francine outdoing him at the trope.
    • Bob Tod from "For Whom the Sleigh Bells Toll", a crazy mountain man who makes the strongest whiskey known to man and makes love to slain reindeer, but is more than capable of killing murderous elves and giant evil snowmen.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • The writers really tried to push Klaus as the Breakout Character in the first season. Fans just weren't biting, and the writers caught wind of this and scaled him back. Now, it's become a running gag how he's always Out of Focus. Ironically, this has actually made him more popular.
    • Roger appears to be this in the later episodes. If he's not the main focus of the episode, he'll still manage to play a huge part in it. However, unlike the majority of other offenders of this trope, most fans don't seem to mind (key word: Most).
    • Principal Brian Lewis seemed to be this for the 6th through 8th seasons where he played some in the plots for half the episodes, to the point where he was the main focus for two consecutive episodes of Season 8. He did start out well liked by the fans, but eventually most of them got sick of his oversaturation which likely led to the severely reduced number of appearances he's had since Season 9.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: As expected of a Seth MacFarlane work, though American Dad! is often admired for showing some restraint and using this trope sparingly like a fine, expensive spice, rather than slathering it on like ranch dressing on an otherwise healthy salad. One such example is the suicidal lemur of "Killer Vacation" Taking the Bullet for Francine and then giving a thumbs up to the camera.
    • The video game Steve and his friends created, which pretty much involves aborting fetus Hitler by throwing stuff at his pregnant mother.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Though it's not Family Guy, the show tends to abuse Aesop Amnesia (especially in later seasons). It makes the characters look like they're just pretending to learn their lesson so that they can get away with everything they did in the episode. Nearly every character has some ulterior motive to get what they want and when they're called out on it, they just apologize and are Easily Forgiven.
    • Even though it is non canon, the episode "Blood Crieth Unto Heaven" takes Stan's status as the Designated Villain to ridiculous extremes. Both before and after this episode Stanís parents have shown to be incredibly abusive heaping huge amounts of psychological abuse and neglect ending with his father abandoning him and his mother (and lying to him about it for years), and his mother forcing him to take his father's place. This episode absolves his parents of all responsibility for their actions by saying it was Stanís fault, because they threw him a surprise party. And since they regularly forget who he is, it completely averts Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Hayley, despite being designed as a satire of Not So Different left wing extremists, is pretty much always in the right against Stan. Most of her immoral or hypocritical qualities are played for quick gags and rarely called out, with all of maybe two or three episodes she receives a comeuppance or An Aesop (and even these are usually in regards to her stooping to Stan's level than being wrong in her herself). In addition, despite her past treatment of Jeff being coldly dismissive to outright abusive, she is nearly always firmly in Women Are Wiser territory.
    • Francine is also prone to this, due to often being the Straight Man to Stan and his endless, sometimes contradictory flaws, and yet having a very wild streak herself. Since her Aesops are comparatively sparse, she's very often required to Opinion Flipflop or act like a Hypocrite to foil Stan. The Unfair Sex is particularly uncommon. A great example of this is ďMan in the MoonbounceĒ where Stan ended up having a nervous breakdown because of abuse his mother put him through. So it was considered best for Stanís mental health if he took some time to relive his childhood. However this forced Steve to take over Stanís duties forcing him to once again give up his me time for his family. However, not only was Steve instantly fine the moment Stan came back undercutting the severity of the situation, but no one pointed out that Francine was essentially doing to Steve what Stanís mother did to him.
    • Despite being the shining example for the trope below, there are times where even Stan himself is guilty of this. Episodes like "Dope and Faith", "The Scarlett Getter", "Seizures Suit Stanny" and "Father's Daze" are great examples of episodes where he comes off as more of an actual villain than the hero that the show wants him to be.
  • Designated Villain:
    • Stan in multiple episodes. He borders a Villain Protagonist at times, but a lot of other cases those he opposes are enabled to act even worse. "Bollocks To Stan", "Stan Time" and "The Kidney Stays In The Picture" are perhaps the most ludicrous cases where he is "the bad guy" to his family's immoral actions, despite his approach, while still flawed, being at least somewhat justified. "The People vs Martin Sugar" out and out Lampshades Roger as a Designated Hero to Stan.
    Roger: People forgive you if you're likable, and I'm the most charming S.O.B. anyone's ever met. Face it, I'm Ferris Bueller and you're my jealous, big-nosed, sour-faced sister Jeanie.
    • Borderlines as an Anti-Hero in "Bully for Steve" when he tries to toughen Steve up by becoming a bully. It doesn't work.
    • In cases such as "School Lies" and "Daddy Queerest", very little of what went wrong was actually down to Stan's actions; the events were down to circumstances that would have happened either way (Steve's school being fumigated in the former, Terry's Dad being a homophobic Jerk Ass in the latter) or were actually planned by another character (in both cases, it was actually Francine who suggested the plan that set up the Disaster Dominoes (sending Steve to a private school and revealing Terry is gay to his father respectively). Stan is still blamed when it goes wrong, by her).
    • Stan also has been given a number of Freudian Excuses for his actions: his nightmarish life, the ridiculous amount of emotional and psychological abuse and neglect heaped on him by his parents, the merciless bullying heís suffered... None of which his family has suffered (or at least nothing as severe), and they mostly just come across as Spoiled Brat.
    • Roger himself also gets some of this in "Meter Made", since he didn't actually do anything wrong. Contrary to what Hayley said, he had every right to be there. It was a public art class. The fact that Hayley talks big but can't follow through with her words when it's people she knows isn't his problem.
    • Done again against Hayley in "Jack's Back", where Roger is giving her internship credit by working at his makeshift bar. While Roger's tasks are ridiculous, Hayley blatantly has no intention of doing any work to earn her credit. She actually outdoes Roger of all people with dress up acts and gets her way again.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Stelio Kontos, Stan's old bully, has his unpunished bullying overlooked by fans who cheered him beating up Stan who was trying to bully Steve into toughening up and proclaimed him a Memetic Badass with an awesome theme-tune. Let's face it, though, he was the reason Stan engaged in that maliciously idiotic if well-intentioned stunt in the first place, as well as part of his somewhat unfortunate childhood. There may be times to cheer Stan getting taken a peg or two, but this wasn't one of them. Stan only seemed to be proven right in season 8 when Steve was faced with his own bully, and the strategy of pitting him off against Stelio, albeit with the circumstances slightly different due to some unwanted help from Roger, totally backfires, with Steve getting an off-screen beating from both this time.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Avery Bullock and Principal Lewis.
    • Greg Corbin and Terry Bates, the gay local news anchors.
    • Michelle, the worst lawyer in the afterlife, enough to cameo in the Series Fauxnale "Rapture's Delight".
    • Stelio Kontos.
    • Many people remember the Majestic, but that's mostly because of its theme song.
    • Debbie Hyman (for those who don't consider her a Scrappy).
    • Hiko & Akiko Yoshida.
    • Gwen Ling.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • "Daddy Queerest" has Terry's dad coming to visit him, then discovering he's gay and disowning him. After the characters scramble to convince him to accept homosexuals, he says "I know it's not dangerous. I know it isn't something that can be changed. I just don't like it." The moral is, "Bigots will be bigots no matter what you say to them, and sometimes they're people you love" (which, sadly, is Truth in Television).
    • Done on purpose in "Shallow Vows", where Stan and Francine realize that they're both horribly shallownote , but declare that it works because they're honest about it.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Similar to Futurama, a lot of fans ignore the show's post-cancellation seasons after it moved from FOX to TBS due to things like Mike Barker's departure as well as a lot of the show's clever writing and wit seemingly replaced by lame attempts to be "Edgy" which mostly boils down to the forced uncensored usage of the word "Shit" at least once every episode.
    • A very small group of fans go as far as to say that they don't consider anything past either the 3rd or 4th seasons as canon as they feel like these were the last two seasons where the show actually seemed to have its own identity and not just feel like a Family Guy clone like the later seasons tend to (especially the TBS ones).
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Lampshaded in the commentary for "Irregarding Steve", where Stan says "Death has better things to do, like remembering Tony Curtis already." The writers said that they prayed that Tony Curtis wouldn't die any time near that episode's airing. But now Tony Curtis is dead as of 2010, officially making that line this trope.
    • The 2005 episode "Stan Knows Best" makes fun of how inexpensive community college is (Hayley's teacher refusing to grade her paper because she doesn't have the $85.00 for tuition [after Stan announces that he's not giving Hayley any more money for school], so Hayley takes a job as a strip club waitress — and later a stripper — to pay for college). In recent years, community colleges (and the regular four-year colleges and universities) have faced major cutbacks, and tuition has skyrocketed. Tuition has nearly doubled in California in just four years.
    • Whitney Houston being paid in crack to sing to Francine. Not so funny now that (a) she's dead, and (b) drugs were considered a contributing factor in her death (see also Family Guy's cutaway about Houston and Bobby Brown fighting over crack and the many jokes made on both Saturday Night Live and MADtv about Whitney Houston's drug abuse).
    • Remember the two-part episode "Stan of Arabia" when Steve goes bonkers after seeing Angelina Jolie's boobs? Yeah, not so funny or (pardon the pun) titillating now that Jolie got a preemptive double masectomy after finding out that her mother's side of the family has a history of contracting breast cancer.
    • Bullock expressing the desire in 'Roger Codger' to 'track down the bastards that have been harboring (Roger) and punish them brutally. I mean, really brutally. Weird stuff. Butt stuff.' This became much darker after the Feinstein report on torture revealed that 'rectal feeding' (seriously, don't look that up - trust us) and similar methods were part of the CIA interrogation arsenal at the time the episode was aired.
    • Remember the throwaway line in "Daddy Queerest" where Hayley mentions wanting to tell Steve that the guy inside R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) died? Yeah, not so funny anymore after he actually did die in 2016.
  • Genius Bonus: In "Red October Sky," Stan's old Soviet enemy Sergei moves into the neighborhood. Sergei visits Stan and tells him all about how he's embracing American culture (he's lying), even wearing a Winnie-the-Pooh t-shirt. While this can easily be brushed off as just something silly, it's actually a subtle reference to how Russia has its own version of Winnie-the-Pooh.
  • Growing the Beard - Midway through season one, after the Stan of Arabia two-parter. When it first started, a lot of people thought the show was okay (while some wrote it off as a Family Guy knock off — or a knock-off of a knock-off, if they were diehard Simpsons fans who thought shows like Family Guy were weakening The Simpsons), but starting with the Stan of Arabia two-parter, the show got better in both animation and humor... At least until the show was cancelled by FOX and resurrected by TBS where a lot of fans agree that the show officially entered into Seasonal Rot if it didn't already for reasons already stated on this very page.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Stan's personality becomes lot less funny when you see exactly why he thinks like that. He is so patriotic because his father lied to him for years about being a secret agent, he is so focused on appearance because he was bullied as a teenager for being a zitfaced geek (and for losing his hair in his college years), and he believes a man needs to kill what he loves because his mother tricked him into killing his pet dog. Stanís views of the world are unique to say the least and while we see glimpses throughout the series of his life providing him with a Freudian Excuse, ďI Ainít No Holodeck BoyĒ shows us just how horrific it truly was.
    • In the Pilot, once Lisa Silver dumps Steve he sees other couples making out and this drives him to be drunk with power as Student President and be driven crazy... in 2014 Elliot Rodger would kill 6 people and himself because he was enraged that he was a virgin and had a sad past consisting of watching other people make out and listening to other guys brag about their sexual exploits.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Daddy Queerest," a drunken Stan mistakes Nelson Mandela for Morgan Freeman. It is somewhat funny due to Mandela's and Freeman's similarities in appearance, but it really becomes Hilarious in Hindsight when you realize that the episode came on seven months before the release of the movie Invictus, who — surprise! — had Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela.
    • A throwaway line in season six Season Finale "Gorillas In The Mist" joked that Francine fakes her orgasms. The season nine Halloween Episode "Poltergasm" revealed that, yes, Francine faked her orgasms — to the point that it manifests itself into a sex-starved demon that possesses the house.
    • The season five finale "The Great Space Roaster" was about the family doing a roast on Roger for his birthday (with unexpected results). Seth MacFarlane (the voice of Stan and Roger) became the roast master for the Comedy Central roasts of David Hasselhoff, Donald Trump, and Charlie Sheen.
    • In "Francine's Flashback", an amnesiac Francine (who thinks she's a wild teenager from 1985) runs off with Hayley's boyfriend Jeff to watch the Burning Man event. Stan then absent-mindedly suggests to Hayley that they get back by dating each other (with Stan realizing that the suggestion is a very bad idea). In "Pulling Double Booty," Hayley dates Stan's double Bill (whom Francine initially mistakes for Stan, causing her to freak out over the supposed incestuous relationship). At the end, Stan must fill in for Bill to prevent Hayley from being crushed.
    • The b-plot from "American Stepdad" becomes this with the announcement of an actual Fast and Furious 7.
    • Bullock and Stan going on a "hunting" trip in "Bullocks to Stan" is made amusingly ironic after Patrick Stewart voiced the Great Prince of the Forest a year later.
    • "May The Best Stan Win" features a futuristic cyborg Stan playing the band Perfume for Francine, stating that "Japanese funk" is popular in his time. Fast forward a few years later in real life: Perfume is now quite popular in the West.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Numerous gags throughout the series imply that Hayley is heavier than she looks.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Roger has so many, it's hard to even know where to start. Well there's the episodes "Deacon Stan, Jesus Man" and "AT: The Abusive Terrestrial", both of which play Steve and Roger as if they're a couple, similarly done with Stan and Roger in "Roger n' Me".
    • Then there's the episode where Klaus wants to feel the touch of another human being, Steve does and afterwards, Klaus tries to pay him, acting as if he's a prostitute.
    • Steve and Snot have a few too, they even KISS ON THE LIPS in "Licence to Till".
    • In "Family Affair," Roger comments on how cute Tyler (the teenage son of the family who first abandoned Roger) has become.
    • Then there's this line from "Stan's Night Out" when Jackson's talking to Dick.
    "Come on don't give me bad new Dick, give me good old Dick, give me the Dick I love."
    • Francine share multiple homoerotic moments, and even kisses, with other women in multiple episodes.
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • Stan is often portrayed as a bigoted self serving sociopath who causes havoc over even the slightest problems caused in his perspective, however given he lives in a Crap Saccharine World where half the cast are almost as bad as he is, he does actually often have a reason to be annoyed (eg. his Control Freak in laws taking over his house uninvited, his wife becoming a surrogate mother behind his back, any disagreement he has with either Hayley or Roger) it's just his depraved overzeal causes him to take much nastier measures that gives the other side the higher moral ground. Some episodes are generous enough to convey a Not So Different rivalry, but most of the time Stan is made to admit he's wrong and let the others (despite only being a lesser evil) do as they wish. The guy was wrong for wanting to stop the Anti Christ! Why? Because Hayley just adopted him. Of course abiding by "Rapture's Delight" it eventually does become justified to kill him when it is the side effect of Francine and Jesus Christ himself giving Stan a lesson in humility. As a result of its earlier production, nothing is mentioned of his adoption to the Smith's at all, making it seem like the universe just skews things so Stan is always wrong.
    • Even if you ignore the Anti Christ, Jeff and Hayley would make terrible parents. In fact in "Stan Smith as Keanu Reeves as Stanny Utah in Point Breakers" (another Stan is wrong for wanting to spend time for himself episode) they flat out admit that if they had a child, they fully expect Stan and Francine to take care of all its parental, emotional and financial needs. Yet instead of pointing out their numerous faults the episode "Bahama Mama" makes Stan the bad guy because he doesn’t want to appear old (another plot point thatís already been done). Hayley eventually gets fed up and tells Stan that he wouldnít be in her childís life but doesnít seem to have any plans to get a job and move out. Meaning that sheís either bluffing or plans to foist all the responsibility onto Francine. It also doesnít help that they realized they werenít ready to have a baby the very next episode.
    • An interesting example is "Bully for SteveĒ where Stan learns that Steve is too passive and resorts to confronting Steve as a bully. He tells Steve that, as bullies do not just go away, he must deal with them. While Francine is initially opposed to this approach she quickly changes her mind once she finds out that Stan is the one bullying Steve and then later agrees with Stanís initial assessment after attempting to train Steve. In the end the problem is solved when Steve hires Stanís old bully Stelio to beat Stan up even though Stan made his point when Steve agreed to fight him. Later episodes show that not only will Steve agree to help raise someone else's child if told to but he can't even tie his own shoes. Making Stanís initial approach seem too lenient. Stan is inadvertently proven right seasons later when Steve does face his own bully Luis, and when Roger hires Stelio to beat him up so the new bully will see Steve as used goods, the approach ultimately backfires when an attempt to sic Luis on Stelio results in Luis fawning over Stelio and teaming up with him to beat up Steve together, making Steve an even worse victim than Stan was.
    • Stan mentions that Jeff is basically a lazy stoner who lives in his van and will never really amount to anything back in Season 1 and Hayley constantly breaks up with him until they get married. He continues to be a lazy stoner that will never really amount to anything and the only difference is that he lives with Hayley in Stan and Francine's house now and yet he's supposedly wrong for not liking Jeff very much and thinking that Hayley could find someone way better for her.
    • Lampshaded by Francine in "Hurricane", any idea, no matter how logical it seems in concept, is destined to be wrong on the simple grounds that Stan thought of it.
    • The way Greg & Terry treated their daughter Libby in "A Boy Named Michael" shows that maybe Stan kidnapping her in "Surro-Gate" with plans to take her to Nebraska might not have been a bad idea after all.
    • Another example is ďI Ainít No Holodeck BoyĒ where Stan is presented as an abusive jerkass for trying to get Steve and his friends to play outside. Not only is Francineís argument basically that Steve is a spoiled brat who canít take care of himself but the episode shows that he and his friend legitimately canít tell reality from fantasy. It reached the point where they tried to get back at Stan for putting them in the Holodeck by attempting to kill him with Snot going so far as to call Steve out for being more determined to save his dadís life than the lives of the fictional characters in their video game.
    • "Daddy Queerest" puts Stan in the wrong for outing Terry to his homophobic father Tank... after Terry claimed Stan's wife as his own and pushed his partner on Stan, not caring that Tank's gay-bashing was now directed toward him, and showed signs of an Armored Closet Gay. Not to mention Francine had spent the whole episode trying to out Terry herself anyway, only to turn on Stan when he does it and it ends badly.
    • Episodes where he deals with his Obnoxious In-Laws (Big Trouble in Little Langley and Kung Pao Turkey). The show presents him as wrong for being annoyed at Francine's parents when they come over uninvited, enforce their rules under Stan's roof, and use or destroy his property without permission. Both episodes end with Stan learning to accept them, even though Stan is justified at being annoyed by their behavior.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Roger. He is so evil because his species releases a bile that kills them if they don't "let their evilness out". Made worse when it is revealed the reason he is trapped on Earth is that the others of his species wanted to get rid of him. In addition, there are moments where he really seems to care about his adoptive family. It is implied that Roger only acts that way because he was made to be evil, and not by choice, and if you stop to think about it, it's terrible being him.
      • However it seems that due to a Retcon, Roger is even a Jerkass by his species' standards as of the events of "Lost In Space" where it's revealed that Roger cheated on Emperor Zing.
      • There are also some episodes where you can't help but feel bad for him, such as "A.T. The Abusive Terrestrial" and "Weiner of Our Discontent".
    • Stan. His father abandoned him as a child, his mother made him grow up too soon and he was even unluckier than Steve was as a teenager with girls. Since then, no matter how hard he tries, he's in a dead end in his career, he can never make a long term connection with his kids (it's a mix between his general disinterest in the stuff they say and their having an incredibly low opinion of him most of the time), his only friend is a sociopathic alien and anytime he has a chance of making his own life better, he has to give it up for Francine or his kids.
    • Steve. Though at first he was a sweet natured kid who was a bit girl crazy and just wanted his dad's respect, nowadays he's a perverted creep who tends to be obnoxious and disrespect his parents as he fails to even keep a girlfriend and will never succeed in his attempts to lose his virginity at 14. Plus, one or all of his friends quickly ditch him at the first sign of trouble most of the time.
    • Klaus. He fucks with the Smiths (namely Steve and Roger) at every turn mostly because It Amused Me, but he Was Once a Man who was put in a goldfish body just so Germany wouldn't win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics, and it's not like the Smiths treat him much better than he treats them.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: There are a number of fans who watch the show nowadays just for Hayley, Klaus, and occasionally Jeff as they believe they're the only likable characters the show has left.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Roger on a frequent basis.
    • Barry when he's off his meds.
  • Memetic Mutation: A popular gif to find online is Stan screaming "DIE, CALORIES, DIE!" from The American Dad After School Special.
  • Misblamed: While Stan is often accused of being just another Homer Simpson rip-off, since Seth MacFarlane's previous show (Family Guy) has been branded a Simpsons knock-off. In reality, Stan has very little in common with Homer other than being a father who occasionally does stupid things and contends with his daughter, who is a bleeding-heart liberal. If anything, Stan has more in common with Zapp Brannigan or Archie Bunker than he does Homer.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Because of Roger's Flanderization of being a complete narcissistic psychopath since the 5th season, he's guaranteed to cross this a minimum of three times per season. The biggest example would arguably be Season 7's "Virtual In-Stanity", where he kills five frat boys and brutally hits each with a limousine that he stole, simply because they hadn't paid him $20 for their limo ride. He follows this up by killing an airline stewardess by undoing her parachute, for no other reason than because he'd gotten bloodlust. At one point during the episode, he casually tells Klaus that he had also killed five teens over $19 the week before!
    • Stan has at least four definitive moments that counts as this depending on who you ask:
      • Season 2's "Failure is Not a Factory Installed-Option". The episode has him becoming homeless after being tricked by a cars salesman multiple times into buying stuff he doesn't need. This leads to the rest of the Smiths going into poverty and Hayley having to sell herself for money only to discover that it was all an elaborate ruse by Stan in order to gain sympathy from said car salesman and reduce the money of how much he has to pay for a car every month.
      • "Four Little Words", also from Season 2. After a plan to get Bullock on a date with one of Francine's friends goes horribly wrong, Stan convinces Francine that she murdered her friend and brings her into spiraling guilt (to the point where she leaves the country). The reason he went to such extremes to avoid her knowing the truth? Because he didn't want to hear her say "I told you so"...
      • "Dope and Faith" from Season 3 has him becoming friends with Brett because they have everything in common... Except for the fact that the latter is an Atheist which Stan simply cannot accept. To try and make him believe in God, he essentially ruins his life by blowing up his house, ruining his restaurant by spreading a plague of bird flu, and causing a divorce between him and his wife by using CIA technology to turn her into a lesbian. This in turn backfires as Brett then attempts suicide where he does meet God only to be rejected from Heaven and brought back to life by Satan by becoming a Satanist and it's at this point that Stan finally decides to accept Brett for who he is. Again, all of this was purely because Stan couldn't accept that the one thing they didn't have in common was that Brett was an Atheist...
      • "The Scarlett Getter" from Season 7 has him telling an alien hunter of Roger's existence and setting him up to be killed so that he can keep his over-obsessive crush on Scarlett whom Roger was dating. There's also the fact that he doesn't seem to care about Francine's feelings while fawning over Scarlett and even hints that he would be happy if she was dead in order to remain single. This in turn makes him Unintentionally Unsympathetic at the end when it's discovered that Scarlett never cared for him and was planning on killing Roger herself.
    • Stan's mother tricking him into personally killing his beloved dog because their new apartment doesn't allow pets (except for rabbits, but even that's debatable).
    • Francine crosses the Moral Event Horizon solidly in "Iced, Iced Babies" by planting drugs in Steve's locker in order to get him suspended from school so that she can spend more time with him and keep him away from his girlfriend Debbie. All because she was suffering from Empty Nest Syndrome and didn't want to accept that her son was growing up.
    • Steve crosses this in "News Glance with Genevieve Vavance" which is also an example of Never Live It Down. He goes along with Genevieve Vavance's (who is actually one of Roger's many personas) bogus story that Hayley kidnapped him so that he can get laid by all the girls who missed him when he went missing due to being embarrassed in his sex-ed class. He later owns up to his lie and rats Roger out, but it's the fact that he sold out his own sister in order for satisfy his own selfish sexual needs that makes him irredeemably evil.
    • Terry crosses this in "A Boy Named Michael" where he plans to kill his newly-adopted 10 year old son Michael (who is actually Roger is disguise) because he's afraid of him ratting out to Greg that he's not as upper-class as him by eating Ho-Ho's. The way both he and Greg treated their daughter Libby in the same episode doesn't help. This is enough to make viewers think Stan kidnapping Libby and taking her to be adopted in Nebraska in "Surro-Gate" MAY have been a good idea after all.
    • Jeff's father crossed it when he planted his marijuana on him without him knowing, causing him to become a wanted fugitive. When he finds out how much Jeff's bounty is worth, he ties Stan and Roger up, planned on killing them later, and then turned Jeff in for the money. He even outright tells him that he doesn't love him.
    • Francine's biological parents, Nicholas and Cassandra Dawson, abandoned her as a baby because babies can't ride first class without even batting an eye, then they wouldn't save Stan from being trapped under a wooden beam in his burning house because they didn't want to become a liability. Nicholas managed to one-up himself by turning into a complete monster in "Family Plan" by forcing everyone in his family (including Francine) to fight to the death with the last person standing becoming the sole heir to his fortune, all because he was angry that everybody was using their own data plans instead of the family plan he set up...
    • It's up for debate if Bullock crossed this in "Honey, I'm Homeland". The episode involves Stan getting kidnapped by three members of the Occupy movement and brainwashed into becoming a leftist and involved with a scheme to shoot missiles at Mount Rushmore to re-sculpt it into figures of leftists. Turns out that it was nothing more than an elaborate scheme by Bullock in order to test out the recently installed anti-missile defenses inside of the monument and two of the members that had brainwashed Stan were actually Jackson & Duper (the third however was an actual terrorist who was savagely beaten to death by Stan with his wheelchair).
    • When Hayley slipped Stan a dangerous hallucinogen in "Standard Deviation" that nearly kills him five times over.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • As mentioned above, Steve for his actions in "News Glance with Genevieve Vavance" where he plays along with Genevieve Vavance's (who is actually one of Roger's many personas) bogus story that Hayley kidnapped him so that he can get laid by all the girls who missed him when he went missing due to being embarrassed in his sex-ed class. It doesn't matter that he owned up to his lie and ratted Roger out, it's the fact that he sold out his sister in order for selfish sexual needs that makes him forever irredeemable in the eyes of some.
    • Roger for murdering Millionare Matt Davis and Hayley for not retaliating for Roger's act of murder in "The Longest Distance Relationship".
    • Stan for putting his family through poverty (leading to things like Hayley selling her body for money) just so that he could one-up a cars salesman who had scammed him several times before.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Trish & Suze of Morning Mimosa for Greg & Terry and their talk show Morning Glory.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Steve and Snot's relationship, which has had the Ho Yay ramped up or outright confirmed them gay or together in the future. It becomes jarring when nearly every episode with Snot in it will mention or hint at this, no matter how unfitting or unnecessary it is.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Steve. He's pretty much a stereotypical horny teenage virgin nerd, whose Flanderization in the 9th season has him often acting like an obnoxious brat to his parents. Also, the audience is tired of the regular Did Not Get the Girl gag.
    • Hayley. She's pretty much a lazy drug user who bites the hand that feeds her non-stop (Aka Stan) who spends 98% of her dialogue whining and complaining about laws, conservatives, Stan, most things Stan believes and so forth and constantly dumping and getting back together with Jeff until they got married. Her Soapbox Sadie hypocrisy was intended to make her a Not So Different rival for Stan, however since only he is usually the subject of Aesops and comeuppances (see above) she exists more as a Rightly Self-Righteous Karma Houdini with none of Stan's acts of humility or pathos.
    • Jeff, aka Hayley's on and off again boyfriend and then husband. He's a lazy stoner who has never amounted to anything in his life and likely never will. While he is admittedly much nicer than Hayley, he makes up for it with jaw-dropping stupidity.
    • Debbie Hyman. She was originally pretty popular for being a quirky goth and very different from all the love interests Steve has ever had. The problem was, every episode about her after her introduction was them repeatedly breaking up for whatever reason. Coupled with her miniscule development as well as being used primarily for the sake of jokes about her weight, she became a source of annoyance with many.
    • Francine's parents. They often come over to the Smith household uninvited, and repay Stan by belittling him, using his property without permission, and enforcing their rules despite being under his roof, with all of this meant to be swept aside and forgiven just because Francine's biological parents are worse.
    • Fung Wah from "American Fung", a total Black Hole Sue for whom the plot repeatedly stopped just to obnoxiously gush over, leaving a Bizarro Episode in his wake.
  • Seasonal Rot: Some believe that this has happened in the 2010-11 season, making it feel like Family Guy during a bad season thanks to bad writing.
    • You also have people who say that the 2011-12 season was the worst. Reasons include less comedy and more drama as well as some character's traits becoming more exaggerated (especially Roger). It's also disliked for having boring plots with glacier-slow pacing along with most of the actual comedy reduced to over-the-top gore (one such infamous example being the death of the blind man and his dog in "Season's Beatings") and bizarre moments (like the "Tungee/Mr. & Mrs. Lady" sequence from "Ricky Spanish") that you'd expect on Family Guy. Another reason is for the extreme of oversaturation of Stan & Roger note  to the point where it felt more like The Stan & Roger Show that would sometimes feature Steve or Francine.
    • While the 2012-13 season was seen as a slight improvement over the previous, what makes this season stick out to warrant its own entry was how many agreed that this was the season where Roger was Flanderized to the point where his psychopathic behavior could no longer be considered funny thus entering him into Scrappydom. The two episodes that most people point to for why they feel this way are "Love A.D. Style" & "Naked to the Limit, One More Time". Besides that, starting with this season several of the show's writers that were around since the beginning are either starting to leave or be laid off and replaced by more inexperienced first-time writers who likely view the show as the Family Guy clone that it did initially start off as thus continuing to emulate that show (even going as far as to have cutaway gags in "Naked to the Limit, One More Time") with episodes like "The Boring Identity" often being viewed as an episode of Family Guy just with the Smiths in place of the Griffins.
    • There are a few fans who believe that the show peaked in its 3rd season and that it's all been downhill ever since (although some will say that it didn't really start to become bad until halfway into Season 5) due to changes like phasing out the show's political edge, Hayley & Klaus becoming extras aside from maybe one or two episodes a season and the oversaturation of Stan and Roger along with their worst traits to the point where fans feel that the show should have ended there before turning into another Family Guy.
    • Season 11 (the TBS episodes from "Blonde Ambition" to "Seizures Suit Stanny") disappointed a number of fans. For starters, show runner Mike Barker left the series about five episodes into its production due to creative differences and watching later episodes (such as the infamous "American Fung") would make it easy to understand why. By this point in the show's run, roughly 90% of the show's original writers have either left or been laid off resulting in most of this season's writers being newcomers with little to no previous work in television (and it clearly shows). Many of the season's subplots consist of 2-3 brief scenes that barely go on longer than half a minute, making most of them clock in just barely over a minute, wasting time that could've been used for the episode's main plot. Stan's character has taken a massive blow as he's gone from being a slightly more intelligent version of Peter Griffin to an out-and-out clone of him to the point of being just as (if not more) mentally retarded as the former. Lastly, Roger continues to be heavily oversaturated to the point where even some of his fans feel a few of his appearances this season were forced while more characters (such as Greg & Terry, the latter of which is now The Voiceless since Mike Barker left) join the ever-growing club of once notable supporting characters getting the shaft.
    • Season 12 (the TBS episodes from "Roots" to "Standard Deviation") is met with a Broken Base: while there are some who consider it an improvement over the previous season, due to more creativity to its plots, as well as some episodes that restore its characters to their pre-Flanderized selves, others see it as further evidence that the show was better off staying dead after FOX cancelled it. The uncensored usage of the word "Shit" comes across as very forced and feels like they're doing it only because they can. While the subplots for the most part are longer, they still continue to feel pointless and waste time that could've been used to develop the main plot further. Stan still continues to behave like Peter Griffin and now Francine actually gives Lois a run for her money in terms of how bitchy she can be (primarily in episodes that don't have her as the main focus). There appears to be a back-handed mean spiritedness directed at Mike Barker for leaving the series in the previous season as two of his characters (Terry Bates & John Sanders) are written out in very unceremonious manners (the former being Put on a Bus and the latter being Killed Off for Real, both of which occur off-screen). And finally, a prime example to show that the people working on the series don't seem to care anymore is the "Daesong Heavy Industries" two-parter which as it's already been mentioned is a two-part episode where both episodes don't even end up having anything to do with each other.note 
    • Season 13 (the TBS episodes from "Father's Daze" through "West to Mexico") created yet another Broken Base: Some consider it to be the best of the TBS era, some consider it an improvement over the previous while still considering it terrible and some believe that it's the worst one yet and further proof that the show needs to just call it quits by this point. Besides the normal issues fans have with the TBS seasons, this one creates a few of it's own. For starters, several episodes are flat-out rip-offs of ones from competing shows ("Father's Daze" and "Roger's Baby" ripping off "April in Quahog" and "Stewie is Enceinte" respectively from Family Guy and "Bazooka Steve" ripping off "Boys of Bummer" from The Simpsons) that in some cases somehow actually succeed in being worse than the episodes they're ripping off! There would often be long gaps of time between episodes where 3-4 would air before going on a month long hiatus resulting in the entire season being dragged out for nearly a year (November 2016 through September 2017)! While the idea of having Roger's focus on the main stories being scaled back was a good idea in concept, it backfired due to the show forcibly having many of the episode's subplots (which like most of the subplots from the TBS era, continue to feel pointless) centered about him with such examples being his lifeguard subplot from "Bahama Mama" and the one from "Casino Normale" about him getting revenge on Jay Leno for what turned out to be a misunderstanding. And lastly, just like with the 2011-2012 season, besides the lame attempts to be "Edgy" (which again, mostly boils down to the forced uncensored utterances of "Shit!") most of the show's humor has been replaced by bizarre moments (such as the culture vultures bit from "The Enlightenment of Ragi-Baba" and the already mentioned "All Art is Gay!" sequence from "The Portrait of Francine's Genitals") and needlessly over-the-top gore that further demonstrates that the show has ultimately turned into what it was originally accused of being back in it's early days: A Family Guy clone.
  • Squick:
    • Stan gleefully giving his mother a bath while singing an incestuous parody of What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor?. It was so bad, it traumatized Roger into drinking again (he was supposed to be on his white month, where he exercises, detoxes his body, and quits drinking. It was fun while it lasted).
    • Steve and Stan with huge boobs on Helping Handis, especially the ending montage with them washing cars (though a similar scene on The Simpsons-Family Guy crossover episode with Homer and Peter manages to be worse).
    • A sickly mother cat giving birth to 3 kittens in front of an awakening Francine from "Less Money, Mo' Problems".
    • Mr. Tuttle, who is morbidly obese, crushing Snot.
    • The brothels in Toy Whorey. Stan and Steve's first stop is to the home of a fat, old hooker with both her legs missing, slapping a tortilla between her thighs as if she's making them, the second one has a man who uses Senor Wences-style hand puppets as hookers (one of which has teeth), and the third (which, thankfully, wasn't shown) was so bad that it induced a chain reaction of vomiting.
    • Speaking of which, the Overly Long Gag of people vomiting and a man in a cart using the vomit for horchata (horchata is a Mexican rice, vanilla, and almond drink that does have that dull brown vomit color, though sometimes, it's whitish brown) also counts.
    • The time Stan and Francine kept giving Steve aging serum while he was asleep by violently jamming a large needle in him. One time they did it right into his temple, and it got stuck.
    • Roger elbow-dropping the drug dealer and making his head explode instead of what he thought would happen. The shot does turn it into Crossing the Line Twice by showing nearly twenty different action cuts from multiple angles.
    • The implications of what Stan did to the horse that broke its brain in "Don't Look a Smith Horse in the Mouth." It was enough that, once again, The Parents Television Council protested and called for the FCC to fine MacFarlane and FOX for letting such obscenity slide on network TV. Fortunately, it didn't take.
    • Stan inhabiting Klaus' decaying, zombie-like original body.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Debbie Hyman for those who don't consider her an Ensemble Darkhorse or a Scrappy. She was the first girlfriend Steve had for more than one episode. Unfortunately, she was never really given much development beyond that, most of her appearances ended with her and Steve breaking up and she was often used as a target for cheap jokes regarding her weight or monstrous appetite.
    • Many of the supporting characters from the early seasons definitely count. A lot of them weren't given much development besides one or two identifiable traits (Linda Memari for example having a crush on Francine despite being married and Chuck White being Stan's rival with a rather annoying Verbal Tic), and ultimately fell off the radar completely once the show lost its political edge around the 5th season by being relegated to non-speaking background cameos.
    • Any character introduced within the past couple of seasons that becomes a recurring one for awhile also count. Characters like the rest of Toshi's family will start off as an Ascended Extra only for them to fade off into the same level of obscurity as the likes of Debbie Hyman and Linda Memari about a season or two later leaving the show with a very small amount of supporting players. And much like the early supporting characters, they don't receive much development.
    • Francine's biological parents, the Dawsons (the ones who abandoned her at the airport). They're Affably Evil, unlike her nice but racist-written and not-that-funny adopted parents. This is more noticeable in "Family Plan" where we find out that Cassandra ultimately committed suicide and Nicholas is Flanderized to become straight up evil when he forces everyone in his family (including Francine) to fight each other to the death because he's pissed that they're all using their own Wi-Fi on the family plan.
    • Akiko Yoshida, yet another romantic interest for Steve who appeared more than once. Like Debbie, she never received any significant development beyond being Toshi's translator (initially) and a girl that Steve happened to have a crush on and like Debbie was phased out of the show with next to no fanfare. Her abrupt disappearance after her and Steve became a couple in "Spelling Bee My Baby" also doubles as They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot as her disappearance lead to Steve becoming single once more.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Steve's relationships with Debbie & Akiko as mentioned above.
    • With a title like "Roger's Baby", some were expecting it to be about Betsy White returning to Langley Falls after all these years with Roger's seed that Steve passed on to her when they kissed after Roger impregnated him with it. That actually would've been kinda interesting, right? Nah, of course not. What we get instead is basically the show's answer to "Stewie Is Enceinte" except if that episode (which is already unwatchable to begin) was even more cringe-worthy! And seemingly all for nothing more than to (hopefully) forcibly end the rarely acknowledged multi-season Jeff in space/an alien arc as well as resolve the plot from the previous episode of Hayley & Jeff considering having a baby in such a predictably obvious way that even the most oblivious idiot would see coming from a mile away (especially since the show already did the exact same plot with Francine nearly 5 years earlier as the subplot for Season 7's "The Unbrave One").
    • The episode right before this "Bahama Mama" reveals at the very last second that being part alien gave Jeff superpowers which goes absolutely nowhere since the next episode is about him becoming fully human again.
    • "Family Plan" is about Francine reconnecting with her birth family. You can get so much mileage just based on her meeting her birth parents for the very first time alone, right? Nah! Let's take a diarrhea filled shit all over that bed by revealing that Cassandra (Francine's birth mother) hanged herself and turn Nicholas (Francine's birth father) into an outright monster by having him make everyone in the Dawson family (which includes Francine) fight each other to the death with the sole survivor becoming the heir to the family fortune because he's angry that everybody is using their own data plans instead of the home network. In other words, they took an interesting premise and threw it out the window for a pointless parody of The Hunger Games full of disturbingly glorified gore that one would've expected on Seasons 8-13 of Family Guy. And that's not even mentioning how it's never once acknowledged the fact that Stan already tracked down Francine's birth parents all the way back in "Big Trouble in Little Langley".
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: The episode "Lincoln Lover" briefly features a play with an obese man wearing underpants and a stovepipe hat tossing joints of meat around the stage while reciting advertising slogans. He then accuses us all of being slaves, and a mirror is lowered with the word "slave" written on it, as sheep noises play. Stan is suitably unimpressed.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Stanís status as the show's Designated Villain makes him this most of the time (though there are exceptions, see Moral Event Horizon above). There's "Stan acts like a jerk and must learn a lesson" formula. It doesnít help that most of Stanís flaws have been given very understandable Freudian Excuses, something that in a lot of cases those that he opposes donít have.
    • A good example of this is in "May The Best Stan Win" where Stan is supposed to be a jerk for hoisting Francine off to his future self, CyborgStan on Valentine's Day, so when she leaves him for CyborgStan, it'll be deserved. The thing is the only reason Stan didn't spend the day with her is because CyborgStan had lied about his reason for being in the past saying, PresentStan had to train to fight an oncoming war, and when it's revealed that CyborgStan had lied in order to steal Francine, PresentStan is still supposed to make it up to her despite the fact she knows he was sabotaged.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Stan comes across as this in many episodes of the later seasons for how he treats his family (especially Hayley and Steve) as well as causing his own problems only to learn a lesson that he will immediately forget by the following episode. "The Scarlett Getter" and "Old Stan in the Mountain" to name a few are prime examples of this trope in action. Another reason is that he gets stupider every season to the point where by Season 10, he is simply another Peter Griffin.
    • Roger also counts for the same reason as Stan (learning a lesson that will never resonate by the next episode) as well as his Flanderization into being a complete psychopath who very rarely suffers any consequences for his actions nowadays.
    • Steve has fallen victim to this as of late due to his Flanderization making him a very obnoxious brat who canít seem to tell reality from fantasy making him a danger both to himself and others due to either ignoring the dangers around him or dishing out Disproportionate Retribution. His stereotypical horny teenage virgin nerd also getís old fast given that Stan has gone through all he has and more Up to Eleven so itís hard to feel for Steve for being bullied for a day because of a back brace or not being able to run the house for a couple of months when Stan was horrifically bullied his entire school life and had to take care of his mother his entire life.
    • The family is this as a whole; as seen in Designated Villain and Strawman Has a Point they have a serious case of all take and no give when it concerns Stan. So it's hard to feel sorry for them when they complain about Stanís antics or his rules when they arenít willing to fend for themselves and one of the most recurring plots is that Stan has no right to spend anytime for himself.
    • Francine in ďWhen a Stan Loves a Woman". We are supposed to see Stan as a Jerkass and sympathize with Francine for being angry that Stan went through with it. The problem with that is that the problem only started after Francine showed her love for Stan by planting the rose after ď18 YEARSĒ. Also the episodeís Aesop about the difference between love and meaningless sex doesnít make much sense when you realize that Francineís gift was basically lumping Stan together with all those people she claims were meaningless. Essentially, Francine caused the problem in the first place through being Innocently Insensitive, pushed for the outcome only to get angry when she got what she wanted, and thus realized exactly how Stan felt.
    • Francine again in "Finances With Wolves". While we're supposed to feel sorry for her that Stan doesn't want to fund her muffin kiosk, she loses sympathy for stealing the money and acting dismissive of him for the rest of the episode.
    • The Smiths in "Family Affair". The episode treats Roger hanging out with different families as if it's cheating but instead it makes the Smiths come off as possessive and clingy because Roger has other friends.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: A lot of the latest episodes tend to emphasize a lot of hip slang and reference stir of the moment situations so much that the episodes in question are in severe risk of becoming embarrassingly dated within about a year or two after it originally airs (if it doesn't do so already thanks to how long it takes to produce an episode). "Garfield and Friends" is arguably the worst offender of such as the aforementioned hip lingo is used for roughly 25% of the episode and it even goes as far as ending with a reference to the "Deal with it" meme.
  • What an Idiot:
    • "If they find out that potato salad had alien breast milk, I'll never be deacon!" Uh, Stan, if they find out you have an alien at all, you'll go to jail for treason. And you seem to have done a good job of keeping that under wraps for the past four years.
    • Steve is in ďI Ainít No Holodeck BoyĒ after seeing just how horrific his dad's life truly was and realizing that the only thing keeping him sane was Herculean levels of self-denial. Steve decided it would be a good idea to break his dad of that nostalgia.
  • The Woobie:
    • Sidney Huffman, one of Roger's personas that took a life of its own because Roger couldn't deal with the emotion of guilt. Due to this, his and Roger's credit cards are identical, so when Roger found out someone else was using his credit card, he destroys his life, not knowing they are one and the same. Once he finds out, he and Sidney embrace in order to become one again. Except Roger quickly stabs him in the back, saying Sidney's nice guy attitude is 'cramping his style'.
    • Hayley has become this as time has gone on with her becoming something of the Butt-Monkey. It really wasn't helped by the events of "Naked to The Limit, One More Time" where Hayley basically lost the love of her life because of Roger's actions. Most of the time after that episode, she was seen mourning Jeff or trying to move on from him. Just as she was preparing to move from Jeff after he told her to, Roger again screws this up by killing her new love interest who would have most likely made her life better.
    • Similarly, Jeff despite being a lazy stoner in the beginning of the show has become more of the woobie after he married Hayley. Again in the above mentioned episode, he is separated from Hayley and almost never gets to see her again. And just when he is reunited with her, everything goes wrong and he decides to let her get with her other love interest so he leaves and tells her to move on. All of these bad events that happen to him are Roger's fault.
    • Klaus Heisler used to be an Olympic skier whose life was going great. Then, on the night he planned to propose to his girlfriend Elsa, he caught her cheating on him with the entire East German bobsled team. Some time later, in 1986, the CIA switched his brain with the brain of a goldfish to prevent him from winning the gold medal for East Germany. Now, as a fish, he's confined to a small bowl nearly 24 hours a day, gets little respect from anyone in the Smith household, and is often depicted as lonely and depressed. Hayley possibly sums up his woobie status with this quote from the episode "Man in the Moonbounce":
      Klaus: You know what I miss most about being human?
      Hayley: ... mattering?

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