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- Damned by a Fool's Praise:
- An in-universe example occurs in the episode "Dog Gone", when Brian's book, Faster than the Speed of Love, is celebrated by a book club for the mentally challenged. In a deleted scene in the same episode, Peter was among the people who likes Brian's book.
- And in "Road to Germany," when Stewie and Brian travel to 1939 Poland, Nazis are seen wearing John McCain campaign buttons.
- Dark Parody: One episode parodies the intro to The Jetsons and involves George sending Jane down without her glass pod as revenge for her taking his money.George: No! No! You take this [hands her money], I take this [takes his billfold back]. You are not taking my whole wallet to go shopping!
Jane: I was just gonna buy some groceries!
George: Bull! Shit!
- Darker and Edgier: The series seems to have taken this turn. While an adult show, the gags of initial episodes were much more toned down and limited in mature humor, and had a touch of sentimentality. Post-Uncancelation the excessive mix of Black Comedy, Comedic Sociopathy, and Cringe Comedy has made the newly formed Sadist Show of acquired taste to say the least.
- The episode "The Story of Brenda Q". While there are a few jokes thrown in, overall the episode is very serious. It's about Quagmire's sister, Brenda, being beaten by her boyfriend. Unusually for Family Guy, the topic is treated very seriously. Some of the abuse scenes are actually a little hard to watch. What makes the abuse episode even odder is that women were used in two of the show's worst depictions of violence. One episode had Stewie's evil doppelganger graphically bisect an innocent women with a machete. Another showed the entire front of a women's dead body completely torn open after it was implied that Quagmire used his large erection on her. Then again there's a huge difference between the extremely cartoonish violence listed above, and the more realistic violence depicted in "Screams of Silence".
- In a Season 8 episode Peter is being sexually harassed by his boss Angela. Like the above example, the abuse is taken pretty seriously (though certainly not to the same degree) and is basically one big Take That! towards the Double Standard that men can't get sexually harassed because they either like it coming from women or that it's physically impossible for a woman to abuse a man. The episode touched upon the unfortunate, yet true reality that certain crimes committed against men just aren't taken as seriously for a slew of reasons (usually regarding the physical capabilities and implied masculinity of men).
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Chris' main hobby. Both Peter and Brian are implied to do this from time to time as well; in fact, Peter invented a quilt with fake arms that one can place over his body to hide the fact that he's masturbating. He calls it the Yanket.
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Carter Pewterschmidt despises Peter, and isn't at all happy that Lois dates and eventually marries him. A rare example of this trope being Gender Flipped also occurs when Peter's staunchly Catholic father despises the Protestant Lois.
- Dawn Attack:
- One of Peter's inventions flings Stewie into a tree, where he sees the Keebler elves plotting to "attack the Rice Krispies guys at dawn". Later a Brick Joke. Ironically both the Keebler and Rice Krispies mascots are from Kellogg's.
- A variation with the plotting clouds in "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein"
- Daydream Surprise: In parody of Scrubs' use of the trope.
- Dead Guy Puppet: Though it wasn't someone he killed, Peter finds an Indian Burial Ground in his backyard, including a skull. He names it "Chief Lou Diamond Phillips" and uses it as a puppet, among other things.
- Deadline News: Asian Reporter Tricia Takinawa reporting on a hurricane. She got better.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Death, Stewie, and occasionally Peter.
- Quagmire has been becoming this more recently as has Chris. Lois slips into this on occasion. And after taking center stage, Cleveland has become somewhat snarkier.
- Brian, though, is probably the most obvious example.Brian: What's it called?
Brian: Wow, a song named after a girl. There aren't a million of those already.
Stewie: Name 20.
Brian: Roseanna note , Roxanne, Michelle, Alison, Sara, Angie, Brandy, Mandy, Gloria note , Cecilia, Maggie May note , Jessica, Nancy, Barbara, Billie Jean, Layla, Lola, Polly note , Helena, Jenny from the block.
Stewie: Name 6 more.
Brian: Cherie, Laura, Wendy, Marianote , Peggy Sue, Minnie the Moocher.
Stewie: ... Name 5 more.
Brian: Tracy, Jean, Jane, Mary-Ann, Eleanor Rigby.
Stewie: ... go fuck yourself.
- With the creator himself being one, you can expect every recurring character except for Opie and Meg to be one.
- Death Is Cheap: Brian was saved from his death via time travel only about 2 episodes after he died.
- The Death of Death: Played for Laughs in one episode. Death gets into a car accident. Upon stepping out, he meets Super Death who informs him that he's dead and will reincarnate as a Chinese baby. It doesn't last due to Death being born a girl.
- Deconstruction: Some episodes have the characters become incredibly aware of their Flanderization and Characterization Marches On and roll with it.
- And as mentioned previously, the Christmas Episode gets deconstructed.
- The Running Gag of Meg being abused by everyone is deconstructed in later seasons by showing her going crazy and unstable from being the Butt-Monkey... which became a new Running Gag.
- "Grimm Job" features a more realistic telling of Little Red Riding Hood, including Red immediately realizing the wolf is not her grandmother, and the woodsman cutting the wolf open in a very violent manner; said woodsman is also not the hero, but a madman going house to house killing people.
- Deep South: Season 3's "To Love and Die in Dixie" (where The Griffins are sent to Bumblescum, Alabama as part of Witness Protection) and season 5's "Boys Do Cry" (where The Griffins flee to Texas to escape religious nuts who think Stewie is possessed). It's worth noting that they portray the South in distinctly different ways in each episode. In the former, the locals are inbred hillbilly stereotypes but good people, while in the latter, they're behind-the-times intolerant Jerkasses.
- Delicious Distraction: James Woods can be distracted with a trail of Reese's Pieces.
- Demoted to Extra: Neil Goldman used to appear a lot in the pre-cancellation seasons. However, once his dad Mort was introduced in season 3, he began to appear less often. He wasn't seen during season 5, had two brief cameos in one episode of season 6 and another in season 7, was again absent for season 8-9, and made one brief cameo in season 10. Also, Connie D'Amico, a popular girl who often antagonized Meg suffered a similar fate. These characters only appeared in Meg-centric episodes, when nowadays Meg herself is victim of this trope too.
- Department of Redundancy Department:
- In "Don't Make Me Over"Craig: That's as likely as me playing by someone else's rules besides my own. Which I would never do. I play by my own rules. No one else's.
- In "North By North Quahog", when Peter is posing as Mel Gibson:Peter: I play Peter Griffin, a heroic warrior who defied the English to free England, from the English.
- In "Excellence in Broadcasting" Rush Limbaugh's book appears to be titled "Rush Limbaugh" by Rush Limbaugh.
- At the end of "The Simpsons Guy", when the Gracie Films logo appears with Peter heard singing along to the familiar nine-note electric piano theme. ("And now the show is over now.")
- In "Don't Make Me Over"
- Depending on the Writer: Most of the main characters in later seasons, though it's more like "Depending on the gag". Especially notable examples include:
- Peter - a well-meaning idiot who would never hurt someone intentionally, or a Chaotic Stupid Jerkass Psychopathic Manchild?
- Lois - a caring and compassionate (if somewhat impulsive) housewife who puts her children's needs first, or a sociopathic Bitch in Sheep's Clothing that frequently rapes her husband?
- Brian - down-to-earth voice of reason and Only Sane Man in a world filled with jerks and morons, or a self-righteous and intolerant Small Name, Big Ego who belittles anyone who disagrees with him?
- Joe - Hypercompetent super-cop with amazing abilities despite his handicap, or an incompetent Keystone Cop who regularly gets bested by anyone.
- Depraved Bisexual: Meg is shown to have a crush on Connie. This is apparent when she tongue kisses her unconscious body in "Dial Meg for Murder" and in "Stew-roids" when she grumbled that she was still going to masturbate to Connie in the bath even after Connie said no.
- Depraved Homosexual: The people from the Gayman Islands who did... something with the lottery money Peter sent them in "Lottery Fever" are implied to be this.
- Destination Ruse: In one episode, Lois takes Peter to a seminar hosted by self-help guru Tony Robbins. Peter complains, claiming that she told him they were going to Baskin-Robbins. Lois insists she meant they were going to "Bask in Robbins' glow".
- Diabolical Mastermind: Stewie in seasons 1-6.
- Didn't We Use This Joke Already?:Stewie: I'm not going to no Jewish school! Sitting around all day with a bunch of short, hairy guys. I'll feel like I'm on the forest moon of Endor.
Chris: Didn't you make that joke the other day?
- Dinner with the Boss: Peter invites Mr. Weed, the owner of the toy company he works at, over for dinner. Weed chokes on a dinner roll (catapulted from Brian's mouth after Brian chokes & Peter gives him the Heimlich maneuver) and dies.
- Directionless Driver: From the episode "The Son Also Draws":Lois: Peter, we're lost. Would you please ask for directions?
Peter: We are not lost. And even if we were I can't ask a human being for directions.
Lois: Why not?
Peter: Because I'm a man. Haven't you ever seen a stand-up comedian, Lois?
- Dirty Cop: In "Cool Hand Peter", Peter and friends meet a Southern cop who abuses his power on them (breaks their rear-view window, asks for Joe's cop badge to toss it, and plants marijuana in their trunk) and makes them all go to jail. After many trials, however, they escape back to Quahog while being chased, with Joe prepping up his force there to teach the cop a lesson...and shoot his leg.
- Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery:
- Peter uses his diagnosis of being mentally retarded to be even more of an asshole than usual, being abusive to people, shoving to front of lines, and just generally misbehaving all with a "sorry, retarded".
- By extension, the writers do the same.
- In a later episode, Chris goes on a date with a girl with Down Syndrome, who ends up being incredibly abusive to him.
- Inverted with Joe when he regains the ability to walk in "Believe It or Not, Joe's Walking On Air." Joe was handicapped for years, but was also pretty easygoing and reasonable. When he gains the ability to walk again, Joe actually starts to become an asshole to his friends and uses their inability to keep up with him as an excuse to treat them like garbage. Only when Joe becomes crippled again does he mellow out.
- Disney Villain Death:
- Diane Simmons, who is killed when Stewie shoots her and she falls off a cliff in the Season 9 premier.
- In "North by North Quahog", Mel Gibson dies falling off Mount Rushmore.
- Disrupting The Theater: In one episode, Peter and Brian sneak alcohol into a screening of The Sound of Music. The two get drunk and cause such a commotion that the police are called to the theater. This results in them both being forced to attend alcoholics anonymous.
- Distracted by the Sexy: In "Don't Make Me Over", the prisoners stop attacking Peter once Meg in her hot form walks on stage.
- Divine Misfile:
- Death is introduced in an episode where Peter attempts to get out of paying a hospital bill by declaring himself legally dead, fortunately Death twists his ankle chasing him and ultimately decides to let it slide in exchange for Peter filling in for him.
- When Quagmire fakes his death in an attempt to escape his marriage to a crazy woman Death comes calling again and insists he's not leaving without a Quagmire and winds up taking the wife.
- Divorce Requires Death: In one episode, Quagmire gets married to a woman who turns out to be insane and threatens suicide when he tries to divorce her.
- DIY Dentistry: Peter tells Brian to floor it and drive off in his car. Eventually the rope tightens up and we here Peter screaming in pain. He was using this method as a penis enlarger. A very skeptical Brian calls him out on this afterward, saying how that stunt would never work a second time. A very satisfied Peter says he doesn't need it to.
- Domestic Abuse: Usually played for laughs, but finally taken very seriously in the episode "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q", which is about Quagmire's sister and her abusive boyfriend. Amazingly, this was done without a Double Standard in "Quagmire's Quagmire", in which Quagmire had an abusive girlfriend, and her actions were shown as being outright horrifying.
- Don't Explain the Joke:
- Fouad's entire character revolves around his lack of familiarity with Western humour, prompting him to giggle and explain every joke he hears in great detail, much to his friends' annoyance.
- The exchange between Peter, Bill Gates, Michael Eisner, Ted Turner, and Carter before their poker game.Michael: Are aces high or low?
Peter: They go both ways.
Bill: Did you hear that? He said they go both ways! (laughter)
Ted: Like a bisexual.
Michael: Yes, Ted, that was the joke.
- Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That!:
- In "Wasted Talent", a ninja's wife gives him a hug from behind and he reflexively punches her out before he even looks round.Ninja: Ooh, sorry honey! You know you can't sneak up on me like that...
- Subverted in "Untitled Griffin Family History" when Meg wakes up and after asking a few questions, Peter in a delayed response, hits her with a bat.Peter: Sorry Meg you startled me.
- In "Wasted Talent", a ninja's wife gives him a hug from behind and he reflexively punches her out before he even looks round.
- Don't Tell Mama: One cutaway featured Donny and Marie Osmond having slept together, and both nervously agree that they can't tell mom.
- Dork Horse Candidate: Peter runs against Lois for a seat on the school board.
- Double Standard: When Peter called Lois fat, she called him out on his hypocrisy, but Peter replied: "Fat men aren't fat; only fat women are fat."
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Usually deconstructed in some episodes, but in regular episodes, males hitting females is usually Played for Laughs.
- Double Subversion: Lois catches Peter seemingly having an erotic dream.Peter: Oh, Jenny... Jenny... Oh yeah, Jenny, don't stop...[Lois sits up in bed and glares angrily at Peter]Oh, Richard Jeni, your HBO comedy specials have brought pleasure to millions![Lois looks relieved and lies back down, closing her eyes]...And what a sweet ass.[Lois opens her eyes again in concern].
- Dream Deception:
- Brian grabs Lois's boobs while she's sleeping, and when she wakes up, Brian tells her that she's dreaming. When Lois says she isn't, Brian knocks her out with a lamp.
- In "Brian, Chris and Stewie's Excellent Adventure", Stewie and Brian decide to take Chris on a trip through time in an attempt to help Chris with his history exam. In order to keep Stewie's time machine a secret, they tell Chris that he's dreaming.
- Driven to Suicide: Often Played for Laughs. For example, in "Stewie, Chris & Brian's Excellent Adventure", the three titular characters use time travel to board the Titanic before it sank. As they escape via lifeboat, Stewie and Chris make amends after some earlier bickering. Then Brian drops this gem:Brian: Well, looks like one ship was saved today— a relationship.
[the other members of the lifeboat jump into the water]
- Dumb Jock: A Season-15 episodes portrays Rob Gronkowski as such. He befriends Peter and the guys, and he shows them around his house.Gronkowski: The pool is filled with my favorite food. Soup with little shapes in it.
Joe: Oh, alphabet soup is my favorite, too.
Gronkowski: What's a albaphet?
- Dysfunctional Family:
- One of the biggest examples in any media. The Griffins all pretty much hate each other, but direct all their frustrations towards Meg.
- As more seasons were produced and Flanderization started to kick in, not even the secondary characters were safe from this trope. Loretta and Cleveland split up after she sleeps with Quagmire, while Bonnie grows increasingly cold towards Joe, cheating on him in an episode and hinting that she intends to murder him in a few others.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- The first few episodes are much different from the show as it's known today. The animation is much cruder, characters lack their distinctive voices (Meg even has a completely different voice actress for the first 10 or so episodes), and many of them lack their more notable character traitsnote ). Notably, the setup is far more whimsical and tongue in cheek, more a light-hearted CrapSaccharine universe, with the Mood Whiplash of later seasons far less evident. A lot of non-cutaway gags also resemble those that The Simpsons is known for, which is why a lot of critics compared Family Guy to The Simpsons when it premiered.
- A lot of the characters had noticeable "thin-line" eyebrows in the first two production seasons, mostly noticable for characters like Peter and Lois, which disappeared completely by the third production season, sans Stewie.
- Chris originally wore earrings, which came from one of his earlier designs as a punk rocker, which also vanished after two seasons.
- The episode "Peterotica" parodies the case of The Simpsons when Peter recalls the show starting out as sketches on The Tracey Ullman Show. During this Cutaway Gag, the art is more unrefined, the animation is more expressive, and the voices lack refinement (especially Stewie, who has a cockney accent).
- An early episode sees the Griffin family (except Stewie) react with a look of complete horror after witnessing a random act of Domestic Abuse in an episode of Eight is Enough. Not only would later episodes have the characters watch TV with a calm smile on their face no matter how gruesome the parody is, but the aforementioned parody pales in comparison to the acts of violence and other family-unfriendly hijinks the Griffins themselves would get involved with over the years. In the episode Fifteen Minutes of Shame, when Brian and Stewie are watching the rest of the family on TV, they are shocked when Lois drops an F-bomb. After getting uncancelled, the Griffin family, Brian and Stewie included, would become more potty-mouthed.
- The first couple of seasons have a lot of proscenium shots of Brian that make him look like Snoopy.
- Earlier seasons often showed the characters from the side, which made most of them look fairly odd (particularly Lois and Meg, whose big noses were very pronounced). Newer seasons have almost all but done away with it except for an odd frame or two when they're turning their heads, and when Peter and Lois look at each other in the opening. Lampshaded in "Peter's Progress" when Peter (as "Griffin") points out how Stewie looks weird from the side with the latter remarking that they didn't think of that.
- Embarrassing Relative Teacher: Subverted; Meg expects this to happen when Peter becomes the principal. However, this changes when he stands up to her bullies. She then decides to take advantage of his paternal instinct and uses him to get revenge on other students who've wronged her.
- Employee of the Month: Pawtucket Brewery employee Opie is mentioned to have been Employee of the Month at least twenty times.
- Entertainment Above Their Age: In "A Hero Sits Next Door", Stewie the Brainy Baby attempts to read The Art of War (Sun Tzu), only for Lois to take it from him.
- Entertainment Below Their Age:
- In "You Can't Do That on Television, Peter!", Peter gets into the preschool show Jolly Farms when stuck watching over Stewie.
- In "Road to Rupert", Peter annoys Meg while she's driving and watches SpongeBob SquarePants.
- Epic Fail: Brian's attempt at running the Quahog Marathon. After strenous training that caused him to lose a lot of weight, dump the girlfriend who got him into running in the first place and ignoring Stewie's concerns about him doing too much exercise, Brian makes ONE STEP in the marathon and his leg breaks. He doesn't even make it over the starting line as other runners pass and step over him. Stewie literally adds insult to injury by saying afterwards, "Brian, why does everything you touch turn to garbage?"
- Everybody Cries:
- A Tears of Joy variant occurs in "Back to the Woods" when Peter, Quagmire, Joe, and Cleveland cry with happiness and excitement during the Barry Manilow concert.
- "Dog Gone" has the Griffins left crying after Stewie fakes Brian's death in order to prove to the latter that the family cares about him.
- Occurs when Brian dies in "Life of Brian", particularly during the scene where the rest of the Griffins are with Brian during his final moments alive.
- Everyone Has Standards: A meta example. Seth had to admit that he went too far with Quagmire raping Marge Simpson and then killing her and her entire family and actually apologized to Matt Groening (who was pretty mad with it) for the joke.
- Every Pizza Is Pepperoni: Any pizza on this show is pepperoni.
- Extra-Long Episode:
- The three Star Wars parody episodes were all originally broadcast as hour-long episodes.
- "Brian and Stewie" was originally broadcast as an hour-long show, with the first half hour being the main feature, and the second half having Brian and Stewie host a compilation of music clips from the show. In this case, the episode is not split into two halves, as the second half isn't seen in syndication.In fact, the only reason this second half exists is because the first half lasted a little longer than a half hour and Seth MacFarlane did not want anything to be cut from the episode.
- Another example comes in the crossover episode "Simpsons Guy":Lois: The Pawtucket Patriot Brewery being sued? It's the largest employer in Quahog, Peter. A lot of people's jobs are riding on this.
Peter: [grumbling] Yeah, I got a job for you, riding on something.
Lois: [outraged] Peter!
Peter: Sorry, Lois, I'm tired, 'cause we usually only do these things for half an hour.
- Family-Friendly "Mature" Content:
- Season 1 episode 4 "Mind Over Murder" has a Show Within a Show called "Homicide: Life on Sesame Street". Bert and Ernie are shown as a gay couple laying in bed together naked.
- The season 4 episode 14 "PTV" has a rare example that's not a Show Within a Show. A fast montage of these are shown in "The FCC song."
- Fanservice Car Wash:
- Inverted in the crossover episode with The Simpsons, as an attempt at finding the Griffin family's stolen car, Peter and Homer attempt to lure the carjacker to them with a car wash that does free service for stolen cars. When it fails, the duo decide to make it up to the carjackers by giving them the car washes this way, but Fan Disservice applies since they're both overweight middle-aged men.
- In one episode, this trope is alluded to in a Cutaway Gag involving a Nickelodeon show. In the bit, a teenage actress appears on screen wearing a bikini. She explains that she's doing this for a car wash to raise money for soccer uniforms. The narrator then tells the parents watching the show to go to the bathroom and google the actress.
- Fan Disservice:
- In-universe, Brian sees Peter being naked this way. The same also applies to his son Chris, though Herbert would be inclined to disagree.
- The Greased Up Deaf Guy himself is another example.
- Hairless Brian.
- Fan of Underdog: Stewie with Brian, starting in the first "Road to" episode.
- Fanservice: There are a few shots of Lois in various states of dishabille throughout the series.
- There is one episode, "From Method to Madness" where Lois is completely nude, but it also couples as Fan Disservice because Peter's also nude and thrusting his belly in Meg's face.
- In the episode "Whistle While Your Wife Works", Jillian comes out of the shower in a towel and drops it in front of Brian.
- Fan Service Extra: The series sometimes has scenes with large groups of unnamed attractive girls in swimsuits/underwear (such as the girls at Stewie's Sexy Parties, or the Asian girls that Quagmire often kidnaps). These scenes have become more frequent post-uncancellation.
- Fan Vid: Parodied. In one episode, Stewie makes a video with the Bryan Adams song (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. It's full of random effects and Shout Outs to various famous works of art. When Brian (the dog, not the singer) points out that he doesn't get the storyline of the video, Stewie promptly tells him to "Shut up!"
- Fantasy Twist: Stewie once fantasised about what his life would be like when he was grown up; the fantasy consisted of a balding, middle-aged Stewie asking his wife about an unfamiliar entry on their phone bill.
- Fashion Show: A cutaway gag.
- Fast-Forward Gag: An episode where Peter and Lois consider buying a TiVo has the salesman fast forward through their argument to get to the point where they agree. In the middle of the argument, Chris enters choking on something and Lois gives him the Heimlich Maneuver.
- Fat Camp:
- After Lois lost her memory from Stewie's attempt at matricide, she works at a fat camp and tries to keep the kids from eating each other.
- "Killer Queen" has Peter and Chris going to one of these.
- Faux Affably Evil: Stewie in the early seasons and Peter himself in the later seasons.
- When Peter goes to prison after being framed along with his friends, most of the prisoners act this way towards him, though Peter doesn't catch on. The prisoner that wishes to kill Peter and his friends, in contrast, is not affable.
- Faux Horrific:
- Stewie seeing a woman's lower parts for the first time.
- Quagmire's Mundane Ghost Story is clearly only scary to him.
- Faux Symbolism: Played with in Stewie's music video for Susie, "Everything I Do." We see Stewie as a snowman, walking by a woman playing cello, and him utterly destroying and trashing a hotel room. Try and guess what that all means.Brian: I'm not following the story here.Stewie: SHUT UP!!!
- "Fawlty Towers" Plot: In the first episode, Peter doesn't want to tell Lois that he's lost his job, leading to this.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Quahog's reaction to the New York tourists that annually flock to the town to watch the leaves change color.Brian: LEEEEAAAAAAAFFFFFFEEEEERRRSSSSSS!!!
- Feng Schwing: Quagmire's house and summer house.
Cleveland: Is there anything that doesn't give you a boner, Glenn?Quagmire: People who use the word 'rubbish' when they mean 'garbage'.
- Quagmire is loaded with them, with one exception:
- If a cutaway is anything to go by, Peter has a thing for school girls when he and Lois role-played before sex. Lois seems to have various bad boy and violence fetishes.
- Fetus Terrible:
- Stewie was quite the bastard even before he was born. Ditto for his half-brother Bertram.
- "Happy fiftieth birthday, Lois."
- Fiction 500: Peter for one episode. Mr. Pewterschmidt all the time.
- Fishbowl Helmet: There's an episode where a black hole is supposedly about to destroy the world, and Mayor West decides to retaliate by attacking space; he dons a jetpack, then dumps a fishbowl and puts it on his head.
- Fisticuff-Provoking Comment: Brawls ensuing from offensive or insulting remarks happen in several episodes.
- In "Play It Again, Brian", Peter and Brian have an argument when the former finds out that the latter tried to have sex with Lois. A Bar Brawl ensues when Peter mocks Brian for his inability to hold down a girlfriend and says that his longest-lasting date (Jillian) was "dumber than Lou Ferrigno".
- In "Tiegs for Two", Brian goes on a date with Quagmire's old flame, Cheryl Tiegs, so he dates his ex-girlfriend Jillian to spite him. When both couples go on a double date, Brian and Quagmire get into a verbal sparring match that involves spilling each other's secrets, and Quagmire goes berserk when Brian asks "Does Jillian know you're half-Polish, Mr. Quagglechek?".
- Five-Token Band: Peter's circle of friends. Went down to four tokens when Cleveland moved away.
- Flashback Cut: In "Airport '07", Peter spits some chew into a cup. Stewie grabs the cup and, assuming it's a drink, goes to take a sip. Brian starts to warn Stewie, but thinks back to the events in "Patriot Games" when Stewie mercilessly beat Brian for not paying up after a sports bet. After thinking about that, Brian shuts up and lets Stewie drink the spit-up chew.
- Flashback Twist:
- Subverted once in the episode "Believe It or Not, Joe's Walking on Air"; we never see the result of Peter's strange metaphor:Peter: I tell ya, those legs have turned him into a complete jerk. It's like giving a monkey the keys to an amusement park.
Lois: How is it anything like a monkey having the keys to an amusement park?
Peter: I don't know. The hours would be erratic... maintenance would probably suffer to some degree... the prizes for games of chance would all be bananas... Lois, don't call me on this stuff!
- Also in the episode where Stewie and Brian join the army and Stewie makes a reference to one of Peter's antics and sets up for a cutaway that never manifests. He simply says "What? No clip? Oh, thought we had a clip." and the scene continues.
- And again in the "Spies Like Us" parody where he (Along with Brian, Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd) get beaten up by a mind-conditioned Adam West. Stewie tries to mutter a line that'll trigger a cutaway but it come out unintelligible. We then cut to said cutaway where Stewie standing in a blank space and admitting the joke didn't come out right.
- And again in the second James Woods episode, wherein Woods actually threatens Peter with the prospect of "setting up another one of [his] random flashbacks"
- Also in the episode "Tiegs for Two", Peter says that his favorite shirt was stained by wine at a cocktail party hosted by Michael J. Fox. Instead of the flashback, Peter appears in front of a grey screen, stating that the writers don't want to show the cutaway, saying that it's 'just too sad', and explaining what the basis of the joke was. However, the writers eventually tell Peter to show the clip.
- Subverted once in the episode "Believe It or Not, Joe's Walking on Air"; we never see the result of Peter's strange metaphor:
- Flat-Earth Atheist:
- Brian is an atheist... despite the fact that God and Jesus are frequently seen in Quahog and he's actually met both of them on several occasions, and in one episode in the early seasons Brian was trying throughout most of the running time to convince Peter to stop getting people to worship him so that the real God would stop sending plagues upon them.
- Sometimes the show goes out of its way to justify his beliefs. "Family Goy" ends with Jesus himself saying that all religions are "pretty much crap", followed by an off-screen Brian shouting "Thank you!"
- It looks like Seth MacFarlane is starting to realize how stupid Brian looks to constantly deny the existence of Christianity in a show where God and Jesus exist and interact with the world. In "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" (S11,E8) Brian makes another one of his tired shots at Christianity and Stewie counters with the fact that they have spent time with Jesus.Meg: *Holding up an ornament of Jesus, Mary and Joseph* This one's my favorite ornament. I could only imagine what it must have been like for them on that very first Christmas.
Brian: Yeah, it was probably very moving. And fictional.
Stewie: Jesus lived with us for, like, a week. What else do you need
- Floorboard Failure:
- The episode "To Live and Die in Dixie" had several.
- "Fifteen Minutes of Shame" also features this, much to Meg's embarrassment.Peter: Hey Lois, have you seen my fake beard- (falls through the stairs) Oh crap, I'm stuck in the stairs.
- A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted:
- In an early episode, Lois inherits a mansion and money from her rich aunt. In the 10th season, the Griffins win the lottery.
- In "Death Has a Shadow", Peter is given a grossly inflated welfare check, and when Lois finds out, she's less than happy. In order to make up for knowingly committing welfare fraud, Peter gives all the money away at the Super Bowl.
- Forged Message:
- The ending to the Very Special Episode has Quagmire kill his sister's abusive boyfriend and he and the guys go to her with a fake letter telling her that "he" is leaving her, that he will kill her and her unborn child if she tells that he was with the guys, and that he really, really likes Grape Ape.
- Discussed in "Jerome is the New Black" during Quagmire's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Brian.Quagmire: I should have known that Cheryl Tiegs didn't write me that letter. She would have known there's no "a" in the word "definite".
- Forgot the Disability: The show does not want you to forget that Joe is "dead from the waist down".Peter: Kick, Joe, kick!
Lois: Peter, he's a paraplegic!
Peter: That doesn't mean he can't hear. Kick, Joe, kick!
- Foul Flower:
- In one episode, Lois dumps Peter's Red Bull out the window because she wants him to stop drinking it. It lands on a flower just below the window, mutating it. It then proceeds to hijack a man's car, telling him it's "official flower business."
- In another episode, the Griffins had a racist sunflower growing outside their house that told Cleveland not to come near.
- Four-Fingered Hands: Everyone is drawn this way, with the exception of the occassional character cameo such as with G.I. Joe.
- Four Is Death: A rather odd example - the titles of the first four episodes have "death" or a word related to it in them: "Death Has a Shadow", "I Never Met the Dead Man", "Chitty Chitty Death Bang" and "Mind Over Murder".
- The Freelance Shame Squad: When the popular kids pelt Meg with rotten meat during her halftime routine, everyone in the stands points and laughs at her. It's worth noting because this was long before Meg became the over-exaggerated Butt-Monkey that she is now.
- Free-Range Children: Stewie generally wanders about the world with little concern from Lois and Peter. In one episode he even joined the army. The only concern we see from Lois is for Chris, who is more of age (although competence could be argued, considering that this is Chris).
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the episode "Our Idiot Brian", we get to see a screenshot of the Amazon.com page for Brian's book, Faster Than the Speed of Love. The description of the book is as follows:This book is priced to sell at a very low price. You must buy it, it's just amazing. There is no other book like it in the world. Please buy it, we don't know what else we are going to do with so many copies of this book that absolutely nobody wants to buy or read. In fact we can't even give it away it's so bad. You will want to gouge your eyes out after havning only read the first sentence. No really it is just that bad. In fact, if you've taken the time to read this paragraph, we should pay you.
- Freeze-Frame Ending: Parodied in an episode where Peter leaps into the air in a happy victory and the scene seems to freeze but then Lois asks how he's remaining in mid air to which Peter panicky states he has no idea what's happening and can't get down.
- Freudian Slip: In "North By North Quahog", when Brian talks to Tom Tucker and his son with the upside down face:Brian: Yes, well, uh, Mr. Tucker, uh, it seems your son, Jake, had some vodka at the school dance and, uh, Chris got blamed for it. This, uh, this, this whole situation has just turned his whole life upside-down face. (Stewie slowly turns to glare at Brian)
- Friction Burn: In one episode, Peter drank Red Bull, giving him a rush of energy, and then milked a cow so rapidly, her udder burst into flames. In the same scene Chris, who also drank Red Bull, was seen running around screaming, pantsless and his groin ablaze..
- Friendly Tickle Torture: Lois does this to Stewie during a cutaway for nearly one minute straight... then throws up on him. In a different episode, Peter tickles Lois and she retaliates by hitting him in the face with a frying pan and breaking his nose.
- Friends Turned Romantic Rivals: In one episode, Quagmire accidentally pocket-dials Peter as he confesses he loves Peter's wife Lois. At first, Peter tries to forget what happened, but can't let go of it. Eventually his anger towards Quagmire escalates to the point that Peter beats him up.
- The Friends Who Never Hang: In "Eight Simple Rules For Buying My Teenage Daughter", while Meg is babysitting Stewie, he lampshades that the two generally don't interact much in an awkward attempt at making conversation.
- Lampshaded again in "And Then There Were Fewer" the party of guests divide into couples to search the mansion. Peter makes groups, among them choosing Dr. Hartman and Seamus since they may be interesting as a new chemistry.
- Fright Beside Them: In the episode "Business Guy", Lois and Carter devise a plan to get rid of Peter from the company, by having Carter dress up as a swamp monster who eats wealthy business men. It works and Peter signs the company over before fleeing. However, Carter then shows up wearing a Swamp Monster costume and asking Lois if they're going through with the plan. A horrified Lois then realizes the other swamp monster was not her dad but a real swamp monster! This then results in a Scooby-Doo style chase between Lois, Carter, and the swamp monster, who later gets revealed to be Hugh Laurie.
- Fright-Induced Bunkmate: In "A Lot Going On Upstairs," Stewie is plagued by a recurring nightmare about a shadowy monster, and he runs off to sleep with Peter and Lois every time he has it. This annoys Peter so much that he goes to sleep in the attic (and eventually decides he's just going to live up there permanently).
- Fully-Clothed Nudity: Brian is a dog, therefore his only article of clothing is his collar. This becomes a plot point in "A Fistful of Meg", when Peter convinces himself that he has just as much right to be naked in his own house, much to Brian's disgust.
- Funny Answering Machine: Joe's answering machine consists of him singing a mangled version of "Your Love" by The Outfield. The message is so long that Peter forgets what he was going to say by the time it is over.
- Funny Background Event:
- The B-Plot of "The Story on Page One" has Stewie put a Hypno Trinket on Chris. Chris is about to kill Lois with an ax when the microwave shorts out the signal. While Meg talks to Lois in the kitchen, Chris goes after Stewie outside.
- While Peter and Lois are talking in front of the living room window, Stewie takes his rage out on a snowman because the mall's Christmas Carnival had been canceled. Putting lipstick on the snowman, deeply kissing it, then decapitating it wasn't enough to sate his rage. He then puts on a pair of protective goggles, rigs up a detonator and DESTROYS ALL OF QUAHOG WITH A NUCLEAR BOMB, with the destruction ending right at the Griffin household.
- A rare audio example can be found in the scene from "The Kiss Seen Around the World" where Brian walks in on Meg kissing the TV screen with Tom Tucker on it. Amidst the sheer awkwardness, you can hear Tom Tucker audibly saying "Turmoil at the White House today when President Bush stuck his finger in an electrical socket. When asked about the incident, Bush responded 'Dick Cheney told me that's where leprechauns hide their gold.' More at 11."
- Funny Flashback Haircut: In "Death Lives", Death takes Peter back to the night of his and Lois's first date. He then sees his younger self collecting the soul of a truck driver who died in a crash the young Peter and Lois unknowingly caused. The younger Death not only wears a psychadelically-colored robe, but an afro over his hood.Death: Look at all that hair. I can't believe I thought that looked good!
- Fur and Loathing: When Lois wanted a fur coat, she sold out her environmental views, rather than just saving up.
- Furry Confusion: Anthropomorphic dogs like Brian and Jasper are shown alongside regular, non-anthropomorphic ones such as Brian's mother, Biscuit and the Pewterschmidts' dog, Seabreeze. Occasionally lampshaded. "I was the one who could talk."
- Fusion Dance: A group of handicapped guys combine to form the mecha-like construct "Crippletron" in "No Meals on Wheels"
- Future Loser: Stewie is a diabolical baby genius, but, in "Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story", he grows up to be a virgin stuck in a low-wage job, following a traumatic accident that inhibited his original ambitions.
- Gag Boobs:
Ms. Lockhart: (holds a failed paper in front of her) Chris, what do you see here?Chris: ...Two D's and an F?
- Ms. Lockhart from the episode "Fast Times at Buddy Cianci Jr. High" has comically large breasts, which become a source of humour. Everything she needs resides in her cleavage, including chalk, the test papers, instructions for murdering her husband, and the machete with which to do it.
- Gag Penis:
- Chris has an abnormally large penis. When Peter finds out, he becomes self-conscious and starts avoiding his son, causing Chris to think of himself as a freak.
- Peter got an extremely exaggerated gag penis during a cutaway. Apparently, in this universe, attaching your crotch to a rope, attaching the rope to the tailgate of a car, and have that car drive off at breakneck speed can give you family jewels the size of a bowling ball.
- Games of the Elderly: One episode had Joe invite Peter to play bingo with him. The other bingo players are shown to be elderly, with Peter and Joe (two middle-aged men) easily being the youngest people playing.
- Game Show Appearance: Mayor Adam West on Jeopardy!; Peter Griffin on Wheel of Fortune, The Dating Game, Survivor, the 60s version of Password and something called Bobcat or Bjork; Peter also hosted Family Feud, disrupted a taping of The Price Is Right, and his Citizenship test rapidly morphs into a Pyramid bonus round.
- Gangsta Style:
- Garage Band: Chris starts a metal garage band in "Saving Private Brian". Predictably, the noise starts annoying his family to no end.
- Garrulous Growth: In "Brian the Bachelor" , Chris develops a pimple that turns out to be sentient. Calling himself Doug, it encourages Chris to do bad things. When Chris goes to a doctor to get a cortisone shot, Doug pulls out a gun and tries to shoot them, though Chris manages to inject himself before anyone gets hurt.
- Gasoline Dousing:
- In the episode "Don't Make Me Over", a man and a woman pull out jerrycans, pour gasoline over themselves and set themselves on fire in horror after looking at Meg.
- The B plot of "Peter's Daughter" has Stewie and Brian trying to fix up an old house so they can sell it for big money. When the duo end up in way over their heads and out of money, Stewie empties a gas can and lights a match, causing the house to explode.
- Gay Aesop: MacFarlane is a gay rights activist, so a few episodes have a pro-LGBT message. "Family Gay" condemns conversion therapy, and "You May Kiss the Uh... Guy Who Receives" defends the legalization of gay marriage.
- Genre Savvy: In "And Then There Were Fewer":
- The first thing everyone does when it looks like they're locked in is whip out all their cellphones. Alas, there's no signal, but that's more than most mystery characters can say.
- After a few people have died, they only move in a large group.
- George Washington Slept Here: In an attempt to convince a historical society that the Big Fancy House he inherited had $50,000 worth of history occur in it (so he could sell it to them as repayment of a debt), Peter scratched a fake "Jesus Was Here" message on one wall and tried to make it look like the Underground Railroad had passed through it. This was a disaster. Then it turned out that the house was historical, as it had been a presidential brothel frequented by Abraham Lincoln, among others.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: There's a joke about a "Cleveland Steamer" in the episode "Mr. Saturday Knight". What makes it even funnier is that the original joke used the less-vulgar term "half and half" which the censors wouldn't allow. In the DVD commentary, Seth said it was one of the most vile jokes they'd ever gotten away with, and that was mostly because the censors assumed that the writers had made the term "Cleveland steamer" up and didn't know it was an actual sexual term.
- Giant Medical Syringe: In "A Lot Going On Upstairs", Stewie's nightmare includes a version of Dr. Hartman carrying an oversized syringe chasing Stewie.
- Giftedly Bad: Brian thinks highly of himself as a writer, when everyone else finds his material mediocre at best or downright unreadable at worst. "Brian Goes Back to College" and "Dial Meg for Murder" hints that he does have talent in journalistic writing, yet he insists on pursuing his career in fiction and self-help.
- Gilligan Cut:
- "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire" parodied the Gilligan Cut in the scene where Peter and Brian catch Loretta having sex with Quagmire. They both agree that telling Cleveland is the last thing they want to do. Cut to later; Peter and Brian have done every other activity in the world and declare that the only thing left to do at this point is to tell Cleveland that Loretta is having an affair.
- Doubly subverted in "Death is a Bitch":Peter: Forget it, Death. I'm not going to do your dirty work. There's no way I'm getting on that plane. Absolutely no way, and that's final.
[cut to reveal that Peter is still there]
Peter: See? I'm still here. And there's nothing you can say that'll change my mind.
Death: Either you kill them, or I kill you.
[cut to reveal Peter on plane]
- In "The Father, The Son, and the Holy Fonz", Stewie tells Lois before he passes out, "Don't, don't take me to a black doctor." In the very next shot, at the hospital, a black doctor walks up to Peter and Lois to tell them what's wrong with Stewie.
- Girl of the Week: Any character introduced as a love interest for Meg, Chris, Stewie or Brian either breaks up with them or is killed before the end of the same episode, in order to preserve the status quo. The only exception to this was Jillian, who dated Brian for most of season five, and has since become a recurring secondary character.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot:
- Parodied in a beer commercial which had two bikini babes drinking beer and making out. Lois remarks "Oh, that is such a male fantasy! Women drinking beer..."
- When Peter and company try out a new bar to "act like idiots" in, they realize that they're the only guys there. Quagmire is quick to assume that the 2 girls making out by the disk are "practicing", but Cleveland, being the sharp one in the bunch, points out that "I don't think they're practicing". This reveal is followed by his 3 friends exclaiming "oh" four times in a row, squeezing into that short statement how their minds go through the states of; standing corrected, realizing what was just said, joyfully approving of the information that the statement implicated and, finally, dismay at the fact that said information is of no value to them... Still doesn't stop Quagmire from trying though.
- In "Brian Sings and Swings", Meg pretends to be a lesbian after befriending the lesbian community in her school. Peter's reaction is "That is awesome!", and Chris and Quagmire try to film her with her girlfriend.
- The episode where Peter becomes a feminist ended with Lois fighting his feminist councilor. One of the quotes he said was: "Oh man, this is hot." He soon takes his sexual tension out on Lois and reverts to his old self.
- In "Stew-Roids", Bonnie removes her bra and asks Lois to put suntan lotion on her back. Her friend complies, and also takes off her own shirt to prevent it from getting stained. Quagmire, who had been peeking on the two through a hole in the fence behind them, carves another hole so he can fit it around his crotch.
- When Lois meets a college friend whom she experimented with, Peter's first reaction is to thank God."God. He knows what turns you on!"
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: The Evil Monkey's famous pose has him contorting his face into a vicious grimace while pointing at his target. Ironically, he later reveals that this stance is just how henormally invites people to talk with him.
- Giving Them the Strip: In "Love Thy Trophy," Peter is trying to recover Stewie from his foster family. Stewie is in Peter's clutches when his foster father threatens to shoot Peter. After slipping out of his overalls and Peter's grasp, Stewie encourages his foster father to shoot Peter.
- Glasses Curiosity: In "The Heartbreak Dog," Chris reveals he loves trying on other people's glasses upon seeing a pair stolen from a nursing home by Meg. When he does try them on, he gets a headache and suddenly remembers that particular downside of wearing other people's glasses.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel:
- Parodied in the first episode, "Death Has a Shadow", when the Devil appears on Peter's shoulder and convinces him to go out drinking. When Peter asks where the angel is, the show cuts to the latter stuck in traffic.
- In "Ready, Willing, And Disabled", the Angel shoots the Devil, then holds Peter at gunpoint and forces him to go over and comfort Joe.
- Gorn: In "Dog Gone", Brian horrifically bisects another dog by running over it with his car. The scene, which is overly gory even by the show's standards, leads to Peter breaking the Fourth Wall at the end of the episode to explain No Animals Were Harmed, even though it's an animated show.
- Grammar Nazi: A running gag involves Stewie deliberately mispronouncing certain words in order to annoy Brian, who repeatedly tries to get his friend to say it correctly, to no avail.
- Grandma's Recipe: Lois finds her Grandmother's cookie recipe in "Baking Bad", which are so good it leads to her and Peter starting up their own cookie shop.
- Gratuitous German: In "German Guy", the former Nazi commandant's real name is Schlechtnacht—"bad night"—while his fake/cover name is Gutentag—"good day". Also doubles as a Bilingual Bonus.
- Green Gators: Any crocodile that shows up is green.
- The Grim Reaper: Death is a recurring character.
- Grossout Show: Many jokes revolve around vomiting, disfigurement or other occurrences that are deliberately designed to disgust viewers. One of the show's most famous and referenced scenes is the Ipecac-drinking contest from season 4, which consists of the four male leads vomiting uncontrollably for roughly two minutes.
- Growling Gut: Used as roll call at fat camp in "Killer Queen".
- Guilty Until Someone Else Is Guilty: Everyone except Brain, who received a confession from the real killer, believes Peter killed Lois in "Stewie Kills Lois." This is because Peter admits he secretly wanted Lois dead after a fight, mentions taking out a life insurance policy on her right before she died, and photos of Lois being brutally murdered were discovered in his trash can. At his trail, Lois shows up alive and names Stewie her attacker, clearing Peter.
- Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: In the episode "Dial Meg for Murder", Meg falls in love with a convict, and goes to jail for harboring him after he escapes. When she comes out, she is a lot meaner and starts fighting back against everyone who mistreated her. By the end of the episode, Brian has to stop her from robbing a convenience store at gunpoint.
- Halloween Episode: Oddly enough, only two: "Halloween on Spooner Street" (season 9) and "Quagmire's Quagmire" (season 12). While rivals The Simpsons and Bob's Burgers have a Halloween episode every season (with the former it's their Treehouse of Horror specials), on the nights those premiere Family Guy generally premieres a regular mundane episode (and even with season 12, "Vestigial Peter" premiered on that night, with "Quagmire's Quagmire" premiering after the Halloween season ended.)
- Handicapped Badass: Zigzagged with Joe, who is a paraplegic cop. In the first few seasons, his disability barely disrupted his work, and he was consistently portrayed as one of the most competent and physically fit members of the cast. However, after undergoing Flanderization, his handicap started to be played for laughs, and he developed severe depression, greatly hindering him both while performing his job and going through his daily life.
- Hands Go Down: When Brian and Stewie are searching for Mort at a Jewish wedding:Stewie: Uh, excuse me. We're looking for a Mr. Goldman.
(Every man raises their hand)
Brian: Mr. Mort Goldman.
(Half the men lower their hands)
Stewie: He's a small business owner. Tends to whine a lot. Kind of a hypochondriac.
(The half that lowered their hands raise them again)
Stewie: No, no! You can't put your hand back up after you've put it down...You know what, never mind.
- Hangover Sensitivity:
- Peter experiences this in "Death Has a Shadow" after drinking 37 beers. He describes the pain as like accountants cranking adding machines in his head.
- In "Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater", Brian gets marinated on the night of the auction. The next morning finds him with a short temper and a bag of ice on his head.
- Happy Dance: When Peter finds out his father has died, Lois and Brian calmly walk outside and break into a quick victory dance [which stops when Brian grabs Lois's boob and Lois smacks Brian into the trash] before coming back inside to console him.
- Headphones Equal Isolation:
- Parodied in "Fore Father": Peter is spraying the house with a hose, and accidentally breaks Meg's window, which causes her fishtank to break and spill all over her carpet. Meg, who's in her room wearing headphones, notices this and instead of cleaning it up, simply turns her music louder.
- During a court trial, Meg listens to music and is unable to hear Brian testify that her real father is a man named Stan Thompson.
- HeelFace Turn:
- Played for laughs when a murderer stabs himself, realizes how much pain it causes to his victims, and concludes he belongs in prison.
- Stewie originally despised his family and planned to murder his own mother and take over the world. After season six, his megalomania was significantly toned down, he grew to respect his parents and siblings, and is mostly happy to just hang out with Brian.
- Heh Heh, You Said "X":
- In "E. Peterbus Unum", Peter mentions that it's his duty to keep the children safe, then laughs because he said "duty". He laughs again because "duty" reminds him of "diarrhea", which he says to Lois to get her to laugh.
- In another episode where Brian is replaced by "New Brian", Brian decides to leave after thinking it 'long and hard'. Cue Peter laughing. Subverted afterwards when Lois says "I hope it doesn't be a boner to you.", and Peter doesn't react.
- Held Back in School: Played for laughs in "And the Wiener Is...":Teacher: Looks like he's going to have to repeat the fourth grade, Mrs. Griffin.
Teacher: Looks like he's going to have to repeat the fourth grade, Mrs. Griffin.
Teacher: Congratulations, you've passed the fourth grade, Mr. Griffin.
Peter: (as an adult) Oh great! Listen, I gotta leave, though; I'm going hunting with my son.
- Hero Insurance: Peter and Ernie the Giant Chicken's fights cause rampant property damage through Quahog and the surrounding area, but never have to compensate anyone for it.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Peter is married to the red haired Lois.
- Hilarity Ensues:
- Most of the conduct of the main characters especially Peter and Quagmire would be considered crimes (some of them felonies) and result in them being sent to prison for years i.e., far longer than a normal human lifetime if all their crimes were considered, such as murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery, assault, arson, blackmail, embezzlement, fraud and much more. Joe, a police officer, would never be allowed to get away with ignoring his friends' criminal behavior, lest he be stripped of his badge and blacklisted from ever working in law enforcement; in fact, since he himself has engaged in many of the same criminal activities as Peter and Quagmire, he too would be facing years in prison.
- Stewie's schemes (early in the series) to kill his mother would most likely result in him being institutionalized (because of his age).
- Hindenburg Incendiary Principle: Peter had an airship called Hindenpeter, which crashes on Joe's house.
- Hired for Their Looks: Played with where Stewie's nursery is cared for by an attractive but extremely negligent and borderline abusive woman (she leaves the children unattended for several hours and at one point dislocates Stewie's arm in her careless handling of him). He fails to have her found out because Brian insists he keep his mouth shut until he's scored a night in bed with her (though calls the police himself when it turns out she has a boyfriend).
- Historical Character Confusion: In the song "You've Got a Lot to See" Brian sings to an old lady shut-in about all the things out in the world that she's missing. A group of wild rappers appear during the bridge listing events she's missed, including:Diane Simmons: Neil Armstrong landing on the moon.
Meg: Neil Armstrong? Wait, was he that trumpet guy?
- Historical Character's Fictional Relative:
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Stewie plans to enslave the viewing audience of Kids Say the Darndest Things with his hypnogoggles. Unfortunately for him, Bill Cosby ends up using them against him.
- Holding Both Sides of the Conversation: Stewie pretends to be a girl in order to get on his favorite TV show, Jolly Farms Revue. When a girl he has a crush on comes over to meet his girl persona, he quickly goes to change into his girl costume while he argues with himself, pretending to be both Stewie and the girl.
- Hollywood New England:
- In "Lethal Weapons", Peter displays contempt for New York sports teams, and New York in general.
- Quahog, Rhode Island is a fictionalization of the town of Cranston, RI.
- Hollywood Law: Several instances, but the issue in "An App A Day" stands out. While Chris sending a picture of his genitals was certainly child pornography, Joe cannot just label Chris a sex offender, he has to go to trial, and if he is found guilty, then he gets the label. Also, there is no way any American news network would publish an underage offender's name on the news until Chris was found guilty, because even the known possibility of being a sex offender would be bad enough to render the actual sentencing irrelevant.
- The ninth season premiere is faithfully done in the form of Agatha Christie-style mystery movies.
- There is also a great homage to the first The Naked Gun film in the opening to "PTV", in which Stewie infiltrates Afghanistan and opens up a can of whoop-ass on Osama bin Laden. The scene is also a homage to Yoda's fight scene in Attack of the Clones.
- Horrible Judge of Character: When Peter goes to jail:Peter: MAN! Everyone is really nice here! ...I mean they're gonna be disappointed when they find out I'm not gay, but WOW!
- How Can Santa Deliver All Those Toys?: "The Road to the North Pole" had a very grim answer for that. It turns out the poor old man has worked himself and his elves to the brink of exhaustion in order to meet the world's demands for gifts throughout the years. By the time Brian and Stewie meet Santa, he is severely debilitated and longing for death, while his elves' attempts to find more workers led to a generation of inbred, deformed offsprings.
- Hug and Comment: Near the end of Season 8 episode "Quagmire's Dad", Glenn hugs his father who has undergone sex reassignment surgery, then an embarrassed exchange implies that Glenn has become aroused.
- Humiliation Conga: In the episode "Roasted Guy", Peter compares a group of mean girls to a nasty wolf pack. A cutaway gag depicts a wolf telling another wolf that instead of howling at the moon, the entire pack is going to say "Cock-a-doodle-do!" When he's the only one who actually does so, he's mercilessly laughed at. He yells at his son when he gets home, which gets him kicked out by his wife. As he wanders the streets, he comes across a drug dealer who offers to get him high. The next scene shows that he's become a cross-dressing prostitute, and the same wolves from before pull up in a car on his street corner. And just when you think the poor guy might get a little kindness...Wolf in car: Oh, my god... Phil?
Phil: [embarrassed] Hey... Robert...
Robert: [sympathetically] Wow... hey, listen man... cock-a-doodle-do! [he and two other wolves laugh hysterically]
Phil: [draws a handgun and shoots all three wolves]
- Hybrids Are a Crapshoot:
- In one cutaway gag, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy have children which are suffering abominations begging for death.
- The episode "Stewie Is Enceinte" features Stewie giving birth to dog/human hybrids (courtesy of him artificially impregnating himself using Brian's DNA). The resultant hybrids have multiple health issues and genetic abnormalities, such as having a loose bone structure and being deaf.
- Hype Backlash: In-Universe: The main plot of "FOX-y Lady" kicks off when popular newscaster Rhonda Latimer announces that FOX News will be switching to HD TV, prompting her fans to tune in for her as well as Peter getting an HDTV for that. Upon the live airing, however, Rhonda is shown to be horrendously ugly, much to the horror of the viewers. This prompts FOX to fire her and announce a new role for a newscaster.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Family Guy's theme song praises traditional values and condemns violence and sex in the media, when the show itself is notorious for being one of the most violent and sex-themed of well-known TV shows.
- On two separate occasions, Lois has mocked Brian for dating unintelligent people, whilst being married to someone who is legally retarded.
- In "Road to Germany", Brian remarks that Nazis portrayed Jews in an extremely offensive way. The leaflet that prompted him to say so showed the Nazis' idea of a Jew - namely, Mort Goldman alongside a Star of David.
- Out-of-universe example: Brian and Stewie sang a song at the 2007 Emmys about how sad it was that all the shows on television were complete trash. Incidentally, the music was the same as a song on the show about how the FCC is evil for all of its "extreme" censoring.
- Herbert calls Brian a pervert and ordered him to leave his property after the latter asked him to sign a petition to legalize gay marriage.
- When Lois gains weight after Peter stops having sex with her when he got his vasectomy, Peter uses every fat joke and insult on her despite being obese himself.
- The biggest hypocritical humor comes from Quagmire's rant on Brian's flaws in "Jerome is the New Black." Quagmire blasts Brian for hitting on Lois after Peter did everything for him, dating a bunch of bimbos while trying to act smart to impress them, and never seeing his own child. Quagmire says all this while he's flirted with Lois many times, has children all across the world that he never sees (and even gave one away), and has sex with lots of women while using his own means to seduce them (although in this case Quagmire does admit he sleeps with bimbos for their bodies, but he doesn't pretend to be smarter than he is to impress them).
- In "Lethal Weapons", Stewie, after hearing Brian crack a rather pathetic joke, says "Oh Brian, that was so cliche." Mind you, he's saying this while wearing one of the oldest comedy props in the book: A headdress with pieces of an arrow jutting out both sides of his head, making it look like he was just shot through the skull with an arrow.
- For the crap Meg takes from her family, when they see or hear Alpha Bitch Connie talk down to her, they have all defended her at separate points from her in the show.
- In "Welcome Back Carter," Babs is outraged at Carter for having an affair, even though she was willing to have sex with Peter in "Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey," just to spite her husband.
- Hypothetical Fight Debate: Parodied.Peter: Lois, Parker Lewis can't lose. Don't even try and make him lose 'cause it's just going to be that much more embarrassing for you when you realize that he can't lose.
Chris: Would he win in a fight with Batman?
Peter: Well, Chris, think about what you're saying; Parker Lewis can't lose. Heretofore, Batman can suck on that.
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Not really for cute reasons, but in one episode Peter takes a cardboard cutout of Kathy Ireland because he fell in love with it.
- I Can Change My Beloved:
Paul: ...I'm a great guy! I'm unemployed, but that makes her feel useful in the relationship.
- Lampshaded and parodied in the episode "The Former Life of Brian". Brian tries to impress a recently widowed mother (only referred to as "Jared's Mom") by putting on a magic show for her son, only to find out that she already has a boyfriend, Paul:
Jared's Mom: I'm gonna fix him!
Paul: Our relationship will do fine on that basis.
Jared's Mom: If he had his life together, I wouldn't be into it.
Paul: But I don't!
Brian: (exasperated) God, I am so sick of this crap!
- Peter to Ryan Reynolds in "Stewie Goes for a Drive"
- I Don't Pay You to Think: In "The Thin White Line," Peter tells a rehab counselor "Yeah, well I don't pay you to think, hot lips, in fact, I don't pay you at all... Count it!"
- I Have My Ways: Lois hints at her wily, secretive ways of obtaining a map of her neighbor's house. Cut to a scene of her walking into City Hall and asking for a map.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Although Meg does have a group of friends, the trope is about her recurring efforts to make friends with and be accepted by students in the popular cliques, such as the athletes and student leaders and those that include (and are led by) school bitch Connie D'Amico, the self-described most popular girl at school.
- I Love Nuclear Power:
- Played straight and subverted in the first "Viewer Mail" episode. The Griffin family is exposed to toxic waste and gain superpowers, using them to wreak havoc over the town. Mayor West tries to do the same in order to fight back, but ends up with lymphoma.
- Again regarding Stewie's walk-in time machine. When it's introduced in "Road to Germany", it runs on uranium, then in "The Big Bang Theory" it runs on plutonium (mirroring a goof from Back to the Future where the DeLorean runs on a different power source depending on the film). After incidents where it ran out of power and Stewie had to go to extreme lengths to refuel it in the time period he's stuck in (in the original instance, having to steal uranium from a Nazi project), by "Back to the Pilot" he's switched it over to regular D-cell batteries.
- Intentional Mess Making: In "Brian in Love", Stewie learns that Brian has been peeing on the floors and blaming him to cover himself, so he gets back at him by pulling the opposite: peeing all over the room and blaming Brian.
- I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: Many characters, but Death really can't believe he wore a tie-dyed cloak and had an Afro in The '70s ("I must have been high").
- I Was Quite a Looker:
- A mild version and not directly stated by the character it's directed at, but in "Meet the Quagmires" Death sends Peter back in time to relive being eighteen again and Brian comes with him. He and Peter are at the country club pool where Peter worked when he was a teen, and Lois walks up:Brian: Wow. Eighteen-year-old Lois — son of a bitch!
- A cutaway flashback and some flashbacks reveal a much more afro-ed and svelte Cleveland, the cutaway features a thin and more poofy haired Loretta.
- Pearl, before becoming a crochety shut-in, was a beautiful red-haired singer.
- A mild version and not directly stated by the character it's directed at, but in "Meet the Quagmires" Death sends Peter back in time to relive being eighteen again and Brian comes with him. He and Peter are at the country club pool where Peter worked when he was a teen, and Lois walks up:
- I Was Told There Would Be Cake: Stewie is aware that a perk of marriage is this wonderful, pleasurable thing called sex, it's just that he thinks that sex is some sort of cake.
- Identical Grandson: Peter's many ancestors as seen in "The Griffin Family History" all look and talk exactly like him, save for a few minor differences such as darker skin colour or facial hair.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Played with, then dropped. The original idea was to name every episode with an ominous title, having to do with death or murder — many of them named after radio programs of the 30's and 40's. This was dropped eventually when the writers realized it was difficult to identify episodes without resorting to the Friends convention of "you know, the one where..."
- Ignore the Disability: Brian frequently falls victim to this trope, has occurred at least twice with Tom Tucker's son, and multiple times to hide his suggested racial insecurities (a "Fawlty Towers" Plot occurred from one in "Peter's Got Woods").Brian: This whole situation has just turned his life upside-down face.(Stewie slowly turns to Brian bewildered)
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy:
- Lampshaded in "Cold Hand Peter".Cleveland: Oh, no, they're shootin' at us!
Peter: Good thing bad guys are such terrible shots.
(cut to pair of officers, one firing a handgun in every way his arm can physically reach, the other holding a shotgun backwards)
Officer: Man, these guys are elusive!
- "And The Wiener Is" makes fun of this directly with a joke about characters at a shooting range shooting at targets that identify with their character. The joke ends with a Stormtrooper shooting at a Luke Skywalker cut-out and missing every shot.
- Lampshaded in "Cold Hand Peter".
- Implausible Deniability: Lois refuses to accept her brother is a serial killer even after Brian uncovers one of the victims in Patrick's room.
- Indestructible Edible: The second part of "Da Boom" is set off by Peter's insistence that Twinkies will survive After the End.
- Inept Talent Show Contestant: In one episode, Peter and Lois form a hippie-esque folk duo, A Handful of Peter, and perform at a talent show. They're so stoned they simply stand there and scream and wail, but in their collective mind's eye they're performing a song called "In God's Eyes We Are All Hot".
- Informed Attractiveness: Lois is considered to be one of the hottest women on earth. Her similarity to her supposedly super-ugly daughter Meg (sans the glasses and hat) is jarring. Especially weird when the show tries to say she's prettier than Bonnie, and aside from one notable instance of Peter comparing it to a sandwich her nose's size is never pointed out.
- Informed Deformity: As mentioned above, Meg is supposedly one of the most unattractive characters on the show even though she's fairly normal looking, hardly at all overweight compared to her father and brother, and looks very similar to her mother. In fact, the show points out on more than one occasion that she looks more like Peter than Lois, notably from Brian in "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven".
- Informed Flaw:
- The writers acknowledge that Meg isn't as ugly as many characters point out, but tend to exaggerate this for laughs. She has the same face as the majority of the female cast.
- Angela, Peter's supervisor at the Brewery, is supposedly so hideous that Quagmire refuses to sleep with her, but looks average at worst.
- Injury Bookend: Reversed for comic effect. Joe Swanson, who is paraplegic, gets the use of his legs back when someone skies over his legs. He then jumps up and yells "I can walk again!" only for someone else to run into him and cripple him just as he was before.
- Innocently Insensitive: Peter, even when he isn't trying to be a Jerkass, can sound rather offensive and hurtful by accident. Some of Meg's less directly abusive treatment also leans into this.
- Insufferable Genius:
- Subverted in "Petarded"; Peter wins at Trivial Pursuit and becomes a condescending jerk who thinks he's smarter than everybody and rubs it in their faces. The catch is, all his questions were deliberately chosen from the pre-school category and it turns out he's mentally retarded.
- Lauren Conrad not only turns out to be a closeted super-genius, she corrects everyone.
- Interdimensional Travel Device: Stewie invents a remote control that can travel to many universes, including one where Meg is hot, but still ugly compared to everyone else.
- The Internet Is for Porn: Surprisingly, Quagmire had no idea you could get porn off the Internet until someone told him in a 2009 episode. The next time he's seen, at least a week has passed, and his left arm is swollen to Popeye-like proportions.
- Internet Safety Aesop: "The D in Apartment 23" is about Brian using Twitter to make political statements but he crosses the line when he posts a racist joke on Twitter that makes him a pariah and endangers both him and the family. While Brian insists that it was just a bad joke blown out of proportion, Lois calls him out on his carelessness since he should have known better than to make that kind of joke. Brian tries to apologize but he's enraged by the thin-skinned and self-righteous mob when he uses "Ladies and gentlemen" the wrong way. The family are ultimately forced to kick him out because they aren't safe around him.
- Interspecies Romance:
- Brian had many human girlfriends. The most prominent are Jillian (his only girlfriend for more than one episode) and Lois (whom he was married to for over a year in the episode "The Perfect Castaway").
- Brian's cousin Jasper is married to a Puerto Rican man.
- In the Doldrums: A cutaway in an early episode showed the Griffins on holiday in Limbo. They were all just hanging in a featureless void, commenting on how it was neither good or bad.
- Intimate Artistry: Parodied. Peter has an argument with a construction worker, and he finishes the fight by stating that the man's eyes are too close together. The worker agrees and counters that he only needs to wear one goggle when he goes swimming, but as he is storming out in a huff Peter stops him and says that he has to draw him. The scene then cuts to Peter painting the naked construction worker.
- Irrational Hatred: Meg is greatly disliked by almost every character, for unknown reasons. Season 10's "Seahorse Seashell Party" implies that, albeit the family has no real motive to hate her, they do so in order to vent out their own frustrations.
- Irritation Nightmare: After Lois fixes Stewie's stuffed bear, he finds himself getting attached to his mother, to the point his clinginess overwhelms and irritates her. She has a nightmare where she takes Stewie to the laundry room, puts him in the washing machine, bashes his head in with the lid and shuts him in there. Lois wakes up and has a What Have I Become? moment.
- Italians Talk with Hands: This trope occurs every time an Italian character appears in the show. It was itself directly parodied when Peter grew a mustache and thought he could speak Italian - by speaking gibberish and gesticulating.
- It's Been Done:
- In-universe, this is everyone's reaction when Brian describes the plot of the novel he's been working on for years, "Faster Than The Speed Of Love", which is pretty much a blatant and complete rip-off of Iron Eagle, although Brian claims he never heard of the movie or its sequels, which the novel also rips off.
- Peter jokes about this once after Quagmire reveals he knows how to speak French and mentions that it comes in handy when he's in Montreal. Peter says he always wanted to go to Canada, but South Park went there first, so now Family Guy can't.
- Ivy League for Everyone: Brown University comes up considering the Rhode Island setting. "The Story on Page One" has Meg attempting to enroll there, and Brian revealing he went there as well. "Brian Goes Back to College" involves him re-enrolling, since he dropped out one class short of graduating. He fails again.