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  • Jaw Drop:
    • Shown with Meg, Lois and Chris after Peter got raped by a "breedin' bull" at a rodeo.
    • Brian in "I Dream Of Jesus" gets a pretty exaggerated one.
    • Quagmire in "And I'm Joyce Kinney" when he sees Lois' porn video.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Peter started out as a somewhat selfish man who would often learn from his mistakes at the end of each episode. After the show was brought back, though, he was turned into more of an outright sociopath.
    • Stewie Took a Level in Kindness after season 6. Though he is still prone to the occasional violent outburst and harmful prank, he has lost much of his megalomania and learned to feel empathy, particularly in his interactions with Brian, whom he has come to see as his best friend.
    • A cutaway concerned a "badass mail clerk with a heart of gold."
    Peter: Hi, Kenneth. Hey, did I get any mail?
    Kenneth: No! And if you come any closer, I'll slice ya!
    Peter: (to a co-worker) Jeez, what a badass.
    Guy: Yeah? Well that badass just gave half his paycheck to orphans, orphans with diseases. (Peter nods appreciatively)
  • Jesus: The Early Years: An episode shows him as a teenager, trying to deal with God being an absentee father who's shacked up with a bimbo.
    Jesus: Uhh, Hey dad, so um.. Things aren't working out too well here. Can I come stay with you for a while?
    God: Gosh, you know, I'd love to, son, but this isn't a very good time right now. *Hangs up, and returns to the whore in his bed*
    —>God: Alright then, now where were we?
    Girl: Right about here. (holds up a condom)
    —>God: Aww come on baby, it's my birthday!
    —>Girl: No.

  • Kangaroo Pouch Ride: Peter climbs into the pouch of a kangaroo, but the poor kangaroo can barely move.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • In "Barely Legal," Meg kidnaps and almost rapes Brian, but receives no punishment. Instead, she is given a heart-to-heart by Quagmire, and walks away hoping to become a better person.
    • Quagmire is a repeat sex offender whose reprehensible acts are played for laughs. He has raped an underage girl, peeped on women's bathrooms, roofied his dates, and lied about wearing protection, yet always got away scot free.
    • Quagmire is charged with statutory rape for sleeping with an underage girl who lied about her age. Nobody ever brings this up and she's never punished.
    • Marla, Meg's coworker at the TSA, tries to kill Meg for "stealing" a man from her. Then she gets Meg fired, but doesn't receive any punishment besides a slight burn on her arm.
    • The men who take the guys' seat at the Drunken Clam in "Herpe, The Sore Love." Suddenly losing those seats in specific is enough to make every family member and friend look down and shame Peter, Joe, and Quagmire. Even after unsuccessfully trying to force them to give the seats back and suffering a brutal beat down, it's revealed that they are Afghanistan soldiers and are quickly revered as war heroes by everyone. The guys do recover their seats, but the Jerkass soldiers don't suffer a single time. The guys did ask them nicely if they could get their seats back, but the soldiers rudely shrugged them off and threatened them.
    • The mysterious driver in "Life of Brian" runs over Brian, doesn't stop to aid the wounded dog, and is not seen afterwards.
    • The team of thieving mongoose in "Dearly Deported" who killed the entire Griffin family under the guise of a recording of Lois calling the family in for sloppy joes. Aside from killing them, they also stole Quagmire's eggs and the family TV.
  • Karmic Butt-Monkey:
    • Peter is known, especially in later episodes, to be a Fat Bastard Insufferable Imbecile towards his family and friends and tends to cause a lot of death and destruction through his crazy antics. A lot of times however it all comes back to bite him in the form of slapstic injury and humiliation. The rest of the Griffin household are also this, as they all show that they can be just as bad or even worse than Peter and almost always receive comeuppance for their actions.
    • Brian is an egotistical Know-Nothing Know-It-All with a Never My Fault complex. He thinks highly of his (actually terrible) writing skills. To compensate, after the fourth season, he's become more prone to getting injured, being dumped by other women, and being disrespected for not being human.
  • Karmic Injury: "Joe's Revenge" reveals that Joe lost his ability to walk when he was shot multiple times in the legs by a criminal named Bobby Briggs. Near the end of the episode, Joe returns the favour by shooting Briggs in the legs. However, one of Joe's shots hit a femoral artery, causing Briggs to bleed to death.
  • Kavorka Man:
    • Quagmire has had sex with hundreds of women, despite not being particularly good looking. Brian himself constantly wonders how his rival can have such a successful love life.
    • Brian gains a fair share amount of women despite being a dog.
  • Kent Brockman News: Diane Simmons, Joyce Kinney, and especially Tom Tucker openly talk about personal issues on the air.
  • Kids Hate Vegetables: In the episode "I Never Met the Dead Man", Stewie spends the entire B-plot attempting to destroy his plate of broccoli Lois made him eat for dinner. He ends up trying to feed them to Brian, but Brian just dumps them back onto Stewie's plate.
  • The Killjoy: The show has the Running Gag character Buzz Killington, a friendly, old-fashioned sophisticated gentleman type who obliviously ruins the excitement of any fun parties or gatherings he's involved in with either unfunny jokes or boring activities like looking at sketches, which is usually met with characters rubbing their eyes in exasperation.
  • Kill the Poor: In "A Picture is Worth 1,000 Bucks", Peter remarks that New York City is a lot nicer ever since Rudy Giuliani secretly had the homeless killed.
  • Killed Off for Real: Some of the deceased characters have been restored to life through various means, but Word of God has stated that Francis Griffin, Mr. Weed, Muriel Goldman, Derek (Jillian's husband), Bertram, and Diane Simmons are not coming back.
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: When Peter becomes one of the New England Patriots, he does a local spot for a car dealership complete with monotone reading, eyes following cue-cards, forced football references, and crappy redundant jingle.
  • Kneel, Push, Trip: In "Stewie B. Goode", Peter gets Meg to crouch behind Brian so he can push him into the pool. However, Brian walks out of the way before Peter runs over to him, and Peter ends up hurting himself and Meg.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Quagmire decides to personally kill his sister's boyfriend as revenge for the years of abuse she suffered at his hands.
  • Knocking the Knockoff: The crossover with the Simpsons, "The Simpsons Guy", used this as a plot point with the catalyst being how Duff is similar to Pawtucket Patriot and the latter being sued over it. Then going on how similar some of the characters between each shows are to one another in the court scene. With the twist being that the judge is none other than Fred Flintstone whose show the Simpsons is often cited to be an Expy of, which in turn led to the inspiration for Family Guy itself.
  • Knockout Gas: Peter gave his rival a statue of himself that sprayed "Crazy Purple Knockout Gas!"
  • Konami Code: When the whole family gets trapped in space on board a space shuttle, Peter suggests entering in the code to give them all unlimited lives.

  • Lactating Male: In "Jungle Love", Peter says he's "excited for work like a dairy cow". Cut to a cow voiced by Danny Smith moaning in pleasure while being milked.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • In "Dog Gone," Peter and Lois get into a pronunciation argument, just like Brian and Stewie often do. Stewie asks "Are we really doing this?"
    • When Brian reunites with his long lost son, Stewie asks how the latter can be a teenager when Brian is only 7 years old.
    Stewie: How can you have a 13-year-old son when you're only 7?
    Brian: Well, those are dog years.
    Stewie: That doesn't make any sense.
    Brian: You know what, Stewie? If you don't like it, go on the Internet and complain.
    • From "The Big Bang Theory", when Stewie is explaining how he and Brian have traveled outside of the space-time continuum. Doubles as Medium Awareness:
    Stewie: Non-existence. No past, no present, no future. No universe. (a promo logo for The Cleveland Show appears) But still, somehow, a large, brightly-colored promo for The Cleveland Show.
    • In "Back to the Pilot", Stewie lampshades that his characterization has changed throughout the years.
    Stewie: (flies in with a jetpack) Brian, are you alright?
    Brian: Yeah, I'm fine. Where'd you get that?
    Stewie: Well, the Stewie from the past has a lot more gadgets and things than I do, I've kinda slacked off a little bit.
  • Landline Eavesdropping: In one episode, Brian talks on the phone with his girlfriend Jillian. After she says something particularly stupid, he hears someone snickering.
    Brian: Stewie, are you on the line?
    Stewie: Yes.
    Brian: Jillian, I'll talk to you later.
  • Late to the Punchline: In "The King is Dead":
    Peter: Hey, hey. I have more creativity in my whole body than most people do before 9 AM!
    Lois: The only thing you create before 9 AM is exactly what you've turned my show into.
    Peter: I think my show will speak for itself. (leaves, but comes back) I just got it. A poop joke? That's real creative, Lois. (leaves again)
  • Laugh Track: Parodied in a few episodes:
    • "A Hero Sits Next Door": Brian delivers a one-liner and Peter begins to respond, but waits until the laugh track finishes.
    • "Running Mates": A studio audience has moved in next door, and Peter gets irritated that they laugh at everything he does.
    • "Viewer Mail No. 1": Stewie swiped a laugh box from the set of Dharma & Greg. Brian is surprised there's anything left in it.
    • "PTV": Stewie supplies his own exaggerated laughter (and applause) for the low budget sitcom "Cheeky Bastards".
    • "Airport '07": Peter doesn't want to kick Quagmire out of their house, until Quagmire mentions that Stewie should never use a pacifier that he's holding again. Peter says to Lois, the "OK, so I'll talk to him tomorrow?", followed by a laugh track and a parody of the Will & Grace eyecatch.
    • "Chick Cancer": A cutaway gag features "The Mayor of Comedy" pitching a Time-Life Music-type compilation called "Sitcom Punchlines of the '80s," with one of the volumes titled "Sounds of the '80s: Studio Audience," that volume being various canned studio and "laugh track" responses to stock jokes and cliches. (The albums were also a parody of various Time-Life Music series, one of which was "Sounds of the Eighties.")
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: While giving Chris, Lois, and Peter all Reason You Suck Speeches during "Seahorse Seashell Party", Meg explains that if anybody in the outside world saw how Peter treats Meg, he would be in jail.
  • Left It In: When Brian joins The Bachelorette, he makes some comments about Chevy Chase to the Confession Cam and then asks if they can cut that part out... and then goes on to say even more things about Chevy. None of which is cut out.
  • Let's Have Another Baby: After assisting his sister-in-law in giving birth, Peter first suggests stealing her baby, but then says this to Lois who agrees. That is, until they realize that they're too busy with Stewie to take care of another baby.
  • Let's See YOU Do Better!: In "Brian Griffin's House of Payne," at the premiere party of Brian's new sitcom, the cast of Two and a Half Men are also at the party, much to Brian's surprise. When asked why they're here, Charlie Sheen responds, "Well you're always ripping on our show, let's see yours."
  • Lightbulb Joke: Peter tells one in a Planet of the Apes parody:
    Peter: How many dirty, stinking apes does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three; one dirty, stinking ape to put in the lightbulb, and two dirty, stinking apes to throw feces at you.
  • Lighter and Softer: Relatively speaking, the show starting with season 18 is this compared to many of the seasons before, due to being less reliant on shock value and Gorn, and leaning more heavily into absurdism and Lampshade Hanging with it's humor. The characters, while still flanderized, have their Jerkass tendencies toned down, Quagmire's sex offender antics are downplayed to the point of non-existance (which, according to the show, is due to the #MeToo movement), and even Meg gets far less hate, being treated more like just another member of the family, and as much of a Butt-Monkey as every other Griffin. It's still not as light as earlier seasons but still lighter than it's been for the past few years.
  • Limb-Sensation Fascination: One episode has Joe Swanson get new functional legs transplanted, and he proceeds to show off his old athletic and martial arts abilities to the point of becoming arrogant and rejecting his old friends for new ones who can keep up with him. In the end he becomes paralyzed again in An Aesop about pride.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Spoofed in "The Thin White Line" when Peter joins Brian in rehab. When the nurse asks for his name and he tries to think of a fake name he looks around and sees a pea, a tear on a woman's face, and a griffin flies in, so he says his name is Peter Griffin, and immediately realizes he screwed up.
  • Lint Value: When Peter and Lois are buying fake documents on the Black Market in Cuba, Peter realizes he has no money and asks the cashier if he will accept bits of string instead. The cashier replies, "Sorry, store policy" and points to a sign noting... that they don't accept bits of string.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Poor, poor Abbie, Quagmire's five-year-old niece. She makes an appearance in "Road to the North Pole", and Brian mistakes her for a boy because she lost her hair from chemo.
  • Locked in a Room: In "Brian & Stewie", the duo is stuck in a bank vault all night.
  • Logic Bomb: Peter does this to a robotic office suck-up that agrees with everything he says to try to make him stop:
    Peter: ...I hate myself.
    Suck-up: I hate you, too. You make me sick, you fat sack of crap!
    Peter: But I'm the president.
    Suck-up: The best there is!
    Peter: But you just said you hated me...
    Suck-up: (malfunctioning) But—not you the president—that you who said you hated—you, you who love—hate... Yankees... Clouds... (head explodes)
  • Logo Joke: "The Simpsons Guy" ends with the Gracie Films Vanity Plate appearing and Peter (in voiceover) singing along to its famous nine-note electric piano theme. ("And now the show is over now.")
  • Long List:
    • Most famously, after the series is brought back, Peter recites a long list of Fox programs that bombed while Family Guy was off the air, sarcastically calling them great shows. He then goes on to say that maybe Family Guy can come back on the air if every single one of them fails. A similar gag was used in "Family Gay" with race horses named after cancelled Fox shows with the announcer telling their positions.
    • On "Episode 420," Peter gets so high that, instead of setting up one of his flashback moments, he shows the viewers a list of celebrities he hates, including Stephen Dorff, Justin Timberlake, Dane Cook, Chris O'Donnell, Geoffrey Chaucer, Kathy Griffin, Andy Samberg, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Andrew McCarthy, Rita Coolidge, David Arquette, Carlos Mencia, Amy Winehouse, every rapper, Ethan Hawke, Dax Sheppard, Toby Keith, Joe Francis, Princess Diana, Chris Martin, Chris Martin again, Chris Martin's parents, Eve Plumb, Bonnie Franklin, Kate Bekinsale, Freddie Prinze Jr., Suri Cruise, The forehead guy from The Office, Garry Marshal, Paul Tsongas, and Chris Martin's ancestors.
    • In "Ocean's Three and a Half", Stewie writes a song for Susie named after her. Brian sarcastically comments that's the first time a song has been named after a girl. Stewie asks him to mention 20. Then 6 more. Then 5 more. Brian is able to do so every time, to which Stewie storms off while telling him to go fuck himself.
    • Quagmire's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Brian is a long rant detailing all the complaints viewers had raised about his character throughout the years, including his arrogance, hypocrisy, poor parenting and attempts to court his best friend's wife.
  • Longest Pregnancy Ever: Bonnie was pregnant in her third trimester for a full ten years and six seasons after her introduction. Lampshaded multiple times:
    Peter: Okay, first of all, Bonnie, you've been pregnant for like six years, alright, either have the baby or don't.
    Quagmire: (after Susie was finally born) ... Hard to believe she's already 18.
  • Look Ma, I Am on TV!: Parodied where Chris is interviewed by the local news. He asks to say hello to his mother, Lois. He does so while turning away from the camera and saying hello to his mother who is only a few feet away from him.
  • Loony Laws: The post-apocalyptic New Quahog was briefly ruled by Peter, who, among other things, randomly assigned duties from a "job hat" and not based on expertise...
    "Oooh, village idiot! That's a good one! On Tuesdays you get to wave your penis at traffic!"
  • Loud of War: In the Star Wars spoof "Laugh It Up, Fuzzball"', the torture scene from Empire is recreated with Han (Peter) being tormented by "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?"
  • Lovable Jock: In "Gronkowsbees," Rob Gronkowski starts as this, before turning into a real jerk.
  • Love Forgives All but Lust: Peter develops amnesia and doesn't remember his family, including his wife Lois. She's relatively OK with that until he brings home his new girlfriend.
  • Love Overrides the Law: Parodied. In one scene, Chris proposes that he could get a job as "the guy racing through an airport at the end of a Romantic Comedy." Chris never even pays for the drive because the driver said he was free of charge.
    Chris: [runs out of an apartment building and stands in front of a taxi, stopping it] Taxi!! Taxi!!!
    Taxi Driver: Hey!! Are you crazy!?
    Chris: Crazy for love! The most amazing girl I've ever met leaves on a plane in 5 minutes!
    Taxi Driver: Get in!
  • Lucky Charms Title: The "i" in Family Guy is dotted with a TV set.
  • Lustful Melt: In "Twelve and a Half Angry Men," Quagmire has his fellow jurors simulate the positions of an orgy in order to corroborate a witness's testimony. Once he's satisfied with everyone's positions, Quagmire takes his own, "the butterpat"; He climbs on top of the pile and literally melts all over the others.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Stewie tries to teach a fellow toddler how to properly enunciate by singing "The life of the wife is ended by the knife!", Despite the song being about matricide, it has a joyful tuneul tune inspired by My Fair Lady.

  • Made of Iron: During their fights, Peter and Ernie the Giant Chicken suffer horrific injuries that should by all rights kill them, but Peter is never more than just breathless after the battle ends.
  • Major Coward: "In Saving Private Brian", a series of events led to Brian and Stewie enlisting in the army. After being shipped to Iraq and having their base suffer from a terrorist attack, the duo try and fail multiple times to get themselves discharged. It is only after Democracy kicks in (as George W. Bush predicted) that the two finally get to go home.
  • Mama Bear: Lois, despite the nastiness she's increasingly showed, is seriously this when it comes to Stewie. Willing to fight a vicious dog to get his teddy bear back. Making the mother of the older bully kid who stole Stewie's Halloween candy give it back plus the bully's candy plus forty dollars! (At 100% interest, compounded daily; when the woman nervously tells Lois she doesn't have forty dollars, Lois tells her that she'll be back the next day for eighty dollars. God only knows what Lois will do to her if she doesn't eventually cough it up. She even scares Stewie with that.)
    • Subverted at first and then ultimately fulfilled when she tries to save Joe from falling down a sewer waterfall.
    Lois: Joe, you're too heavy! I can't hang on!
    Joe: Pretend I'm your child, Lois! (Lois starts to let go) Not Meg, not Meg! (Lois finds the strength to pull him to safety).
    • At the end of "Meg and Quagmire" after she and Peter stop Meg from having sex with Quagmire, she threatens to cut his "thing" off and feed it to Brian if he ever touches Meg again. *Shudder*
  • Manchild:
    • Peter is in his early fourties, but has the mentality of a very immature boy. This is lampshaded when Lois says she feels like she was married to a child, after which the episode cuts to Peter singing "Milk Milk Lemonade" as his wedding vows.
    • The entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation is presented as a bunch of juvenile idiots in "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven", who eventually drive Stewie up the wall with their antics. Patrick Stewart, who gets the most screen time, is unable to understand why breakfast is not served at 3 p.m., pretends to have female breasts by holding two bowling balls in front of his chest, and is upset when he doesn't have enough carnival tickets to trade for a pencil topper.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Seth MacFarlane voices three of the four male members of the Griffin family (Peter, Brian and Stewie), in addition to several supporting characters, such as Quagmire, Carter and Hartman.
  • Marshmallow Dream: Played with. Peter wakes up to find a half-eaten sheep in his room trying to crawl to safety.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Quagmire suffered this during School during the "Cola Wars" for drinking RC Cola instead of Coka Cola.
  • Mass Hypnosis: Stewie tries to broadcast hypnotic waves to the viewing audience of Kids Say the Darndest Things, but gets hypnotized himself.
  • Mature Younger Sibling: We have Chris and Meg, two teenagers, the former of whom is an immature Dumbass Teenage Son and the latter who is a Bratty Teenage Daughter with serious anger issues. Of all three Griffin children, Stewie, who's just a one-year-old baby, is the closest to mature, usually bringing up valid points whenever his older siblings are acting up, which they usually ignore since the family normally can't hear him. However, considering that Stewie's a matricidal Enfant Terrible who's committed many heinous acts, insults his family, and occasionally uses Brian for personal gain, he's Only Sane by Comparison.
  • Mediation Backfire: Peter is upset that he can't find way to bond with Stewie, until he discovers that abusing and humiliating Lois is the perfect way to do it. This leads them to lock her in the trunk of a car and sink it in a lake.
  • Medium Blending:
    • Seen in "Road to Rupert" during the Stewie/Gene Kelly dancing sequence, which combines live action and animation.
    • In "Let's Go to the Hop", Peter says that doing drugs caused things to get too real for him, and the show cutaways to a live action Peter on a park bench saying: "Holy crap, I am freaking out!"
    • "Foreign Affairs" uses two live-action puppets of Lois and Bonnie to chronicle their trip to Paris.
  • Medium-Shift Gag:
    • In the "Road to the Multiverse" episode, Brian and Stewie find themselves in a dimension where they are a live-action dog and baby, and instead of commenting on it, they merely state that the universe scares them, and they immediately leave.
    • Peter turns live action during a drug-induced Freak Out.
    • During the show's adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back shots of Chris/Luke training on Dagoba are intercut with shots taken directly from Rocky IV of Ivan Drago training.
    • A sex scene between Peter and Lois is represented by a live action Dwayne Johnson bashing their action figures together.
  • Men Can't Keep House: When Lois is arrested for stealing a famous painting, the house goes to hell, with garbage all over the place, Stewie not getting a diaper change in god-knows-how long, and wild animals coming into the house.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: When Brian and Peter rescue a talking cow, they're chased by 2 guards. The Montage show them all in a band, playing music together.
  • Misleading Package Size: Brian once received a Christmas present shaped like a wine bottle. He removed the wrapping paper to discover a book.
  • Misplaced Accent: Santos and Pasqual are supposedly Portuguese fishermen yet speak in heavily accented Brazilian Portuguese.
  • Missing Child:
    • In "Extra Large Medium", Chris and Stewie get lost in the woods during a camping trip.
    • In "JOLO", Peter climbs onto a billboard to see if its three-dimensional prop pudding cup has real pudding in it, but finds that a kid is already in there. Joe identifies him as "the lost Nicholson kid", and Peter is hailed as a hero.
      Peter: They arrested a custodian 'cause of you.
  • A Mistake Is Born: Across numerous episodes throughout the series, it is revealed that all three of the Griffin children were mistakes. Chris in particular was due to a condom break, for which the subsequent lawsuit paid for their house.
  • Mistaken for Insane: In "Guy, Robot", Peter and his pals go to a 50s-style asylum to look for Peter's old mattress. A Psycho Psychologist takes Deliberate Values Dissonance to an extreme and wrongly declares Peter, Cleveland, and Joe insane for being friends with a black person, being friends with a white person, and being crippled, respectively.
  • Mistaken for Masturbating:
    • Chris was once really just using the bathroom, but his Holier Than Thou grandfather assumed he was masturbating and railed against its sinfulness, scaring poor Chris away from what he was really doing for the rest of the episode. "God's watching me do Number Two? Aw man, I'm a sinner and God's a pervert!"
    • In a pre-cancellation episode, after Chris is caught peeping in the girls' locker room, Peter approaches Chris' room, and there's a rapid knocking sound, which turns out to be Chris, playing with a ball-and-paddle. Peter gives Chris his porn collection, then leaves, and the sound continues, then Peter realizes he's holding the paddle.
  • Mistaken for Superpowered:
    • In "No Meals On Wheels", Peter accidentally shocks Chris after rubbing his feet on the carpet. The old man concludes that he is actually Jesus, and starts calling himself Electric Man.
    • In "Extra Large Medium", Peter is convinced that he has psychic powers after he manages to guess incredibly mundane things, such as the fact that a random woman has a dead relative, or that there is a black man in a large crowd. His fame soon grows until he is hired by the police to deduce the location of a bomb. When he fails and it explodes, he nonchalantly explains that he might not be a medium after all.
  • Mistaken for Undead: In "Boy (Dog) Meets Girl (Dog)", Peter and Lois lead Chris into believing he witnessed the "death" of Arthur Valentine (an imaginary figure they made up for him when he was little), but when it sends Chris into a state of emotional catatonia, Peter tries to convince him that Arthur came back to life by dressing up as him. It works... but now Chris thinks "Arthur" is a zombie and tries to kill him.
    Chris: I've seen The Walking Dead! I have to kill your brain and then talk about it for the next hour!
  • Modesty Towel:
    • In the episode "Viewer Mail no 1", Peter wishes he had no bones and is turned to a shapeless blob. At one point he gets thrown out of the Teacups ride at Disneyland and through a window into a locker room, where Michael Eisner comes out and uses him as one of these, tucking his face into the inside as he walks out of the room.
    • Subverted when Brian tries to break up with Jillian. He finds her with only a towel, which she then wraps around her hair, exposing her naked body. Driven bu his hormones, Brian decides not to end their relationship.
  • Monkeys on a Typewriter: Peter references them in "The King Is Dead". In a twist, the monkeys are fully intelligent and speak exactly like regular humans.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Dr. Hartman's conversation with Peter and Brian over a much needed kidney transplant. He tells Brian that because his kidneys are smaller, Peter would need both of his in order to keep living. He tells Brian that the procedure would kill him... Then he laughs as he notices a car being towed outside.
    • In "Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows", there's a big mood whiplash after Brian tearfully says goodbye to a dying Pearl. Immediately after, Dr. Hartman comes in and says, "Hey, anybody wanna see a dead body?"
  • Moon-Landing Hoax: "Don't Make Me Over" has a Cut Away Gag that shows Neil Armstrong finishing up the filming of the moon landing, then walking out back of the studio to head home. A fan recognizes him and questions why he isn't up in space. Neil nervously tries to make up an excuse before panicking.
    Neil Armstrong:Oh, uhh, there was a tape delay, and uh solar winds and... (Bashes the guy with his space helmet.)
  • Mortality Phobia:
    • After getting hit by Peter's car as he's backing out of the driveway, and Lois inconsiderately reminds the family just how old he is, Brian takes to drinking his worries away because he knows that everyone can just randomly die at any moment. The combined efforts of Stewie and Frank Sinatra Jr. help him overcome his worries once and for all.
    • "Mom's the Word" has Stewie frightened by the prospect of him dying someday, and when Brian tells him he believes that there's nothing in the afterlife (being an atheist and all), he tries to kill himself. After several failed attempts at suicide, Brian convinces him to make his life worthwhile and fulfill his dreams, and Stewie decides to try stand-up comedy, but his act bombs and Brian tells him to kill himself.
  • Motivation on a Stick: In "He's Too Sexy for His Fat", Peter gets Chris to run on a treadmill by sticking a plumber's helper to his forehead with a twinkie hanging from it.
  • Mouthing the Profanity:
    • In one episode, Stewie mouths "fuck you" to Brian. Brian was able to read his lips and threatens to tell Lois on him. Stewie then tries to tell Brian he was really saying "vacuum".
    • In a crossover episode of Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, Peter tries to avoid Cleveland, and is eventually caught in his car. The car is closed, with the windows up, so whether Peter says or mouths the word 'fuck', it's not audible.
  • Mrs. Claus: Appears in a Show Within a Show helping KISS in Saving Christmas.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Some episodes will have Lois dress proactively.
  • Mugging the Monster: Stewie has been victimized a few odd times by Jerkass characters, thinking he's little more than a baby. Needless to say, they almost all end up completely out of their league. Except for Susie Swanson, who managed to kick his butt despite being younger than him.
  • Multiboobage: Meg has 3 nipples, according to her former date, the Count.
  • The Multiverse: The season 8 premiere, aptly titled "Road to the Multiverse", has Stewie and Brian travelling to several alternate dimensions as they try to find their way back to their reality. The plot is revisited in the video game Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse, where the duo heads back into the multiverse to stop Bertram's homicidal plans.
  • Mundane Afterlife: In Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, Stewie briefly dies and goes to Hell, which is nothing more than an ordinary hotel room. At first, Stewie doesn't think it's so bad, but then Steve Allen comes in, unbuttons his shirt, and tells Stewie, "All right, let's do this." It turns out Steve only wanted Stewie to help him with his collar but then Steve turns on the TV in the hotel room and the programming is nothing but Who's the Boss? reruns.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Herbert's fight with Mr. Gutentag in order to save Chris and Peter. The fight itself is extremely awkward, but the music was epic and Gutentag's death was just a fall from a porch, but the camera angle and slo-mo really invoked this trope.
    • Pest extermination got this treatment in season 3's "He's Too Sexy For His Fat", making a standard extermination job look like a scene from The Expendables- nearly ten years before said film was released.
  • Murder by Mistake: In the 9th season premiere, Diane's mechanism to murder James Woods accidentally kills Stephanie.
  • Muse Abuse: In "You Can't Do That on Television Peter," Peter creates a puppet called "Saggy Naggy," which resembles Lois, using it as an exaggeration of her recent nagging attitude. Some time later, while Lois is at the supermarket, she is attacked by a crowd of kids who think she is the actual Saggy Naggy.
  • Mushroom Samba: Brian consumes psychedelic mushrooms in "Seahorse Seashell Party", and ends up having a series of horrifying visions.
  • Mustache Vandalism: Parodied in "Love Thy Trophy". As Peter ransacks his neighbors' houses to find their supposedly stolen trophy, he paints mustaches on each of their family portraits, and rubs out Cleveland's already existing mustache on his.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: One episode's opening depicts the Griffin Family as members of the Super Friends... and Meg.
  • My Girl Is a Slut:
    Peter: [triumphantly] My wife did KISS!
    Lois: And J. Geils.
    Peter: What?
    Lois: Nothing.
  • My Instincts Are Showing:
    • Brian is an Intellectual Animal, but his canine behavior still shows up.
    • Stewie isn't an animal, but despite being more intelligent than anybody else on the cast, he still has many natural baby instincts, such as loving Teletubbies and going ballistic when he finds out they're going to Disney World.
  • My Sibling Will Live Through Me: In "Go Stewie Go", Stewie pretends to be a girl named Karina Smirnoff in order to land a part on the American Adaptation of his favorite television show - the only part available was playing a little girl named Mary. He then falls in love with one of his (female) costars, but the costar explains to her/him that she's not a lesbian ... so Stewie marches into the (conveniently live) taping of the episode, and in character (as Mary, not Karina/Stewie) explains that Karina was actually his sister who died, and he was Desmond - a perfectly normal little boy transvestite - who was trying to carry on her memory.

  • Naked People Trapped Outside: One episode of the show had Peter Griffin and Mayor Adam West kicked out of their houses completely naked. Peter admits that he "lost a fight with his clothes".
  • Native American Casino: The Griffins visit a casino run by a native american tribe in "The Son Also Draws".
  • Naughty Under the Table: In “Go, Stewie, Go!”, Stewie goes to a bar in drag and runs into Brian. He decides to test his friend's gullibility and starts flirting with him, prompting Brian to grab Stewie's hand and move it towards his crotch. Though the baby breaks the façade before things escalate, he still mentions that he has "touched it".
  • Negative Continuity:
    • In "Baby, You Knock Me Out". Throughout the episode, people are surprised that Lois can fight so well and that she can be so aggressive, including Lois herself. Lois even says something to the effect of how she's never felt so powerful. She has, however, in episodes like "Lethal Weapons" and "Breaking Out Is Hard To Do".
    • In "The Fat Guy Stranger" (airdate- 2005) Lois revealed she was in her forties. "Meet The Quagmires" (2007) revealed Lois was 18 in 1984. "And I'm Joyce Kinney" (2011) revealed she legally starred in a porno film in 1981.
    • More or less in effect for much of the series- no one seems to age despite the show being on the air for so long and the actual acknowledgement of years having gone by. Many characters have been seriously injured only to be fine in not just the next episode, but even the next scene. In "German Guy" Peter apparently shoots and kills himself in front of Chris only to be unharmed a scene later.
  • Nested Story Reveal: As it turns out, all the events of "Stewie Kills Lois"/"Lois Kills Stewie" was just a simulation that Stewie was running to see what would happen if he succeeded in his plan to Take Over the World.
  • Never Bareheaded: Meg and Chris usually wear their hats. Meg is especially notable: going hatless appears to be akin to nudity for her (she quickly covers up when discovered brushing her hair, and a makeout fantasy has her inexplicably hatless).
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Done a lot in later seasons, especially with episodes featuring an A-Plot with Meg or Chris and a B-Plot with Brian and Stewie. The promotional image for "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven" was Stewie with the ST:TNG cast, as well as the summary. Six minutes into the episode, Peter announces that it's going to be a Meg Episode (although in the end it was more about Brian). The Star Trek cast got like one or two lines each. Another similar example is "Stew-Roids". All the promotional images and summary were about Stewie muscling up, and implied that the story involving Chris, Meg, and Connie was a minor subplot.
  • New Baby Episode: "Ocean's Three and a Half" has Bonnie finally give birth to a baby girl, Susie, after being pregnant for over a hundred episodes (and about ten years). However, Joe can't pay the medical bills and spends the episode scheming alongside Peter to make up his debts, including an attempt to rob Carter. Meanwhile, Stewie falls in love with baby Susie.
  • Newspaper Backstory: The episode "Three Kings" parodied Misery by having Brian look through a series of clippings indicating Stewie is a serial killer, followed by a Marmaduke comic.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • "Patriot Games" has Stewie smashing a glass on Brian's face, smacking him around, picking up a towel rack and repeatedly hitting him in the head with it, and holding his head into the toilet as revenge for not owning up to a bet. When Brian still refuses to pay his debt, Stewie shoots both of his knees and lights him on fire.
    • In "Road to Rupert", Meg has enough of being humiliated by Peter and his friends, stops the car she's driving them in and immediately gets rear-ended. When confronted by the hostile driver of the vehicle behind her, she proceeds to beat the guy to a pulp.
    • In "Dial Meg for Murder", Meg comes out of jail as a hardened thug and gets revenge on her abusive family and classmates. She beats the crap out of Peter twice and cracks the popular kids' skulls open with a pillowcase full of unopened sodas.
    • In "Quagmire's Dad", Quagmire administers a brutal beat-down to Brian after he finds out that Brian had sex with his father, even though Brian had no idea the two were related.
    • In "Peter's Daughter", Peter bashes Connie's face into a fire extinguisher 18 times as retaliation for her bullying Meg.
  • No Indoor Voice:
    • Blac-u Weather Reporter Ollie Williams can only speak by shouting short sentences.
    • Jeff had absolutely no indoor voice whatsoever and shouts to intimidate both his girlfriend and anyone who would dare to defend her.
  • No Product Safety Standards: Peter falling asleep on the job at the toy factory allowed dangerous products to ship; such as a bottle of pills inside a "Pound Poochie" box, a "silly ball" being a throwing hatchet, and a girl's doll being built in with a flamethrower.
  • No Such Thing as H.R.: The Pawtucket Brewery. The plot of one episode has Peter's boss Angela sexually harassing him; never once does Peter even consider taking it up with HR. (or even if the company has HR).
  • Nominated as a Prank: Subverted. One episode had Chris being elected Homecoming King, much to everyone's surprise. Stewie and Brian suspect that the student body wants to prank Chris on homecoming night and that's why he was elected. However, after watching a local news segment, they realize the student body thought Chris was mentally handicapped and voted him Homecoming King to be nice.
  • Non Sequitur: A few characters, most often Stewie or Peter, have a tendency to comment on something completely unrelated to the scene at hand. It's usually done to lighten the mood in an otherwise serious exchange. For example, when Joe and Bonnie argue in the episode "Internal Affairs":
    Joe: You know what, it doesn't matter. Bonnie's been driving me away for some time now.
    Bonnie: What?! Driving you away? Do you have any idea how hard it is living with you?!
    Stewie: ... they still have one of those TVs with the big, fat back.
  • Non-Specifically Foreign: The two long-haired blond guys first introduced in a cutaway about people whose English is just off enough that you can tell they aren't native speakers, but not bad enough to reveal where they're from.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Most of Brian's girlfriends have far more realistic designs and proportions than the rest of the cast.
  • Noodle Incident: An event Peter refers to in "Don't Make Me Over".
    Peter: (after seeing Meg made over, but not knowing it was her) Oh, my god, Lois, it was twenty years ago, I'd never even heard the word "rubber"...!
    Lois: Peter, this is Meg.
    Peter: ...Oh.
  • Not Disabled In VR: In the episode "Brian in Love" Brian falls in love with an old woman who was a jingle singer in the 1930s. He convinces her to step outside of her house for the first time in years, and she gets hit by a car. As she is dying in the hospital, Brian uses a pair of VR goggles to show her a virtual version of them getting married, having kids, etc. so her last moments would be happy.
  • Not Helping Your Case: In "Boys Do Cry", when Peter and his horse sit on the bed:
    Lois: Peter, what the hell?! You can't bring that horse into our bed!
    Peter: Lois, I can not believe you would ban the horse from our bed. He's a graceful, majestic creature, who is a part of this family and only wants you to love and respect— the horse may have pooped in the bed.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: The Evil Monkey in Chris' bedroom closet is believed to be just a figment of the boy's imagination by the other characters. When the monkey's existence is finally proven, he moves into Jake Tucker's bedroom, where history repeats itself.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • Brian squirting lotion on Stewie's sunburned body, from a certain angle, looks like he's ejaculating on Stewie, to which a passing-by Mr. Furley says, "Nevermind, I'll come back later!"
    • Played with when Peter gains an attraction to Lois' gained weight and is later found making love to the removed pile of fat from her liposuction.
    Peter: Errr, (defeated) this is exactly what it looks like.
  • Not Where They Thought: In "Pawtucket Pete", Peter gives a moving eulogy for his deceased boss Angela. At the end of his speech, it's revealed that the funeral is full of Asians and it dawns on to Peter that he was actually at the wrong funeral the whole time. He then awkwardly excuses himself and leaves.
  • N-Word Privileges:
    • Referenced in a cutaway in an early episode involving Peter's ancestor Huck Griffin who now referred to his raft partner as "N-word Jim".
    • When Peter thinks the world was going to end, he mentions that he is going to go to the black section of town and say the N-word. He returns a short time later wearing a sash that says "King of the Black People," and says "They respected me for saying it."
    • When Peter and Quagmire decide to end their cooking show careers the exact same way "Paula Deen ended hers", they both hold hands and face the camera and take a deep breath... then cuts to the group at the Clam with an angry Cleveland.
    Cleveland: You could've just quit the show.

  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Played with in "Gronkowsbees." After Peter and the boys confront Rob Gronkowski about his obnoxious partying and disregard for his neighbors, the lummox actually waxes a surprisingly insightful and pensive speculation that his boorish behavior is a product of a celebrity-fixated culture and these are expectations society has of him, and he's powerless to resist. But then *utterly* averted when he laughs at them and declares he's just doing it all just because he's an asshole and he feels like it.
  • Ode to Food: In "Road to the Multiverse", when the Lois of the Disney-like universe bakes a pie, she and the other residents sing a rousing song about how "it's a wonderful day for pie".
  • Off-Model: In "Let's Go to the Hop", during the musical number, Peter's head keeps shrinking for no reason. This was even addressed on the DVD audio commentary.
  • Officer O'Hara: Subverted: the Irish cop on the police force is actually a guy who's good with impressions.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Lois has a terrifying one when she realizes that Diane Simmons is the killer at James Woods's mansion.
    • Stewie and Brian say this when they realize their hands have been perma-glued together.
  • Oktoberfest: Stewie and Brian stopped by this version of Germany while on their "Road to Europe" tour. There's one notably hilarious exchange in which Brian brings up the subject of WWII:
    Brian: The writer Thomas Mann fled to America to escape persecution!
    Tour Guide: No he didn't! He left to manage a Dairy Queen!
  • Older Than They Look: One one-off joke shows Quagmire is actually in his 60's, despite looking younger than that. What really makes this odd is when Quagmire's dad shows up, and he's the one who looks to be in his 60's, especially since he served in Vietnam.
  • Once per Episode:
    • A character brutally beats someone up.
    • There is some kind of depiction of blood.
    • A character says a bleeped-out swear word.
    • One character says "What the Hell?" to another.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten:
    • Brian once dated a Brainless Beauty and was conflicted about it, however everyone (including Quagmire, who also dates brainless beauties) accuses Brian of only dating women for their looks (even though Brian once dated Rita, an elderly woman).
    • Lois was in a porno but she learned to live with that and showed the video IN CHURCH.
    Priest: "I may be a man of God, but THAT SHIT IS HOT!!!"
  • One Season Athlete: In the episode "Patriot Games", Peter is signed by the New England Patriots to play center, but his antics force the team to trade him to a team in London. After challenging Tom Brady and the Patriots to a game and losing, he retires.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Stewie rescues Lois from being shot to death by Diane Simmons...because no one but him is allowed to kill Lois!
  • Only Sane Man: Despite being jerks themselves, Lois and Brian generally act as the voice of reason, though that's only because they are less idiotic than the main character.
  • Opening Narration: "Fast Times at Buddy Cianci High" features a Law & Order parody that opens the episode.
    Narrator: In the television comedy world, the people are entertained by two separate yet equally important types of shows: Traditional sitcoms that get laughs out of everyday situations, like trying to fix your own plumbing or inviting two dates the same dance, and animated shows that make jokes about farting. This is the latter.
    Peter: Oh, sorry. I just farted.
  • Opening Shout-Out: One episode has an opening that perfectly mirrors the 1977 Incredible Hulk series's opening.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Lois tries one with Peter when Diane points a gun to her back, without success. It's even lampshaded: Peter, we are married for 24 years, notice that something is wrong!; Strange, she has never called me Pete. Nevermind..
  • Out of Focus: Since the show returned, Lois, Meg, and Chris only get one (sometimes two) episodes per season focused on them, while the rest of the season being focused on Brian and Stewie, and to a lesser extent Peter.
    Peter: That's right, it's going to be a Meg episode. (places remote on the table) Here's the clicker. No one'd blame ya.
    • Meg has been hit with this the most. It's to the point that, even in an episode where Meg is the driving force of the plot, she disappears entirely after the first five minutes, does not reappear until five minutes before the end and spends three of those being entirely silent.
  • Overcrank: Parodied, with most anything else, in "The Kiss Seen 'Round the World": Meg swoons over Tom Tucker, who is walking in slow motion. It's assumed that he's only walking in slow motion in her fantasies, but no, that's how slow he actually walks, and people around him walk normal speed.
  • Overly Long Airplane Banner Gag: Neil sends a message to Meg, declaring his love and asking if she'd seen his good pen.
  • Overly Long Scream: Peter lets out a single continuous scream when the experimental drug that temporarily turned him gay wears off in the middle of a group sex session.
  • Overused Running Gag:
    • In "Forget-Me-Not", Peter finds a jukebox playing "Surfin' Bird". Rather than sing it repeatedly like in previous episodes, he turns it off because he finds it annoying.
    • In "Family Goy", when Quagmire believed he was getting the spinoff instead of Cleveland, one of the things he admits he's not going to miss are all of the stupid Conway Twitty jokes.

  • Paranoia Gambit: Done by Brian in "Patriot Games" when Stewie, as payback for the deserved beating he gave Brian over the money that Brian owed him, shows he really does have a heart by offering Brian a free revenge shot. Brian agrees on the terms that he can use it at any time and that Stewie won't know when he will be hit. Brian does not use it, and Stewie, instead of taking back his offer, goes crazy to the point of harming himself to even the deal. Then, at the end of the episode, Brian evens it out by pushing Stewie in front of a moving bus.
  • Parking Payback: In the first Christmas episode, Peter gets fed up with searching for a parking space at the mall and just drives onto another car, crushing it like a monster truck.
  • Parental Fashion Veto: Parodied with Ronald McDonald in one episode.
    You're not going out with all that makeup. You're a Mc Donald, not a whore.
  • Parental Incest:
    • On two separate occasions, Meg says she is sexually attracted to her mother and that she was molested by her father, though she later admits that she was just joking and apologizes.
    • Peter makes a move on Meg during his redneck phase in "Airport '07".
    Peter: Meg, I'm a redneck, which means I am about to do something to you that you will not remember until you're forty! (Meg screams and runs off) Meg, come back here! I meant sex!
    • During Meg's bachelorette party, Peter hires himself as the stripper and performs a lap dance for his daughter.
  • Paying in Coins: Stewie is held up in line in a supermarket due to Bruce, who quibbles over having one item over the Express Lane Limit and asks to pay for it all in pennies.
  • The Peeping Tom:
    • Quagmire regularly spies on women. In "Blind Ambition", this leads to him being charged after Lois catches him peeping in the ladies' room.
    • Chris gets in trouble for peeping in the girls' locker room at school.
    • Lois a drills a hole in Stewie's room so she can watch Tom Brady shower, then fights with Meg over who gets to look through it.
    • When Peter loses his memory, Lois tries to jog his memory without result. When she catches him peeking in on her while changing, she assures him it's alright since they are married.
    • A Cutaway Gag has Peter get caught peeping in the women's showers a la Porky's... only for the pan-out to reveal he was staring through a board with a hole bored through it while standing in full view of the women.
  • Personal Arcade: In "Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story", Peter gets Lois a Galaga arcade machine for Christmas.
  • Phone Word: In a cutaway depicting Hitler having his own talk show, the announcer tells the viewer that they can get tickets to the show by calling 213-DU-WERDEST-EIN-KRANKENSCHWESTER-BRAUCHEN!
  • Phony Degree: "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" involves Peter taking Chris to Las Vegas for a quickie Bar Mitzvah, in the expectation that converting to Judaism will make Chris smarter.
  • Pictorial Speech Bubble: Lois reveals that her wealthy father offered her a million dollars after she and Peter were newly married, but she turned it down because "they could make their own way". In response, Peter has a thought bubble containing an animation that shows him violently killing Lois and disposing of her body.
  • Pineapple Surprise: Stewie removes the pins from the grenades in Lois' belt during their climactic battle at the end of "Lois Kills Stewie", though she is able to remove the belt before the explosion.
  • Pink Is Erotic:
    • Lois is the family matriarch and is shown to have a healthy sex life. She wears a pink nightie and wears pink boots in "Lois Comes Out Of Her Shell." Lois also wears a pink outfit with pink lipstick while making a plaster body-part cast of Daryl Hall's penis.
    • Quagmire is the sex-obsessed neighbor and friend to the Griffin family. His house has a pink and purple color scheme. His bedroom has pink walls, a magenta bed, and mirrors on the ceiling. When he worked as a stripper in "American Giggolo", it involved pink lighting, pink smoke, and he wore pink with Peter when he worked as a prostitute with Peter as his pimp.
  • A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: Peter goes from stealing a parrot as a pet from a veterinarian's office, to dressing as a stereotypical pirate, then hiring a pirate crew and finally going on the road and engaging a motorist in an epic swashbuckling fight, in the course of which Peter's car acquires a mast and sails.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: In the earlier episodes, Lois had a job as an at-home piano teacher. References to this job gradually dropped over time, and she has since been portrayed as a housewife.
  • Planet of Hats: In "Road to the Multiverse"., each universe that Stewie and Brian travel to has its own special attribute, One universe has humans acting as pets to dogs, and another one contains just one guy who gives compliments from far away.
  • Playing Pictionary: In "Lois Kills Stewie":
    Stewie: Oh, so now you're interested in Stewie. Last week when I made that macaroni picture of an owl, you didn't give a damn!
    Peter: That was an owl?
  • Pocket Dial:
    • In the episode where Mort burns down his pharmacy for the insurance money with Peter and Quagmire's help, Joe catches them because Peter butt-dialed him while talking about their plans.
    • In the episode "Hot-Pocket Dial", Quagmire accidentally pocket dials Peter and leaves a message on Peter's voicemail while talking with his parent about the fact that he's in love with Peter's wife Lois.
  • Police Lineup:
    • Chris identifies a store robber after being assured that he is perfectly safe. Then Peter walks in.
      Peter: Hi. Excuse me, you guys. I'm here to pick up my son, Chris Griffin. He's here to finger the guy who held up that convenience store. Maybe you've seen him. His name is Chris Griffin. I think I got a picture of him, somewhere. Here you go. Yeah, you can go ahead and hang on to that. I got a ton of them at home. In fact, I was gonna throw that one out anyway, 'cause Chris messed it up by writing his school schedule and a list of his fears all over the back of it.
    • A Cutaway Gag had Peter ask certain people in the line-up to step forward, then act out various improv acting scenarios "Ok, pretend like you haven't seen Number 3 in a while and are really glad to see him!"
  • Political Correctness Is Evil: "The D in Apartment 23" focuses on all of Quahog hating on Brian because he tweeted a racist joke. Everyone turns into the very definition of a Social Justice Warrior by taking offense to Brian assuming their genders and being labeled as sexist and ableist when he tries to apologize. This results in Brian giving "The Reason You Suck" Speech to all of them for being so outrageously sensitive to ever minor thing.
  • Pooled Funds: Deconstructed. In “Lottery Fever” Peter dives into a vault filled with gold coins and fractures all his bones as he collides with the solid surface.
  • Politicians Kiss Babies:
    • Peter runs for mayor and kisses two babies before refusing to kiss a particularly ugly/deformed child.
    • After learning that Lois is running for mayor, Stewie mentions she should be giving speeches, shaking hands, and kissing babies. When Lois does the latter:
    Stewie: Not this baby!
  • Poor Man's Porn:
    • When Stewie finally succeeds in derailing Peter and Lois' plans to conceive a fourth child (about twenty seconds after he stops trying), Peter takes a lingerie catalogue into the bathroom.
    • In Season 16's "Petey IV", Brian's attractive co-worker Martha has a Facebook page that's private, much to his disappointment. However, he finds her sister's page, on which is a picture of Martha in a sexy dress, crying at a funeral. Brian still breaks out the lotion and goes to town.
  • Popular Is Evil:
  • Positive Discrimination: Subverted in "Extra-Large Medium" where a girl with Down's Syndrome is portrayed as a bitch.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: Peter believes he can automatically speak Italian after growing a mustache.
  • Postmodernism: During the FOX airing of "Big Man On Hippocampus", an Adult Swim Ad Bumper pops up before the commercial break to lampshade the Easy Amnesia plot and ask why you're watching the show on FOX since Adult Swim doesn't "cut out the funniest jokes". On the actual Adult Swim airing, the exact same ad bumper shows up... segueing into a FOX-style ad bumper reminding you that you're watching the show on "FOX For People Who Watch FOX On Adult Swim".
  • Power Is Sexy: This is why Cleveland would have sex with Margaret Thatcher, despite the incredulity of the other guys. "Oh, so no-one else here thinks power is sexy?"
  • Precautionary Corpse Disposal: Played for laughs; the mayor requires all corpses to be encased in concrete before burial to eliminate the possibility it might rise as a zombie.
  • Precision Crash: In a Cutaway Gag featuring Peter's grandfather Willie "Black-Eye" Griffin, a silent film star, in the short "Piano Problem" Willie gets hit directly in the eye by a falling piano.
  • Prenatal Possessions:
    • Stewie claims that the first act of violence he ever committed was leaving a ticking time bomb in Lois' uterus. A later episode also has him mention that he set up something of a man-cave inside, complete with a pool table.
    • In a flashback to Stewie's birth, the doctor finds a map of Europe marked with places he'll bomb.
    • A gag has Susie Swanson being born with a wheelchair, with the latter coming out first.
    • "Farmer Guy" has a scene where a baby is born carrying a gun and using it to shoot off its umbilical cord.
  • Previously on…: Parodied and subverted at the start of "Brian Does Hollywood". All of the clips shown never actually occurred in part one, "The Thin White Line", and instead are send-ups of typical crime and court drama tropes.
  • Product Placement:
    • Done by Stewie for an in-universe joke shop in season Three's "Lethal Weapons". "That's Jack's Joke Shop. Remember, if it ain't funny, it ain't worth Jack. He plugs the same joke shop in season Five's "Road to Rupert", to Brian's unamusement.
    • Lois mentions Stop & Shop (an actual Northeastern based supermarket chain) in the pilot.
  • Profile View Gag: In "Brian Griffin's House of Payne", Brian meets with two network executives who look normal when facing front, but their profiles reveal they have extremely long noses.
  • Prom Wrecker: Subverted in "Run, Chris, Run". It initially looks like Chris is going to be on the receiving end of this when he gets voted Homecoming King. However, it turns out the reason he got voted Homecoming King is because the other students thought he was mentally handicapped and wanted to be nice.
  • Pun:
    • In "Petergeist", the family visits Carrot Top's house.
    Peter: I found the saw with glasses on it.
    Carrot Top: Oh, that's my see saw!
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: In the episode "No Meals on Wheels", Peter attempts to use a photo of Mark Harmon to explain to Lois why "cripples are not cool":
    Peter: What do you see here, Lois?
    Lois: [sighs] A picture of Mark Harmon.
    Peter: A picture of Mark Harmon, the greatest actor who ever lived! Do you see a wheelchair under Mark Harmon?
    Lois: Peter...
    Peter: Lois, do you... see a wheelchair... under Mark Harmon?
    Lois: No.
    Peter: No, you do not, because Mark Harmon is cool!
  • In "Lawyer Guy," Brian and Stewie go scuba diving, conversing with each other by writing on white boards with markers. At one point, after Brian corrects an error Stewie made, Stewie writes "Don't be a grammar shark." This confuses Brian, until he is attacked by a shark, causing Stewie to add the punctuation to his sentence, so it now reads "Don't be a grammar— Shark!"
  • Purgatory and Limbo: Featured in a Cutaway Gag, showing the family floating in a white void, feeling ambivalent about the situation.
  • Put on a Bus: Cleveland is written out of the show during season 8, due to the premiere of his own series. He returns in season 12.